If you like palms and live in California, this is must have book. Chamaedorea palms, at least many of them, are made for our climate here- not too hot and not too cold. They are shade loving, easy to grow wonderful additions to the garden, and many make great houseplants. Dr. Hodel is one of the world's premiere experts on palms, and this is his major area of study. The photos are excellent quality, and there is at least one photo of every single species, most from the wild. Good useful information is provided about each species as well... my only criticism are 1) the book was not put together alphabetically so finding your palm requires looking in the index (no big deal, I guess); 2) the photos are not on the same page as the palm being discussed so one has to flip back and forth to compare notes with photos, and 3) it was written nearly 10 years ago, and there are new species now not in there. Oh well. It is and always will be the bible on that genus of palm. Excellent binding and good price, too.