I took nearly 11 months to read this book. While I wish I’d taken notes and better remembered everything I read, I enjoyed reading the book this way.I took nearly 11 months to read this book. While I wish I’d taken notes and better remembered everything I read, I enjoyed reading the book this way. I ended up really loving the book.
Since I started going vegan nearly a quarter century ago, my diet has become much more varied than it ever was when I ate as a lacto-ovo vegetarian and, before that, as an omnivore. But I was astounded by how many edible plants are in this book that were completely unfamiliar to me. Tons of them!
I love food and I love reading about food. I love the history of food too. So, this book was just my cup of tea.
It’s a gorgeous book with beautiful photos and interesting paintings and other artwork. Even though it’s information heavy, it could also work as a coffee table book.
I enjoyed the organization. For each type of food, there is a general introduction, then for each specific food, in addition to the photo(s), covered are historical origins, botanical facts, and culinary fare. Each food has its scientific name listed under it. There are all sorts of other delightful tidbits of information for many of the plants. The sections are organized differently, depending on the type of plant product. For instance, the vegetables are in sections: root vegetables, leaf vegetables, and vegetable fruits and seeds, of which legumes are listed in the latter section.
I really appreciated the short “green” section.
The reference section is good too. There is nutritional information for foods in the fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains sections. I enjoyed the fun to read and useful glossary; it seemed there was some unique information there, but it’s probably because my memory of some of the book is nearly a year old.
I’m glad I read it cover to cover, lingering over some of my favorite plant foods/plants and plants unfamiliar to me and ones that had particularly absorbing coverage. That was much of the book. Now, I’m so glad I own this book because I will go back at times and for various reasons again look up specific plants.
I’m not a gardener (unfortunately) but if I were I’d definitely use this book to see which plants would be most likely to thrive in my area. General information about that, climate and other facts, are given for each plant.
It’s probably just as well I didn’t take notes as I read. I’d probably fill this review with pages of fascinating facts from so many pages.
It’s not a perfect book. I actually noticed some missing edible plants. And I didn’t like the smiling coffee bean hand harvester since, while the smile may have been genuine, I don’t think those workers are smiling on the job all the time; it’s hard work. Also, as a vegan, while I perfectly understood the inclusions, I didn't enjoy the examples given of plant foods paired with animal foods. I can’t give it less than 5 stars though. Its appearance and the plethora of information it contains, not to mention the subject matter, make this an exceptionally fine book.
Anyone interested in plant foods, botany, history, world cultures, gardening, and/or beautiful photography should be able to greatly appreciate this book.
Part One: From Plants to Food: Gatherers to Growers Staple Foods Food Trade, Exploration, and Conquest High-Flying Foods Green Future
Part Two: A Directory of Edible Plants: Fruits Vegetables Grains Nuts Herbs Spices Plants Used in Beverages Plant Sugars and Other Products
I’ve always loved Egyptian Hieroglyphs, and have read books about them and had (and given as gifts) kits with rubber stamps, and other hieroglyphs proI’ve always loved Egyptian Hieroglyphs, and have read books about them and had (and given as gifts) kits with rubber stamps, and other hieroglyphs projects. Reading this book, I find it truly amazing that these symbols/this writing were able to be deciphered.
Throughout the book and on a page at the end, there are various hieroglyphs. Having them included was crucial for this book. The ones interspersed with the story did break up the story a bit, but it was worth it to have them there.
What’s wonderfully inspiring about this story is it’s about a real boy/man, who from an early age, had a dream and determination to decipher hieroglyphs. How he persisted and succeeded makes for a thrilling story, and quite a bit of general history information is given too.
Along with the hieroglyphs, the illustrations here contribute immeasurably to the book; I really enjoyed them.
It’s quite an amazing story, made all the more impressive given that somebody’s lifelong dream came true, with hard work and never giving up. It’s a good story for kids to read (or have read to them), for if they have dreams they might feel confidence in going after them, and if they don’t have dreams they might give thought to developing one or more for themselves. It’s a particularly good book for children who are fascinated with hieroglyphs and Egyptian history, history in general, writing and language....more