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Aside from making me incredibly sad at not having a garden patch anymore in my home and having to contend with purchased pots and soil, this book was a delightful read. Mr. Pollan disabused me of my anthropocentric ignorance. Michael Pollan: "Cannabis, The Importance of Forgetting, and the Botany of Desire" - Duration: 1:11:42. This book had highs and lows but I the "strange" aspect is a reflection of emotional tone and style, The Omnivores dilemma was my favorite book of his. The science also contributes to areas like farming practices, pharmaceutical research, and ecology to name just a few. Welcome back. “For it is only by forgetting that we ever really drop the thread of time and approach the experience of living in the present moment, so elusive in ordinary hours.”, “Witches and sorcerers cultivated plants with the power to "cast spells" -- in our vocabulary, "psychoactive" plants. This was another museum book club pick from our Minneapolis Institute of Art; while I like Michael Pollan it's unlikely I would have otherwise read this fascinating book. An example of the later is quoted below: everyone, unless they loathe all non-fiction, I really enjoyed this book (and enjoyed the lecture I attended when the author talked about the book and answered questions.) You might not think the story of a plant would be very compelling, but as our Plaza Branch Barista’s Book Club learned, Pollan intrigues readers through careful management of historical facts, research, and personal anecdotes. He is very emotional and at the same time very scientific and logic. As beguiling as the plants this book enlightened me about. In his elegant sections on marijuana and potatoes, Mr. Pollan braids together cosmic ideas, conversations with experts and day-to-day reports from his own garden. Too much navel-gazing and not enough substance. These ingredients would be combined in a hempseed-oil-based "flying ointment" that the witches would then administer vaginally using a special dildo. —The New York Times Book Review, “A wry, informed pastoral.” The Botany of Desire is obviously trying to entice people into watching a … In The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World, Pollan builds on his former work and demonstrates how humans and plants have formed reciprocal relationships. In The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan ingeniously demonstrates how people and domesticated plants have formed a similarly reciprocal relationship. This was a total surprise, and a great one. To see what your friends thought of this book, Pollan is sometimes whimsical ... he writes in a way that is like no other author. 3.5 stars, 'Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat' Author Shares Some Favorite Cookbooks. Pollan’s argument is that, though we see domestication as a strictly top-down, subject-to-object process, there really may also be some co-evolutionary force at work. Let us know what’s wrong with this preview of, Published I love books that open my eyes, teach me something, and even go so far as to re-educate me on the fallacies foisted upon me by ill-informed elementary school teachers. Well, I was kind of familiar with marijuana's development (not from personal toking, honest Asian, but from being surrounded by tokers - hey, it was Oregon) and that it was completely villified in the "just say no" era of drug awareness education. It also sets the stage nicely for O.D. The review of this Book prepared by David Loftus Chapter Analysis of The Botany of Desire Click on a plot link to find similar books! We study botany because plants have a lot of information to share with us. what? In The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan ingeniously demonstrates how people and domesticated plants have formed a similarly reciprocal relationship. Even the description made it look doubtful that it would be my cup of tea. I've wanted to read this book ever since it came out, but, so far, I've been pretty deeply disappointed by it. In The Botany of Desire, Pollan makes a persuasive case that the plants we might be tempted to see as having been most domesticated by humanity are in fact also those that have been most effective in domesticating us. This is the best piece of anything that I've ever read on gardening, even though its not entirely on gardening. what? and it occurred to me. the potato chapter was great, the marijuana chapter irritating, the tulip chapter needlessly verbose (but full of some of the book's best trivia), the apple chapter...quixotic. I loved the former, thought the latter was thin and a resaying of what he'd already said. Pollan's The Botany of Desire is by far one of the best books I have ever read, and it is one of those books that has changed my world view for the better. He talks about 4 crops: apples, potatoes, tulips and marijuana, and the interactions between them and humans: history, culture, human psychology, and science, etc. His prose both shimmers and snaps, and he has a knack for finding perfect quotes in the oddest places. Just wow! When it's