Books That Inspire 2004

Richard Halliburton’s Complete Book of Marvels
Richard Halliburton

As a child, I hated to read. I found it tedious and uninspiring. In contrast, my father loved books and reading. Concerned that I might miss out on the insights and opportunities books offered, my father insisted he would pay me 10 dollars if I read a book. With my nine-year-old obsession with the short-term, I agreed. Into my hand, he pressed his childhood copy of Richard Halliburton’s Complete Book of Marvels. While I do not recall receiving the 10 dollars, I do recall as if it were yesterday feverishly turning pages in insatiable excitement. The images inspired by Halliburton’s writings and travels helped me understand my father’s passions, as well as what the world could teach me. Twenty-eight years later, I proudly proclaim how my father, through this one book, changed my life. The book’s impact on my teaching and design work, such as the Oklahoma City National Memorial, are greater because of the manner in which Richard Halliburton’s writing conveyed his excitement and appreciation for life, people and place.
Hans Butzer
Assistant Professor
Architecture and Urban Design