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Second Nature: A Gardener's Education

Second Nature: A Gardener's Education

Veröffentlicht von Brilliance Audio


Second Nature: A Gardener's Education

Veröffentlicht von Brilliance Audio

Bewertungen:
4/5 (62 Bewertungen)
Länge:
9 Stunden
Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
Mar 12, 2010
ISBN:
9781441834591
Format:
Hörbuch

Beschreibung

In his articles and in bestselling books such as The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan has established himself as one of our most important and beloved writers on modern man's place in the natural world. A new literary classic, Second Nature has become a manifesto not just for gardeners but for environmentalists everywhere. Chosen by the American Horticultural Society as one of the seventy-five greatest books ever written about gardening, Second Nature captures the rhythms of our everyday engagement with the outdoors in all its glory and exasperation. With chapters ranging from a reconsideration of the Great American Lawn, a dispatch from one man's war with a woodchuck, to an essay about the sexual politics of roses, Pollan has created a passionate and eloquent argument for reconceiving our relationship with nature.

"Second Nature reads like brilliant entertainment, but it is serious wisdom. Michael Pollan…is a genuine heir to my favorite nature writer, Mark Twain." -Simon Schama, The Boston Globe

Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
Mar 12, 2010
ISBN:
9781441834591
Format:
Hörbuch

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4.2
62 Bewertungen / 16 Rezensionen
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  • (4/5)
    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.
  • (4/5)
    My favorite Pollan book has always been Botany of Desire. And this book is now a close second. I can see how this garden book led to Botany of Desire. The part that human as gardener plays in the evolution and life cycle of earth. Thinking of the metaphor of "garden" versus the influence of the notion of "wilderness" in imagining those relations and interactions. Just a wonderful book.
  • (2/5)
    I loved Botany of Desire but trudged through Second Nature. Not finding Pollan's personal gardening history & musings there upon particularly interesting. I did appreciate his notion, however, of Lawn as Television. Perhaps also didn't relate because he's talking about gardening a property in New England, which has little in common with gardening in Northern California. Major theme: intersection of nature and culture.
  • (5/5)
    A weaving of thoughts to develop one’s own thoughts and philosophy for garden spaces and growing.
  • (5/5)
    {The} garden is a place where {nature’s} ways and {the gardener’s} designs are brought gracefully into alignment. To occupy such a middle ground is not easy -- the temptation is always to either take complete control or relinquish it altogether, to invoke your own considerable (but in the end overrated) power or to bend to nature’s. The first way is that of the developer, the second that of the “nature lover.” The green thumb, who will be neither heroic nor romantic, avoids both extremes. He does not try to make water run uphill, but neither does he let it flow wherever it will.I’ve loved Pollan’s work since The Omnivore's Dilemma, including going into his backlist for The Botany of Desire and now this one. It’s a collection of 12 essays, about nature and gardening and philosophy, organized by season. It being February, I turned first to “Winter” and read about the annual perusal of seed catalogs and how their products (and their customers) markedly differ. (Then I picked two from the dozen he described and ordered them and have them here, ready to look through!) The essays are gentle and “wondering” and show no sign of age despite more than 25 years having passed since initial publication.
  • (5/5)
    Dies ist ein ganz erstaunliches Gartenbuch. Es ist ganz anders als ich es erwartet habe.Der Autor hat das Buch in Kapitel unterteilt. Ein Kapitel handelt zum Beispiel vom Rasen. Hier wird dargelegt, wie unterschiedlich die Vorstellung von Eigentum und Landschaft in Amerika und z.B. in England sind. Dass in England jedes Grundstück von Hecken und Zäunen und Mauern umgeben ist, während es gerade in den Vororten von Amerikas Städten ein Muss ist, dass die Vorgärten nahtlos ineinander übergehen ohne Begrenzungen. Es werden dazu die kulturgeschichtlichen Hintergründe dargelegt. In einem weiteren Kapitel geht es um Rosen und hier erfährt man die geschichtlichen Hintergründe von den historischen Rosen bis zu den modernen Züchtungen und dass die Rosen einer jeweiligen Zeit die Moralvorstellungen in der Gesellschaft widerspiegeln. Im Kapitel über den grünen Daumen erfährt man, dass eigentlich jeder einen grünen Daumen erwerben kann und dass er ein Ausdruck einer optimalen Gartenpflege ist, eine Balance zwischen zu wenig und zu viel tun. Die Sicht des Autors ist immer in erster Linie eine amerikanische, was am deutlichsten im Kapitel über Kataloge von Samen- und Pflanzenanbietern wird, da dort nur amerikanische Firmen genannt wurden, die mir überhaupt nichts sagten.Das Thema Garten wird auf, für mich, ganz neue Art untersucht. Unser Umgang mit der Natur, was ist überhaupt Natur und unser Naturverständnis. Das Buch war rundherum eine Bereicherung meiner Gartenlektüre.
  • (3/5)
    After re-reading this book, my rating has gone up. I suspect if I became an active gardner I woul ver much like what the author has to say about gardens. As it stands, I enjoyed reading Michael Pollan's ruminations on what is more controvesial than I had first imagined; gardening.
  • (4/5)
    Although I am not a gardener--I joke that I have a black thumb, I do understand the attraction and love to walk through communal gardens and so forth. In this early book, Michael Pollan, known now for his two bestsellers on food (one reviewed by me), writes about gardening, the idea of gardens and the false dichotomy we make between nature and culture. A wise, thoughtful book that seems to me to reflect the attitude we need to deal with our environmental problems, from invasive species to global climate change.
  • (5/5)
    I came across Michael Pollan's Second Nature by accident. As I was shelving the book, a force came over me demanding that I scan the pages. I did so and placed the book on the shelf, but then, minutes later, I was compelled to pick it up again. Something attracted me. Reading an entire book about gardening, however, was not appealing so I returned it to its shelf. I am mildly interested in nature, especially when it comes to making nature more "natural". But to read a book about it? No thank you. Needless to say, by the end of the day I had book in hand and was eager to get started.

