The Downtown Xenia Now Book Club provides a discussion forum focusing on the planning and redevelopment of the city of Xenia. Join us for a vibrant discussion sharing the latest ideas on improving and regenerating Xenia’s sense of place. Everyone is welcome.

Note: This discussion group is currently on hiatus.

DXN Book Corner

Xenia Community Library is home to a special collection of books focusing on the planning and redevelopment of your city.

Books from the DXN collection may be requested via the library’s online catalog for pickup at any Greene County Public Library location.


Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community

Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community

By Robert D. Putnam

Shows how changes in work, family structure, age, women’s roles, and other factors have caused people to become increasingly disconnected from family, friends, neighbors, and democratic structures—and how they may reconnect.


Building Ohio: A Traveler's Guide to Ohio's Rural Architecture

Building Ohio: A Traveler's Guide to Ohio's Rural Architecture

By Jane Ware

A wonderfully anecdotal revelation of the buildings found in the state’s smaller cities and towns, as well as the countryside itself.


Caught in the Middle: America's Heartland in the Age of Globalism

Caught in the Middle: America's Heartland in the Age of Globalism

By Richard C. Longworth

Traces the affect of globalization on the American Midwest, citing the specific influences of immigrant workers, manufacturing jobs, and changes in farming methods while making predictions about the potential for new biofuels technology.


Cities Back from the Edge: New Life for Downtown

Cities Back from the Edge: New Life for Downtown

By Roberta Brandes Gratz with Norman Mintz

In this pioneering book on successful urban recovery, two urban experts draw on their firsthand observations of downtown change across the country to identify a flexible, effective approach to urban rejuvenation. From transportation planning and sprawl containment to the threat of superstore retailers, they address a host of key issues facing our cities today.


The Death and Life of Great American Cities

The Death and Life of Great American Cities

By Jane Jacobs

Jane Jacobs, an editor and writer on architecture in New York City in the early sixties, argued that urban diversity and vitality were being destroyed by powerful architects and city planners. Rigorous, sane, and delightfully epigrammatic, Jacobs’s small masterpiece is a blueprint for the humanistic management of cities.


The Economics of Historic Preservation: A Community Leader's Guide

The Economics of Historic Preservation: A Community Leader's Guide

By Donovan D. Rypkema

An essential reference for any preservationist faced with convincing government officials, developers, property owners, business and community leaders, or his or her own neighbors that preservation strategies can make good economic sense.


The Experience of Place

The Experience of Place

By Tony Hiss

Why do some places—the concourse of Grand Central Terminal or a small farm or even the corner of a skyscraper—affect us so mysteriously and yet so forcefully? What tiny changes in our everyday environments can radically alter the quality of our daily lives? The Experience of Place offers an innovative and delightfully readable proposal for new ways of planning, building, and managing our most immediate and overlooked surroundings.


The Geography of Nowhere: The Rise and Decline of America's Man-Made Landscape

The Geography of Nowhere: The Rise and Decline of America's Man-Made Landscape

By James Howard Kunstler

Argues that much of what surrounds Americans is depressing, ugly, and unhealthy; and traces America’s evolution from a land of village commons to a man-made landscape that ignores nature and human needs.


The Image of the City

The Image of the City

By Kevin Lynch

What does the city’s form actually mean to the people who live there? What can the city planner do to make the city’s image more vivid and memorable to the city dweller? To answer these questions, Mr. Lynch, supported by studies of Los Angeles, Boston, and Jersey City, formulates a new criterion—imageability—and shows its potential value as a guide for the building and rebuilding of cities.


The Living City: How America's Cities Are Being Revitalized by Thinking Small in a Big Way

The Living City: How America's Cities Are Being Revitalized by Thinking Small in a Big Way

By Roberta Brandes Gratz

From coast to coast across America there are countless urban success stories about rejuvenated neighborhoods and resurgent business districts. Roberta Brandes Gratz defines the phenomenon as “urban husbandry”—the care, management, and preservation of the built environment nurtured by genuine participatory planning efforts of government, urban planners, and average citizens.


The Local Economy Revolution: What's Changed and How You Can Help

The Local Economy Revolution: What's Changed and How You Can Help

By Della G. Rucker

Digs past the white papers and bullet points that dominate most writing about local economic change, and it gets to to the deep stuff: what’s really going on, why it matters and how you can help empower meaningful change in the places that matter to you.


Locavesting: The Revolution in Local Investing and How to Profit from It

Locavesting: The Revolution in Local Investing and How to Profit from It

By Amy Cortese

Explores the local investing movement, whereby investing in local businesses rather than giant conglomerates helps earn profits while building healthy, self-reliant communities, and introduces the ideas and pioneers behind the movement and offers investment strategies.


