Mary Roach, one of my all-time favorite nonfiction authors (hell, one of my all-time favorite authors period) is reading from her new book Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal tonight at the Barnes & Noble at Union Square.
With the exception of Spook (which I do plan to read), I have read all her previous books and loved each. Her topics of choice are the sort that can't help but stir the imagination - corpses, space, sex, ghosts - and she has previously stated (I'm paraphrasing) that she has the interests of a 14 year old boy. Give that, this book seems a bit of an oddity for her. I'd imagine that a book devoted to the digestive tract is a hard sell for most of the public, but maybe I'm wrong. I can see how it relates to the 14 year old boy mindset (digestion = poop) but I'm not sure if a. that will occur to many would-be readers or b. that will be the very thing that keeps some from reading it.
I'm thinking/hoping that her growing popularity is enough to push the public to buy the book. That in itself is huge. For myself as a biologist and as an aspiring science writer, the ability to get people interested in topics generally ignored/actively avoided is a major goal. Beyond that, I am in awe of Ms. Roach for her seemingly fearless approach to all subjects she writes about (in Bonk she doesn't just write about sex research - she participates in it). I'm not sure how far I will find myself going in pursuit of answers to my questions but starting a blog - available to the public - is a tiny start for me.