I listen to a lot of audiobooks.
This is an enjoyable book for those who also like to read tidbits of trivia, in this case about poisonous plants. I listened to this while I ran on the treadmill during my workout. Lots of neat stuff to learn about without being too weighed down with specific scientific speak. For the casual nerd who doesn't necessarily have to be into plants.
This is another book I can listen to over and over. Amy Stewart is one of my favorite non-fiction authors. And Coleen Marlo is one of my favorite 'readers' too...very expressive, she holds my attention through the entire book. This is a great book.
Audible listener who's grateful for a long commute!
Amy Stewart just published the already much referenced “The Drunken Botanist: The Plants that Create the World’s Great Drinks” (2013).” I knew when I finished “The Drunken Botanist” I’d never settle for a badly made cocktail. Just yesterday, I was annoyed to see a “martini” menu at a well known chain restaurant (whose name resembles The Cheesecake Factory) listing only “vodka martinis”. Thanks to Stewart’s help, I made sure I got a real martini – made with gin.
“Wicked Plants: The Weed that Killed Lincoln’s Mother and Other Botanical Atrocities” (2009) is much shorter than “The Drunken Botanist”, and not quite as fun. There are no drink recipes in this one, but plenty of advice on what NOT to eat or drink.
In Stewart’s hands, each ‘wicked plant’ takes on a distinct personality. Some are bullying newcomers, like Japanese-native kudzu, which was imported for erosion control but is invading the American south. Some plants are deceptive, like foxglove. Used correctly, it produces the life saving digitalis. Used incorrectly, foxglove kills. It turns out the ubiquitous but much-maligned poinsettia plant is an irritant, not a poison.
I realized – and was quite disconcerted – that I am surrounded by poisonous plants. There are beautiful but poisonous oleander trees in my yard, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen hemlock in my yard, and, thinking back on it – as much as I loved pulling up and eating raw rhubarb as a child, I’m very lucky I’m here.
“Wicked Plants”, like Stewart’s “Wicked Bugs: The Louse that Conquered Napoleon’s Army and Other Diabolical Insects” (2011), is an A to Z encyclopedia of the bad boys of the natural world.
I wondered if I might have been better off with “Wicked Plants” in print so that I could see what Stewart was describing. I thought about it, and realized that if I had done that, I wouldn’t have had Colleen Marlo’s narration to tell me how to pronounce the names.
I’m not sure that I’ll buy “Wicked Plants” in text (I will buy “The Drunken Botanist” on paper for the recipes!), but it was definitely worth the listen.
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Amy Stewart has accomplished a remarkable feat! She has made what essentially should be a field guide to noxious weeds into an interesting audible book! The book gives a lot of botanical facts - interspersed with a lot of personal stories about the effect of the various weeds on people . . . as well as habitat. What really impressed me, however, was Coleen Marlo's impeccable Latin! She lets those compliccated botanical names roll off her tongue like a true native! Interesting read/listen - but I'm still not convinced that this is the best format to truly appreciate this work!
i would highly recommend you purchase the printed version of this book. the text is interesting, but it reads like an encyclopedia.
Interesting, factual, great!
Wicked Bugs. Same context, different life.
Wicked! The movie.
Great series. Do more, please.
I liked the way she described the chemical reactions to the human body for each type of plant. It amazed me about the effects of corn!
Who knew that Deadly Nightshade is related to the tomato? And nicotine from the tobacco leaf is a neurotoxin. This kind of information is absolutely invaluable.
The narrator was very consistent as there is a specific format to each plant type. She was very engaging.
I had to have the hardcover and have bought several copies for friends. I highly recommend it.
Nature, animals, sociobiology, science, spirituality art, travel, healthy cooking are my main interests. I love a great novel but don't enjoy works where there is no real point just one description of people after another. I wont read Steven King anymore because of one scene in his book that put an experience in my head I didn't need to have.
it is just to hard without pictures this is one book that would have really benefited from a pdf readalong file. It also got a bit discounterting to hear over and over "meet the realitives"
still well worth the listen and great information. It could save your life to know not to cook marshmellows on a daphne stick! I think that alone makes it worth getting.
ZEN. LDS. GTD. FTW.
Informative and enjoyable, but not enthralling by any stretch. There were a lot of solid takeaways that made Wicked Plants entirely worthwhile to listen to, so I recommend it.
It is evidently clear that nature is intent on killing us and that is that. Plants are the likely culprit and this book tells you who it might be. This terrifying book lists one thing after another that will kill, injure or poison you, it is a scary gallop through a long list of terror ... and I loved every little bit of it. Glorious plants of all sorts are listed herein and the ways they want to hurt you is detailed in beautiful detail. It is so very interesting and reading this may also one day save your life! As a result of reading this fabulous book, I have more respect for my plants and have moved my poisonous houseplants out of reach of my naughty Chihuahua, thankfully before anything bad happened. I worry that listening to this book audibly might make people you live with feel uncomfortable, and listening to such terrible information does feel a little devious, but oh wow is it ever interesting stuff, especially for a plant nerd such as myself.
I noticed the reader changed the way she pronounced plant family names along the way which is good because she ended up saying it correctly - although the words end with '-ceae' and that looks like it should sound complicated, the correct way to say it is 'ee-ee'. I know this from asking a latin-fluent eminent biologist.