Book Review – Harvest: Unexpected Projects Using 47 Extraordinary Garden Plants by Stefani Bittner, Alethea Harampolis.

Harvest

3 out of 5 stars

I would like to thank Ten Speed Press for providing me with a free electronic ARC of this book, via Netgalley, in exchange for an open and honest review.

Wow, what an interesting book! I really wasn’t too sure what to expect from it… but I did indeed love what I got. I was thinking it was going to be a cook book on how to grow, harvest and eat in season… but no. It was that and then some! Cooking, decorating, healthcare, cleaning – all in season and from locally sourced materials. Wonderful.

And, being a Ten Speed Press book it was simply filled with gorgeous images of the materials to use and the things they can be made into. I do love their photographic imagery as it just adds to the glorious indulgence of the books they produce.

But I have to admit, being the open and honest gal that I am, that there was just something that didn’t click with me and ‘Harvest’. I’m not too sure if it was because it was a bit of a book of everything so – to me – gave it more of a coffee table/ waiting room read than a useful book. Or it might have been the fact I am the wrong audience, locationally, for this book. As in, I am in Australia where Ten Speed Press caters to a North American audience. This is totally my fault and something I accept and expect when asking to review their books… But I do love the things they produce and so I find myself drawn again and again to their work.

Both these faults lay with me the reader and not the book. I just didn’t click to it liked I had hoped to, but it is a simply amazing, fact filled, creatively delicious tome. Okay? Blame me, not ‘Harvest’!

Would I recommend this book to others?

Actually, this is a hard one to answer simply due to the feeling of “coffee table book” I got from ‘Harvest’. As in, a book that is displayed on your coffee table and occasionally thumbed through for mild entertainment but not actually a book you would read to use and replicate the recipes and ideas within the pages. BUT! As I have said, this is just my opinion and, seriously, what the heck would I know, right?

Still, I would tell people this feeling of mine but then tell them to go check it out for themselves as my failure to connect with it doesn’t make it a bad book. It makes me a bad choice of audience.

Would I buy this book for myself?

Sadly no. I mean, I can see myself borrowing it from the library again and again when I want help with something in season… if it is covered, might not be due to my location… but I can’t see myself owning it. I mean, I don’t even own a coffee table… I don’t drink coffee! 😉

In summary: a factually and visually stunning book to help you use what grows around you and in season. Just not a book for me.

Until next time,

Janis.

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