Science journalist Ward brings humor and curiosity to this history of the toilet and the ongoing environmental concerns surrounding it. Mindful that not everyone is at ease reading about this topic, Ward keeps it entertaining throughout, with clever chapter titles and illustrations of scientific wonders ... With candor and ease, Ward details everything from the intricacies of ancient Roman sewers to the sewage works in mid-19th-century Chicago, and describes what life was like before the invention of the modern Western toilet. She...ends with a fascinating history of the rise and fall of the public toilet ... A surprisingly lively read about the science and history of waste that will engage fans of Mary Roach and popular science.
There are jokes to be made on the topic of toilets; fortunately, science writer Wald treats the subject with the seriousness it deserves ... The book is well-written and researched, with much in-person investigation by the author. Extensive resources and suggestions for further reading follow the text. This is engaging, informative, and an unexpected must-read for readers interested in sustainability, and should have a place in nearly every library. This is engaging, informative, and an unexpected must-read for readers interested in sustainability, and should have a place in nearly every library.
Science journalist Wald debuts with a thoughtful and funny survey ... At home with an awkward topic, the author lucidly discusses 'pee-cycling' (including the extraction of phosphorous from urine to be used as agricultural fertilizer) and myriad designs for water-conserving toilets. The green-minded will find this insightful and entertaining study to be a fresh angle on a perhaps underappreciated environmental concern.
Toilet humor is one thing, but toilet fact, as digested by skilled science writer Wald, is quite another ... Arriving at new toilet designs figures into much of this lucid narrative, with solutions that produce biodegradable concrete coatings and fertilizer ... A highly informative, well-reasoned call to rethink the throne.