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The Big, Bad Book Of Botany: The World's Most Fascinating Flora (2014)

by Michael Largo(Favorite Author)
3.46 of 5 Votes: 1
0062282751 (ISBN13: 9780062282750)
William Morrow Paperbacks
review 1: This is a five star concept with a 2 star execution. This would be a wonderful bathroom book. Each chapter is about 2 pages long and has a snappy discussion of a plant's virtues, vices, and uses. Plus there are gee-whiz sidebars. But it is riddled with errors. Who edited this? I am not a botany expert or a grammarian, but how can you say birch flowers are "unique" because they produce both male and female flowers. LOTS of plants do this. Angle Trumpet did not "decide" to use bees for propagation. I suppose Largo is trying to pull in folks who have no interest in botany by humanizing plants, but he did not need to do this. Plants are interesting. A knowledgeable editor could have saved this book.
review 2: I got a copy of this book through First Reads. It is ma
... moreinly what it claims to be: an alphabetical, light-hearted listing of many interesting plants. The voice of the author is chatty, and occasionally witty. He generally mentions the growing conditions and description of the plants, as well as uses, both ancient and modern, pulling from world-wide traditions. The emphasis is on being broad, not deep. My main complaint about this book is the lack of an index (or a table of contents of any detail). Plants come with many different names, and the name he categorized them under was often not the one I knew best. It's not really the sort of book you want to sit down and read cover to cover, although I did for the purpose of writing a review. It's more a fun book, to be accessed at random or when the fancy strikes. Perhaps read aloud in the living room or on a car trip. But an index is very useful for that kind of reading. I got an ARC -- maybe they'll add one?The selection of plants is amusing and not all that scientific (he includes mushrooms, for instance). Most of the plants in here are either tasty, poisonous, or used to make drugs or alcoholic drinks. I think cannabis had the longest entry. Those characteristics, of course, make them more interesting. But he has jackfruit, for instance, but not apples. It's a fun selection, but not comprehensive. less
Reviews (see all)
Pure candy. Fascinating botanical fun from beginning to end. Never boring.
Some of the 'facts' in this book should be taken with a grain of salt.
Fun read of a rather dry topic.
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