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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.

Reading progress update: I've read 48 out of 219 pages.

The Science of Everyday Life - Marty Jopson

I've finished the first chapter and I'm a little way into the second and so far, so good.   As BrokenTune mentioned in her update, prawn crackers are out.  If you like prawn crackers don't ask why they're out and maybe avoid BT's update.  Just know this is one of those foods that are better enjoyed by not knowing how they're made.  (Total aside:  the first - very first - prawn cracker made... I have to believe this was done by a very bad or lazy housekeeper/cook.)


The baking powder section intrigued me.  I've always known what it did, but I never realised it actually has baking soda (bicarb) in it, which leads me to the following question, one that's going to go through my head every time I pull out the muffin pan:  why does my cornbread recipe use baking power AND baking soda/salt?  Hmmm...


So far though, my favorite was the section on Jaffa cakes and their status in UK society: cookie or cake?  To tax or not to tax?  I've never had them and doubt I ever will (I have issues with orange flavoured stuff), but I loved learning why cakes go stale and cookies go soft and the humor in this section was, so far, the most blatant.  Science is rarely laugh - or chuckle - out loud funny.  (For the record, Aussies seem to default to 'biscuit' though they comfortably use 'cookie' as well.  It's one of the few words, in fact, that Aussies don't give me shit about.)


Overall, the book is similar to Storm in a Teacup; it covers the science in everyday life and it's aimed at the average reader.  The slant is different though; while Czerski organised her book by scientific concept, then wove anecdotes through her chapters that illustrated those concepts, Jopson has organised by life's major subject areas: food, the kitchen, the home, etc. and each chapter is a collection of related examples and their connection to scientific concepts.  So far there's been very little overlap between the two books, and the 'science' here is far more anecdotal, but relevant and a little irreverent.