The Martian

By Andy Weir
Star Rating

Rated by Emily D.
Jan 29, 2017

This is a hands-down fabulous book! It’s an adventure. In space. On Mars. What more do you need? But on top of that it’s witty and science-y with a hint of impending doom.

Mark Watney, astronaut-botanist, gets left behind by his crew and must find a way to survive on this uninhabitable planet, alone, until rescue is made possible. The Martian is written in journal form from Watney's perspective. He details all the ways he fixes and rigs the Hub (his home far away from home), finds ways to grow eatable food, and tries to communicate with NASA. But the writing isn't all science jargon, Watney

The Signature of All Things

By Elizabeth Gilbert
Star Rating

Rated by Colleen O.
Oct 23, 2013

In Elizabeth Gilbert’s latest work of fiction, Alma Whittaker is born in 1800 to her parents, Henry and Beatrix, who are themselves interesting characters. Henry grew up poor and very resentful of this fact, although his father did teach him the one thing that changed his life, which was botany. Henry is a self-made man and is now one of the wealthiest men in America. Both he and Beatrix are very unconventional parents.  Scientific in nature, they encourage their daughter to explore their large estate—as long as she is doing something to further her intellect. Like her father, Alma becomes

Apr 6, 2011

This small book of dark and deadly facts from the world of plants is intertwined with literary works involving poisonous botanicals. Not a work of scholarly research, it is light reading for gardeners and crime readers alike. The book mentions common plants living in our houses together with exotic species. The book includes famous historical characters and their encounters and misfortunes with poisonous plants. The mother of Abraham Lincoln had an unfortunate encounter with a household poisonous plant. While desperately low on food, the members of the Lewis and Clark expedition consumed a