Monday, June 24, 2013

Treasure Island, Roach Book Reviews

Reading continues apace; I just finished Treasure Island and have been on a Mary Roach bender for a few weeks.  Let’s discuss, shall we?


I read Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson primarily because I thought I might like to someday read it to my boys.  And, indeed, I do.  It was an easy read, except for the old English language that cropped up every once in awhile.  If you’re looking to tackle the classics and be able to say you’ve read one of those books that everyone is “supposed” to read, well, this is a great place to start.  It’s adventure!  It’s pirates!  It’s plucky-young-boy-saves-the-day!  And my copy had all of the original artwork by NC Wyeth, which was kind of cool.


Lately I’ve been reading two books by comic science writer Mary Roach.  What’s that?  You’ve never heard of a comic science writer?  Well, Ms. Roach appears to have invented the genre, and a damn fine job she did of it, too.  I was introduced to her writing several years ago when my dream was to become a forensic scientist and my friend Liz bought me the book Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers.  It’s all about what happens to a body when it is donated to “Medical Science.”  And it’s fascinating.  But the best part is, Roach does not write dry, boring science.  Her books are filled with humorous observations and interesting footnotes; it often seems like she just can’t help herself from commenting on the weird things she sees.  And she purposely writes about weird things.


That said, I just finished Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife and I did not enjoy it as much as her other books – likely because the science surrounding the afterlife is extremely unscientific and squishy.  I learned about experiments on weighing the soul, mediums and their de-bunkers, reincarnation research, and ghosts in white noise.  Nonetheless, there were many funny and fascinating parts.  I am now reading Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void and it is, once again, super interesting.  It’s all about what it’s like to be in space, the strange tests and psychological experiments astronauts undergo before they even get to go into space, and how scientists simulate space on earth.  It’s witty and filled with obscure trivia and really, really well-written.  Next I’m going to read Gulp: Adventures in the Alimentary Canal and Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex


So that’s what I’m reading.  How about you?

1 comment:

Sarah said...

I'm reading blogs... I have not decided to jump back into reading yet, but maybe this winter after life slows down a bit for us here. Thanks for the review, sounds fun!