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"Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home."
- Anna Quindlen

Review: Wicked Plants (The Weed That Killed Lincoln's Mother & Other Botanical Atrocities), by Amy Stewart

Wicked Plants: The Weed That Killed Lincoln's Mother & Other Botanical Atrocities - Amy Stewart

I don't have much to say about this one, other than that it doesn't really work as an audiobook.  The physical book is very twee, and might be enjoyable for its illustrations and quaint design:



But to listen to, it's pretty tedious.  The narrator rattles off scientific names, dimensions, locations, and a host of other sterile stats for every single plant featured - data that might be useful in a sidebar, but which doesn't need to be recited in toto into my brain.


And the chapters themselves, the meat of the book, were sadly not much more interesting.  I think I was expecting this to read less like an encyclopedia and more like something by Sam Kean, or Bill Bryson, or even Cracked.com ("100 Terrifying Plants You Never Knew Might Kill You!")  But it's just so dry.  Even the titular "weed that killed Lincoln's mother" was incredibly anticlimactic.  Mrs. L was poisoned by a weed she ate, and then died.  Gee... how THRILLING.


So I don't know.  Flipping through a hard copy of the book might be enjoyable - there were some interesting factoids and stories here and there.  But to hear it all read out, sequentially and unabridged, was fairly excruciating.


(2014 #23)