Sunday, October 4, 2009

Wicked Plants: A Book of Botanical Atrocities by Amy Stewart

I really enjoyed Amy Stewart's The Earth Moved and Flower Cofidential, so I was really looking forward to Wicked Plants.

It's a lovely series of beautifully illustrated entries--think old herbals--with fascinating tidbits about, well, wicked plants: Plants that are poisonous, irritating, invasive, or all of the preceding.

It's also a book that had me calling a friend to warn her that some of the cuttings I gave her recently were poisonous, and she probably ought to warn her kindergarten age son of that fact. He probably already knows better than to eat plants, of course, she's a perfectly competent individual, but the stories of adults munching on various berries they found by the wayside had me spooked.

Anyway, spookedness aside, I enjoyed the book.

I admit to being a little disappointed that it is more of an encyclopedia than a full book (What is the word for a "regular chapter book" in non-fiction? The fiction equivalent is "short story" vs. "novel," but I can't think of the word I want!) simply because I miss the personalities and the flow of the other two books, but, then I also prefer novels to short stories. And the illustrations are gorgeous.

I still need to read From the Ground Up. Probably I should put it on hold.

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