Reading List: Winter 2012 (#2)

Snowstorms are conducive to being tucked in lots of blankets on the couch, fire blazing, tea in hand with a book (or 2 or 3). So I’ve assembled for you a list of books I’ve enjoyed that you may find delight in. (And one thing: if you click on the links to the books, it’ll take you to Amazon, but I’d like to recommend that you check your local and/or used book seller first.)

The Lost Language of Plants: The Ecological Importance of Plant Medicines to Life on Earth by Stephen Harrod Buhner

51c2oH9DQUL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Buhner’s a great writer, and I’ve really been inspired about how he’s incorporated systemic thinking and complexity theory into human-plant relationships. In this book, he describes a variety of aspects of the flora kingdom’s role in the greater planetary picture–from biophilia to the ecological impacts of industrial medicine. Thought-provoking and beautiful.



The Genius Within: Discovering the Intelligence of Every Living Thing by Frank Vertosick

416Y9XAK4PL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_I just started reading this. I think how we characterize intelligence is a crucial issue, and informs how we order and classify life forms and determines how we treat other living things. So maybe how we define and frame intelligence deserves more consideration. Plant folks, you’ll love this!



Why We Get Sick: The New Science of Darwinian Medicine by Randolph Nesse & George Williams

51EN+YH6z8LFor practitioners and folks working in the medical field, if you are eager to geek out on some pathology theory, grab a copy of this book. It’s a great summary of a new perspective slowly making its way into medical thought: evolutionary medicine. Evolutionary medicine is simply applying an evolutionary trajectory to pathogenesis and considering human origins and development when considering disease origins and treatments.



Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature by Janine Benyus

Biomimicry_bk_cvr_loresFor the readers that are coming from the design field, you already know this one. Janine Benyus and the Biomimicry Institute have done a lot to transform our thinking and design processes by drawing inspiration from natural processes. This has big implications and opens up many opportunities to create products, organizations and systems that are more natural.

About Author

Renée A. Davis MA RH is a designer and educator in botanical and mycological medicine. Her training began at the Pratt Institute of Art and Design in New York City and concluded in biomedical sciences at the University of Washington. She currently directs research and development for a nutraceutical mushroom company in the Pacific Northwest.


  • Nellie
    January 19, 2012 at 1:58 am

    The Lost Language of plants is a wonderful book! It truly changed the way I see the world.
    I hope you get as much from it as I did.
    There’s a few other books on your list that I’ll be jotting down onto my ‘to read’ list as well 🙂

    • Renée A.D.
      January 19, 2012 at 9:18 am

      I really love that book too. In fact, I’m revisiting it and rereading some parts after I made the list yesterday. Here’s to being stuck inside!

  • Rachel
    January 19, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    Along the lines of A Natural History of the Senses, which I can’t wait to start reading, is The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World by David Abram. Just send me some snow so I can stay in bed!

    • Renée A.D.
      January 24, 2012 at 10:30 am

      Hey Rachel! Oh yes, I remember our days sipping tea, lounging on large pillows and skimming books.
      …snow machine?


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