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Second Nature: A Gardener's Education MP3 CD – Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged


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Product Details

  • MP3 CD
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio on MP3-CD; MP3 Una edition (May 1 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1469240777
  • ISBN-13: 978-1469240770
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 13.5 x 1.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 91 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)


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First Sentence
My first garden was a place no grown-up ever knew about, even though it was in the backyard of a quarter-acre suburban plot. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Robert Merritt on Sept. 18 2001
Format: Paperback
I had to read this for a college course. I didn't know what to expect, but half way into the book I was enraptured. Literally. Pollan is a very adept writer, and he has a lot of depth to what he writes. He piles metaphor on top of symbolizm on top of metaphor. If you don't pick up on everything, that's alright because the book is simply enjoyable. His anecdotes about life and gardening are the icing on this book, and I'd recommend it simply for that pleasure. But there is substance here. Pollan is making a statement about the relationship between culture and nature. He writes about how we, as a species, as a culture, try to seperate what we live in (culture, cities, whatever) from what we live near (nature, the environment, wildness). He says that that is more detrimental than any polution or destruction we could possibly do to our earth. We, as a culture, need to learn to live not simply "in" nature, but "with nature." In response to the chapter on Cathedral Pines, he uses that to illustrate how the Conservationists, the people who owned the land, were trying to save this little "virgin" land. This little area in this New England community that was untouched by humanity. It was destroyed by nature (in the form of a tornado) and they, as a community, should let nature do with the forest as it wanted. Nature knows best. What Pollan says is that that forest wasn't untouched by man. Man had inhabited the area for over two hundred years (not including Native Americans - which no one ever does) and the trees they were saving WERE affected by civiliztion. That forest, as the community knew and loved it, was destroyed by nature. The community could've possibly planted knew trees, cleaned out the old dead ones, and made everything back the way it was.Read more ›
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By John on Feb. 4 2002
Format: Paperback
I don't intend to question Pollan's ability as a writer, nor do I care to check up on his interpretation of the history of hybrid roses or British garden design, but as a gardener who entered this endeavor from the ecologist/naturalist end of the spectrum, I found plenty of bones to pick with him.
A previous reviewer mentions Pollan's rant about The Nature Conservancy, which -- much to his chagrin -- declined to harvest, clean-up, or replant the trasured Cathedral Pines after they were damaged by a tornado. Pollan is clearly very comfortable with his position about how gardens fit along the spectrum between wilderness and human culture, but too often he relies on straw-men and oversimplified truisms to represent the views of those with whom he disagrees.
Examples abound, but some that galled me the most were his conclusions that: (1) the American environmental movement is too hung up about preserving Wilderness to care about the other 90+% of our lands (absurd! ever hear of the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts? the Endangered Species Act?); and (2) the moral and scientific bankruptcy of this philosophy has led to the 'degradation' of Yellowstone National Park, as exemplified by the forest fires of the late 1980's (or could this just be an example of the renewing power natural process, without the hand of human 'gardeners'?).
I accept that Pollan is a journalist and a (fine) writer, not a scientist, but a little more effort to gain an deeper understanding of both the science and the philosophies of those whose view differ from his would have been greatly appreciated.
Of course, it is Pollan's book, and a popular non-fiction, not an academic treatise, so some hand-waving to help justify his mostly-sensible views is his prerogative. I appreciated the humor and passion of Pollan's writing, and I am sure I would greatly enjoy a walk down his garden path.
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By K. Bergmann on June 12 2010
Format: Paperback
Great book for both seasoned and beginner gardeners, for anyone who loves nature. Interesting insights into the relationship we, as North Americans, have with nature. As always, Michael Pollan provides food for thought.
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Format: Paperback
Pollan is a joy to read. Looking at seed catalogues and mowing the lawn take on new meaning.
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Format: Paperback
You do not have to be a gardener to really enjoy this book; it's that well written and interesting.
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Format: Paperback
This is a favorite that I've returned to at least twice. Pollan engages with his skill in writing, but also his interesting thoughts on the mundane that make them seem intriguing. Essays are easy to read in any order, yet are connected. Much more than a garden book, will inspire not just planting and pruning, but thinking. Worth the read, regardless of whether you have dirty fingernails or green thumb.
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Format: Paperback
This is simply a wonderful book. As a gardener, I often recognized myself in the author's reflections, although I'd not taken the time to articulate many of his thoughtful meanderings around his gardening experiences. And what a thoughtful trip it is and how much FUN it often is! In the Weeds section, when one of his final thoughts, directed at Thoreau, in Walden Pond, who couldn't bear to eliminate weeds and wild critters from his bean patch: is "Fine. Starve." I laughed out loud. Highly readable bits of history on our attitudes toward trees, use of the land and ornamental gardening both enlighten and amuse. I can't wait to tak this book to my master gardener group to share it with my friends. This would have been a PERFECT gift for me if one of my family had seen it before I did.
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