In a world without wood, we might not be here at all. Without wood, we wouldn't have had the fire, heat, and shelter that allowed us to expand into the colder regions of the planet. If civilization somehow did develop, our daily lives still would be vastly different: there would be no violins, baseball bats, chopsticks, or wine corks. The book you are now holding wouldn't exist.
At the same time, many of us are removed from the world where wood is shaped and celebrated every day. That world is inhabited by a unique assortment of eccentric craftsmen and passionate enthusiasts who have created some of the world's most beloved musical instruments, feared weapons, dazzling architecture, sacred relics, and bizarre forms of transportation. In A Splintered History of Wood, Spike Carlsen has uncovered the most outlandish characters and examples, from world-champion chainsaw carvers to blind woodworkers, the Miraculous Staircase to the Lindbergh kidnapping case, and many more, in a passionate and personal exploration of nature's greatest gift.
“Who knew wood could be this fascinating?”
Extraordinary woods. Fifty-thousand-year-old wood lives and breathes again ; In quest of the world's most expensive board foot ; Oak, the breakfast of civilizations ; The wood freak show ; Bamboo : the grass that thinks it's a wood ; Rescuing redwood the hard way ; Logging the industrial forest ; Wood : how it got here, how trees make it -- The wacky world of woodworkers. A chainsaw artist a cut above the rest ; My seven awkward minutes with the world's greatest wood carver ; Woodworking blind : just like everyone else ; How much wood would a wood collector collect? ; Nakashima : the Pavarotti of woodworking still sings ; My almost-perfect interview with woodworker, Jimmy Carter -- The tools that work the wood. As the lathe turns : making golf tees with the master ; Tool junky heaven ; The tablesaw that couldn't cut a hot dog in half ; Belt sander racing : a saga of true grit, speed, and victory (sorta) -- Wood in the world of music. Stradivarius violins : the sweetest sound you've never heard ; The making of Sweet Baby James's guitar ; Drums : and the beat goes on and on and on-- ; The Steinway : 12,000 pieces of indestructible music ; The National Music Museum : six hundred zithers, B.B. King, and one-ton drums -- Wood in the world of sports. Baseball bats : a David and Goliath affair ; Golf : persimmon scores a hole-in-one ; Tossing telephone poles and other curious sports ; The art of the pool cue ; Tennis : the racket about wood racquets ; Lumber Jacks and Lumber Jills -- Wood as shelter. Living in trees : from Papua, New Guinea to Washington State ; The history of housing from log cabin to, well, log cabin ; Everything you never wanted to know about construction lumber ; A dirty rotting shame ; Winchester House : the thirty-six year remodeling project -- Wood in day-to-day life. When wood was everything and everything was wood ; The Lindbergh Kidnapping, the Ted Bundy Tree, and forensic wood ; Pens and pencils : getting to the point ; A barrelful of coopers, kegs, and tradition ; True relics of the Cross ; Fifty billion toothpicks can't be wrong -- Wood, weapons, and war. Ten great moments in catapult history ; A tale of two warships : one unsinkable, one unsailable ; The twang of the bow ; White pines and war ; Pine roots versus atomic bombs -- Wood by land, air, and sea. The Spruce Goose made of birch ; Go fly a person : kites for work and play ; Trains : riding the wooden rails ; In search of the Lost Ark ; The song of the gondolier -- Wood in unusual uses and peculiar places. Venice : the city perched on wood ; Wood pipe takes a bow ; Building a staircase to heaven ; Academy Award nominees for outstanding performance by a wooden structure ; Roller coasters : Mobius strips of screaming wood -- Trees : answers, gifts, and ducks in the wind.
Number Of Pages: 432
Published: 6th October 2009
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Australia