Weekly Reading List #8: Bacteria and Brainwashing

I might stop the general weekly round-ups now, since I’m back on my feet after surgery and therefore have no need to update people via the blog. But the reading will continue, obviously, and so will the book round-ups.

This week I read two books, and both were good.

Gut by Giulia Enders

I bought this book as a kind of in-joke with myself when I was going for surgery, but it turned out to be fascinating. Enders discusses the world of the gut and how it influences the rest of the body; including, most surprisingly, the brain.

It takes a fun look at things so isn’t too heavy-going, and it’s not so full of medical jargon as to be illegible to the lay reader. It’s very much pitched at a general audience – Enders says she wants people to understand their guts better.

Not least of her worries is the prevalence of ‘woo’ theories such as clean eating, detoxing and anything promoted by GOOP. This is something that concerns (and irritates) me too, and I enjoyed reading about it from a medical perspective. While I’d always suspected such ideas were a load of bollocks, it’s good to read the science that backs it up in a way I can fully understand.

In school, biology was my least favourite subject (in no small part due to the creepy teacher) but reading this book gave me a renewed fascination with all things internal. Who knew poo could be so interesting?

Definitely worth a read if you’re into popular science books, or if you’ve ever wondered what goes on inside you when you eat. And if you are looking for ways to stay healthy or lose weight, you’ll be able to glean some actual scientific tips from this book, rather than falling for all sorts of bumph on the internet.

The Treatment by C.L. Taylor

Sixteen-year-old Drew Finch is not having a great time. She’s being bullied at school, her stepfather is a pain, and on top of everything else her brother Mason has been sent away to a reform school. Even though she misses him, Drew believes it’s for his own good… until she’s hunted down by a woman who gives her a mysterious note, purported to be from her brother.

The note says there’s more to the school than meets the eye, and if it’s true then Mason is in grave danger. But what can Drew do about it when no one is likely to believe her?

This is C.L. Taylor’s debut novel, and it’s an excellent start. Drew is a relatable character – just enough spunk to be interesting, just enough fear to be realistic. While the storyline itself stretches crediblity at times – especially towards the end – it’s gripping enough that I didn’t really mind.

One thing I hugely enjoyed was the lack of a romantic subplot. A couple of times I thought one might be about to arise, but Drew stays focused on her goal throughout and doesn’t expend any energy chasing after potential romances. If you’re a big fan of romance, this one probably isn’t for you; but if you get tired of there being a love story in almostย every novel, even when it’s really not warranted, you may also like this book.

Update: the author commented on the review! I love it when this happens.

It’s sold as a YA novel, but I’d recommend it for anyone who enjoys a good story.


  1. Giulia Enders is like 18 years old, how did she write that book? lol Seriously though, that one is going on my christmas list. Girl, I love me some GOOP! Shes walking around with the leeches on her feet and the hot chinese cups on her back and I’m like ” damn, where can I get some leeches on a Tuesday night?” lol

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love biology and science. It is super amazing how much physiology from one part of the body can affect everything else. It’s also complicated sometimes, especially when you’re trying to manipulate it to your advantage.

    Hope you continue to recover quickly from surgery!

    Liked by 1 person

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