These two excellent books are joined spiritually as they explore the Arts & Crafts movement's quest for a retreat from the materialism of the Gilded Age as manifested on different sides of the continent. Inspiring Reform is an exhibition catalog from the Davis Museum and Cultural Center's centenary celebration of Boston's Society of Arts & Crafts, which sponsored the earliest exhibition of Arts & Crafts pieces in America in 1897. The Davis exhibit, which will also be at the Smithsonian, covers the years 1890-1930 and features 150 examples of furniture, ceramics, metalware, book art, prints, and very unique photography. More than 230 illustrations40 in coloracccompany the catalog's ten essays, all written by specialists in the field. Another essay collection, Toward a Simpler Way of Life, focuses on the variety of styles of Arts & Crafts structures found in California. In their drive toward the anticommercial, the practitioners drew on the decorative schemes of English Tudor, Swiss Chalet, Japanese Temple, and Spanish Mission styles to evoke an earlier, preindustrial time. As expected, Bernard Maybeck, the Greene Brothers, and Julia Morgan are here, but so are many talented, lesser-known designers. The knowledgeable essays also give due attention to the builders, contractors, and artisans who contributed so much. The book will have a bounty of 365 period duotone photos, not seen by the reviewer. Important studies of this perennially popular style, both works are highly recommended for all art and architecture collections.Joseph C. Hewgley, Nashville P.L.