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The Botany of Desire

The Botany of Desire
Author: Michael Pollan
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
Total Pages: 306
Release: 2002-05-28
Genre: Nature
ISBN: 0375760393

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“Pollan shines a light on our own nature as well as on our implication in the natural world.” —The New York Times “A wry, informed pastoral.” —The New Yorker The book that helped make Michael Pollan, the New York Times bestselling author of How to Change Your Mind, Cooked and The Omnivore’s Dilemma, one of the most trusted food experts in America 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. In The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan ingeniously demonstrates how people and domesticated plants have formed a similarly reciprocal relationship. 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. In telling the stories of four familiar species, Pollan illustrates how the plants have evolved to satisfy humankind’s most basic yearnings. And just as we’ve benefited from these plants, we have also done well by them. So who is really domesticating whom?


This Is Your Mind on Plants

This Is Your Mind on Plants
Author: Michael Pollan
Publisher: Penguin
Total Pages: 289
Release: 2021-07-06
Genre: Body, Mind & Spirit
ISBN: 0593296915

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The instant New York Times bestseller | A Washington Post Notable Book | One of NPR's Best Books of the Year “Expert storytelling . . . [Pollan] masterfully elevates a series of big questions about drugs, plants and humans that are likely to leave readers thinking in new ways.” —New York Times Book Review From #1 New York Times bestselling author Michael Pollan, a radical challenge to how we think about drugs, and an exploration into the powerful human attraction to psychoactive plants—and the equally powerful taboos. Of all the things humans rely on plants for—sustenance, beauty, medicine, fragrance, flavor, fiber—surely the most curious is our use of them to change consciousness: to stimulate or calm, fiddle with or completely alter, the qualities of our mental experience. Take coffee and tea: People around the world rely on caffeine to sharpen their minds. But we do not usually think of caffeine as a drug, or our daily use as an addiction, because it is legal and socially acceptable. So, then, what is a “drug”? And why, for example, is making tea from the leaves of a tea plant acceptable, but making tea from a seed head of an opium poppy a federal crime? In This Is Your Mind on Plants, Michael Pollan dives deep into three plant drugs—opium, caffeine, and mescaline—and throws the fundamental strangeness, and arbitrariness, of our thinking about them into sharp relief. Exploring and participating in the cultures that have grown up around these drugs while consuming (or, in the case of caffeine, trying not to consume) them, Pollan reckons with the powerful human attraction to psychoactive plants. Why do we go to such great lengths to seek these shifts in consciousness, and then why do we fence that universal desire with laws and customs and fraught feelings? In this unique blend of history, science, and memoir, as well as participatory journalism, Pollan examines and experiences these plants from several very different angles and contexts, and shines a fresh light on a subject that is all too often treated reductively—as a drug, whether licit or illicit. But that is one of the least interesting things you can say about these plants, Pollan shows, for when we take them into our bodies and let them change our minds, we are engaging with nature in one of the most profound ways we can. Based in part on an essay published almost twenty-five years ago, this groundbreaking and singular consideration of psychoactive plants, and our attraction to them through time, holds up a mirror to our fundamental human needs and aspirations, the operations of our minds, and our entanglement with the natural world.


The Omnivore's Dilemma

The Omnivore's Dilemma
Author: Michael Pollan
Publisher: Penguin
Total Pages: 481
Release: 2007-08-28
Genre: Health & Fitness
ISBN: 0143038583

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"Outstanding . . . a wide-ranging invitation to think through the moral ramifications of our eating habits." —The New Yorker One of the New York Times Book Review's Ten Best Books of the Year and Winner of the James Beard Award Author of This is Your Mind on Plants, How to Change Your Mind and the #1 New York Times Bestseller In Defense of Food and Food Rules What should we have for dinner? Ten years ago, Michael Pollan confronted us with this seemingly simple question and, with The Omnivore’s Dilemma, his brilliant and eye-opening exploration of our food choices, demonstrated that how we answer it today may determine not only our health but our survival as a species. In the years since, Pollan’s revolutionary examination has changed the way Americans think about food. Bringing wide attention to the little-known but vitally important dimensions of food and agriculture in America, Pollan launched a national conversation about what we eat and the profound consequences that even the simplest everyday food choices have on both ourselves and the natural world. Ten years later, The Omnivore’s Dilemma continues to transform the way Americans think about the politics, perils, and pleasures of eating.


