The Big, Bad Book of Botany: The Worlds Most Fascinating Flora

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Also with me is a plant I had completely forgotten about, and my heart skipped a beat when I arrived at its entry. The individual in question? The skunk cabbage, which my childhood friends and I would seek out and stomp on to make them stink, of course in the rural Midwest.

Stephanie Bonjack is an academic librarian based in Boulder, Colorado. She teaches the relentless pursuit of information, and illuminates the path to discovery. She has presented at national and international library conferences, and is especially interested in how libraries evolve to serve the needs of 21st century patrons.

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Bookshots: 'The Big, Bad Book of Botany' by Michael Largo

I love learning about plants and therefore was very excited to read this book. However I was sorely disappointed because the two main points of the book were how a plant can be used as a drug or an alcohol. The author is an evolutionist based on his writing and believes that all plants came to be from this algae like substance that was floating in a pond. There is no reason for an author to be putting their opinion in a book that is supposed to be facts.

Bookshots: Pumping new life into the corpse of the book review

There were many things in this book that h I love learning about plants and therefore was very excited to read this book. There were many things in this book that had no place. For example, whenever a religion was brought up, it was almost always Christianity and it was mocked and talked about like it was the stupidest thing in the whole world. Come on, this is a book about botany, there shouldn't be any reason to bring any kind of religion into the volume at all. Another thing is the author would have fragments and sentences that made no sense and you wondered if maybe the author was sampling a bit of cannabis one of the plants mentioned in the book and more commonly known as marijuana.

In the summary of the book is the phrase, "For all ages! So no, this book is certainly NOT for all ages. The last out of place thing is that all of the plants are native to either China or Egypt. The last thing that griped me is I read this book to learn about plants, but when reading, I would find bits of information that contradicted facts I know to be true. For example, the author said that lavender originates in China when I know that it originates in France.

Another example of this is cypress which the author says is native to China , which according to the author doesn't grow well in the Southern United Sates of America when I know for a fact that it grows very well in the Bayou of the South.

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One perfect example of how I can't trust any of the "facts" in this book is a story about how the city of Athens got its name. In the story Athena and Poseidon were competing for the people of Athens to name the city after them. Athena gave the people and olive tree and I believe that Poseidon gave them a fountain. The people of Athens were grateful to both of them for their wonderful gifts but they like Athena's better and named their city Athens after her. Well in this book it says that Poseidon gave the people of Athens an olive tree and therefore they named the city Athens after him in honor of his gift.

Nowhere was there mention of Athena or a competition. I want every person who is looking to learn more about botany to know, this book isn't worth your time and you cannot be sure if anything you read if a reliable source of information. Jun 18, Chris rated it liked it Shelves: This books spans all kinds of plants from brocolli to oak trees to cocaine to poison ivy and is full of interesting facts about each one.

These facts stretch from their nutritional uses to their uses in construction to landscaping to their role in mythology and their evolutionary history. I'd recommend this book for anyone with an interest in plants or a general desire to learn about the world I know I claim to be interest I received an Advance Reader Copy via the Good Reads First Reads giveaway. I'd recommend this book for anyone with an interest in plants or a general desire to learn about the world I know I claim to be interested in everything but prior to this never actually read about plants.

This books is a smorgasbord of interesting information and I greatly enjoyed reading it. Each entry has a black and white illustration of the plant with it. They were quite impressive but I wish they were in color, several of the entries describe how beautiful or vibrant the colors are but I'm here looking at a black and white illustration. Also, for some plants the author recommends avoiding because of poison but once again, I'm left not knowing what it looks like and somewhat more paranoid than usual.

I would recommend anyone reading this to do it pieces at a time. I read it straight through and by the end I found myself yawning through how yet another plant flowers.

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That's not to say it's boring but it's not exactly action packed. Feb 02, Douglas Busic rated it did not like it. I wanted to like this.


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It looked like a fun, kooky, light read. It was bad, like walk out of the movie theatre bad. The first piece on absinthe was Then the lifespan on Brugmansia made me begin to question the breadth or depth of the writer's knowledge about this material. His discussion on Fagus and how trees talk The way he discussed it Plain lazy "research" and writing, misleading, factually wrong, misrepresentations every other page. At first I kept tryin I wanted to like this. At first I kept trying to forgive the writer , then I laughed at how ridiculously and obviously wrong the information was, and then I simply became enraged and stopped reading it all together.

Between Atropa and Areca I had resolved never to read this author again I sincerely suggest staying away from this book.

Jun 10, Keri rated it liked it. The Big Bad Book of Botany is exactly what the title says. It is a very large book filled with a lot of information about many types of plants. There's very little rhyme or reason to what was included in the book and what information was included. Most entries had basic information like name, type of plant, leaf shape, natural habitat but then some had a lot more background or cultural information than others.

Some entries were pages long others just paragraphs. This isn't really a book you'd read cover to cover, more of a reference book, but it's very interesting.

About this book

I don't know how accurate some of the information is but I don't consider myself an expert just because I've read this book. I would recommend reading this book if you have any interests in plants. Jun 12, Susan Mazur Stommen rated it liked it Shelves: I liked this book, picked up on a spur of the moment a couple of weeks ago at the Mutter museum in Philadelphia. Mutter has a relatively new? I often joke my backyard is like the garden in Rappacini's daughter, filled with toxic and poisonous plants.

This book is a handy guide to many famous and infamous and interesting plants, but it should not be taken for a reference. It is more 'fun facts' and would be a great gift for a kid getting into gardening. In fact, I bo I liked this book, picked up on a spur of the moment a couple of weeks ago at the Mutter museum in Philadelphia. In fact, I bought it halfway thinking of my son.

Nov 09, Lucy rated it really liked it. Short interesting entries on plants both well-known and rare. A few fossilized plants are included. Entries are alphabetical by the common name. Each plant is given its common name, Latin name and a tag of sorts. There's also a pen-and-ink drawing of the plant, or its flower, fruit or seed. Be sure to read the entry on the Giant Hogweed, Heracleum mantegazzianum, whose tag is "Turn and run! I'll probably reread it sometime. Dec 20, Elizabeth rated it liked it. I read up to the letter "I" straight through from the cover, some of the plants were very interesting to learn about, others not so much.

I added it on here and read the reviews. Many people are saying the information is inaccurate. I got almost half way through the book, so I think I'll set this one down. Maybe I'll skip through to ones that sound interesting, but I'll do actual research to get accurate info. Jun 18, Scott Maughan rated it liked it. Despite having very little previous understanding of botany, I found this book rather intriguing!

I enjoyed seeing how different exotic plants have been intertwined with history, as well as learning about the specific nutritional and medicinal value of plants I frequently encounter. While some information seemed slightly frivolous, all in all I thought this was an interesting, worthwhile read. Each plant has an illustration in black and white but they are done by eighteen different artists so there is a wide variety of styles, some more in the style of scientific illustration and some not so scientific.

Unfortunately, the drawings for water hyacinth and Victoria water lilies were switched. This is a great book to have if you need some extra interesting information about plants that are on a walk you are leading or you want to gross someone out with a weird plant fact at a party although, in his fig description, he missed the fact that we often eat dead wasp bodies that remain in the fig fruit after pollination.

Bookshots: 'The Big, Bad Book of Botany' by Michael Largo | LitReactor

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