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My Favorite Planty Books of 2020 So Far - Bloom & Grow Radio

My Favorite Planty Books of 2020 So Far

top planty books, must read plant inspired books

My Favorite Plant Inspired Books I’ve Read This Year

 

Looking for some good planty reads? I’ve got you covered with my list of plant or botanically inspired books today that I’ve read in 2020.  Plant Friends-  I’ve read some really transformative books this year that have made a huge impact on me, for a variety of reasons, and I wanted to share them with you incase you are looking for any good book recommendations. This blog has 8 books that I’ve loved, each book is a different genre and writing style and means something different to me- so I figured that in this wide array, there is likely a book for everyone to enjoy! I hope one of these books peaks your interest and helps you get off your screens and into the pages of a real, live book. I recently created a planty reading nook that I’m in love with and have been enjoying quiet screen free moments, with a book or my journal. For me… it’s gotta be an IRL book OR an audio book, I’ve  tried e-readers and for me, there is just nothing like sitting down with a real book and turning pages (or listening to one to pass the time while driving).

If you’re interested in checking out any of these books, I have affiliate links to these books for you!

*Affiliate links means Bloom and Grow gets a portion of the sale at no extra cost to you. It’s a wonderful way to support Bloom and Grow WHILE supporting your book collection! I’ve recently partnered with bookstore.com, a website created to support local bookstores while letting us shop for books online. Check that site out and support through those links if you can!*

Here is the link to my Bookstore.com storefront

Here is the link to my amazon book storefront

 

I’m so excited to share this first book with you because it’s hands down my top 5 favorite books I’ve EVER read. Let’s get reviewing…

The Overstory by Richard Powers

Buy the book via my Bookstore.com affiliate here

Buy the book via my amazon affiliate here 

This is hands down one of my most favorite books I’ve ever read. The Overstory had been recommended to me since it came out, but this year, the book was referred to me 3 times by 3 different people within one or two weeks so I took it as a sign to finally sit down and read. I did NOT anticipate falling in love with it the way I did, because I’m not a fan of fiction but boy oh boy was I SUCKED into this story, or series of intertwined stories.

Richard Powers writes in the most enticing way. The structure of the book was so surprising. When I think about reading his writing, the only word that I ever come up with that feels remotely true to the experience of reading this book is: “Delicious”. His writing is truly delicious and he clearly did SO MUCH RESEARCH before sitting down to write this book. He weaves botany, and science into this work of fiction like I’ve never seen before. It is beyond delightful to read and as a plant parent, I felt a special connection to plants and the way he wrote about trees. I literally will  never look at trees the same way after reading this book. The way he wraps nature in romance is just… amazing.

This book is LONG. I recommend reading one chapter a day. I read one every morning as part of my morning routine as I was making my way through it. As the book progresses the chapters get shorter and I found myself unable to put the book down. But for the first half of the book as Powers is establishing the characters I suggest reading a minimum of a chapter at a time. Towards the end of the book, I was so enraptured with the storylines of the main characters, I would literally lay in bed at night with my phone flashlight on reading because I COULD NOT put the book down (Billy was NOT thrilled). If you love plants and specifically trees- you will love this book. If you are an activist, you’ll love this book. If you love humanity… you’ll love this book. I can’t say enough about it- so I’ll stop. But if you’re looking for a delicious, delightful fictional planty read… look no further.

 

Catalogue of Unabashed Gratitude by Ross Gay

Buy the book via my Bookstore.com affiliate here

Buy the book via my amazon affiliate here 

I found Ross Gay and his works of poetry during the Black Lives Matter Movement was peaking and his poem “A Small Needful Fact” about Eric Garner was circulating. The poem took my breath away and I featured it in our recent episode “Growing Together”. As I researched Ross Gay. I fell even more in love with him when I discovered his pen pal relationship with fellow gardener/poet  Aimee Nezhukunatathil. When decided on which book of poems of his to start with, I was immediately drawn to Catalogue of Unabashed Gratitude… because that title is just amazing! The entire catalogue of poetry did not disappoint. I decided to read a poem a day and would say this little rhyme to myself and giggle:

“A poem a day by Ross Gay keeps the anxiety away”

I have never ordered a book of poetry before or read poetry for fun, but MAN was this a beautiful experience. Gay writes with such tenderness, such wisdom and has you eating out of the palm of his “pen” with every line. He can change your emotions on a dime, brought smiles to my face some mornings, and heartache and tears others. He is a gardener and the way he weaves nature imagery throughout his poetry is so beautiful and makes me feel connected to him and his words on an even deeper level. He can turn buttoning a shirt, the smell of an armpit or a mulberry tree into the most whimsical or intense moment. The title poem will make you think and have tears of boy joy and sorrow on different lines. I’ve straight up fallen in love with this poet and cant wait to consume more of his writing. Thank you, Ross Gay, for making me into someone who enjoys reading poetry!

 

the nauture fix, plant people connection, plant related book, horticultural therapy

The Nature Fix by Florence Williams

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Buy book via my amazon affiliate here 

I’ve been very curious about the restorative quality of nature these days. This book was recommended to me by a Horticultural Therapist who was teaching an Intro to Horitcultural Therapy Class I recently took and I am SO thankful to her for this suggestion and am delighted to now suggested it to you. You’ll hear more about this curiosity about plants as restorative tools from me in the future, but the way our generation and society, myself included, is addicted to screens really scares me.