Anatomy Of A Rose

Anatomy Of A Rose
Author: Sharman Apt Russell
Publisher: Basic Books
Total Pages: 234
Release: 2009-04-24
Genre: Science
ISBN: 0786730994

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In Anatomy of a Rose , Sharman Apt Russell eloquently unveils the "inner life" of flowers. From their diverse fragrances to their nasty deceptions, Russell proves that, where nature is concerned, "wonder is not only our starting point, it can also be our destination." Throughout this botanical journey, she reveals that the science behind these intelligent plants-how they evolved, how they survive, how they heal-is even more awe-inspiring than their fleeting beauty. Russell helps us imagine what a field of snapdragons looks like to a honeybee, and she introduces us to flowers that regulate their own temperature, attract pollinating bats, even smell like a rotting corpse. She also delves into cutting-edge research on everything from flower senses to their healing power. Long used to ease everything from depression to childbirth, flowers are now our main line of defense against childhood leukemia and the deadly Ebola virus. In this poetic rumination, which combines graceful writing with a scientist's clarity, Russell brings together the work of botanists around the globe, and illuminates a world at once familiar and exotic.


Plants as Persons

Plants as Persons
Author: Matthew Hall
Publisher: State University of New York Press
Total Pages: 251
Release: 2011-05-06
Genre: Philosophy
ISBN: 1438434308

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Plants are people too? No, but in this work of philosophical botany Matthew Hall challenges readers to reconsider the moral standing of plants, arguing that they are other-than-human persons. Plants constitute the bulk of our visible biomass, underpin all natural ecosystems, and make life on Earth possible. Yet plants are considered passive and insensitive beings rightly placed outside moral consideration. As the human assault on nature continues, more ethical behavior toward plants is needed. Hall surveys Western, Eastern, Pagan, and Indigenous thought as well as modern science for attitudes toward plants, noting the particular resources for plant personhood and those modes of thought which most exclude plants. The most hierarchical systems typically put plants at the bottom, but Hall finds much to support a more positive view of plants. Indeed, some indigenous animisms actually recognize plants as relational, intelligent beings who are the appropriate recipeints of care and respect. New scientific findings encourage this perspective, revealing that plants possess many of the capacities of sentience and mentality traditionally denied them.


In Defence of Food

In Defence of Food
Author: Michael Pollan
Publisher: Penguin UK
Total Pages: 243
Release: 2008-01-31
Genre: Health & Fitness
ISBN: 0141908513

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'A must-read ... satisfying, rich ... loaded with flavour' Sunday Telegraph This book is a celebration of food. By food, Michael Pollan means real, proper, simple food - not the kind that comes in a packet, or has lists of unpronounceable ingredients, or that makes nutritional claims about how healthy it is. More like the kind of food your great-grandmother would recognize. In Defence of Food is a simple invitation to junk the science, ditch the diet and instead rediscover the joys of eating well. By following a few pieces of advice (Eat at a table - a desk doesn't count. Don't buy food where you'd buy your petrol!), you will enrich your life and your palate, and enlarge your sense of what it means to be healthy and happy. It's time to fall in love with food again. For the past twenty years, Michael Pollan has been writing about the places where the human and natural worlds intersect: food, agriculture, gardens, drugs, and architecture. His most recent book, about the ethics and ecology of eating, is The Omnivore's Dilemma, named one of the ten best books of 2006 by the New York Times and the Washington Post. He is also the author of The Botany of Desire, A Place of My Own and Second Nature.


In Defense of Plants

In Defense of Plants
Author: Matt Candeias
Publisher: Mango Media Inc.
Total Pages: 297
Release: 2021-03-16
Genre: Science
ISBN: 1642504548

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The Study of Plants in a Whole New Light “Matt Candeias succeeds in evoking the wonder of plants with wit and wisdom.” ―James T. Costa, PhD, executive director, Highlands Biological Station and author of Darwin's Backyard #1 New Release in Nature & Ecology, Plants, Botany, Horticulture, Trees, Biological Sciences, and Nature Writing & Essays In his debut book, internationally-recognized blogger and podcaster Matt Candeias celebrates the nature of plants and the extraordinary world of plant organisms. A botanist’s defense. Since his early days of plant restoration, this amateur plant scientist has been enchanted with flora and the greater environmental ecology of the planet. Now, he looks at the study of plants through the lens of his ever-growing houseplant collection. Using gardening, houseplants, and examples of plants around you, In Defense of Plants changes your relationship with the world from the comfort of your windowsill. The ruthless, horny, and wonderful nature of plants. Understand how plants evolve and live on Earth with a never-before-seen look into their daily drama. Inside, Candeias explores the incredible ways plants live, fight, have sex, and conquer new territory. Whether a blossoming botanist or a professional plant scientist, In Defense of Plants is for anyone who sees plants as more than just static backdrops to more charismatic life forms. In this easily accessible introduction to the incredible world of plants, you’ll find: • Fantastic botanical histories and plant symbolism • Passionate stories of flora diversity and scientific names of plant organisms • Personal tales of plantsman discovery through the study of plants If you enjoyed books like The Botany of Desire, What a Plant Knows, or The Soul of an Octopus, then you’ll love In Defense of Plants.


