Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wicked Plants by Amy Stewart (4/5 stars)

I saw this book and just thought it would be an interesting read. Besides who can resist the title "Wicked Plants"?

Basically the book goes through many different types of plants that are "Wicked". This means they are either deadly, illegal, destructive, painful, intoxicating, or get the idea. There are two types of entries in the book. The first are pages dedicated to a single plant. These have an etching of the plant on one page and then a description of why the plant is "wicked" and some history about notable events that the plant has caused. Up in the top corner of the page it tells you a one word "why" of the plant's wickedness ("Destructive", "Deadly"). I liked these entries the best.

The second type of entry is a section on a certain general types of plant. For example there is a section on deadly houseplants. These sections have small sub-sections of different types of plants that they go through; no pictures. I have to mention the print is pretty small in these general sections, might be hard to read for some people. The two types of entries alternate.

The information is amusing and interesting, the etchings of the plants are beautiful; it is too bad they were not in color. I kind of wished that there were more interesting stories about individual plants. I really liked the entries on individual plants the best. I found myself skimming through the second type of entry (general entries briefly describing a ton of plants). These general sections didn't have any nice illustrations and shad very mall print and weren't nearly as interesting as the ones that focused on individual plants. I also thought the illustrations (not the etchings) left a bit to be desired; they were very amateurish and didn't add much to the book.

The book itself is a work of art. The pages are all on off-white paper that looks like vellum, and there is a pretty silk ribbon in the binding for you to mark your spot in the book with.

All in all I enjoyed the book. Not something you would read everyday but it would make a good coffee table book and it is interesting to read through the whole thing once. I am glad I read it.

No comments:

Post a Comment