Everybody Poops

Sophie SmithMost mornings when using Starbucks’ drive-through, I don’t bother turning down the volume of my audiobook.

Just the other day, though, I was listening to Mary Roach’s Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal and I may have scarred the employees.

It’s not that Gulp is inappropriate or mean-spirited or violent or graphic, but it is a little, well, gross. Not everyone wants to hear about Elvis’s giant colon at 7:30 in the morning.

Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach, available from the library in print and audiobook

Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach, available from the library in print and audiobook

Despite the topic, the book is fascinating. I can’t stop talking about it and pushing my friends and family to read it. Surely everyone should know about giant colons! And fecal transplants! And rectal hooping! And how dog food is made! And why farts smell like they do!

As Roach traces the human digestive process, each new twist and turn is as enthralling as the last. I haven’t read or listened to any other books by Mary Roach, but I am completely hooked by her humorous and informative science writing.

Stiffs and bonks
When I was working through the Dewey decimal system, several colleagues mentioned that Roach’s books Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void and Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers are both excellent. I didn’t get to them last year, but you can be sure I’ll be checking them out soon. Or perhaps I’ll further scandalize the employees at the Starbucks drive-through window by listening to Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex.

What about you? What are your favorite science books? Do you have a book you might want to turn down when going through the drive-through, but love it anyway?  If you love engaging science writing and a good fart joke be sure to check out Gulp!

About Sophie Smith

Sophie Smith is the supervisor of teen services at the Nashua Public Library and can also frequently be found at the reference desk. As a history and Spanish major at Kenyon College she spent a year in Salamanca, Spain. She earned her master's in library and information science from Simmons College.

2 comments to Everybody Poops

  • Loren Rosson Loren Rosson

    You’ve sold me, I’m going to read this book.

  • Bruce

    Great book!
    After everybody poops what do we do with the waste?
    I suggest this book:
    The big necessity: the unmentionable world of human waste and why it matters by Rose George.363.72 G.