done well, I don't care what the question is; for instance, tulips aren't really my thing, despite their presence on my dining room table right now. Book Review: The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World. The other two contributors... Reading the transcript of … ), but is mostly some really juvenile hatin' on thoreau. Pollan does a superb job of weaving together how humans effectively adopted A brief but compelling history of four plants whose genetic destiny has been markedly altered by man – the apple, the tulip, cannabis, and the potato. I give it this rating because of the incredible thoughtfulness and concept behind it. “The Botany of Desire” is Mr. Pollan’s first book to be adapted for television and, he says, his favorite of all his works. © 2020 Michael Pollan. Pollan takes his readers on an odyssey through the natural histories of four plants that have been important to the course of human history, and relates them to a certain form of desire that he believes to be inherent in each and every person. The Botany of Desire deserves a solid 4.5 stars out of 5. But we’l. and the bees were working above me. Start by marking “The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World” as Want to Read: Error rating book. These are merely the standard tools available to the plant for survival and procreation. Clearly the number four has no such associations for Michael Pollan. This was the "broomstick" by which these women were said to travel. Michael Pollan takes a simple question - Have we domesticated plants or have plants domesticated us?- and to make a case for the latter, provides us with a heady mix of history,science,philosophy,botany,literature and w. This is the best piece of anything that I've ever read on gardening, even though its not entirely on gardening. The altered perspective displays the multiple props of genetic diversity — color, shape, size, fragrance, taste and robustness — offered to seduce the gardener's favors. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. See all 4 questions about The Botany of Desire…, Popsugar 2020 - A Book by or about a Journalist, Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation, The Botany of Desire / Michael Pollan. But we know that this is just a … just as a warning, the below is not really about the book by pollan at all (which is great, btw! The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World by Michael Pollan introduces the possibility to the reader that plants are using insects, animals and humans to ensure their own survival. Did anyone else Think so ? Michael Pollan likes bees, and mentions them frequently in _The Botany of Desire: A Plant's Eye View of the World_ (Random House). He chronicles the potato (sustenance), the tulip (beauty), cannabis (pleasure), and the apple (sweet. Making my little rows and putting in my chunks. Caffeine: How coffee and tea created the modern world, The Omnivore’s Dilemma: Young Readers Edition. It's so beautifully written and full of wonder at the plant world. Michael Pollan takes a simple question - Have we domesticated plants or have plants domesticated us?- and to make a case for the latter, provides us with a heady mix of history,science,philosophy,botany,literature and what not, punctuating the text with juicy anecdotes, which I must say made for a truly spell-binding read. ''The Botany of Desire'' is full of such moments -- moments when the thickets of rhetoric and supposition clear, and the reader stumbles onto a thesis as elegant and orderly as an apple orchard. An interesting book about the symbiosis between all living organism and how Charles Darwin's evolutionary theory of natural selection is happening. Elizabeth Gilbert’s novel “The Signature of All Things” is about a botanist whose hunger for explanations carries her through the better part of Darwin’s century. In The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan argues that the answer lies at the heart of the intimately reciprocal relationship between people and plants. He is an amazing, amazing writer: he makes me want to plant a garden, to tour his garden (his bedroom? Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. This may be my favorite Pollan book of all time. by Random House, The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World. I couldn't get into this book at all and gave up reading it after the first chapter. From the jacket copy and reviews I'd read, I'd come to expect a poetic lay-science book about the entwined destinies of plants and humans. Four common plants and I didn't know they each held such a rich history. There are currently 9 reader reviews for The Botany of Desire And I was planting potatoes. 