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My Planet: Finding Humor in the Oddest Places


My Planet: Finding Humor in the Oddest Places Cover

ISBN13: 9781621450719
ISBN10: 1621450716
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From acclaimed, New York Times best-selling author Mary Roach comes the complete collection of her “My Planet” articles published in Reader’s Digest. She was a hit columnist in the magazine, and this book features the articles she wrote in that time. Insightful and hilarious, Mary explores the ins and outs of the modern world: marriage, friends, family, food, technology, customer service, dental floss, and ants—she leaves no element of the American experience unchecked for its inherent paradoxes, pleasures, and foibles.

On Cleanliness:

Ed has crud vision, and I don’t. I don’t notice filth. Ed sees it everywhere. I am reasonably convinced that Ed can actually see bacteria. . . . He confessed he didn’t like me using his bathrobe because I’d wear it while sitting on the toilet.

“It’s not like it goes in the water,” I protested, though if you counted the sash as part of the robe, this wasn’t strictly true.

On the Internet:

The Internet is a boon for hypochondriacs like me. Right now, for instance, I’m feeling a shooting pain on the side of my neck. A Web search produces five matches, the first three for a condition called Arnold-Chiari Malformation.

While my husband, Ed, reads over my shoulder, I recite symptoms from the list. “‘General clumsiness’ and ‘general imbalance,’” I say, as though announcing arrivals at the Marine Corps Ball. “‘Difficulty driving,’ ‘lack of taste,’ ‘difficulty feeling feet on ground.’”

“Those aren’t symptoms,” says Ed. “Those are your character flaws.”

On Fashion:

My husband recently made me try on a bikini. A bikini is not so much a garment as a cloth-based reminder that your parts have been migrating all these years. My waist, I realized that day in the dressing room, has completely disappeared beneath my rib cage, which now rests directly on my hips. I’m exhibiting continental drift in reverse.

On Eating Healthy:

So Ed and I were eating a lot of vegetables. Vegetables on pasta, vegetables on rice. This was extremely healthy, until you got to the part where Ed and I are found in the kitchen at 10 p.m., feeding on Froot Loops and tubes of cookie dough.

About the Author

Mary Roach grew up in Etna, New Hampshire, graduated from Wesleyan in 1981, and now lives in California. She has written the bestselling books Packing for Mars (W. W. Norton & Company, August 2010), Bonk (W. W. Norton & Company April 2008), Spook (W. W. Norton & Company, September 2005), and Stiff (W. W. Norton & Company, April 2003). Her articles run in Outside, National Geographic, New Scientist, Wired, and The New York Times Magazine. Her 1995 article, “How to Win at Germ Warfare,” was a National Magazine Award Finalist, and in 1996, her article on earthquake-proof bamboo houses took the Engineering Journalism Award in the general interest magazine category. She also reviews books for The New York Times.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Sheila Deeth, July 9, 2013 (view all comments by Sheila Deeth)
Relationships, shopping and life involve such curious compromises, and Mary Roach’s My Planet puts those compromises and oddities into delightfully humorous prose, creating a collection of essays that’s guaranteed to have you turning the pages, reminiscing on persons and places you’ve known, and smiling all the way.

Does your husband wash his hands “like a… raccoon” during eating? Then you might be interested to know the racoon’s not really washing. Has your spouse calculated how much money you’ll save by filling your cabinets with Costco oversized packages? Does your wife…?

Perhaps your eyes are getting old, or your vacuum cleaner’s waiting to be replaced by a robot. Are you taking cookery lessons from the Food Network? Do you dread the dentist, avoid the container store, surf the internet, or struggle to set the alarm on clock radios in hotels? Then this is the book for you.

My favorite essay is titled 1-800-WasteMyTime. It tells of the author’s ailing computer and the engineers on far-flung continents who fail to fix it. In the end she finds help in a local store where “we chatted about the weather, which was the same outside my window as it was outside his.”

Like listening to a particularly humorous friend, sharing experiences with a sympathetic talker who even pauses between essays to listen to you, or just enjoying the company of a thoroughly enjoyable stranger on a long trip, My Planet is the perfect airplane, airport, railway station, just arrived, just leaving or even just dreaming reading book and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Disclosure: I was given a free copy of this novel and asked for an honest review which I’m delighted to give here.
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Product Details

Roach, Mary
Reader's Digest Association
General Humor
Humor : General
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
from 12
8.25 x 5.5 in 1 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Humor » Anthologies
Arts and Entertainment » Humor » General
Arts and Entertainment » Humor » Narrative
Featured Titles » Humor
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General

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