Posted 20 hours ago

Around the World in 80 Plants

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A trustee of the Eden Project, his knowledge is encyclopaedic, but it is the combination of science and storytelling that makes his book stand out. At times the book made me angry and frustrated, and I was ready to pull out the highlighter and mark up botanical inaccuracies in it later (since I listened to the audiobook in the car I couldn't do it in the moment).

In a previous life at the BBC, he was Executive Producer of more than fifty prime-time science documentaries and popular series. With its fascinating blend of the cultural, historic and scientific, Jonathan Drori's AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 TREES led readers on a global tour telling the stories of people and plants. Just look how they can warn one another in case of danger either by producing scent molecules (yeah, sorry, but I have to break it to you that that wonderful smell after mowing the lawn is actually a cry for help and warning to others) or by firing signals through the root network! Interestingly, every plant has its own character: some like to cooperate with animals or other plants to benefit (birds spreading seeds, for example), while others lie and cheat. He is a Fellow of the Linnean Society and the Zoological Society of London, and a former documentary filmmaker with the BBC.He is on the board of Cambridge University Botanic Garden, and is a Fellow of the Linnean Society, the Zoological Society of London and the Royal Geographical Society. Around the World in 80 Plants makes me want to find out yet more about the plants that are so often overlooked as a green background, or seen merely as scenery to frame the animals, yet are vital for supporting life on Earth.

You will learn so much and walks in the countryside will never quite be the same - who knew nettles were males and female and so important for wildlife? Like a curious but discerning alchemist, the author has distilled a wealth of information concerning the examples chosen, which are an eclectic mix of both well-known and lesser-known plants.

The stories from "the riotous and often bizarre plant world" have the power to "intertwine science with history and culture" and that's exactly what Jonathan Drori does in this world-tour cornucopia of growing things.

Did you know that vanilla has been done dirty by becoming synonymous with "boring" when it's really one of the most truly exquisite flavors around? In his follow-up to the bestselling Around the World in 80 Trees , Jonathan Drori takes another trip across the globe, bringing to life the science of plants by revealing how their worlds are intricately entwined with our own history, culture and folklore. With a colourful cast of characters all brought to life by illustrator Lucille Clerc, this is a botanical journey of beauty and brilliance.

Or perhaps you'll opt for the culinary tips, sometimes the medicinal uses or very often the history.

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