Scott T. Meissner
Division of Science and Mathematics
701 College Road, McKendree College
Lebanon, IL 62254
e-mail: smeissne at atlas.mckendree.edu
On 20 Feb 1998, Mark Hammer wrote:
>> I was wondering if any of you have a suggestion as to a general
> interest book related to plants or plant science that might be
> appropriate for a sophomore-level Botany course.
Here is a list of fun books off of my shelf, you might find parts
of them useful for background reading:
"Fantastic Trees" by Edwin A. Menninger
Timber Press, isbn: 0-88192-324-9
A bit dated, but still fun. Has many
stories about wierd trees.
"The diversity of life" by E.O. Wilson
Belknap Press, isbn: 0-674-21298-3
"Tales of a Shaman's apprentice." by Mark J. Plotkin
Viking Press, isbn: 0-670-83137-9
A very readible account of what ethnobotany
is all about.
"What is life?" by L. Margulis and D. Sagan
Simon & Schuster, isbn: 0-684-81326-2
Very well illustrated. A fun overview of
"The private life of plants" by David Attenborough
Princeton University Press, isbn: 0-691-00639-3
The companion book to the videos. I use
the videos in my class for background. The
book also can serve this purpose.
"The action plant" by Paul Simons
Blackwell Press, isbn: 0-631-13899-4
A few of the chapter and section titles give the flavor
of this book:
"The sensitive world of nervous plants"
"Hunting and killing"
This book has an excellant set of citations from
the research literature as well as great appendices
in which experiments are described, sources of seeds
for touch sensitive plants listed, and information
on how to grow them. The best resource for
student projects that I have ever found.
"Economic botany: Plants in our world" by B.B. Simpson
and M.C. Ogorzally
McGraw-Hill Inc., isbn: 0-07-057443-X
This is a textbook, but it has such a wonderful
history of the uses of plants that I use it to
supply me with stories to seed into my lectures.
Several of my students have read parts of it and
found it to be very interesting.
"A natural history of trees of eastern and central North America"
by D.C. Peattie
Houghton Mifflin Co., isbn: 0-395-58174-5
A fun set of essays on uses and characteristics of
trees, there is another volume for western trees.
I would also suggest the use of reviews. There are many that
are at an appropriate level. For example there was an article in
Scientific American called "The loves of plants". I have a set of
such articles on reserve and discuss them as related topics come up
in lecture. I have never required them as reading, but I do require
that students read on article and present a summary of the article and
these are possible ones for their use.