Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Seeds of Hope: Wisdom and Wonder from the World of Plants” as Want to Read:
Seeds of Hope: Wisdom and Wonder from the World of Plants
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Seeds of Hope: Wisdom and Wonder from the World of Plants

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  1,047 ratings  ·  172 reviews
Renowned naturalist and bestselling author Jane Goodall examines the critical role that trees and plants play in our world.

In her wise and elegant new book, Jane Goodall blends her experience in nature with her enthusiasm for botany to give readers a deeper understanding of the world around us.

Long before her work with chimpanzees, Goodall's passion for the natural world
Hardcover, 370 pages
Published August 27th 2013 by Grand Central Publishing (first published April 2nd 2013)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,047 ratings  ·  172 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Seeds of Hope: Wisdom and Wonder from the World of Plants
Jun 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Having my degree in environmental science, when I saw this book up for grabs on NetGalley, I immediately requested it.

Overall, I'd say that I was pleased by Seeds of Hope. I learned a lot, and Jane Goodall's passion for the plant world and for nature itself shines through her words. This book will definitely appeal to certain types of people, but I would still recommend it for those who might be a little wary. Jane Goodall's writing is very reader friendly, and I think that the general public w
Mar 11, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads, arcs, 2-stars
Rather disappointing on the whole. The majority of the book consists of sketchy and fuzzy pseudo-scientific statements which are rarely, if ever, backed up by vague semi-scientific "evidence." On the other hand, her personal recollections of interactions with the natural world and its plants/creatures are charming.

Had Dr. Goodall written a book about her childhood growing up among trees, her adolescence and early adulthood exploring the vastly different (and yet fundamentally similar) biomes of
Mar 28, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I received an advanced reader copy through a GoodReads giveaway. I would not have finished the book if I did not feel it was my responsibility to give a free gift book a decent chance. I give it 2.5 stars and rounded up because I personally did not really like it or feel it was memorable but I know that it will appeal to a certain type of earth-loving person. This just isn't my thing but I respect her and what she has to say.

I will admit that I know very little about plants, shy away from most a
May 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Yes, I have a signed Jane Goodall book- be jealous! This book was amazing and really inspired me to make changes in my lifestyle. I never knew plants could be so interesting!
Mar 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I won this book in the Goodreads First Reads Program.

This book is an excellent introduction to the importance of plants. Reading this book by Jane Goodall feels like you are sitting in a garden or a forest discussing plants with her. The importance of plants and their future is presented in a very personal way. It conveys the horrors that have been done to nature, and the hope that we can fix it.

I enjoyed reading this book. Not only was the information presented in an engaging way, it also pro
Oct 01, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
There are portions of this book that are truly inspiring and engrossing, but there are also portions of this book that read as naive -- sometimes painfully so. (The sections on "controversial" plants, especially, where Goodall emphasises repeatedly that "poor" plants are "innocent" but people are abusing them. Eh. ) ...more
Jane Dugger
Feb 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
So enjoyable and educational. This woman is a modern miracle.
Jan 31, 2020 marked it as maybe
I think I will stick to her book on chimpanzees instead.
This book is a beautiful and fascinating compendium about the world of plants. It would be worth a reread, as there are some stories in here whose details I won't remember because I listened to the audiobook. I recommend this to all botanists, biologists, fans of Goodall. I shouldn't be surprised to learn how conservative she is in some ways. She's very discouraging of illicit drug use (okay, that's fine), she travels constantly (which helps with her outreach work), and she works with government ...more
So, the only thing I ever really knew about Jane Goodall was that she was the lady who worked with chimpanzees. That's it. Turns out, she has done a lot more than that. And a lot of that had to do with plants.

