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 is…it 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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6 Responses

  1. OOoh, I’ve been so wanting to read this one! Thanks for the wonderful review. By the way, I didn’t forget I promised you a seed swap but I just haven’t had time to sit down and sort through my seed packets. I’ll let you know when I do!

  2. my son the farmer! :o) I have no doubts you remember rip lol and have no doubts you will read some good ones..but like you, i would have to finish up what was already going before I could do that!!

  3. oh btw: i tried twitter again but it took nearly a minute to load! I felt like I was on dial up again, so back to nixing twitter, but I did see about your “firework display” for migraines.. i get that on a small scale. The doctor told me they were “optical migraines”.. when they started they hurt like hell like all migraines but now I get them with fireworks and a blurry area that starts in the center and works it’s was to the outer edges of my eye and then goes away…and only have a slight headache with it…I wish it were that way for you :o(

  4. I’ve listened to The Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan this year and they were both amazing. Especially Omnivore. Scott Brick read both of them and he did a fabulous job. Omnivore is probably my favorite book of the year, and you know how rarely I love nonfiction! He got me really thinking about eating clean, whole foods, and about gardening, something I never expected. If you find a way to get ahold of either of those, I highly recommend them! They are very engaging and so full of information, it’s amazing.

  5. LOL–I didn’t know the gardening bug could get any stronger than it already was in you! đŸ˜€

  6. I’ve read several Pollan books but not this one. I’m wondering if I already have his message. In any case, if I pick this one up, I’ll go for print.

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