Sunday, September 11, 2011

Second Nature by Michael Pollan

No I have not forgotten about RIP...these are mostly just reads that I've had on the go that I happen to be finishing up. And sometimes a book just grabs you and even though you know should be reading something else, you need to read this one right now. So was the case when I found that Michael Pollan's classic gardening book, Second Nature, was available on audiobook read by Pollan himself. This is a quiet book..a book of reflection. It's not one that grips it's hold and refuses to let go, but it is very engaging and contemplative on gardening. Pollan spends his time with this book mostly talking about the balance we try to strike between nature as it is and nature as WE want it to be..i.e. gardens. It's quite a beautiful journey listening to his thoughts. With many allusions to Emerson (which made me finally order a copy of Walden), Pollan looks at his own gardens at his home, the vegetable gardens he grew up with, the gardens of America, and the wild garden's that are nature left on it's own. He most certainly sprung up the gardening bug in me even more than it already is. While listening to this book I just had to get my hands in the dirt every day. This book gave me a new appreciation for what a plant gave me a new outlook on my own garden...he tackles the issues of weeds, heirloom vegetables, the heirarchy of flowers, composting, seed catalogs, and looks at nature in all four of it's glorious seasons. I have to admit that at times, the audio of this seemed a bit boring. Never enough to make me want to stop listening. It was almost like Pollan himself got bored while reading this one. You could hear it in his voice. But there are other moments where he's totally animated and you can hear the passion in his voice for his topic. It's up to you, but if I were to "read" this one again, I'd probably go with the book form. Definitely worth a read...or a listen though.

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