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Sunday, June 11, 2017

Book 81 - The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-eye View of the World



The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan explores a rather tenuous suggestion that some plants use humans to propagate their own genes. This theory is never really explored and is nothing but a bit of light-hearted fun in truth. Consequently the book starts off as being a bit pointless. Pollan then goes through the history of 4 plants: apple, cannabis, tulip and potato. This is a pretty arbitrary set but I suppose it covers the four basic types of plant: fruit, flower, vegetable and drug. He then goes into a lot of florid detail of them all, especially the apple which he waxes lyrical on for ages. A better book for me would have been less plants and more detail. It's interesting to know where our domesticated crops (and animals) come from, and there aren't that many of them that you couldn't cover the lot in one book (minus the waffle). As it it, it's rather a half-baked effort and scores 4 out of 10. It also sees the end of the Health/Well Being section, and the next area to explore is the Natural World (which this particular book could have easily been placed in as it happens).