Friday, September 13, 2013

Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal

Written by: Mary Roach

First line: In 1968, on the Berkeley campus of the University of California, six young men undertook an irregular and unprecedented act.

Why you should read this book: With her usual dose of offbeat humor and increasingly shameless puns, the author approaches the topic of human feeding and digestion in a most unorthodox fashion, beginning in the nose (smell being a major component of taste) and moving all the way down. In her travels, she encounters professional pet food tasters, flatulence researchers, competitive eaters, and all manner of historical oddities, hoaxes, and medical mayhem. Roach is unafraid to tackle such dangerous topics as Elvis’s megacolon and chronic constipation, whether or not one animal can eat its way out of another animal’s stomach, and why Americans are reluctant to consume organ meat, creating a fearless book about topics that are, frankly, slightly difficult to stomach.

Why you shouldn’t read this book: Well, you certainly shouldn’t read it while you’re eating.

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