    In the vein the Thoreau, a much more contemporary Pollan addresses humanity's relationship with nature. He includes many personal anecdotes that are both comical and touching. He dives through the history of gardens from Europe to America to provide insight on our current perceptions of nature. With language that would rival many poets, Pollan examines the natural world we so often fail to recognize. He disputes the preconceived notion that the relationship between man and nature is irreconcilable. From the doctrine of weeds to the tyranny of the American lawn, Second Nature is filled with commentary that challenges everything we've ever known about the natural world.

    Written in 1991, Second Nature will likely never be one of Pollan's more popular titles. Having read The Omnivore's Dilemma, I strongly believe Pollan's gardening manifesto to be the better of the two. The Omnivore's Dilemma is great if you're looking for an exposé on the agricultural and food industries; Second Nature fills in everywhere else, being a work of ethics, history, comedy, religion, literature, and, even more than being a book about gardening, philosophy. It is even romantic, as is found in the chapter on the sexuality of roses: "the hybrid roses don’t give more bloom, really, they just parcel their blooms out over a longer period; they save and reinvest. So instead of abandoning herself to one great climax of bloom, the rose now doles out her blossoms one by one, always holding back, forever on the verge, never quite... finishing (95)."

    The book is conveniently divided into seasonal sections, and I do feel that Second Nature would be best enjoyed spread out over a year's time. There is much to consider, and I rather like the idea of using this book as a gardening devotional. It truly is a powerful book!
  • (3/5)
    I like Michael Pollan just fine, although his extremely digressive style gets on my nerves probably more than it should. There were a lot of interesting tidbits in here - I particularly liked the analysis of the characters of various seed catalogs. I'm not quite sure I agree with his overall thesis, insofar as I was able to detect an overall thesis, but then, I don't actually garden. Definitely an interesting read on balance, though.
  • (3/5)
    I found this collection of essays on gardening to be a bit more long-winded and dense than Pollan’s more well known later books. While his ideas on the metaphor of the American lawn and the debate over whether we have the right to shape nature are very interesting, Pollan does show a tendency to over-analyze. After all, a garden should be the gardener’s private world, to shape and form as she likes. It really is that simple.
  • (4/5)
    Pollan's garden is a portal to nature. His wonderful essays include a salacious view of roses.
  • (5/5)
    Garden books and winter go together. After the garden has been covered over, – first by autumn leaves, then frost, and finally a dusting of snow – what’s left for a gardener to do until March but read?Of course, by now someone has told you that you HAVE to pick up a copy of The Omnivore’s Dilemma (if you haven’t already). But before The Omnivore’s Dilemma; before “Eat Food. Not Too Much. Mostly Plants.” was made into a bumper sticker; before he wrote the letter telling the Obama’s to plant veggies on the White House lawn; before all that Michael Pollan wrote a book called Second Nature: A Gardener’s Education. And by any standard it was, and remains, a beautiful piece of writing. "With the harvest moon, which usually arrives towards the end of September, the garden steps over into that sweet, melancholy season when ripe abundance mingles with auguries of the end anyone can read. Except, perhaps, some of the tropical annuals, which seem to bloom only more madly the closer the frost comes. Mindless of winter’s approach and the protocols of dormancy, the dahlia and the marigold, the tomato and basil, make no provision for frost, which might be a month away, or a day. The annuals in September practice none of the inward turning of the hardy perennials, which you can see slowing down, taking no chances, turning their attention from blossom and leaf to root and stashed starch. But instead of battening down the hatches, saving something for another day, the annuals throw themselves at the thinning sun, open-armed and ingenuous. On those early autumn days when frost hangs in the air like a sword of Damocles, evident as sunlight to the lowest creature, is there anything more poignant than a dahlia’s blithe, foolhardy bloom?"Divided into four parts, conveniently corresponding to the four seasons, Second Nature was chosen by the American