Thumbs up for Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach. Science.
Mary Roach is one of the few authors – hmm, possibly one of two or three in the universe – whose books I want to read the moment they come out: yea, even unto ordering them new (gasp!). Her previous books have covered a variety of topics including cadavers, ghosts, sex, and space travel, all with informative and hilarious results. Her new book, Gulp, on the physiology of eating and digestion, does not disappoint. How can you not adore a book that has chapters named “Bolus of Cherries: Life at the oral processing lab” and “The Ick Factor: We can cure you, but there’s just one thing” (about fecal transplant therapy)? Well, maybe you can, but I can’t.
You will occasionally not believe me, but my aim is not to disgust. I have tried, in my way, to exercise restraint. I am aware of the website www.poopreport.com, but I did not visit. When I stumbled on the paper “Fecal Odor of Sick Hedgehogs Mediates Olfactory Attraction of the Tick” in the references of another paper, I resisted the urge to order a copy. I don’t want you to say, “This is gross.” I want you to say, “I thought this would be gross, but it’s really interesting.” Okay, and maybe a little gross.
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