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Posted Tuesday, March 18, 2008 5:17 PM by Romo

This one's pretty old, but since Michael Pollan's latest book In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto (2008) wasn't available at the library, I'm rereading The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World (2001).

If you missed this one the first time around, it's as good now as it was seven years ago. Not everyone can make evolution sound interesting non-stop for over 200 pages, but by focusing in on four common domesticated plants--the apple, tulip, marijuana, and potato--and approaching each one from a variety of angles, Pollan makes it happen. Blending the common take--that humans have cultivated these plants to meet our own preferences--with the "plant's-eye view," this book stirs the reader to look at the whole of nature, both domestic and wild, in a whole new light.

You can visit Pollan's own website to find out more about his books and upcoming speaking engagements, check out links to numerous articles and interviews by or about him, and learn more about his career as a professor of Journalism.

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