Main Street Revisited: Time, Space, and Image Building in Small-Town America

Main Street Revisited: Time, Space, and Image Building in Small-Town America

By Richard V. Francaviglia

A walk down America’s small town main streets bringing to consciousness the iconic value of the five and dime, grocery, and saloon where social and commercial life converged to form the heart of a community. Francaviglia uses Walt Disney’s imaginary Main Street as the point of departure for a study that reaches back to the original designs of New England villages and the rougher structures found in the West, such as in 19th century Rufus, Oregon.


Making Your Move to One of America's Best Small Towns

Making Your Move to One of America's Best Small Towns

By Norm Crampton

Identifies 120 of the best small towns throughout America and provides information on housing, education, geography, climate, employment, cost of living, religion, community infrastructure, and recreation.


The New Geography of Jobs

The New Geography of Jobs

By Enrico Moretti

Makes correlations between success and geography, explaining how such rising centers of innovation as San Francisco and Austin are likely to offer influential opportunities and shape the national and global economies in positive or detrimental ways.


Nothin' but Blue Skies: The Heyday, Hard Times, and Hopes of America's Industrial Heartland

Nothin' but Blue Skies: The Heyday, Hard Times, and Hopes of America's Industrial Heartland

By Edward McClelland

Chronicles the rich history of America’s “Rust Belt” upper Midwest and Great Lakes region, tracing its role as a leading center of manufacturing, the political and social uprisings that shaped its story, and the innovations and industrial fallouts that prompted the region’s downfall.


Ohio Town: A Portrait of Xenia

Ohio Town: A Portrait of Xenia

By Helen Hooven Santmyer

In a blend of history and affective memoir, the late author of “…And Ladies of the Club” pays tribute to her hometown of Xenia, Ohio, before World War I–a rural midwestern town bound together by religion, family, and a strong sense of place.


Paradise Lost: California's Experience, America's Future

Paradise Lost: California's Experience, America's Future

By Peter Schrag

Schrag’s California is a chain-rattling Marley’s ghost who spent the last twenty years following a determined reactionary course that often disdained minority rights and interests. He argues that this attitude has contributed to the state falling to the bottom of the nation’s quality of life rankings and warns that a similar degradation may befall the nation as a whole if it fails to heed the warning signs in California.


Resilient Downtowns: A New Approach to Revitalizing Small and Medium City Downtowns

Resilient Downtowns: A New Approach to Revitalizing Small and Medium City Downtowns

By Michael A. Burayidi

Provides communities with the “en-RICHed” approach, a four-step process for downtown development, which focuses on residential development, immigration strategies, civic functionality, heritage tourism, and good design practice. Examples from fourteen small cities across the U.S. show how this process can revitalize downtowns in any city.


The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces

The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces

By William H. Whyte

Whyte’s classic 1980 study of New York’s plazas started a mini-revolution in urban planning and design.


Thoughts on Building Strong Towns, Volume 1

Thoughts on Building Strong Towns, Volume 1

By Charles L. Marohn, Jr.

While suburbanization created tremendous growth, opportunity, and prosperity for a generation that had just lived through economic depression and war, the way cities and regions were being built—spread out across the landscape—would ultimately be extremely expensive to sustain, far greater than the relative wealth the approach would generate. The harsh legacy of this reality is what nearly every U.S city faces today. A new approach to creating and sustaining prosperity is necessary.


The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

By Malcolm Gladwell

An introduction to the Tipping Point theory explains how minor changes in ideas and products can increase their popularity and how small adjustments in an individual’s immediate environment can alter group behavior.


Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time

Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time

By Jeff Speck

Brimming with keen observations and real-world examples, a city planner and architectural designer who advocates for smart growth and sustainable design presents a practical, necessary, and achievable plan for making American cities work.


What Time Is This Place?

What Time Is This Place?

By Kevin Lynch

The human sense of time is a biological rhythm that may follow a different beat from that dictated by external, “official,” “objective” timepieces. The center of Lynch’s interest is on how this innate sense affects the ways we view and change—or conserve, or destroy—our physical environment, especially in the cities.


Who's Your City?: How the Creative Economy Is Making Where to Live the Most Important Decision of Your Life

Who's Your City?: How the Creative Economy Is Making Where to Live the Most Important Decision of Your Life

By Richard L. Florida

Examines the significance of place in terms of the global economy and our individual lives, careers, and social networks and includes city rankings by life stage that reveal the best places for singles, families, and empty-nesters to live.


Why the Garden Club Couldn't Save Youngstown: The Transformation of the Rust Belt

Why the Garden Club Couldn't Save Youngstown: The Transformation of the Rust Belt

By Sean Safford

Emphasizing the power of social networks to shape action, determine access to and control over information and resources, define the contexts in which problems are viewed, and enable collective action in the face of externally generated crises, this book points toward present-day policy prescriptions for the ongoing plight of mature industrial regions in the U.S. and abroad.