** The Triumph Of Seeds by Thor Hanson


Written by a scientist in a light, storytelling mood, The Triumph of Seeds: How Grains, Nuts, Kernels, Pulses, and Pips Conquered the Plant Kingdom and Shaped Human History talks about all kinds of seeds, from cotton (to explain dispersion by sea) to castor beans (killers of spies), to nuts (predictors of large teeth, when hard), wheat (to illustrate that building dams may be  motivated by the need to move grain)

The author’s adventures with fossil hunters are hilarious, but he takes advantage of them to remind us that spore plants may dominate the fossil record, but did not necessarily dominate the world. They just preserved better. There’s always some science under the stories.

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