Monday, May 20, 2013

Book Review: My Planet by Mary Roach

Title: My Planet: Finding Humor in the Oddest Places
Author: Mary Roach
Enjoyment Rating: ***
Source: Personal Copy
This book would be rated: PG

A few weeks ago, I was buying something on Amazon, and this book popped up in the "Recommended for You" category (I think I have singlehandedly paid for whatever kind of technology and manpower went into creating the "Recommended for You" category). So, yes, I bought it without really thinking about it, and certainly without analyzing the cover well enough to see that it was printed by Reader's Digest.

Apparently Mary Roach has been a monthly columnist for Reader's Digest for a long time. I didn't know that because I am under the age of 60, and the only time I ever see a Reader's Digest is when I'm at my in-laws' house, and I never take long enough in the bathroom to get beyond "Word Power." My Planet is pretty much exactly what I would have expected if I knew that Mary Roach was writing for Reader's Digest. It's a bunch of funny little anecdotes about her life-- all sanitized and not too provocative (apparently I like her dirty and provocative). I feel like I learned a lot about the character she has created for her husband, Ed, a man who washes his hands obsessively but is, in many ways, a clutterbug (an interesting combination).

I think this book would be great sitting on the back of a toilet seat, along with the Reader's Digest, where it could be read column by column. However, I'm the kind of girl who picks up a book and wrestles with it until it's done, and I got tired of the repetitiveness of the (very funny) columns long before the book was over. But not tired enough of them to stop reading, which is saying something, isn't it? If Gulp is too icky and Bonk too pervy, maybe you'll prefer this brand of Mary Roach.

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