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

Thanks to Netgalley and Readers Digest for a reviewers copy in exchange for an honest review.

After an ambivalent start with her early books, I have grown to love Mary’s later works such as ‘Packing for Mars’, ‘Stiff’ and ‘Gulp’. Mary’s long form writing addresses all those questions that we are all thinking yet do not ask such as “What the hell is a shit transplant?”, “When you donate your body to science, what happens to it?” and “What happens if you vomit in a spacesuit helmet?”. Her curiosity is a mix of the curiosity of an eight year old, mixed with the humour of a great comedian.

‘My Planet’ is a collection of Mary’s column for Readers Digest. As opposed to her themed books, these essays centre upon her everyday life. While they are just as funny as her other works (possibly slightly more laugh out loud), you lose the science and just experience Mary and her husband Ed buying a bin and visiting Costco. Don’t get me wrong, Mary is probably the best person in this world to share these activities with.

 While each story was fun and witty it isn’t nearly as satisfying as her other works. But as what I call a “toilet read” it’s a winner.


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