A family is a collection of people who share the same genes but cannot agree on a place to pull over for lunch.

My Planet: Finding Humor in the Oddest Places

Mary Roach | 2013 | 191 Pages



The Plotmyplanet

Mary Roach, known primarily for her witty writings on strange scientific topics (mortuary traditions, the digestive tract, paranormal activity), spent years writing short little essays for Reader’s Digest. Her column, My Planet, consisted of anecdotes about married life, family vacations, and the quirks of being an adult. This book is a collection of those short stories, compiled together in one place.



Roach has a great sense of humor and these stories reflect that. They are insightful little nuggets of domestic life that will bring an occasional smile and chuckle to your lips. Roach, in her non-fiction science-based books, speaks very little of her private life. getting to know her more as a person was a nice change of pace, though it was not without its flaws.


So speaking of flaws… 500 words just isn’t long enough. Roach is a great writer- I’ve read several of her non-fiction books and have always enjoyed her work. But these stories, while cute and sometimes laugh-inducing, are often off on their comedic timing. That, and the condensed nature make the repetitions and generalizations even more noticeable. If you read one of these a month, as they were originally published, the recycled japes would be less noticeable, but all together they make the author seem at times self-centered and unoriginal. Which is a shame because again, I really do enjoy her other books.

Should You Read This?

If you’re looking for something to page through while drinking your morning coffee, this would probably satisfy that need. If you are seeking something more akin to Stiff or Spook, then skip it. The wit is there, but in a condensed form and without the scientific fascination.