Mary Roach is one of my fave science authors because she looks at everything in a quirky and unique way. No subject is too daunting at all it seems, though in an interview I conducted back in 2009, I relayed a question from science author Carl Zimmer: "Is there any topic that cannot be made funny?" Mary answered, "yes" and listed a few topics: ones that are highly theoretical, geology, molecular biology and possibly the weather. Hmm, seeing that I'm a cell/molecular biologist and that my eldest son is an atmospheric scientist, what we do doesn't sound very funny!

She has come out with her new book, one to please any biologist, as well as all the rest of us humans, about the digestive system. It is called "Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal". I am nearly finished with it, and I assure you that you will all be pleased with it! It's funny and smart, as we have come to expect from Mary!

Here is the latest book trailer:

I would usually be right on top of things creating a book review, but I think I have something even better. In collaboration with Jeff Shaumeyer of, my co-host for our Kids Read Science contest, we will be beginning a regular series of Google Plus Hangouts on Air called "Read Science!" where we will feature upcoming and recently published popular science books (head's up publishers and authors! Send me your books so they can have a chance to be featured--address will be at the bottom of this post).

I am so pleased to say that Mary Roach will be hanging out with us on April 17th at 4pm CST (check my social media sites for information on how to watch)! I am excited to start this hangout series with one of my favorite science authors/people! I hope you will join us!

(I've also lined up Daniel Loxton and Brian Switek for a great discussion of dinosaur books! It should be fantastic! More details soon, but we are looking at April 27)

Also, for those of you in the Chicago area, be ready to attend a great FREE event at the Harold Washington Public Library, as sponsored by the Illinois Science Council on April 29th where both Mary Roach and Rebecca Skloot will be taking the stage to talk about "Gulp" and about science writing in general. I will be there!

I look forward to seeing you at the hangout with Mary, up in Chicago with Mary at the Chicago Public Library event, or let me know on twitter or G+ how you have enjoyed her latest book, "Gulp"!

If you are a popular science book author or publisher, books you'd like to be featured on the "Read Science!" Hangouts may be sent to:

Joanne Manaster

c/o School of Integrative Biology UIUC

286 Morrill Hall

505 S. Goodwin Avenue

Urbana, IL 61801