Karen's Reviews > A Natural History of the Senses

A Natural History of the Senses by Diane Ackerman
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's review
Jan 04, 2009

liked it
Read in January, 2009

I learned:
A piece of fugu (puffer fish) toxin, small enough to fit under a fingernail, is enough to kill someone mid-meal. The real fugu expert chef can leave just enough toxin in a soup for your lips to tingle but not to kill.

I found some of the scientific explanations rather booooring. Then when she tried to be poetic or metaphorical, sometimes it would work and at other times, it seemed melodramatic, insincere, or ridiculous. Also the topics and scenarios just seemed to flit from one to another (albeit smoothly) and was confusing.

I enjoyed Taste, Vision, and Postscript the best. Postscript seemed the most honest as she was talking about writers and seemed to know what she was talking about. Hearing and Touch were not that interesting to me, perhaps because there were a lot of scientific explanations.

I liked the cover design of soft green petals and the title, although I think the title was misleading because a "Natural History" usually means to explain the essence and progression of something in an organized fashion. Maybe she meant Natural to mean a softer, flowing (and confusing) manner of writing.

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Reading Progress

01/02/2009 page 256
72.73% "Kinda boring..."
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