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Second Nature: A Gardener's Education | [Michael Pollan]

Second Nature: A Gardener's Education

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

What the Critics Say

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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (328 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Amazon Customer TALLAHASSEE, FL, United States 03-31-14
    Amazon Customer TALLAHASSEE, FL, United States 03-31-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Gardeners will love this book!"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Shannon New Westminster, BC, Canada 11-14-12
    Shannon New Westminster, BC, Canada 11-14-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Fantastic writing and new ideas"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Greg 07-21-14
    Greg 07-21-14
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    "Not very Interesting"

    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.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    Harvey Trabuco Canyon, CA, United States 03-22-14
    Harvey Trabuco Canyon, CA, United States 03-22-14 Member Since 2004
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    "I enjoyed his food books more"

    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.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    Amazon Customer Oakridge, OR, United States 12-02-13
    Amazon Customer Oakridge, OR, United States 12-02-13 Member Since 2002

    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.

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    "at first i thought it a little slow"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Second Nature to be better than the print version?

    micheal has a good reading voice and since listening is my favorite reading method it works for me


    What other book might you compare Second Nature to and why?

    only his other books


    Which character – as performed by Michael Pollan – was your favorite?

    himself


    Any additional comments?

    yes this book is well worth the read for the new perspective it gave me on weeds

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    Richard Auckland, New Zealand 08-24-12
    Richard Auckland, New Zealand 08-24-12
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    "Mostly boring book but well read"

    I enjoyed listening to Michael Pollan read the book, and his tales of growing up, his grandfather and father, moving houses and growing crops were all interesting. What I found extremely dull and only listened to since I'd paid for the audio book (I couldn't skip as easily as a printed one) was the endless philosophy on topics - especially whether or not we *should* garden. If you are into philosophy or gardening as a holistic concept, this may be for you, but it was not for me.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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