Horticultural Society as one of the seventy-five greatest gardening books written. It was the book that put Michael Pollan’s blip on the radar.Pollan’s attraction, in part, is his laid back take on the environment. Consider: Eat Food. Not Too Much. Mostly Plants. Not exactly the rallying cry of St. Crispin’s Day, is it? Pollan has always struck me as the X-Generation’s environmentalist: Eating his sushi at Nobu. Planting a tree only to find out after the fact he’s put in an invasive species. Refusing to bow down at the altar of composting (an act he admits borders on heresy in some circles). Or, my personal favorite, smirking at the pretensions of Thoreau playing at hermit in the forest. Pollan makes environmentalism accessible to the masses.Second Nature is the rare gardening/environmental book in that it is concerned with the real work of gardening. What many see as mundane tasks – mowing the lawn, weeding, composting and planting – these gain greater social and political significance in Pollan’s hands. He shows them to be more than simple acts which result in pretty landscapes or homegrown tomatoes in summer. Second Nature calls upon readers to form a backyard environmental movement.At the same time it provides a visceral scrapbook of what happens inside of a garden, embracing the Sisyphean cycle of planting, growing, harvest and death that is repeated yearly in backyards across the country. Pollan’s genius is that he views the garden as both a micro- and macrocosm. Like Voltaire, he urges us to tend to our own garden. But he also applies this same philosophy to our greater environmental concerns. He points out that, having taken the step to cultivate the earth, we have taken on the responsibility of managing it. We have insinuated ourselves into nature, irrevocably altering the “natural” course, which means we cannot step out and expect an anthropomorphized version of “Nature” to step back in as if there had been no interruption. We cannot make the mistake of romanticizing nature, the virgin forest or the primeval landscape. We must learn to work with what we have… what in many ways we have wrought. Ultimately, the habits which make a good gardener, he believes, will make good environmentalists. "The gardener doesn’t take it for granted that man’s impact on nature will always be negative. Perhaps he’s observed how his own garden has made this path of land a better place, even by nature’s own standards. His gardening has greatly increased the diversity and abundance of life in this place. Besides the many exotic species of plants he’s introduced, the mammal, rodent, and insect populations have burgeoned, and his soil supports a much richer community of microbes than it did before…. The gardener doesn’t feel that by virtue of the fact that he changes nature he is somehow outside of it. He looks around and sees the human hopes and desires are by now part and parcel of the landscape. The “environment” is not, and has never been, a neutral, fixed backdrop; it is in fact alive, changing all the time in response to innumerable contingencies, one of these being the presence within it of the gardener. And that presence is neither inherently good now bad."By constantly shifting his perspective from the forest to the trees and back again, Pollan provides a larger action plan which can be implemented at a truly grass-roots level. The genius is that he does so without ever stepping outside of his own garden. In Second Nature he is not an environmental prophet, but another pilgrim on the journey. Sometimes misstepping, yet still doggedly making his way. Trowel in hand.For more reviews please visit BookSexy.worpress.com
  • (4/5)
    this is a story about one man's adventures in gardening. If you've read Bill Bryson, then this will make sense to you . . . Imagine Bryson's writing (witty, informative, full of mishaps) but instead of travel, it deals with gardening. That's the best I can do to describe. I really did enjoy the book, but towards the end, it became focused too much on history and too little on personal anecdotes. I felt that was a weakness. If the book was 50 pages shorter, it would have been a 4 star for me.
  • (4/5)
    Meditation on the role of the gardener in manipulating nature for his own purposes. I'll certainly never look at old-fashioned roses in the same way again after reading this work. I thoroughly enjoyed it - the only jarring note was Pollan's insistence on referring to 'the gardener' as 'he' all the time. It felt exclusive, for this female gardener.
  • (4/5)
    Reflections on gardening and the seasons and our relationships to the earth. Cultivation is bringing culture to nature - some interesting thoughts.