Gehl's book, a revised classic since the early 70's, focuses not on buildings but on the life between the buildings: how people move, play, interact in different cityscapes. Contrasting medieval plazas with big concrete architecture and using examples from the various Nordic capitals, he shows how people move between buildings with different levels of social interaction from necessity to idleness, depending on the spaces they move in. Schematics on Italian renaissance towns interact with 60's architecture and newer examples. For me, the lessons of this book has become the code to use when trying to understand the charms of the cities I visit and the neighbourhoods I don't visit due to having no charm at all. Not an architect or anywhere near, I still found it one of the most interesting reads of many years, and would recommend this book to anyone interested in cities, in travel, in human interaction.
I found the book accidentally at university and was paying a great amount of money to the library when forgetting to return the book back to the library over and over again. I had to buy my own, finally.