Off the Charts – gulp (Mary Roach)

Ahoy there me mateys!  For those of ye who are new to me log, a word: though this log’s focus is on sci-fi, fantasy, and young adult, this Captain does have broader reading tastes.  Occasionally I will share some novels that I enjoyed that are off the charts (a non sci-fi, fantasy, or young adult novel), as it were.  So today I bring ye:

gulp: adventures on the alimentary canal (Mary Roach)

This book was so fascinating that I sat across from the first mate reading fact after fact out-loud to him, prompting discussions – interesting, varied, and oh so disgusting.  Seriously ye will not be able to shut yer gob about these odd facts to those in yer proximity.  Historical facts about enemas, Elvis, pet food, fecal matter, and saliva (seriously saliva is awesome) abound.  Parts of it are funny, gross, but funny.  I have always loved this author’s work ever since I read her book about cadavers called stiff.  She takes subject matter that gives folks the heebie-jeebies (fecal transplants anyone?) and writes compelling, engaging, and thought-provoking commentary about her explorations of the subject.  Other topics she has studied include spooks, the science of sex, and mars.  I haven’t read her Mars one yet or the one about the science of war but they are on the list.  If ye haven’t read her work I suggest ye give it a go.  Taboo topics have never been so eloquently and matter-of-factly written about.  I love her.  Arrrrr!

Goodreads has this to say about the novel:

The irresistible, ever-curious, and always best-selling Mary Roach returns with a new adventure to the invisible realm we carry around inside.

“America’s funniest science writer” (Washington Post) takes us down the hatch on an unforgettable tour of our insides. The alimentary canal is classic Mary Roach terrain: the questions inspired by our insides are as taboo, in their way, as the cadavers in Stiff and every bit as surreal as the universe of zero gravity explored in Packing for Mars. Why is crunchy food so appealing? Why is it so hard to find names for flavors and smells? Why doesn’t the stomach digest itself? How much can you eat before your stomach bursts? Can constipation kill you? Did it kill Elvis? We meet scientists who tackle the questions no one else thinks—or has the courage—to ask. And we go on location to a pet-food taste-test lab, a bacteria transplant, and into a live stomach to observe the fate of a meal.

Like all of Roach’s books, Gulp is as much about human beings as it is about human bodies.

To visit the author’s website go to:

Mary Roach – Author

To buy the novel please visit:

gulp – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

14 thoughts on “Off the Charts – gulp (Mary Roach)

  1. Thank you very much for introducing me to an author I haven’t encountered and definitely want to – Packing for Mars is the one highest on my list, given the books I write are space opera…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have a copy of this and have been meaning to return to it since forever. I tried it once but was bored. I think I was in the wrong mood to read it then. Good to know it interested you so much.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love Mary Roach! Glad to see you enjoyed this one — it’s on my to-read list. I love her humor, and how entertaining she makes the grossest things. I’ve read Stiff, Packing for Mars, and Bonk. Didn’t love Bonk, but the other two were great. I’ve always been fascinated by non-fiction about space travel, so Packing for Mars was definitely my favorite!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I will have to make time for the Mars one this year. I have been reading a lot of sci-fi books about Mars and some other true news stories about people wanting to take a one way trip there so it is timely. I am glad to hear that it was good. The only one I didn’t love was spook. But I didn’t hate it either. Thanks fer the comment.
      x The Captain


  4. I’m glad you enjoyed this novel so much, Captain! I have heard great things about Roach’s works. However, I have a fairly weak constitution, so I am avoiding most of them. Bonk is high on my to read list, but none of her other works made it. Other than Stiff</em. have you read any of her other works? If so, what would you recommend to someone easily squeamish?

    Liked by 1 person

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