PODCAST

Episode 233: Mary Roach

BY MEGAN LABRISE • September 14, 2021

Mary Roach examines the curious collisions between wildlife and human law.

On this week’s episode, Mary Roach discusses Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law (Norton, Sept. 14). Roach, “America’s funniest science writer” (Washington Post), is the author of the bestsellers Stiff, Bonk, Grunt, Spook, Gulp, and Packing for Mars.

Kirkus on Fuzz: “‘What is the proper course when wild animals break laws intended for people?’ So asks Roach in a book that, in the author’s characteristic style, ranges widely, from wild animal attacks to the inherent dangers of certain plants to ways in which we have treated animals that most humans consider vermin.…As in her previous bestsellers such as Grunt and Stiff, the author has clearly done her homework, speaking to professionals across a variety of disciplines.…Traveling from a bear seminar in Reno to a bird-infested island in the Pacific that plagued the American military during World War II, among many other venues, Roach joyfully explores how human culture and wildlife, including plant life, have either found ways to coexist or are constantly at odds.”

Roach and host Megan Labrise discuss whether she prefers her four-letter books (Bonk, Gulp, Fuzz) to her five-letter books (Stiff, Spook, Grunt); animalistic verbs; how she always manages to get her interview, even when initially rebuffed; what characterizes the offices of people who work in wilderness-orientated professions; the translocation of bears and cougars; what happens when a cougar bites a human head; the role of public opinion in mitigating species designated as “pests” (and why we shouldn’t designate species as “pests”); how researching the book changed the way Roach moves through the world; and much more.

Then editors Vicky Smith, Laura Simeon, and Eric Liebetrau offer their top picks in books for the week.

This episode is sponsored in part by The Sour Cherry Tree by Naseem Hrab, illus. by Nahid Kazemi (Owlkids Books, Oct, 15) and What About Us?: A New Parents Guide to Safeguarding Your Over-Anxious, Over-Extended, Sleep-Deprived Relationship by Karen Kleiman, illus. by Molly McIntyre (Familius, Sept. 14).

 

Editorspicks:

Saving Sorya by Trang Nguyen, illus. by Jeet Dzung, trans. by Trang Nguyen (Dial Books)

Walking in Two Worlds by Wab Kinew (Penguin Teen)

Giannis: The Improbable Rise of an NBA MVP by Mirin Fader (Hachette)

 

Also mentioned on this pisode:

Search for the Golden Moon Bear: Science and Adventure in Pursuit of a New Species by Sy Montgomery (Simon & Schuster)

Search for the Golden Moon Bear: Science and Adventure in the Asian Tropics by Sy Montgomery (Houghton Mifflin)

Crash Override by Zoe Quinn (PublicAffairs)

Maryroach.net

 

Thanks to our advertisers this week:

And Throw Away the Skins by Scott Archer Jones

South Korea: The Price of Efficiency and Success by John Gonzalez and Young Lee

Daddy Dead by Julia Van Middlesworth

 

Fully Booked is produced by Cabel Adkins Audio and Megan Labrise.

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