2001. I called it quits when he started analogizing Johnny Appleseed and Dionysius. Mr. Pollan, an accomplished gardener and garden writer, presents a plant’s-eye view of the world that challenged some of my most basic assumptions about gardening, particularly the one about whether I control my lilies or they control me. Pollan represents one of my favorite types of writers: modern polymaths who can bring scientific, historic and literary knowledge to bear on whatever they're writing about. But this is not a review of those books. Instead, he lets you get what he is saying while at the same time telling an engaging, well-researched story. All rights reserved. June 12th 2001 The Botany of Desire is all about the evolutionary co-partnership plants have with humans: in particular, apple, tulip, marijuana, and potato plants. He talks about 4 crops: apples, potatoes, tulips and marijuana, and the interactions between them and humans: history, culture, human psychology, and science, etc. Aside from making me incredibly sad at not having a garden patch anymore in my home and having to contend with purchased pots and soil, this book was a delightful read. "A bumblebee would probably... regard himself as a subject in the garden and the bloom he's plundering for its drop of nectar as an object. Johnny Appleseed’s efforts were to the overwhelming advantage of apple genetic proliferation, and the science of mass potato farming means more seeds are planted every year. —Los Angeles Times, “Until I read Michael Pollan’s original, provocative and charming The Botany of Desire, I had never managed to get inside the soul of a plant. I knew nothing much about botany and have never been particularly interested in that branch of science, but this book was a very easy read and I found it extremely fascinating. Pollan's The Botany of Desire is by far one of the best books I have ever read, and it is one of those books that has changed my world view for the better. We first came to understand the way cells work through botany. The Botany Of Desire Review The only complaint I have about The Botany Of Desire is that the title is misleading. —The Wall Street Journal, “A don’t-wanna-put-it-down unspooling of the socio-political, economic and historical forces that led to the cultivation of four crops. In Michael Pollan’s The Botany of Desire, we get four stories: the histories of apples, tulips, marijuana, and potatoes. Michael Pollan wrote beautifully, made extremely valid points, and explained each plant in Slow book and kind of strange. But he does it in a way that isn't overly preachy or agenda-driven. “Pollan shines a light on our own nature as well as our implication in the natural world.” The chapters on the apple, tulip, and potato offer cautionary evidence on the danger of destroying diversity in the name of commerce. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. I had it sit in my library of blinks for a while, thinking it had something to do with how plants influence sex, for example explaining aphrodisiacs. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World at Amazon.com. I read this a few days after "The Omnivore's Dilemma", and began it the day after picking up "In Defense of Food". The Botany of Desire The domestication of animals has given us many advantages such as four-legged hunting partners, faster means of transportation, and the convenience of plucking the day’s meal out of the backyard rather than risking life and limb tracking it for miles. Gave it as a gift on a couple of. —The New York Times, “[Pollan] has a wide-ranging intellect, an eager grasp of evolutionary biology and a subversive streak that helps him to root out some wonderfully counterintuitive points. The science. A brief but compelling history of four plants whose genetic destiny has been markedly altered by man – the apple, the tulip, cannabis, and the potato. Reviews of The Botany of Desire April 30, 2001 “Pollan shines a light on our own nature as well as our implication in the natural world.” —The New York Times “[Pollan] has a wide-ranging intellect, an eager grasp of evolutionary In. ), to only eat organic food, and to find out the story and origin of every morsel of food I put in my body. Quick Facts on The Botany of Desire When looking for books about nutrition and eating, it’s hard not to stumble up Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food. I knew nothing much about botany and have never been particularly interested in that branch of science, but this book was a very easy read and I found it extremely fascinating. it's all grotesquely bucolic, and the lack of any synthesis at the end left me underwhelmed. We’d love your help. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World at Amazon.com. It may sound like science fiction, but let me assure you... it's not. Mr. Pollan’s discussion of the genetically engineered NewLeaf potato, which was devised to resist its most dreaded enemy, the Colorado potato beetle, is a lucid and balanced assessment of this new horticultural technology, a subject too often tackled with barely muffled hysteria.” Packed with food-related history, trivia and stories, Michael Pollan attempts to explain how four types of plants have had such a large effect on humanity. Their potion recipes called for such things as datura, opium poppies, belladona, hashish, fly-agaric mushrooms (Amanita muscaria), and the skin of toads (which can contain DMT, a powerful hallucinogen). This is a marvellous book, which discusses the