|Jay (starlurker) wrote in thefourthvine,|
Mary Roach has an oeuvre all her own of funny books with a scientific bent as explored by a layperson. Of her three books, I'd recommend Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers. The writer has a superb sense of humour, and has an enviable knack of making science accessible. It is also one of the funniest books I can remember reading, and considering the topic, that's high praise from me! While the book does involve death, the writer has such respect for the bodies that the book never once felt ghoulish or disrespectful.
I really liked The Perfect Scent: A Year Inside the Perfume Industry by Chandler Burr, who is a scent critic (?!?) for The New York Times. Going through the cosmetic aisle gives me migraines, so it was fascinating to explore that world. The writer does a pretty good job of describing scents, showing what goes into making them, and the book made me so curious about one of the premier colognes that I actually bought a bottle of it, a scent called Un jardin sur le Nil. I have some caveats, which might be spoilery, but I can certainly expand on them if you'd like, but overall, I really liked the book and appreciated the look behind the industry.
Er, I actually have more, but I think I'll refrain from making a novel of recs. Of the two, I think Stiff is better, if you can only pick one. Have fun!