For the past couple nights I have combined the desire to learn more about our house and how everything works and a good read in David Owen's The Walls Around Us: The Thinking Person's Guide to how a home works (New York: Villard Boosk, 1991). Owen's book written in a manner similar to that of Michael Pollan, Christopher Benfey and Tim Falconer, a story which digresses into brief histories or discussions of particular subjects that relate to the larger story at hand. It makes for fun and enjoyable reading that helps give some context and background for anyone seeking to renovate an older house. Owen uses the purchase of a 200 year old house to discuss the history of siding, building techniques and electricity to help explain his own adventures in home ownership.