Friday, May 27, 2016

The Cabaret of Plants by Richard Mabey

    • The Cabaret of Plants: Forty Thousand Years of Plant Life and the Human Imagination by Richard Mabey
    • Published January 11, 2016
    • Other books by the author include: Food for Free, The Unofficial Countryside, and Weeds: How Vagabond Plants Gatecrashed Civilisation and Changed the Way We Think About Nature.

    • Plants and trees are central to human existence and the author covers specific types of them over the course of the book.
    • Each chapter covers a different type of plant life: baobabs, yew trees, old trees, cotton (he calls it the "vegetable lamb" but do they actually shear lambs? Shouldn't that be "vegetable sheep"? Am I overthinking this?!) and many more.
    • I didn't love it and found most of it kinda boring but the section on ancient cave art was fascinating. Since that was at the beginning I kept reading in the hope of more chapters like that one. Alas, no.
    • Usually when I read a micro-history I can recite pointless facts ad nauseum afterwards but not this time. I have remained unscathed by new knowledge.
    • The author does have a lovely writing style but this book was not ultimately for me.


  1. By the time that it gets to the table, the lamb has definitely been sheared.

  2. "I didn't love it and found most of it kinda boring" was not a surprise ending to this post. Good lord.

    Hey, I mailed you something this week - I loved it and I hope you do too!