Monday, October 23, 2017

Poison by Sarah Albee

I have been eagerly awaiting Sarah Albee's newest nonfiction title and here it is! Poison is, as she is careful to explain, not a how-to book (this didn't stop some coworkers from giving me leary looks over my lunch-time reading choices). It's not a grisly recounting of true-crime either, although some are included.

This book is a fascinating excursion through the history of poison, forensics, history, and food contaminants, up to the present-day. Albee talks about dangerous beauty products through the ages, how poison affected history, myths and legends, and the changes in poisoning caused by modern forensics and government involvement in food standards. Readers will learn about poisonous makeup, ink, paint, food, drink, plants, and much, much more.

Extensive sources, back matter, and further reading that includes fiction and fantasy as well as nonfiction are only a bonus to this gruesomely funny book. Pair it with Gail Jarrow's medical mysteries, Georgia Bragg's histories, and of course all of Sarah Albee's fans will want to read it! Great for starting discussions about how our food is affected by laws, the choices people make about their appearance, and, of course, historical poisonings!

Verdict: A fun choice for classroom, book club, or just on your own reading. Highly recommended.

ISBN: 9781101932230; Published 2017 by Crown; Purchased for the library

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