Since its completion in 1969, the John Hancock Center has ranked among the world's most exclusive addresses. Home to some of Chicago's loftiest, most extravagant condominiums, this city-within-a-building is off-limits to all but the very wealthy and well connected. Now, Harry W. Budge III-the building's chief engineer-takes you inside "Big John" as he describes high-rise living as you've never experienced.The Cloudbase Chronicles: Life at the Top details Budge's very public life as the building's go-to guy for everything from bomb threats to plumbing mishaps to missing pets. As he rushes to solve emergencies both imagined (helping a resident figure out a food processor) and real (quashing an illicit nudist pool party), Budge explores the human side of what it takes to make this high-rise run. The memorable cast of residents, staffers and real estate agents who populate it reveals a building that pulses with vibrancy and life-and more than a few hilarious situations.At the same time, The Cloudbase Chronicles explores issues of wealth and class, as Budge's dual citizenship-as on-premises resident and "servant"-often complicates his relationship with his neighbors. What emerges is an eye-opening account that will change your perspective on this global icon-and skyscrapers in general-forever.
Across the Pacific on Plastic: An Adventure to Save Our Oceans
Author: David de Rothschild
Publisher: Chronicle Books
A TV host discusses the journeys of Plastiki, a 60-foot boat made of 12,500 plastic bottles that traveled 10,000 miles from the U.S. to Australia, with the boat's creators aiming to call attention to the effects of plastic garbage on the world's oceans, in a book that includes photos, maps, journal entries, plans and sketches.