I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.
I really enjoyed this one. It delivers exactly what it say on the wrapper: talking about insects and the people who love them. This approach has gone wrong for me in the past (Forensics by Val McDermid), but MacNeal got it right – I never felt like there was an imbalance between the people and the bugs, and it was always obvious that the insects were the focus. The writing is engaging and the author's personality shines through in a candid writing style that I found refreshing.
I don't know a whole lot about insects, although probably more than the average non-reader of science, and MacNeal kept me interested with plenty of science along with the narrative anecdotes. I admit to plenty of "Ewwwws"... especially during any mention of cockroaches ::shudder:: – my personal phobia – and for pretty much the entire chapter that centers on insects as a food source. All I'm going to say about that is he must have very good friends, or else he has a bucket load of dirt on them all.
I especially liked the last chapter covering bees; MT got me hives as a Christmas present and I soaked up all the information in this chapter like a sponge. I have several topics to google in the coming days before the bees arrive thanks to MacNeal's information.
The primary goal of this book, according to the author, is to get people thinking differently about insects. He doesn't pretend a yuck factor doesn't exist, but I think he does an excellent job illustrating just how absolutely necessary insects are to our continued survival. Except roaches - I'm sorry, but they all need to go the way of the dodo.