paper, 146 p., $18
Being somewhat skeptical in nature, I approached this book with reservations. Any book with the titleGardening with Soul promises a great deal. And the subtitle Healing the Earth and Ourselves with Feng Shui and Environmental Awareness promises even more.
Frankly, I'm not sure that this book lives up to that promise. Certainly, there is a lot of good information in it, but much of it is fairly inconsequential, not the sort of thing the title led me to expect. And the material is organized in such a loose and haphazard way that anything of substance is lost in the welter of recipes, lists, how-to's, quotes and personal observations of the author. For example, I was interested in feng shui; as it was mentioned in the title, I expected it to be given a prominent place in the text. Not so. It is buried in the middle of the book and, considering its presumed importance, gets relatively little attention.
There are plenty of gardening books that tell you how to build a compost heap or create a butterfly garden. Somehow, I don't see these subjects under the heading of "Gardening with Soul." But that is the problem with this book, since it seems to be a catchall for a raft of garden subjects, for which the "soulful" connection is tenuous at best. What this book needs, in my opinion, is a focus on something serious enough to justify its title (and it's not "how to build a compost heap").
I approached this book uncertain as to the meaning of "Gardening with Soul." I left it more confused then ever.
— Jim Kemper