Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Wicked Plants: The Weed That Killed Lincoln's Mother and Other Botanical Atrocities

By Amy Stewart

I know I'm not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but this book is just so pretty. And it doesn't end with the cover. The pages inside? Swoon. This book best resembles an old notebook kept by your talented artist/botanist/genius great-aunt. The pages have that faded, brown-edged look of an old book. (I know it's fake, but still.) The book is heavily illustrated; the etchings of each plant are just gorgeous.
The illustrations are a little, well, eccentric. They're by an artist that once worked for Tim Burton, so that should give you an idea. But I love the way this book looks.

The subject matter is engaging, to a point. About midway through the book, I felt like the book got a little repetitive as plant after plant induced nausea, heart failure and rashes. But it's an interesting read nonetheless, and if you forge on, the plants get a little more creative in their attempts to kill us all (impaling, exploding, devouring small creatures, etc.). I do have a residual feeling that maybe nature wants me dead, but I suppose I'll get over it. And the contents are divided into snippets, perfect for the busy mom that only has a few minutes at a time to read between (hopefully non plant-related) catastrophes.

Appearance: 5 stars.
Contents: 3 stars.