Botany

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The Seed Collectors by Scarlett Thomas: Bursting with ideas

The Seed Collectors is Scarlett Thomas’s first novel for quite some time. Her idiosyncratic books, several of which flirt with science fiction, seem to attract a passionate following. I’d read only two before this one: The End of Mr Y, about a PhD student’s encounter with a rare edition of a nineteenth-century writer’s book, wandered …

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The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert: Not one unnecessary page

There’s been a lot of talk about long books over the past ten days: the Man Booker-winning The Luminaries weighs in at 832 pages and Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch, for which many of us have been waiting for a decade, stretches to 784 pages. My heart always sinks a little when a big book comes …

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