Author: Rachel Herz
Rating: 3 Stars
Review By: Shana
Herz has written an interesting and immensely entertaining (though not for the faint of stomach) exploration of disgust. The book is fast moving, very readable, and is pretty close to un-put-downable. That said, this book falls solidly into the pop science camp and, unlike the best pop science, Herz does not fully back up her conclusions.
Though I enjoy pop science as well as the next person, and though this is engagingly written, Herz's light-hearted and breezy approach feels less palatable when she is interpreting what her research uncovered. Throughout the book I got the feeling that she was interpreting all her data to support her conclusions, rather than letting the data guide her conclusion. Many of her pronouncements seem too pat and her discussion of disgust being an evolutionary adaption to keep us alive overstates the evidence and is internally inconsistent at times (she simultaneously makes arguments that this is an evolved response that no other animal has, but then claims it is also a learned response that children have not developed -- arguments that veer awfully close to being mutually exclusive).
My love of reading was sparked in 3rd grade by the promise of personal pan pizzas via the BOOK IT! Program. Hmmmm... any chance that someone might give adults free food for reading? Asking for a friend...