A Place of My Own

A Place of My Own
Author: Michael Pollan
Publisher: Penguin
Total Pages: 368
Release: 2008-12-30
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
ISBN: 9780143114741

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“A glorious piece of prose . . . Pollan leads readers on his adventure with humor and grace.” —Chicago Tribune A captivating personal inquiry into the art of architecture, the craft of building, and the meaning of modern work “A room of one’s own: Is there anybody who hasn’t at one time or another wished for such a place, hasn’t turned those soft words over until they’d assumed a habitable shape?” When Michael Pollan decided to plant a garden, the result was the acclaimed bestseller Second Nature. In A Place of My Own, he turns his sharp insight to the craft of building, as he recounts the process of designing and constructing a small one-room structure on his rural Connecticut property—a place in which he hoped to read, write, and daydream, built with his own two unhandy hands. Michael Pollan's unmatched ability to draw lines of connection between our everyday experiences—whether eating, gardening, or building—and the natural world has been the basis for the popular success of his many works of nonfiction, including the genre-defining bestsellers The Omnivore's Dilemma and In Defense of Food. With this updated edition of his earlier book A Place of My Own, readers can revisit the inspired, intelligent, and often hilarious story of Pollan's realization of a room of his own—a small, wooden hut, his "shelter for daydreams"—built with his admittedly unhandy hands. Inspired by both Thoreau and Mr. Blandings, A Place of My Own not only works to convey the history and meaning of all human building, it also marks the connections between our bodies, our minds, and the natural world.


The Forest Unseen

The Forest Unseen
Author: David George Haskell
Publisher: Penguin
Total Pages: 290
Release: 2013-03-26
Genre: Nature
ISBN: 0143122940

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Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award “Injects much-needed vibrancy into the stuffy world of nature writing.” —Outside, “The Outdoor Books That Shaped the Last Decade” The biologist and author of Sounds Wild and Broken combines elegant writing with scientific expertise to reveal the secret world hidden in a single square meter of old-growth forest In this wholly original book, biologist David Haskell uses a one-square-meter patch of old-growth Tennessee forest as a window onto the entire natural world. Visiting it almost daily for one year to trace nature's path through the seasons, he brings the forest and its inhabitants to vivid life. Each of this book's short chapters begins with a simple observation: a salamander scuttling across the leaf litter; the first blossom of spring wildflowers. From these, Haskell spins a brilliant web of biology and ecology, explaining the science that binds together the tiniest microbes and the largest mammals and describing the ecosystems that have cycled for thousands- sometimes millions-of years. Each visit to the forest presents a nature story in miniature as Haskell elegantly teases out the intricate relationships that order the creatures and plants that call it home. Written with remarkable grace and empathy, The Forest Unseen is a grand tour of nature in all its profundity. Haskell is a perfect guide into the world that exists beneath our feet and beyond our backyards.


The Omnivore's Dilemma

The Omnivore's Dilemma
Author: Michael Pollan
Publisher: Penguin
Total Pages: 402
Release: 2015-08-04
Genre: Juvenile Nonfiction
ISBN: 1101993839

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This acclaimed bestseller and modern classic has changed America’s relationship with food. It’s essential reading for kids who care about the environment and climate change. “What’s for dinner?” seemed like a simple question—until journalist and supermarket detective Michael Pollan delved behind the scenes. From fast food and big organic to small farms and old-fashioned hunting and gathering, this young readers’ adaptation of Pollan’s famous food-chain exploration encourages kids to consider the personal and global implications of their food choices. With plenty of photos, graphs, and visuals, The Omnivore’s Dilemma serves up a bold message to the generation most impacted by climate change: It’s time to take charge of our national eating habits—and it starts with you.