From an early age, Goodall loved plants, and even had a special tree at her grandmother's house. While off fighting to save the chimpanzees she was studying the local vegetation as well. In this book there are some accounts of her own experience, but it is also a book of history and current
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-star, non-fiction
I gave this book four stars because I thought Goodall did a very good job discussing practically every issue related to plants in a way that made them accessible to the lay person. It's an easy book to read. Also, it contains amazing, even beautiful, stories about individual plants and trees around the world and things that individuals and groups from various backgrounds have done or are doing to foster the healthy growth and continuing presence of vegetation on earth. Goodall is both a spiritua ...more
Dewayne Stark
Sep 07, 2013 rated it liked it
Read this book before looking at the reviews. Apparently the release of this book was held back awaiting corrections and plagiarism concerns. I was not on a fact checking mission when I started to read this but some outstanding dating issues started to appear as listed in the three examples shown within:

Page 75, "Three hundred and fifty years have gone by since he published the results of his long deliberations in 1753,"

1753 plus 350 makes the current year 2113

Page 182 "They collected, in 1878,
Nov 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Amazing… What a special glimpse into the world of plants, given by a woman who has lived and seen it all.

It was quite a joy to see this world through Jane's eyes. It brought back all the wonder that we already knew and loved about the plant kingdom and added new pieces to the puzzle that we are so happy to have found!

Mahalo Ms. Goodall!
Expansive (unfocused?) exploration of the things Jane Goodall knows and learned about plants. I am inclined to agree with her position on most things, and found her anecdotes inspiring.
Jan 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Renowned naturalist and bestselling author Jane Goodall examines the critical role that trees and plants play in our world.

In her wise and elegant new book, Jane Goodall blends her experience in nature with her enthusiasm for botany to give readers a deeper understanding of the world around us.

Long before her work with chimpanzees, Goodall's passion for the natural world sprouted in the backyard of her childhood home in England, where she climbed her beech tree and made elderberry wine with her
Apr 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
What can I say. It’s Jane Goodall talking about forests and seeds and GM development and seeds. I have learned much. I have reinforced some of what I was already aware of.
I have been genuinely terrified by the sections on the new Super Weeds.
I have been inspired.
I read this as an audio book. I think I will take the opportunity to revisit it via a paper book in the future.
I may not always agree completely with some of Ms Goodalls forays into moralising, but that’s okay.
Recommend to everyone.
Tory Wagner
Apr 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biology
Most people know Jane Goodall as the "chimp lady", but she also had a great fondness for all nature, trees in particular. In this book, she describes the ways in which trees are a necessary part of nature and advocates for protecting them. She talks about famous trees around the world and efforts to preserve them whenever possible. You will look at trees differently after reading this book! ...more
Dexter Scott
Aug 14, 2020 rated it liked it
The book really should be titled “I’m old and about to die, the world is in a horrible place, so good luck 👋🏼.” The book really didn’t give me hope, and while there are sections of the book that are really interesting, it’s mixed with parts that are very sad, and some of the ideas in the book are presented as fact, but lacks rigorous scientific standards.
Mikaela Ahloy
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An absolutely phenomenal view of our natural resources, how we as society has chosen to use and alter them, and what we need to do to save them.
Jane goes into depth on how the small seeds and plants have just as big of an impact as the towering trees. It is written with so much passion and I think everyone should be educated on how much more we need to care for plants in our world.
Jul 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
If you are concerned about our Earth and our lack of care for her, this book is for you. Goodall is a calm, quiet story teller with a voice worthy of listening to.
Tasos Manouras
Oct 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
Let's all admit it, if this book was not written by Jane Goodall only a small percentage of people would read it.

I was expecting a naturalist's take on forests, plants and vegetation in general.

Was pleasantly surprised to read about her memories and childhood experiences.

What I also read though was, shamans, having a two way communication with trees, pseudoscience and complete lack of scientific evidence and "poor and abused" plants.

Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book is a LOW two star rating. It started out good and then about halfway through it went from Seeds of Hope to Seeds of Depression. I wanted something to make me feel like there was hope for the planet but instead she just pointed out all the ways that humans have absolutely trashed in and I've lost even more faith in humanity. If the book didn't do that for you, then the closing stories of the three "survivors" with one story being focused on the Hiroshima horrors and another on 9/11, wel ...more
Kristin Poley
Jan 17, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I can't begin to describe how much I hated this book. I don't typically read Jane Goodall because I don't like a lot of her ideals but this book is about plants which I love so I thought I would give it a try. The first third of the book was very interesting and I actually enjoyed it. Then she got into the controversial topics and everything went downhill. Hardly anything she said was backed up by scientific fact and it read like an old lady remembering her glory years. It was so dramatic- every ...more
Leah Moore
Jul 12, 2013 rated it it was ok
Eh, the first 3/4ths of the book was nothing new or spectacular. I was looking for some good scientific insights, but it was mostly her antidotes. She did have one neat point about chimps eating a certain plant, which was interesting. The last 1/4 she gives examples of what is happening across the globe to ensure that plants do not go extinct. This was more interesting, but not griping or all that motivating.
Jun 03, 2014 rated it it was ok
Jane Goodall is an institution, an inspiration and has made an enormous contribution to the world and environment.
For people who are interested implants, the environment and social change I recommend reading this book. The caveat is
Goodall and her co-author are not great writers, much of the information is too simplistic for people who really know plants or botany
and while I love the topic, the book has been the best sleep aid I have found in years.
Jul 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: inspirations
I loved how Goodall inspired science and a poetical reverence for nature. Her mention of forest networks and communication between plants, questions she raises about whether food can be grown ethically to feed the planet, and interesting history about how early plant explorers transported and suffered to bring plants into our awareness...misuses of plants and recreational drug use...A great read.
Sep 27, 2016 rated it liked it
I never imagined someone could write so much about plants and so eloquently. You can truly hear her love for trees,seeds, roots, and shoots. Great but long. I loved how it incorporated many different aspects including how gmo crops have made such an impact on our lives.
Mar 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was such an enjoyable read. But Goodall's easy and friendly voice in this book are a call to action to save our planet and the plants and creatures that are a part of it. I enjoyed the variety of subject matter and was impressed that it was presented in such a focused way. ...more
Deb Fett
Jun 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Easy to read style. Almost reads like a diary of her love affair with plants. Lots of valuable information.
Nov 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As usual, Jane Goodall provides her wonderful, knowledgeable insights.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Tree: A Life Story
  • Calling Bullshit: The Art of Skepticism in a Data-Driven World
  • The Age of Empathy: Nature's Lessons for a Kinder Society
  • Mind of the Raven: Investigations and Adventures with Wolf-Birds
  • Zombie Makers: True Stories of Nature's Undead
  • The Secret Wisdom of Nature: Trees, Animals, and the Extraordinary Balance of All Living Things ― Stories from Science and Observation
  • Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures
  • Caffeine: How Caffeine Created the Modern World
  • The Postnatal Depletion Cure: A Complete Guide to Rebuilding Your Health and Reclaiming Your Energy for Mothers of Newborns, Toddlers, and Young Children
  • The Calm Birth School: The Practical Guide For Modern Mamas to Create a Calm, Positive Hypnobirth
  • Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems
  • Down To Earth
  • Celebrations: Rituals of Peace and Prayer
  • Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants
  • The Secret Life of Plants: A Fascinating Account of the Physical, Emotional and Spiritual Relations Between Plants and Man
  • Face It
  • The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture
  • Even the Saints Audition
See similar books…
For the Australian academic and mystery writer, see Professor Jane R. Goodall.

Dame Jane Morris Goodall, DBE (born Valerie Jane Morris-Goodall), is a British primatologist, ethologist, anthropologist, and UN Messenger of Peace. Considered to be the world's foremost expert on chimpanzees, Goodall is best known for her 45-year study of social and family interactions of wild chimpanzees in Gombe Strea

Related Articles

For more than a decade, Neil deGrasse Tyson, the world-renowned astrophysicist and host of the popular radio and Emmy-nominated...
87 likes · 16 comments
“It was as though the plants wanted me to write a different kind of book and sent gentle roots deep into my brain. They wanted me to fully acknowledge their importance in human history, their amazing powers of healing, the nourishment they provide, their ability to harm if we misused them, and, ultimately, our dependence on the plant kingdom. The plants seemed to want me to share with the world my own understanding of their beingness, so that people might better honor them as important partners in so many of our endeavors.” 1 likes
More quotes…