Thursday, February 02, 2012
Wicked Bugs by Amy Stewart
Author: Amy Stewart
Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2011
Hardcover, 288 pages
Source: Purchased at Barnes and Noble
First Line: In 1909, the Chicago Daily Tribune ran an article titled "If Bugs Were the Size of Men."
In a companion volume to her Wicked Plants, Amy Stewart mines entomological gold. In short chapters she informs us all of what biological and financial threats insects pose to humans, what they've done in generations gone by, and what we've been doing to them.
I think my favorite part-- other than all the knowledge I gleaned-- was the Schmidt Sting Pain Index which seems to have been written by a person filled with knowledge, the gift of words, and a brilliant sense of humor. My least favorite? I could have done without one of the paragraphs in the cockroach chapter. I can still do a little dance of horror and disgust just thinking about it.
If you enjoy books filled with fascinating and often humorous facts about the natural world, you'll enjoy Amy Stewart's Wicked Bugs (as well as her Wicked Plants). However, if even the sight of an insect sends you into a tizzy, please do not pick up this book!