Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Wicked Bugs: the louse that conquered Napoleon's army & other diabolical insects

by Amy Stewart

Well, ya know, I could've sworn I read the author's other book, Wicked Plants, but I guess not. We seem to be in pre-saved reading history territory, so maybe I'll never know.

Whichever book I read, I recall that it was pretty good in that science-lite sort of way. I wouldn't have minded more science details, but this book is no science slouch. It's done catalog style, without an over-arching narrative structure. Many bugs are covered, and some get more attention than others. Reviews are suggesting the book has a sense of humor, which I vaguely recall now that I've been prompted, but it's not the most striking feature. The focus, not surprisingly, is on bugs' effects on humans, from painful stings to parasitism and from the personal to the historic.

Being a "toilet book" (small, lots of short bits easy to read sporadically), Wicked Bugs could be a cute gift book, either for someone who's into insects, or in jest for someone who hates bugs.

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