Bugged: The Insects Who Rule the World and the People Obsessed with Them

David MacNeal. St. Martin’s, $25.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-09550-3
Science journalist MacNeal summons his geeky inner 10-year-old as he shares his unapologetic excitement about all things entomological, demonstrating the coolness of bugs as well as their cultural and utilitarian value to humankind. MacNeal also conducts a parade of fellow insect obsessives (some of whom admit to being “just a little bit odd to begin with”), who giddily discuss their favorite topics with openness and wonder. The insect obsessives include a taxidermist at a Manhattan lab who shares gutting techniques that are used on thousands of specimens, a researcher who studies ant-nest structure by filling the nests with orthodontist’s plaster, and a forensic medical entomologist who gleans valuable information from the ways that maggots take over a dead body. MacNeal oozes enthusiasm in his hands-on explorations, whether he’s touring Japan’s Gunma Insect World, feeding bedbugs with his arm, buying a cockroach cyborg-conversion kit and keeping his failed result as a pet, or meeting the head of the Tokyo Bug-Eating Club for a tasting (and then following that up by trying to cook recipes from The Eat-a-Bug Cookbook for his relatives). MacNeal delivers a joy-filled dose of science, reminding readers that the strange and alien creatures in our midst are not to be feared, but celebrated. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/15/2017
Release date: 07/04/2017
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