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Seeds: Time Capsules of Life Hardcover – September 12, 2006
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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Seeds, the minute building block of plant life, contain firmaments of otherworldly beauty. Through the marvel of scanning electron photomicroscopy, and in collaboration with two renowned experts, visual artist Kesseler unveils the delicate artistry and vibrant wizardry of these horticultural workhorses in an incandescent blend of exacting science and extraordinary art. Seeds' distinctive shapes and sizes enable them to withstand journeys of thousands of miles and hundreds of years before they complete their task of plant germination. Stuppy energetically relates the story of some 300 million years of evolutionary adaptations that have enabled plants to populate the earth's surface from the Antarctic to the Amazon, while simultaneously drawing attention to the alarming extinction rate of the world's remaining plant species. On a more hopeful note, Stuppy describes the Millennium Seed Bank Project's work collecting and conserving seeds that will ensure the planet's future biodiversity. Carol Haggas
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Like a walk through a mystifying alien universe... astounding images of seed... awe-inspiring beauty. Accompanied by fascinating scientific descriptions. (Jessica Damiano Melville Newsday 2006-12-21)
Magnetic... much in the way of information as well: basic descriptions of plant cycles, the history of botanical science, functions of seeds and pollen, and, also enhancing the artistic angle, the history of illustration of the subjects. Large, glossy, elegant, and a treat. (Kim Long Bloomsbury Review)
Astonishing, possibly even groundbreaking... beautiful almost beyond description. You've never seen botanical photography quite like this. (Linda L. Richards January Magazine)
In Kesseler's stunning photographs,... the ingenious mechanisms of dispersal stand exposed as evolutionary wizardry.... Forget anything you may have thought about the carefully segregated protocols of science and art. (Peter Friederici Audubon)
A guide to seeds the likes of which you've never seen before... expose[s], in astonishingly exquisite detail, the beauty and sophistication of seeds. (Mike Gillespie Ottawa Citizen 2007-01-27)
The book contains a huge amount of technical information about seeds and plant anatomy. However, the glorious color format makes it pleasant to dip into again and again, as your botanical knowledge grows. (Clear Englebert West Hawaii Today)
Alexandra Papadakis edits this stunning natural history of seeds, which uses an oversized format/presentation to display close-up photos and electron microscopy images of seed evolution. The Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew are involved in this reference's publication, which obtains some astonishing images and focuses on the diversity, design and function of seeds the world over. (Bookwatch 2007-05-01)
Stunning ... astonishing images. (Diane C. Donovan The Midwest Book Review)
Breathtaking... a great combination of beautiful photographs and well-written text that packs in a lot of detail and will be interesting to both the novice and the experienced biologist... a beautiful, well-written, easy-to-follow book. (Carole Saravitz Science Books and Films)
[reviewed with Pollen] These are the most ravishing biology lessons we've ever seen, with spectacular photos that will make you rethink your plants and text that makes [the books] worth keeping.... An enlightening gift or a personal indulgence. (Beth Botts Chicago Tribune 2007-03-11)
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I can't really comment on the text, I don't know enough about the subject. I only know that I read the book and was facinated by the more scientific information. But I can say that I never tire of looking at the pictures. They are simply beautiful. When I want inspiration for building a new clay form, when I am looking for a color theme for painting or crocheting or glazing, I find it in the photographs in Seeds. The quality of the photography is excellent and the selection of seeds chosen for the book is varied enough that each picture illustrates something new.
This is not a book that once read, has nothing more to offer. I would recommend Seeds:Time Capsules of Life even to those who only wanted to look at the photographs and be inspired by the design and color revealed inside.