Gross Anatomy By Mara Altman – A Review

Publisher: Harper Collins

Publication Date: 23rd August 2018

Can we just all appreciate the beautiful cerise pink cover of this book for a moment…………thanks.

Ok, this book is a non-fiction account of Mara Altman’s various troubles/anxieties/thoughts regarding the female anatomy told from her own perspective regarding her own body.

Just the prologue of this book had me chuckling to myself

Why does my dog, every time I squat down, make a beeline for my crotch? The only other thing she’s drawn to with such consistency is the garbage can…

With lines like that I just knew that this lady was completely on my humour level and I was going to enjoy this rollercoaster ride around the female body.  Being both a female and possessed of a troublesome body of my very own, I could identify with ooooohhhhh 99% of Mara’s own concerns/thoughts/bewilderments, not to mention embarrassments!

This book is divided into two sections, ‘The Top Half’ which covers such topics as facial hair, body hair, nits and breasts and ‘The Bottom Half’ which covers such delights as bum’s, vagina’s and birthmarks. I was pleasantly surprised that the topics covered were not just the ones you would expect a book like this to cover.  The section on nits was hilarious (and kinda vile!) and had me literally wanting to scratch my scalp off as I was reading it!

What I very much enjoyed about this book was the fact that we always hear about a particular worry or wonderment from the perspective of Mara and then she essentially gives us the ‘science bit’ and tells us the thoroughly researched reasons why certain things occur.  The sciencey bits were not too ‘sciencey’, perfectly pitched information that was very absorbing and informative.

The author’s own experiences are not only told in such an engaging and readable way, they really make you feel as if you’re not alone.  We all have anxieties surrounding  our bodies, and it’s nice to hear from the perspective of a fellow female who isn’t a close friend or family member humouring you about your worries.

Mara is such a witty and hilarious writer, she can certainly tell an engaging anecdote.  I feel like I could go and have a drink with her and laugh my socks off!

Not afraid to shy away from the embarassing, the cringeworthy and the downright disgusting, this book is a rip roaring romp around the confusingly marvellous, imperfectly wonderful female body.

Get yourself a copy and be prepared to identify with everything you read (if you’re a female) or appreciate the marvel of the female form a little better (if you’re a male).

Thank you to Rosie Margesson and Harper Collins for the review copy.

See you soon.

Bookish Chat xxx


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