When it comes to nonfiction science books, I definitely have a "type." (I blame Mary Roach for this.) And when I heard that I Contain Multitudes could teach me something about the world around me with engaging clarity and humor, I needed to read it.
When reading a Mary Roach book, always bring a strong stomach and a sense of humor. Grunt, Roach’s bestselling follow-up to Gulp, is filled with anecdotes about pretty much every aspect of military science that you can imagine. Inside you’ll find a chapter on failed shark repellents, another on surviving IEDs through science, one on stink bombs and weaponized odors, and another where the author offered herself up as a guinea pig to have
You had me at "In the tradition of Oliver Sacks..."
Lately I've been traveling a lot, and a string of great nonfiction audiobooks have kept me sane. I need something fascinating, hopefully with a touch of humor, to keep me awake and not bored out of my mind while I travel. Having hit the jackpot with my last choice, I was hoping my next choice wouldn't disappoint.
Ben Goldacre is a British doctor who has a major bone to pick with science done badly, and with the media that often misuses, misunderstands, or distorts scientific concepts (intentionally or not). His catchphrase is the pithy, "I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that." In his book Bad Science, he takes on multiple cases of ideas and practices that have, he argues, been propped up either by bad science or bad communication about science, such as homeopathy and the anti-vaccine movement.
Whether you're a lush (as Betty White says, "Vodka is a kind of hobby") or a teetotaler, this book will fascinate and entertain (I was laughing out loud at least once every chapter). I particularly recommend the eAudiobook, which I listened to on a long road trip.