Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach
(W. W. Norton, 2013, 348 pages)
I had read Mary Roach’s other titles and while they were overall enjoyable reads, I didn’t find myself falling in love with her writing style. When I heard about Gulp I knew I was going to pick it up, simply because it ties in with one of my interests: reading about food. Gulp takes a look at the gastrointestinal process from the smell of food to the body’s “natural exit” – with all the stops along the way. I definitely learned a lot reading this book. It’s amazing how little you understand about basic bodily functions simply because you take it for granted that they’re even happening. Gulp teaches you random tidbits about things like the importance of saliva, why women are prone to being gassier than men, and how it’s possible to die from constipation…
I was surprised how much I liked this book – to the point that it makes me want to revisit some of Roach’s earlier titles to see if maybe I just didn’t appreciate her humor/writing style earlier. If you’re into fun science and learning a little more about how the human body works, you’ll appreciate Gulp.