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Murder by Death

I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.

The Animal Review: The Genius, Mediocrity and Breathtaking Stupidity That Is Nature

The Animal Review: An Objective Critique Of The Genius, Mediocrity, And Breathtaking Stupidity That Is Nature - Steve Nash, Jacob Lentz

This book is hilarious.  The authors choose 28 animals, classify them under Land, Sea, Air and Other (for those that occupy more than one) and grade them on arbitrary criteria.  Some factual information is thrown in, but mostly it's just one joke after another.  As I read it, a pattern began to emerge: the deadlier an animal is, or the more capable it is of ruining a person's day, the higher the grade it received.


I'd have rated it higher, but for one thing.  They note at the beginning that any science included is real, but the writing style blurs the line between what is a scientific fact and what is just their hyperbolic humour.  Some poor undereducated person out there is going to pick this up someday and read the first paragraph about Great White Sharks where the authors claim death by shark is the single largest cause of death in the world, and believe it.  Then they're going to go on Facebook, repeat it, claiming 'it's true! I read it in a book!', other undereducated people are going to believe them and it's going to snowball, ultimately ending badly for Great White Sharks, who are already having a rough go of it as it is.  More importantly, I think this book would appeal to kids a lot and it's appropriate for middle school aged kids, but some of these "facts" are likely to confuse and possibly leave the kids believing things about the animals that were meant only in fun.


Still, it's a hilarious little book (the authors positively do not like Australia) and I'm happy I was able to finally get ahold of it.