Every Book by Michael Pollan

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While best known for breakthrough "The Omnivore's Dilemma," Michael Pollan has a small handful of other books — all excellent. In my opinion, part of what makes his material so accessible is his background as a journalist — journalists usually write excellent books.


In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto (2008)

by Michael Pollan

This book is an excellent companion to The Omnivore's Dilemma, but also stands very well on its own. It's very brief (about 250 pages) and very important (it helps you decide how to eat healthily — what's more important than that?). In sum, Pollan offers a simple set of rules to help you choose the foods your body evolved to eat. I'm not crazy strict about my diet in any way, but what he wrote opened my eyes and caused me to make changes to my diet that were small and easy... but still extremely important. Do yourself a favor — read this book.


The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (2006)

by Michael Pollan

I very occasionally come across a book I enjoy so much, that I buy copies for friends and more or less force them to read it. This is one of those books. The book is pretty straightforward. Pollan follows 4 kinds of meals from planting (or birth), through harvest (or slaughter), and onto the table. The 4 kinds are: Fast Food (a McDonald's Happy Meal), "Industrial" Organic (the organic food you see at major supermarkets), "Beyond Organic" (the food you see at health food stores and farmer's markets) and "Hunter/Gatherer" (Yep, he gathers mushrooms, picks cherries, and hunts a wild boar). The book's not preachy (he saves that for In Defense of Food), it's not especially gross (that was covered by Schlosser's Fast Food Nation), and it's very, very important. Read it.


A Place of My Own: The Education of an Amateur Builder (1997)

by Michael Pollan

A nice little book in which Pollan documents his hands-on building of a small one-room structure on his property to write, read and daydream. In typical Pollan fashion, the book isn't just about building and architecture, but disparate topics such as the taking on of daunting tasks and the origin of mid-life crises.


Second Nature: A Gardener's Education (1991)

by Michael Pollan

This might have been the first Pollan book I read. It's similar to A Place of My Own in that Pollan takes you along as he educates himself in a physical task — in this case, the restoration of an extensive garden at his home in rural Connecticut. All in all, if you enjoy the outdoors or any kind of physical labor, you'll find it a nice read