Tom MacWright

I read Oranges by John McPhee on


Oranges is John McPhee’s first book in his signature style. I’ve read some of his later works - The Control of Nature, which I adore, Pine Barrens, and Levels of the Game (I read all of them before moving by book reviews to this website, so they aren’t properly written up).

It’s a lovely book and a fun read, and is satisfying to read as a John McPhee completionist with many books left to go. That said, if you’re starting with McPhee, I think that Control of Nature is the best place: it has more structure and seems more developed. Oranges has a lot of facts about oranges, and a bit of cross-over with the history of Florida, the farming industry, but it’s a little more jumbled.

All of the orange production in this book is for frozen concentrate production, which I thought had decreased since the 60s. My impression was that most orange juice I drank or saw in stores was marked as always fresh, never from concentrate. But I can’t actually back this anecdata up with data - it seems like the vast majority of Florida orange juice is still frozen and concentrated.


  • Oranges by
  • ISBN: 0374512973
  • OCLC: 46795242
  • Look up with:
  • Published:
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux