The 99% Invisible City, a new book by Roman Mars and Kurt Kohlstedt et al, belongs on the shelf next to Geoff Manaugh’s electrifying A Burglar’s Guide to the City. They’re very different sizes, so hang onto something because it’s going to look weird, but don’t sweat it too much: a bookshelf should be a jumble, a skyline.
This one won’t spend long on the shelf anyway. Normally I would review a book after I’ve finished reading it, but I want this one to last, and I refuse to read it front-to-back in the first place. The 99% Invisible City is a book to have close to hand whenever there is reclining and musing to be done. Keep it by a sofa or a Strandmon.
99% Invisible is one of those podcasts that feels like it has always been there. Whenever it turns out that, astonishingly, I know something interesting, it’s always because of this playful and curious series about design and urbanism. Did you know New York is almost without alleyways? Did you know most neon tube lighting is shaped by hand? Did you know about that weird place in Washington State that you can only get to via Canada and which is meant to be where witness protection people get sent? All of this is down to 99% Invisible.