Sunday, May 4, 2008

Book Review - Backyard Giants

I just finished reading Backyard Giants: The Passionate, Heartbreaking, and Glorious Quest to Grow the Biggest Pumpkin Ever. It is a quirky subject, but very well written by Susan Warren (who is also the deputy bureau chief for Wall Street Journal in Dallas).

The book followers a group of growers in Rhode Island in their pursuit to grow enormous pumpkins to win pumpkin growing contests, to break the world record and to reach the 1500 pound benchmark.

[They] belong to a special breed of gardeners that compete to grow the largest flowers, fruits and vegetables they possibly can. At the end of every season, special events are held where the botanical marvels are weighed and measured and prizes handed out. Thus, the world has been gifted with its first 269-pound watermelon, a 124-pound cabbage, a 24-pound tomato and a carrot nearly 17 feet long. It is pumpkins, thought, that have taken center stage. No other vegetable or fruit grows that big, that fast.
This was a great story and was very enjoyable to read. Yes, it is on a quirky topic. But the story of hard work and sacrifice is as true for these competitors as it is for any others.

Next on my list is The Toothpick: Technology and Culture by Henry Petroski. Here is the New York Times Book Review that caught my attention to the book: Consider the Toothpick.

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