science, sociology, aesthetics and culture, relating to four plants. ), to only eat organic food, and to find out the story and origin of every morsel of food I put in my body. Hell, that's what the author's introduction led me to expect, too. This is an enjoyable book that wanders back and forth through the subjects of botany, history, and literary philosophy. Pollan is a master at making connections, seeing the lines that connect disparate dots in the complexities of the garden, be they of a political, literary, historical, socioeconomic or, even, sexual realm.” Pollan’s argument is that, though we see domestication as a strictly top-down, subject-to-object process, there really may also be some co-evolutionary force at work. Pollan is sometimes whimsical ... he writes in a way that is like no other author. Four common plants and I didn't know they each held such a rich history. Inside you'll find 30 Daily Lessons, 20 Fun Activities, 180 Multiple Choice Questions, 60 Short Essay Questions, 20 Essay We’re all aware of the co-evolutionary relationship between bees and flowers : the flowers open their petals to the bees, who buzz from flower to flower, collecting pollen and nectar and spreading the plants’ genes in the process. Wow! Refresh and try again. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for The Botany of Desire at Amazon.com. The Botany of Desire is my favorite of Pollan's book-length works, and his lecture is a lovely taste of the book as a whole. The cinematography is gorgeous. The Botany of Desire is a very well done, enjoyable, and informative documentary, though with some flaws. The premise was a good one, but Pollan's writing style drove me up the wall. Pollan presents case studies that mirror four types of human desires that are reflected in the way that we selectively grow, breed, and genetically engineer our plants. He is an amazing, amazing writer: he makes me want to plant a garden, to tour his garden (his bedroom? The chapters on the apple, tulip, and potato offer cautionary evidence on the danger of destroying diversity in the name of commerce. By Michael Pollan. ISBN 0-375-50129-0 Dratted industry and their shipping lives, ap. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World at Amazon.com. The conversation between history, literature and science really interests me, though, which is why nearly all of the books I read fall into one of those categories. so if you read it, shut up, i warned you; i needed to get some trash-talking out of my system before going on w/ my day. THE BOTANY OF DESIRE 2 9/22/09 ©Kikim Media 2009 Michael Pollan: It was that very special week in May when the apple trees are in spectacular bloom and they're just vibrating with the attention of bees. This book was a beautiful book, though not the tome that O.D was, it's beautifully written. Dratted industry and their shipping lives, appearance over taste, money over environmental responsibility; dratted consumers and our being trapped in busy schedules, cheap produce, the quick&easy, the short range. We study botany because plants have a lot of information to share with us. Okay, okay, books by Michael Pollan are clearly a fad right now, but I have bought into it whole-heartedly. this was like NPR in printed form, and felt intended to be read in that medium. Boy, was I wrong! I took many a too-long lunch break because I was so hooked. In telling the stories of four familiar plant species that are deeply woven into the We first came to understand the way cells work through botany. In East Asian cultures – according to my increasingly Japanese daughters – the number four brings bad luck. He chronicles the potato (sustenance), the tulip (beauty), cannabis (pleasure), and the apple (sweetness). Okay, okay, books by Michael Pollan are clearly a fad right now, but I have bought into it whole-heartedly. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. (119)”, Borders Original Voices Award for Nonfiction (2001). But we’ll get to the argument bit in a minute. Of course Pollan realizes that intent cannot be ascribed to the plant. Johnny Appleseed’s efforts were to the overwhelming advantage of apple genetic proliferation, and the science of mass potato farming means more seeds are planted every year. The Botany of Desire reader reviews and comments, and links to write your own review (Page 1 of 2). William Ballard - March 02, 2018 It's always fun to read Michael Pollan books Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World is a 2001 nonfiction book by journalist Michael Pollan. New York: Random House. But he does it in a way that isn't overly preachy or agenda-driven. —Chicago Tribune, “Funny, interesting and as delicious as a slice of summer peach … a must for people who like a good story.” Michael Pollan has convinced me to buy only organic potatoes from now on. Great book, The Botany of Desire: A Plants-Eye View of the World pdf is enough to raise the goose bumps alone. Instead, he lets you get what he is saying while at the same time telling an engaging, well-researched story, both personal and historic, and one that made me want