Thursday, December 19, 2013

Book Review: My Planet: Finding Humor in the Oddest Places by Mary Roach

I was looking for a humorous, easy read, and this book perfectly fit the bill. Which was a tad surprising as I am used to reading Mary Roach as a science writer, albeit a very funny one. Turns out she's also been writing a Reader's Digest column and this book compiles them. And there is nary a hint of science among them (except when she called a contact at NASA to prove her husband wrong about All-Clad pans.)

These essays cover a range of topics but mostly they're about amusing disagreements with her husband and the everyday minor trials of daily life. I especially enjoyed the essay about how her husband forces her to read with a book light since he goes to sleep earlier, and I read the first bit aloud to my husband, who was adjusting his face mask and ear plugs, and my book was lit by the book light he insists I use! I of course figured we weren't alone in that conflict but it was particularly funny to be reading it at the exact moment I was also acting it out.

If you're looking for Ms. Roach's deep dives into fascinating and slightly disgusting topics, you won't find any of that here. But if you want short diversions on topics such as the self-checkout at Home Depot and driving to Yosemite with extended family, this book is a cute and fun way to pass a few hours.

I bought this book at my local independent bookstore, Park Road Books.

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