Read itApr/May 2009 Issue

Living Without Books: Brain Food

Do you hunger for scientific explanation? Eat up conspiracy theories? Then The Fruit Hunters, a Story of Nature, Adventure, Commerce and Obsession (Scribner) by Adam Leith Gollner is your kind of book. Discover rare fruit (peanut butter fruit, gingerbread plums, clove lilly pilly, miracle fruit). Learn about the worldwide threat to bananas. Find out why a 16th century explorer was certain he'd sailed to paradise. Puzzle the politics of true “natural sweeteners” never brought to market. Marvel over delicious soccer ball-size fruit “taste tested” by flying foxes in Borneo. Perhaps some of the science is soft but this smörgåsbord of history, travel, lab science, ecology, economics and biology—all about fruit—is a darn good read sure to nourish your mental palate. (Rated R for adult language and imagery.)

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