Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Book Review: My Planet by Mary Roach

Review copy courtesy of NetGalley

As a childhood fan of Reader's Digest, it surprised me that I've never put together that the Mary Roach whose essays I grew up reading was the same Mary Roach whose popular science books I've loved as an adult.  I'm happily working my way through her latest, Gulp, in fact.  So once I did make that connection, I was happy to see this collection of her essays available on NetGalley.  Since it's a collection of humorous essays, I'm going to forego my typical review style, because in humor writing I feel like entertainment value is really all that counts.  

In this case, I hate to say it, but Mary kind of let me down.  I remember finding her essays hilarious as a child, but as an adult I wasn't nearly as impressed.  It was particularly odd because I find her science books to be very funny.  My experience of reading these essays, however, was that they were written to a different audience.  I think my mom or maybe my grandmother would have found them funny, but they just didn't appeal to me.  I think they were just too mundane - I prefer to read madcap adventures along the lines of the Bloggess or Jen Lancaster.

While the stories didn't appeal to me as much as I had hoped, I do think there's an audience for this kind of anecdotal essay.  One major thing that Roach has going for her is that her essays are clean. If you're put off by off-color humor or bad language, I think Roach's sense of humor will appeal to you in that respect.  She's also sensible and down to earth.  As I mentioned above, I think my grandmother would enjoy the stories.  If you're knowledgeable about Christian literature, I'd tell you she's comparable to a Barbara Johnson.

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a copy to review.  Check back in the next few weeks for my review of Gulp, which should be a bit more on the "loved it" side of things.

1 comment:

  1. Mary Roach makes even trips to Costco hillarious. If you liked and laughed through her other books as I have, you must read this.

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