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Principles of Horticulture (6th edition)
on 17 December 2011
This is the first book review I have written for Amazon, but I regret to say that this is the shoddiest textbook I have ever read (not to mention over-priced)! I did my A-levels 40-odd years ago, and the school provided much better textbooks than this (they were hard-bound, for a start). Frankly, this book should be pitched at Level 3.
First, the book needs a full Table of Contents (not just chapter headings) while the lack of a Glossary is inexcusable (sheer negligence). The chapters on plant biology (3 - 10) are vague and confusing. [The authors should read Botany for Gardeners (Timber Press, 2010).] The bibliographies at the end of each chapter should be replaced by references corresponding to the text, with a full Bibliography at the end of the book. Many of the tables are poorly arranged, with obvious typographical errors. Most of the poor-quality photos, wide margins and numerous blank pages are a criminal waste of paper. There should be an Appendix devoted to elementary chemistry (atoms, ions, valency, pH etc) and other appendices containing tabulated data (plant families). The entire book should be edited and completely re-designed, and deserves a better standard of production (instead of thin paper, poor-quality printing and flimsy covers). Finally, the sordid matter of price - if this book cost £15, I would call it mediocre, but £25 is a bare-faced rip-off! I hope the authors start work immediately on the 7th edition, and do their job properly.