Plants for me have always been that way to disconnect from a screen and reconnect with myself but I’m getting more and more curious about the science behind the why.

This book was literally the answer to my prayers. Florence Williams (my new idol) catalogues a two year journey to understand the human connection with plants and the book is just everything you want it to be. So jam packed of information and science but also heartfelt storytelling of Florence’s own experiences with Nature. The thing that resonated the most with me was not her research around plants, but sound. I’ll let you read the book to learn more.

 

nature based coloring book, plant coloring book

A Girl & Her Plants: An Adult Coloring Book by Aisha Richardson

Buy on the Love & Paper Website

This was a quarantine baby project launched by one of my very first plant friends Aisha who runs  stationary and pin company Love & Paper NY. It’s been so fun to watch Aisha go from making planty pins and greeting cards to this full company blown company of plant inspired designs! This coloring book she created has gorgeous illustrations of different women she knows with their plants, adorable care guides and just brings a smile to your face. It’s a great excuse to get off your screens and into some creativity!

 

forest bathing, nature therapy

Forest Bathing: How Trees Can Help You Find Health and Happiness by Dr Qing Li

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Buy book via my amazon affiliate here 

I got this in the beginning of the pandemic when I was quarantined in NYC and really craving more of a connection with nature. Forest Bathing is a Japanese practice called Shinrin Yoku that is viewed as a doctor approved therapy in Japan. There are forest therapy bases in Japanese forests that are run by the government and it’s a widely practiced hobby in Japan. I had never heard of it before and was super curious to learn more and see if there were ways to incorporate the practices even in my little apartment in NYC. I am 100% sold on Forest Bathing after reading this book and have been practicing lessons I’ve learned from in over the last several months. I started going on routine walks on a local nature trail after I left NYC and it’s been transformative. The scientist who wrote the book, Dr Li also breaks down his  experiments and studies he’s conducted that prove that spending time in the forest literally drops your blood pressure, stress and can increase stuff in your body that helps you fight cancer.

 

farming while black

Farming While Black by Leah Penniman

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Buy book via my amazon affiliate here 

This book has been really eye opening for me when examining my privilege and learning about he Black Experience in developing and cultivating land. The intro where the author refers to government labeled food deserts as a “food apartheid” really knocks a new perspective into this systemic issue in our country. Although the book is geared towards farmers and is an amazing instructional tool, I still recommend it to anyone looking to learn more. There is so much opportunity to learn even if you aren’t a farmer- from just reading the first introductory chapter to following the Uplift sections of the book which are mini history lessons on different cultural and society traditions and experiences in farming.

 

houseplants for all, plant styling, plant care

Houseplants for All by Danae Horst from Folia Collective

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Buy book via my amazon affiliate here 

This was written by my very dear friend and a favorite guest of the Bloom and Grow Radio Podcast- Danae, Founder of Folia Collective! This is Danae’s first book and I’m so proud of her and impressed with all aspects of the book: from content, to layout, to the creativity behind it. This is not a traditional plant care book. It’s more a book on styling and picking plants based on “environment profiles” that break down the right plants for different types of homes (similar to how the Bloom and Grow Plant Parent Personality Test pairs plants with your personality!) This book is super giftable! It’s easy to read, laid our really beautifully and that perfect coffee table book size. Congrats Danae!

 

family guide to terrariums, plant care

A Family Guide to Terrariums by Patricia Buzo

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Buy book via my amazon affiliate here 

I got this book when I was researching for a recent episode I did on BAGR called “Indoor Plant Projects for Kids“. I was BLOWN away by not only how FUN the ideas are, but how science based and educational it is! This book is a no brainer for anyone trying to get kids more involved in nature (indoors) and/or learn about science! It breaks down 15 different styles of terrariums to do with kids but it also is super educational! I even learned a bit about the Water Cycle while reading the watering section.  There are super thought out breakdowns of the science aspect of plant care practices, like when she talks about how to water a terrarium, she also breaks down the water cycle. It’s a super easy, education read and fun way to get kids off screens. For the holidays, I could totally see getting a kiddo in your life this book paired with the materials for one of these projects!

I hope one of thee books peaks your interest! If you are interested in picking up any of the books, consider using my affiliate links listed below the titles in this blog. Affiliate links allow for a portion of the sale to go to supporting bloom and grow a no cost to you, so thanks in advance!

If you’re interested in checking out any of these books, I have affiliate links to these books for you!

Here is the link to my Bookstore.com storefront

Here is the link to my amazon book storefront

If you are interested in a video of my personal reviews of this book, check out the youtube video I made on my reviews!

 

I hope you can get off your screens and into one of these wonderful books. I truly mean it when I say Overstory was one of the biggest delights of 2020 for me. It’s a commitment but it’s amazing. Let me know what books you choose, or what other books you might recommend to me on my IG post! 

crazy plant lady, book recommendation, girl reading book, planty book

Until next time, keep blooming and keep growing,

Maria

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