Friday, July 29, 2016
Apples came to America from Europe, yet they are ingrained in the American culture with phrased like "As American as mom's apple pie." Pollan explores the curious life and fantastic tales of John Chapman, Johnny Appleseed, and his influence in making this possible. I was taken aback as the author talks about all of the variety of apples that once existed before the big three became the standard.
While flowers are a thing of beauty, they are often ignored in favor of fruit-bearing plants in a home garden. After expressing his own relationship with tulips from childhood to adulthood, Pollan explains the unexpected upheaval over these gorgeous bulbs in Holland when they made their arrival and the just as unexplained downfall of their trade.
After marijuana was made an illegal substance in America, it has become a heated topic of debate. Pollan explains the differences between the plant raised from hemp fibers and plants raised for other uses, like medication or drugs.
In the final chapter on potatoes, Pollan tells of the rise of the potato as a food source in northern Europe and its failure during the potato famine in Ireland. He also discusses Monsanto's genetically altered "New Leaf" potato.
The bulk of the book wanders far from the premise given in the summary, but I found it all informative and interesting. The writing style is like listening to a friend tell you about what they have learned about various topics they've researched. I enjoyed this book, but warn the reader to be prepared for something different than promised.
Friday, July 22, 2016
The Botany of Desire - Michael Pollan
Little House Series - Laura Ingalls Wilder
Friday, July 15, 2016
As with the previous two installments, there is no shortage of violence in this final installment. The torture scenes at the beginning are brutal as are all of the battle scenes. The evolution of Darrow and his companions over the course of the series is realistic and sometimes difficult to accept as a reader. I was glad I decided to follow this trilogy to its satisfying conclusion.
Books in the Series:
The Hunger Games Trilogy
Friday, July 8, 2016
Keeping with the passive narrative and disconnected voice, Lindsay portrays Dexter faithfully in this latest and last selection. Unfortunately, I didn't feel the same enjoyment of this novel as I have for the past ones. I was hoping for a better send-off to this curious and intriguing character. Alas, I have had to say a unsatisfying farewell.
Books in the Series:
Darkly Dreaming Dexter (Book 1)
Double Dexter (Book 6)
Dexter's Final Cut (Book 7)
Friday, July 1, 2016
An unfortunate repetition in this book is the cliches she repeats. The purpose in recalling these common refrains found in every day life is to help dispel them, but they are no less annoying. Otherwise this short book is a nice minimal text to remind oneself to embrace life and the self in all ways.
More by the Author:
The Art of Doing Nothing: Simple Ways to Make Time for Yourself
The Art of Growing Up: Simple Ways to Be Yourself at Last
The Art of the Moment: Simple Ways to Get the Most from Life