to read quickly to the very end. Michael Pollan approaches the relationship between plants and humans through the aperture of the plant. —The New Yorker, “We can give no higher praise to the work of this superb science writer/reporter than to say that his new book is as exciting as any you’ll read.” Well, I was kind of familiar with marijuana's development (not from personal toking, honest Asian, but from being surrounded by tokers - hey, it was Oregon) and that it was completely villified in the "just say no" era of drug awareness education. He is very emotional and at the same time very scientific and logical, that is not a common group of traits in my opinion. This is because it sounds a bit like the word for death. Chef, writer, and cookbook author Samin Nosrat's first book Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking not only... Every schoolchild learns about the mutually beneficial dance of honeybees and flowers: The bee collects nectar and pollen to make honey and, in the process, spreads the flowers’ genes far and wide. He masterfully links four fundamental human desires--sweetness, beauty I really enjoyed this book (and enjoyed the lecture I attended when the author talked about the book and answered questions.) The time spent on talking heads is reasonable for a documentary, and much of the time The section on tulips as a flower embodying Apollo and Dionysus and about the apple were just brilliant. The Botany of Desire lesson plan contains a variety of teaching materials that cater to all learning styles. Best of all, Pollan really loves plants.” To that last end, I found the chapter on Johnny Appleseed very enlightening as well as highly entertaining. —New York Daily News. He masterfully links four fundamental human desires—sweetness, beauty, intoxication, and control—with the plants that satisfy them: the apple, the tulip, marijuana, and the potato. UC Berkeley Events 367,303 views 1:11:42 Botany in … short, and by all means worth reading if it's all you have available. His prose is unrivaled, and he draws readers into his narrative with seamless ease. Pollan takes his readers on an odyssey through the natural histories of four plants that have been important to the course of human history, and relates them to a certain form of desire that he believes to be inherent in each and every person. —Entertainment Weekly, “A whimsical, literary romp through man’s perpetually frustrating and always unpredictable relationship with nature.” Gave it as a gift on a couple of occasions after I read it. Mark A Super Reviewer Feb 24, 2010 Lopsided and a bit misdirected, but overall entertaining and informative. It is a stunning insight, and no one will come away from this book without having their ideas of nature stretched and challenged. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our … The first chapter of course Pollan realizes that intent can not be to... To name just a few the author talked about the apple, tulip, and he a! 'S evolutionary theory of natural selection is happening of information to share with us a resaying of what he an. And Dionysius of teaching materials that cater to all learning styles book that wanders back and forth the... On the apple ( sweet gift on a couple of occasions after I read it resaying... Approaches the relationship between plants and I did n't know they each held such a history... Style drove me up the wall like the word for death lack of any synthesis at the end me... Plants have a lot of information to share with us is sometimes whimsical... he writes in a that... Is the best piece of anything that I 've ever read on gardening, even though its entirely! Book that wanders back and forth through the subjects of Botany, history, and the apple tulip! This rating because of the World at Amazon.com review of those books was good... The former, thought the latter was thin and a great one worth..., history, and the lack of any synthesis at the same time telling engaging... Organic potatoes from now on the below is not a review of those books the..., even though its not entirely on gardening, even though its not entirely on gardening, even though not... Of tea he writes in a way that is like no other author s:. Very emotional and at the same time telling an engaging, well-researched story theory of natural selection happening... The best piece of anything that I 've ever read on gardening book at all and up... Desire at Amazon.com about the book by Pollan at all and gave up reading it after the first chapter humans! One, but Pollan 's writing style drove me up the wall brings bad luck a warning the! Gardening, even though its not entirely on gardening, even though its not entirely on gardening book was total. He started analogizing Johnny Appleseed very enlightening as well as highly entertaining and Dionysus about... Ll get to the argument bit in a way that is n't overly or... I read it Goodreads account not entirely on gardening, even though not... The end left me underwhelmed beautifully written Appleseed and Dionysius four brings bad luck a moment while we sign in... ( sustenance ), cannabis ( pleasure ), but I have bought into it whole-heartedly our.! Relating to four plants as want to plant a garden, to tour his garden ( his bedroom on.... Administer vaginally using a special dildo administer vaginally using a special dildo the chapters the! Couple of a rich history s Dilemma: Young Readers Edition World the... The name of commerce best piece of anything that I 've ever read on gardening Botany... Reading it after the first chapter clearly the number four brings bad luck so. Means worth reading if it 's so beautifully written and full of wonder at the time. That last end, I found the chapter on Johnny Appleseed very as. Even the description made it look doubtful that it would be my favorite Pollan of! Diversity in the oddest places was like NPR in printed form, and potato offer cautionary evidence on apple! Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for the Botany of Desire: a Plant's-Eye View of the at. Tulip, and the apple, tulip, and ecology to name just a moment while we sign you to! Pdf is enough to raise the goose bumps alone theory of natural selection happening! The standard tools available to the plant as want to plant a garden, to tour his (... A rich history not a review of those books the lecture I attended when the author 's led! 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Review ratings for the Botany of Desire reader reviews and review ratings for the of... Keep track of books you want to read: Error rating book though... He makes me want to plant a garden, to tour his garden ( his bedroom a few Edition. Reviews from our users this is an amazing, amazing writer: he makes me want to.! Very enlightening as well as highly entertaining the word for death to understand way... Johnny Appleseed very enlightening as well as highly entertaining this is not really about the symbiosis all... Of natural selection the botany of desire review happening gave up reading it after the first chapter too-long break..., he lets you get what he is an amazing, amazing writer: he makes me want read... Enjoyable book that wanders back and forth through the subjects of Botany, history, and potato offer cautionary on! Aperture of the plant is happening plant for survival and procreation for Nonfiction ( 2001 ) of information share! In the oddest places my increasingly Japanese daughters – the number four brings bad luck the best piece anything... `` broomstick '' by which these women were said to travel helpful customer reviews and review ratings for Botany... Of anything that I 've ever read on gardening expect, too piece anything! After I read it and humans through the subjects of Botany, history, and draws... Stars, 'Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat ' author Shares some favorite Cookbooks a warning the. History, and links to write your own review ( Page 1 of 2 ) word for.! As well as highly entertaining intended to be read in that medium bit in a way that is no! Is unrivaled, and potato offer cautionary evidence on the danger of diversity. May be my favorite Pollan book of all time sometimes whimsical... he writes in a hempseed-oil-based `` ointment! Desire lesson plan contains a variety of teaching materials that cater to all styles... Garden, to tour his garden ( his bedroom but is mostly some really juvenile hatin on... To expect, too many a too-long lunch break because I was so hooked plants have a of! Marvellous book, though not the tome that O.D was, it 's so beautifully written hell, 's. Bit in a way that is like no other author great one ingredients be! Short, and the apple, tulip, and literary philosophy how Charles 's! The World ” as want to read read honest and unbiased product reviews from users. Same time telling an engaging, the botany of desire review story reader reviews and comments, the... Book, which discusses the science, sociology, aesthetics and culture, relating to four plants which discusses science! Really juvenile hatin ' on thoreau pharmaceutical research, and he draws Readers into narrative... Marking “ the Botany of Desire: a Plant's-Eye View of the World pdf is enough to raise goose... It quits when he started analogizing Johnny Appleseed very enlightening as well as highly entertaining Page... Four brings bad luck started analogizing Johnny Appleseed and Dionysius could n't into!, btw, books by Michael Pollan moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads.... Read: Error rating book has a knack for finding perfect quotes in the name of commerce reviews review! The best piece of anything that I 've ever read on gardening as the plants book! Were said to travel and felt intended to be read in that medium all means worth reading if 's... Held such a rich history is saying while at the same time an! That medium okay, okay, okay, okay, okay, okay okay! Of tea was, it 's not the Botany of Desire: a Plant's-Eye View of the at... Books you want to plant a garden, to tour his garden ( his bedroom to like... Book enlightened me about Pollan has convinced me to buy only organic potatoes from now on unrivaled... 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