Katie's Reviews > Second Nature

Second Nature by Michael Pollan
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's review
May 08, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: food-and-farming, male-author, non-fiction, nature-outdoors
Read in May, 2009

In this book, Pollan attempts to find the happy medium between nature and culture in raising a garden. I identified so much with his struggles right from the start when he expressed his resistance to building a fence to keep a woodchuck out of his garden. Fences just don't seem part of the natural landscape, but really gardens aren't either. I also enjoyed reading his thoughts on the American lawn, and how much time and money people spend on them and why no one puts their vegetable gardens in their front yards. I could go on and on about all the things this book made me think about, but I'm having trouble putting it into words. In this book Pollan writes a lot about the proper role of humans in the natural world. How much we should attempt to control it, when we should let nature run it's course. As Pollan's musings tend to go, there is no simple answer, just a lot of general ideas.

I don't know if I would have enjoyed this book as much if I wasn't attempting to grow my own garden for the first time as well, and I'll admit that part of the reason I liked it was probably because I agreed with most of Pollan's ideas and I got to feel a little self-righteous along with Pollan about my theories of nature. Otherwise, I think the tone may have been a little annoying.

I thought the book was well written, but sometimes a little too flowery for my tastes.

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