Our October selection is very highly rated on Amazon, earned the Amazon Editors’ Pick, and comes from “America’s funniest science writer” (Washington Post). We hope that Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal*+ by Mary Roach brings us the hilarious reprieve we need while we’re in the throes of the harvest season this fall.
The irresistible, ever-curious, and always best-selling Mary Roach returns with a new adventure to the invisible realm we carry around inside.
“America’s funniest science writer” (Washington Post) takes us down the hatch on an unforgettable tour. The alimentary canal is classic Mary Roach terrain: the questions explored in Gulp are as taboo, in their way, as the cadavers in Stiff and every bit as surreal as the universe of zero gravity explored in Packing for Mars. Why is crunchy food so appealing? Why is it so hard to find words for flavors and smells? Why doesn’t the stomach digest itself? How much can you eat before your stomach bursts? Can constipation kill you? Did it kill Elvis? In Gulp we meet scientists who tackle the questions no one else thinks of―or has the courage to ask. We go on location to a pet-food taste-test lab, a fecal transplant, and into a live stomach to observe the fate of a meal. With Roach at our side, we travel the world, meeting murderers and mad scientists, Eskimos and exorcists (who have occasionally administered holy water rectally), rabbis and terrorists―who, it turns out, for practical reasons do not conceal bombs in their digestive tracts.
Like all of Roach’s books, Gulp is as much about human beings as it is about human bodies.
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Here’s what you need to do this month:
Get the book. Buy it, borrow it, download and listen to it, read it over your neighbor’s shoulder — we don’t care. But don’t steal the book.
Read the book.
- Week 1: Intro and chapters 1-3 [pages 1-78] (Twitter chat on 10/5)
- Week 2: Chapters 4-8 [pages 79-166] (Twitter chat on 10/12)
- Week 3: Chapters 9-13 [pages 167-242] (Twitter chat on 10/19)
- Week 4: Chapters 14-17 and epilogue [pages 243-327] (Twitter chat on 10/26)
Join the chat (#AgBookClub) on Wednesdays at 8:00pm Central on Twitter. Learn how to participate in a Twitter chat here. While we hope you can participate in our discussion every week, we know that everyone has busy schedules. We always include general questions following the topic(s) of the book that can be answered by anyone, so please don’t hesitate to jump in the Twitter chat if you didn’t have a chance to read the section we’re discussing. We welcome any and all to join the discussion!