The Signature of All Things

Book Review

Off Topic


Review: Eat, Pray, Read: The Signature of All Things is a zoetic novel with the salty taste of tomorrow morning.

A fictitious tale set in Victorian times about a woman who entered the male-dominated scientific community via Botany. This moss-based novel, set in London, America, Tahiti and the Netherlands was a delight to read but I am wondering if Elizabeth Gilbert is committed to sequelizing this one as the climax ties up every loose end in the 512 pages.

Perfumistas will be enthralled at the tales of rare plant collection and international plant smuggling – an interesting comparison to our times where perfume smuggling is on the rise albeit for different reasons; postal restrictions. Reading this book was like trailing through a diamond field of phosphorescence from the Victorian era to the very different light that the world basks in today. Or is it the same light made more radiant thanks to women like the main character Alma Whittaker?

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Further Reading
New York Times – review by Barbara Kingsolver

Elizabeth Gilbert in Sydney
Earlier this year Elizabeth was in Sydney, Australia. She wrote about her visit in 3 one word sentences that expressed her delight and the excitement of many other visitors with succinct eloquence.

Video from the Sydney Opera House interview

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Links to book lists from the following Perfume Personalities:
Bloody Frida’s Good Reads
All I Am A Redhead’s Good Reads
The Fragrant Man’s Good Reads
The Husband of The Non-Blonde, Ori Fishler’s Good Reads
Author of Scent & Subversion, Barbara Herman’s Good Reads
Author of the Perfume Thriller Aphrodesia, John Oehler’s Good Reads

Bonkers about Books?
The next two lists are from Vanessa of Bonkers about Perfume
Top Ever
E M Forster – A Passage to India
John Fowles – The Magus

Recent Discoveries
Jane Shilling – The Stranger in the Mirror
Donna Tartt – The Secret History
Kevin Myer – Watching The Door
Joan Didion – The Year of Magical Thinking
Roger Musson – The Million Death Quake (not just because he’s my brother, it’s fantastic!)
Anita Shreve – The Last Time They Met
Jane Hamilton – A Map of The World
Barbara Trapido – Juggling

7 responses to “The Signature of All Things

    • Good spotting Azar. Are you on Good Reads yourself?

      The Eight by Katherine Neville is a great read from 1990.

      If you like big dense books then go for the Man-Booker 2013 winner, The Luminaries by Kiwi gal Eleanor Catton which will take you armchair traveling to the gold rush in New Zealand. Kiwis have managed to convince the rest of the world that the gold rush is over but there is still “gold in them thar hills” as evidenced by the streams flecked with gold. If you are Down Under then bring a gold pan for panning.

  1. I remember reading The Eight. The Luminaries sounds really interesting and I think I will give it a try, along with The Signature of All things. By the way, I really appreciate your review of Scent and Subversion. I bought the book and it is a great resource and a fun read too.

    I haven’t posted a list on Good Reads but I do get their e-mails.

  2. Pingback: Holiday Reading – Book List 1 of 2 | The Fragrant Man·

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