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A Splintered History of Wood is a passionate and personal exploration of nature’s greatest gift: wood. In the successful tradition of books such as Salt and Cod, writer and carpenter Spike Carlsen explores the history, versatility, and special appeal of something we use everyday—but take for granted—in this comprehensive and dynamic history of wood’s global impact and its personal significance to people in all walks of life.
Spike Carlsen is the author of seven books, including "A Splintered History of Wood: Belt Sander Races, Blind Woodworkers and Baseball Bats," which was selected as a NPR "Best Book of the Year for Gift Giving." He is former Executive Editor of Family Handyman magazine and has written articles for The Minneapolis Star Tribune, Men's Health, MAKE, Fine Homebuilding, Mother Earth News and other publications. He has made appearances on Modern Marvels, the CBS Early Show, Cabin Living, The Weekend Today Show, HGTV's "25 Biggest Renovating Mistakes" and many other national radio and television shows. Spike is an avid cyclist and woodworker. He and his wife Kat live in Stillwater, Minnesota in close proximity to their 5 kids and 9 granddaughters. Visit him at spikecarlsen.com.
“Who knew wood could be this fascinating?” — Booklist
“Engaging and exhaustively researched…a solid history of wood.” — Publishers Weekly
“Thoroughly researched, thoughtful, and entertaining…. just enough of the science of trees and wood, and of the technology of wood products and woodworking, to inform but not burden lay readers….Numerous stories add immeasurably to the book’s appeal.” — School Library Journal
“Engaging, informative...Spike’s wide-eyed enthusiasm is catching, and his curiosity takes him way beyond the ordinary...[Splintered History] is for anyone interested in how this humble material, and the people who work with it, have made us who we are.” — Family Handyman magazine
“Wonderfully strange and interesting....Mixing well-researched history, trivia and humorous anecdotes, A Splintered History of Wood meanders from chainsaw artists to belt-sander races, from Steinway pianos airdropped during WWII to the first know wooden tool: the toothpick.” — NPR Morning Edition