by Thor Hanson
How Grains, Nuts, Kernels, Pulses and Pips Conquered the Plant Kingdom and Shaped Human History. This book was plenty interesting. Some parts are about the minutiae of how seeds work- what kinds of energy storage different species have, what triggers growth after periods of dormancy, how they have evolved chemicals to avoid being eaten (which humans use for medicine and poison in turn) or fruits to tempt animals to disperse them (make humans in essence slaves to plants in some cases). Other parts are about the history of seeds that had huge impacts on civilizations: coffee beans, cotton, wheat, chili peppers, etc. Other sections are more personable, describing the author\’s own investigations into the nature of seeds, including participation of his enthusiastic three-year-old son, and his interviews with researchers who do various work dealing with seeds. Sparked a lot of interest, and prompted me to attempt to finish another heavier book simply titled Seeds which is more like a dense textbook and has been languishing on my bedside table for months on end.
Rating: 3/5 277 pages, 2015