(Once in a while, I take a new book with me to lunch and give it a half an hour or so to grab my attention. Lunch Date is my judgment on that speed-dating experience.)

Who's your date today? A special 30th anniversary edition of John Fowles' essay The Tree.

Where'd you go? Homegrown Sustainable Sandwich Shop in the Melrose Market.

What'd you eat? Turkey, Bacon & Avocado sandwich ($9.95), with a side of house-made potato chips ($1.)

How was the food? It was really, really good. The thing about most sandwiches is that there's nowhere for bad ingredients to hide: If one element is off, the whole thing is a disappointment. This was an awesome sandwich: Big, messy, and delicious. Combined with a huge handful of house-made chips (most of which were crisp, a few of which were a little bit soggy from the oil), this would have made a perfect lunch for two.

What does your date say about itself? "The classic meditation on creativity and the natural world," by the author of The Magus and The Collector.

Is there a representative quote? "Achieving a relationship with nature is both a science and an art, beyond mere knowledge or mere feeling alone; and I now think beyond oriental mysticism, transcendentalism, 'meditation techniques' and the rest—or at least as we in the West have converted them to our use, which seems increasingly in a narcissistic way: to make ourselves feel more positive, more meaningful, more dynamic."

Will you two end up in bed together? Well, no, because after lunch I finished the book. (It's only 91 pages long, and the print is huge.) It's a great book—part essay, part memoir, part nature writing—and it's the perfect little thing to roll up in your pocket and take with you for a lunch in the park. It's like having a laid-back, wide-ranging conversation with one of the greatest novelists of the 20th century.