I love Mary Roach. I am totally a Mary Roach fan. I have already read three other books by her, Six Feet Over – Adventures in the Afterlife, Stiff, about bodies and dead people, and Packing for Mars – The Curious Science of Life in the Void.
My Planet is not a one topic book. It is actually a collection of her articles from Reader’s Digest over the years, and yeah, it is funny as all get out. I was reading it in my horizontal office (that would be my bed where I also check email and Facebook on my laptop), with the Kindle perched on my stomach, and had difficulties keeping it in focus as my innards went up and down as I literally LOL’d.
As the intro tells us,
What you can expect from Roach is a curious curation and condensation of life’s little mishaps — all of which are filigreed with her humor. She details first dates, rants about marital differences, and dissects the stellar process that is getting older (or, as Roach puts it, entering “the Age of Skirted Swimwear”).
I usually am disappointed in varying degrees of disappointment with books purporting to be humorous. Generally, I find they try too hard, especially the ones touted as Laugh Out Loud Funny!. I almost never laugh out loud when I read them. But I do laugh out loud with Roach’s books. Must be she has a sense of humor which taps my funny bone.
Want a couple of examples? I’m glad you asked.
I bought Ed [her husband] earplugs and a black satin sleep mask. “It’s dashing,” I said of the mask. “You look like Antonio Banderas in Zorro.” This was a lie. He looked like Arlene Francis in “What’s My Line?”
And about automated commercial answering services:
Thank you for calling VeriCom Customer Care. Your call is important to us, though not as important as it is to you. If you are calling from a touch-tone phone, press or say 1. If you are calling from a rotary-dial phone, please stay on the line while a customer care representative makes mocking, derisive faces. Para assistencia en español, go to South American and try your call again.
On men competing for fastest arrival time:
“You know if you take Clipper Street,” Dan is saying, “you can shave six minutes off the drive”. These minutes go into a special account, where they can be redeemed for chest hair, leather gloves with holes cut out of the back, and other bonus masculinity awards.
Lots of fun.
I still have Bonk – The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex, Gulp – Adventures on the Alimentary Canal, and Spook in my queue. (Don’t you just love the word ‘queue’? Sounds so much classier than ‘Books I Hope To Get Around To Reading Before I Die List.’