Thursday, March 4, 2021

Book Review: Gory Details

The pandemic really hasn't been all bad, I've kind of started doing new things just to keep things interesting. One thing was getting back into crafty things and, exciting news, I'm going to revive my ol' Etsy shop! More on that another day, but yay. Secondly, I've gotten really into podcasts over pandemic, but the only ones I really SUPER love are murder shows.  

I should probably talk to my therapist about how much I really love listening to people talk about murders and murderers, I get that. But you know what? I know a lot about what not to use to clean up a crime scene and you know.... the more you know, am I right? But I've discovered I have a weird interest in all of the gory details of stuff (but I still can't watch a horror movie, I don't get it, either) so when I saw this book, I had to read it. 

Gory Details - Erika Engelhaupt

Infused with Mary Roach-style humor and science, this narrative illuminates the gross, strange, morbid, and outright absurd realities of our bodies, the Earth, and universe.

Filled to the brim with far-out facts, this wickedly informative narrative from the author of National Geographic's popular Gory Details blog takes us on a fascinating journey through an astonishing new reality. Blending humor and journalism in the tradition of Mary Roach, acclaimed science reporter Erika Engelhaupt investigates the gross, strange, and morbid absurdities of our bodies and our universe. From the research biologist who stung himself with every conceivable insect to the world's most murderous mammals, this entertaining book explores oft-ignored but alluring facets of biology, anatomy, space exploration, nature, and more. Featuring interviews with leading researchers in the field and a large dose of wit, this provocative book reveals the most intriguing real-world applications of science in all their glory. 
First thing we  need to talk about is this cover. It's creepy and weird. It is also glow in the dark, which I did not know. I had this on my nightstand (because it's clearly a soothing read for bedtime) and around 2 a.m. I had to get up to pee. I open my eyes and almost straight peed my pants and bed. 

That is when I discovered that the cover glows in the dark, and all I saw was a skull and bugs. 

*commence panic attack*

So props to the cover design department for this one, you've taken a good couple of years off of my life. Thanks for that. 

The book though? INCREDIBLY INTERESTING. I'm not going to lie, I flew through this book. Each section really isn't that long so you can get through this rather quickly. You can easily bounce around the book if you want to read this by specific chapter instead of start to finish, and I know that sounds weird but if you don't like bugs you're going to skip the Part 4: Creepy Crawlies chapter, for instance. (Not going to lie, that's the entire section I got little icky with.) The book covers why certain noises get to you, why clowns are creepy, most murderous mammals (guys- it talked about meerkats and I had no idea those things were so awful), pee in the pool, would your dog eat you if you died (dogs are more inclined to do that than cats so come at me, #teamcat4life), and the beginning chapter about the morgue? My favorites. Section 2 is everything you're familiar with, or at least have heard of, if you watched every episode of BONES (like me). I have to say some of the footnotes were hilarious and informative. One of my favorites was about hamsters being nasty. I don't know why I loved it so much but I couldn't stop chuckling when I read it. 

Which maybe says something about me as a person but hamsters ARE gross. 

I love the author's humor throughout this, which could have gone real sideways while trying to be informative and weave actual science in it, and I loved it. I learned a lot throughout, and I have also permanently screwed up my Google search history and I strongly do not recommend doing that. 


If you are looking for an interesting non-fiction book, if you like true crime podcasts and shows, this book is 100% for you. You will love it. 

A huge thank you to TLC Book Tours for having me on this tour and sending a copy for review! Please let me know if you read this one so that we can chat about it. Also, if you are a crime podcast listener, tell me which one you're loving because I'm working through a few. 

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Trini Girl Reads said...

I have been doing some new things as well during the pandemic. Gory details looks like something I would be interested in reading. The cover is really artistic. Not sure I would like the glow in the dark effect though hahaha.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Oh god, finding out the cover glowed that way would freak me out! LOL That's kind of awesome though. And I'd have to skip the bug chapter, for sure, but the rest sounds fascinating!! My sister and I binged the Night Stalker documentary on Netflix last weekend, so I get the fascination with all the creepy, crazy stuff! I need to start listening to podcasts again. I do enjoy My Favorite Murder.