Elaine Nelson's Reviews > Eating the Sun: How Plants Power the Planet

Eating the Sun by Oliver Morton
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Feb 05, 09

bookshelves: history, non-fiction, science
Read in February, 2009

A much heftier read than I was expecting, honestly. Other reviews describe the first third as being the most science-detail-heavy, but I found the whole thing a little overwhelming in both scientific and science-historic detail. I had to make the choice to let some of the particulars wash over me: the names and inter-relations of scientists. I think I could've gotten more of that, and retained it better, if I'd had a book group or class to read this with, to talk over the particulars, draw pictures, etc.

On the OTHER hand, some parts were absolutely fascinating, both the quirks of science history, the arcs of biogeography over billions of years, and the strange details of the innards of plants, algae, bacteria, etc., etc. Lovely visualizations, plus I think I have a better understanding of plants and the atmosphere and the geological cycle.

Recommended, but with reservations: be prepared to be periodically overwhelmed. If you are easily distracted, find a quiet place to read.
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