Gulp: Mary Roach has done it again. One of our friends says she won’t read it because she’s grossed out by Roach’s ongoing anal fixation issues, but I don’t much care. I’m not sure what it says about me that I loved the section speculating about whether Elvis died of constipation (or rather, megacolon caused by a congenital neurological disorder in the lower intestine). Besides, only one chapter, maybe two, is really about defecation. Most of the book is about chewing, swallowing, and digesting. Both informative and hilarious, Gulp is easily as good as Stiff and Bonk.
(editor’s note: I’m a huge fan of Packing for Mars as I’m a space geek.)
Claire DeWitt and the Bohemian Highwa
y: DeWitt is going into darker and darker places in her own life. This time, her friend and former lover is murdered. We also get a great view of her early years and her friendship with two other girls who want to be detectives. In fact, despite the fact that the key decedent is a man, the thematic focus and strength of the book is the nature of female friendship. As narrator, DeWitt keeps dropping the names of other cases (each case she takes has a Funny Mysterious Name, which somehow seems charming instead of pretentious, because everything seems charming when Sarah Gran writes it), and the sole complaint I have is that I’m going to have to wait to find out about the Liminal Landlord. I guess while I wait I’m going to have to go back and read Gran’s 2003 horror/madness novel, Come Closer