This book could also be called the Squash Bible. If you want to know something about pumpkins and squash there is not a better, more comprehensive source. History and origins, size and shape (in color!), plant habit, and culinary quality and uses (if any) - this is the place to go.
Sadly, this book is not found as widely as it ought to be, be it because of cost, inadequate or uninspired marketing or just what. It should be in EVERY library worthy of the name, there should be no less than one in EVERY county Extension office that is in an area where cucurbits are grown in any abundance (especially as a resource to the Master Gardeners), and there should be *at least* one copy in ANY farm market that has a passion for pumpkins (and if they are smart they should have several for sale, as well). Sadly, such is NOT the case, and we all suffer from rampant misinformation because of this unnecessary lack of access to accurate knowledge about this fascinating and beautiful "fruit."
Or perhaps it actually succeeds in being both. In a large and growing personal garden library, this is one of my favorite books. I turn to it again and again. First of all, the photographs are just amazing, managing to combine exquisite beauty with accurate representation of each particular squash. And how very unique many of the squashes do appear to be! However it is in the text that Amy Goldman's book really shines. The information is presented in a clear, easy-to-access format, yet the language is beguiling. I defy any gardener and food lover to read this book and not instantly want to track down half a dozen heirloom varieties to grow. They will be able to do just that, because the author lists see sources for all the varieties she includes.
It has a goodly amount of reference material, about many members of the squash family. The size and pictures also puts it into a coffeetable class book if you wish to display it that way. Was a little pricey but I love the book, feel it was worth the investment.
I love this book. If you are a fan of pumpkins, squash and gourds then this is a must. Text is informative though a bit preach and opinionated at times. I prefer to just read about nature and science without any agendas. For this I give it 4 instead of 5 starts. I would do 4.5 if I could. The classification of pumpkins was one of my favorite sections. But for the photos themselves and to ID what types of pumpkins and squash you might have it is very helpful.
Have only tried growing pumpkins (this year was my first time) and the experiment was so successful I want to try some that Amy describes in her book. Having bought her book Heirloom Tomato and read every page, I just had to buy the others.
This is a great book beautifully illustrated loads of information on those pictured, but not an Complete encyclopedia there are to many pumpkin varieties missing - like over 100 or more. But still it is my most valuable Pumpkin book.
This book absolutely opened my eyes to a new world of varities of pumpkins and squashes. I will never look at the garden limitations again for my spring/summer plantings. As a agribusiness major, this lady, with her writing, descriptions and pics.....brought a whole new meaning to fall harvest and halloween celebration for me and my grandchildren. I became a cucurbitacean instantly when I saw and read this book. Thanks Amy Goldman for a well-rounded job and well done, I might add.
At this time, this is the most comprehensive volume on the Cucurbita genus. A good personal narrative, coupled with sublime photography. My only quibbles are that none of the images show cut open fruit, to give a view of the flesh and cavity. Secondly, that quite a number of internationally known cultivars are not mentioned. Nevertheless, an absolute "must have" for pumpkin and squash devotee.