37th out of 291 books — 177 voters
The Private Life of Plants: A Natural History of Plant Behaviour
Based on the immensely popular six-part BBC program that will air in the United States during the fall of 1995, this book offers what writer/filmmaker David Attenborough is best known for delivering: an intimate view of the natural world wherein a multitude of miniature dramas unfold. In the program and book, both titled The Private Life of Plants, Attenborough treks throu...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published August 1st 1995 by Princeton University Press
(first published 1994)
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(showing 1-30 of 644)
If you love to marvel at the creation and the intracacies of the web of life, this is a great walk-through book with fascinating but never tendentious text and lavish photographs illustrating many of the wondrous plants and creatures it explains.
Whether David Attenborough actually wrote the text or just lent his name to the enterprise, this is a good book drawn from a PBS series. You can learn everything from how orchids tempt some bees to pollinate them by displaying a petal that looks like a f...more
I first picked up this book at Borders, while working as a store clerk there. What struck me first was the beautiful photography that is on just about every page. Then I started reading it. It was a truly fascinating book. Attenborough tells a great story in each chapter regarding the different kinds of plants, plant life: how they grow, and thrive in different climates. I am not a gardener, nor have I ever managed to keep a plant alive on my own. So I am definitely a lay reader when it comes to...more
Jun 05, 2010 Adam Kranz rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Adam by: Christopher Owen
David Attenborough reveals the wondrous diversity and the beautiful stories of the plant (and fungus) world. In the elegant prose of a true British naturalist, he shows rather than tells the way adaptation of similar structures to a huge array of niches has resulted in all the plants. There are a few things plants need (light, water, nutrients, and warmth.) How they acquire these resources in scarcity and against competition explains many of the more interesting plant features. The rest seemingl...more
Very simple: if you like DA's TV shows, you will like this. It is nice to have his material in book form because it allows one to linger over a mind-blowing fact before the next one all too quickly replaces it on the TV screen. Relentlessly mesmerizing text and beautiful pictures.
I liked the bits of new information I was able to pick up, and the photos were fantastic, but I found myself feeling frustrated most of the time, as I usually do if I watch TV. I suppose it should be no surprise that since this went along with a TV series, it should be written in little "TV bites." A little tidbit of information, and then on to the next subject, leaving me still wanting to know more. Even though David Attenborough's style of writing is very entertaining, I still felt somehow uns...more
Like Tom Robbins' book "Skinny Legs and All" which gave life to a set of surly flatware traveling the country at imperceptibly slow speeds, this book animates the inanimate in fascinating ways. We so often overlook the photosynthesizers as inanimate and uninteresting objects. This book lifts that veil and grants powers previously owned by fauna alone to the flora around us. Plant drama!
This is a wonderful book filled with excellent writing and magnificent photographs. It covers many interesting plants (the remarkable acacia tree comes up several times) and their interactions with their environments in a fun way that avoids scholarly jargon.
Sir David Frederick Attenborough is a naturalist and broadcaster, who is most well-known for writing and presenting the nine "Life" series, produced in conjunction with BBC's Natural History Unit. The series includes Life on Earth (1979), The Living Planet (1984), The Trials of Life (1990), Life in the Freezer (about Antarctica; 1993), The Private Life of Plants (1995), The Life of Birds (1998), T...moreMore about David Attenborough...