In his articles and in best-selling books such as The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan has established himself as one of our most important and beloved writers on modern man's place in the natural world. A new literary classic, Second Nature has become a manifesto not just for gardeners but for environmentalists everywhere.
Chosen by the American Horticultural Society as one of the 75 greatest books ever written about gardening, Second Nature captures the rhythms of our everyday engagement with the outdoors in all its glory and exasperation. With chapters ranging from a reconsideration of the Great American Lawn, a dispatch from one man's war with a woodchuck, to an essay about the sexual politics of roses, Pollan has created a passionate and eloquent argument for reconceiving our relationship with nature.
©2003 Michael Pollan (P)2010 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
“Second Nature reads like brilliant entertainment, but it is serious wisdom. Michael Pollan…is a genuine heir to my favorite nature writer, Mark Twain.” (Simon Schama, The Boston Globe)
Michael Pollan is at his preachiest in this book. If you'd like to listen to the pseudo stream of consciousness ramblings of what is in his head while he mows, go for it.
Not my favorite of his but I still enjoyed the book and very much appreciate that he took the time to narrate. I could listen to him for hours. (Which I guess I just did. Lol.) The book got me excited for gardening season!
Art Director; Musician; College Teacher; Bible Student; Father; Husband
This is a great book, it's a wonderful guide to the history of gardens in America and what I appreciate the most is Pollan's way of looking at all that history and drawing his own conclusions while building his own garden. It is something that I want to do someday in my garden, But so far in my life I have been unsuccessful trying even the smallest of gardens. I appreciate a lot of the things he said, and I find myself mesmerized by some of the quotations that he pulls from all these gardeners. I want his bibliography so that I can immerse myself into this world of gardening even deeper. Great book.
I'm debating whether I get a physical copy of this book, so I can make notes underline wonderful parts and make it as a reference for me in the future. It's certainly a book that you can't just use up in audio form.
....and what it gives back to use in return. I think I will listen to another of his books
Starts off a bit slow, but the later chapters pull you out of the past and down a wonderfully existential path exploring the mutualisms of man and nature. Loved it
"My tales of gardening" books are usually full of curmudgeons and rants; Pollan infuses this books with his humility and joy. I simply love Pollan and his elegant prose, sometimes I had to re-"wind" the book just to re-listen to a particular turn of phrase; because of this, when I found the book at a local second-hand store, I bought the paper version in order to be able to re-read those lines and sections of the tale.
Pollan is an excellent writer, and his own voice brings his prose to life in a way other narrator's haven't done.
This is an almost perfect book for gardeners. I say "almost" because of the chapter on roses that gets so hyperbolic and ridiculous in the discussion of the sexuality of roses that I almost stopped listening. It was, however, worth it to continue.
This is not my first Michael Pollan book. I have read several of his books on the topic of nutrition, and I had good things to say about all of them. But this is, by far, the funniest of the books he has authored. I was, as they say, rolling on the floor laughing at his description of going to war with a woodchuck, his thoughts on weeds and the politics of gardening, and the comparisons and descriptions of various seed catalogues. This book should be made into a stand-up comedy routine.
Pollan does a great job with the narration, but I had to speed him up a bit. I will probably re-read this book every spring and possibly more often than that when I need a good laugh.
There are also a great deal of quotations from famous authors on the subject of gardening, and they really added to the depth of the book. That said, this book is not a strictly literary exercise as I learned a great deal about individual plants and various gardening techniques.
Pollan's quick wit and ability to laugh at himself mixed with his knowledge of literature, poetry, individual plants, and gardening techniques made this book almost perfect. There's that "almost," again. He really should have had more intelligent things to say about roses.
This book made me think about "nature" and our relationship to it as human beings in a whole new way. Pollan presents a humble yet thoughtful idea based on his experience gardening that made me think about the world differently. It's a remarkable book that should be read by gardeners, eaters, and anyone who wants to think about environmental questions.
I enjoyed my first Michael Pollan book, but this one was much less interesting. Basically, a collection of essays on gardening, not just vegetable gardening, all types of gardening.
I have really enjoyed Pollan's other books and gave this a try. There are lots of good sections, but the book as a whole whole was not as good as I would have liked. I do not know if it has not aged well or if living in Southern California is so different than the world he describes. Fortunately, I grew up in the Midwest so some of his world made sense to me. Between the plant names and the prose, there were lots of new words and it would have been good to have the text and a thesaurus. I felt like he worked really hard to add the philosophy because it was the driver of the plot, but it did not all hold up. It is not bad and it is an OK listen, but I would not put it with his other works.
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