A Walk Around the Block

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A Walk Around the Block

Stoplight Secrets, Mischievous Squirrels, Manhole Mysteries & Other Stuff You See Every Day (And Know Nothing About)

Spike Carlsen


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A simple walk around the block set Spike Carlsen off on an investigative journey to discover everything he could about every thing we take for granted in our everyday life. 

Leading readers on a spirited tour of his hometown, and a few other environs, he teaches us how to best appreciate and make the best use of the world’s most useful things with illuminating narrative tales about the hidden world outside and underneath our front door. 

With wit and everyman expertise, Carlsen explains the engineering marvels, unheralded utilities, and how to make the best use of the world’s most useful things, including: 

  • How the addition of a front porch reduces crime and increases property value
  • How planting a $10 boulevard tree cuts air-conditioning costs by 20 percent, while generating approximately $30,000 worth of oxygen and $31,000 worth of erosion control. 
  • How a simple walk, in addition to reducing the chance of a stroke (20 percent), cardiovascular disease (30 percent), and broken bones (40 percent), can increase creativity by 60 percent. 

Engaging, entertaining, and informative, illustrated with black-and-white photographs, A Walk Around the Block celebrates all the seemingly random yet essential stuff we encounter yet overlook every day. 


Spike Carlsen:

Spike Carlsen is an editor, carpenter, woodworker, and author of the award-winning A Splintered History of Wood: Belt Sander Races, Blind Woodworkers and Baseball Bats, which was an NPR Best Book of the Year and a Midwest Connections bookseller pick . A former executive editor of Family Handyman magazine, Carlsen has written for Men's Health, Popular Woodworking, Make, and many other publications.