Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants (Minneapolis: Milkweed Editions) 2013.
I think that as a professor of botany at a major university, Robin Wall Kimmerer is a unique sort of teacher. She dares to ask some very serious questions of plants and then is willing to do what it takes to listen for the answers. Her amazing combination of technical science with a wealth of indigenous story and wisdom gives a deep insight to the world around us.
This is the second book by Kimmerer that I have read and it definitely does not disappoint. It is worth reading just for the insights it gives into indigenous North American life and culture. It is, however, so much more. It represents a very unique way of using scientific technique to search for truths that are deep and often hidden from casual observers. Kimmerer is a great teacher of a more significant way of observation that allows those who are patient to discover much more than one might expect.
Add to all of that the simple fact that she is an excellent storyteller and a very good writer and the result is yet another book that I could barely put down. This is a significant work of Indigenous culture. It is a significant scientific text. It is also simply a fine piece of literature. I don't know how she does it, but I am grateful that she does!