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8 Book Club Books about Gardening & Botany

Dear BookBrowsers,

It's almost summertime which means more time spent outdoors, rooted in the natural world. If you're lucky enough to own a gardening patch, you know how therapeutic an exercise it can be to smell the lavender and work the soil to get the tomatoes going. These book club selections borrow on the botanical delights of the season and deliver much to enjoy with the turn of every leaf. We hope you dig them as much as we do!

Mister Owita's Guide to Gardening Mister Owita's Guide to Gardening: How I Learned the Unexpected Joy of a Green Thumb and an Open Heart by Carol Wall

Nonfiction. Paperback Feb 2015. Also in ebook. 304 pages. Published by Berkley Books

Here's proof that gardening can be therapeutic and bring people together. Carol Wall's cancer treatments have meant that she needs both refuge and distraction, something she seeks in her own backyard. Over the fence, she strikes a conversation with a Kenyan man, Giles Owita, a gardener attending to her neighbor's plot. This plants a beautiful and blossoming friendship that will nurture Wall through difficult times.
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A Garden of Marvels A Garden of Marvels: How We Discovered that Flowers Have Sex, Leaves Eat Air, and Other Secrets of Plants by Ruth Kassinger

Nonfiction. Paperback Mar 2015. Also in ebook. 416 pages. Published by William Morrow

Not everyone has a green thumb -- Ruth Kassinger certainly didn't and she realized it after she killed yet another houseplant. Not fazed by her early stumbling blocks, she was determined to approach the process following a scientific method. Her discoveries along the way to becoming a green-thumbed gardener will delight all lovers of the botanical world, especially those who see plants as mild-mannered creatures incapable of naughty deeds.
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The Garden of Evening Mists The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng

Fiction. Paperback Sep 2012. Also in ebook. 352 pages. Published by Weinstein Books

In the season of garden home tours, you don't want to miss this transport to the Malaysian highlands where an enigmatic Japanese gardener who once created his native country's Imperial gardens has recreated such a specimen using all the classical techniques of the method. Saturated with greenery and dripping with atmosphere, this is also a moving tale of one's past and the difficult task of living in the present.
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The Language of Flowers The Language of Flowers: A Novel by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Fiction. Paperback Apr 2012. Also in ebook. 352 pages. Published by Ballantine Books

Roses for love, asters for patience, honeysuckle for devotion. Victoria Jones is well-versed in the language of flowers and it's a good thing too because it serves as succour for her through a trying childhood. Her passion for the botanical world soon garners attention and fragrant blossoms continue to fill her life with meaning. Proof that when words fail, you can always say it with flowers.
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Animal, Vegetable, Miracle Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver

Nonfiction. Paperback Apr 2008. Also in ebook. 400 pages. Published by Harper Perennial

You'll find much to savor in these chronicles by the popular author who embarks on a mission to grow (and raise) her own food. In the wake of the growing popularity of community-supported agriculture and farmers' markets, this book will provide much food for thought while serving a heaping portion of a delicious sense of humor on the side.
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My Garden My Garden by Jamaica Kincaid

Nonfiction. May 2001. Also in ebook. 229 Pages. Published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux

Avid gardeners will relate to Jamaica Kincaid's obsession of planting only the flowers she likes -- and sometimes can't grow. After all, gardening is about love and memories, and here Kincaid's careful plans for each of her plants reveal deeper connections to her life. From her garden in Vermont to her childhood plot of land in Antigua, this book eloquently captures the infinite pleasures of mud underneath your fingernails.
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The Botany of Desire The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan

Nonfiction. Paperback May 2002. Also in ebook. 304 pages. Published by Random House

There was a time when the price of a single tulip bulb cost as much as a townhouse in Amsterdam. Years later, the obsession turned to marijuana. Pollan, the darling of the foodie world, turns his attentions to plants and the symbiotic relationship they strike with humans to keep themselves green and thriving. Engrossing and illuminating reading for a book club. Which plant is your favorite?
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Lab Girl Lab Girl by Hope Jahren

Nonfiction. Hardcover & ebook Apr 2016. 304 Pages. Published by Knopf

How many of us can really say that we're living out our life's passions? Botanist Hope Jahren certainly can. Encouraged to tinker in her Dad's lab as a young girl, Jahren's enthusiasm for the plant world lead her to travel around the world and find a labmate who speaks to her heart as well as her work.  An eloquent treatise, planted in nature, about following your dreams no matter where they take you.
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