Books and Reading

The Botany of Desire

Each time I sit down to reflect upon what I have read, I think I have not read much, but I am always surprised to have read more than I thought. Today I am sharing one book I read recently and absolutely loved.

I have been meaning to read a book by Michael Pollan for a while. I have seen him speak and heard of him for years. The first time I heard his name was from my college roommate who was reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma, then from my father who went to see him speak, then my husband read The Botany of Desire and I even watched a documentary with him speaking. I really appreciate his messages in regards to food. I knew that I wanted to read his books, but never picked them up. While I was reading Sapiens, I considered watching the series Cooked on Netflix based on Michael Pollan’s book. I felt though I wanted to read him first, so I found the oldest book he wrote that my library had and that happened to be The Botany of Desire.

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I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect when I first picked up this book. This book is a personal exploration of four plants and how their history was a result of human influence. He discusses the apple, the tulip, marijuana, and the potato. If you had asked me when I started reading it if I would want to read about marijuana, I would have told you no, absolutely not. I realize though this is a prejudice I have, also after watching Michael Moore’s film Where to Invade Next, I realize the dramatic and unjust role of criminalizing has had on our population as a whole, especially targeting black people in a way that is now legal. Every other chapter though made me want to plant all the things, I am not a gardener, I can barely keep my basil alive. I do not yet have a yard, but I have plans and I am excited for their possibility and where they may lead. Pollan writes in an approachable way, he is clearly biased and it comes through, but I appreciate his sheer joy and how well researched his book is. I would highly recommend this book and look forward to reading more of his works.

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3 thoughts on “The Botany of Desire”

  1. I have yet to read any of Pollan’s books but have watched a few episodes of Cooked. My husband is vegan so it may be a good way for me to better understand his desire to eat plant-based foods.

    My June book reviews are linked.

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