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Book Review: Wicked Bugs

Wicked Bugs

The Louse That Conquered Napoleon's Army & Other Diabolical Insects

by Amy Stewart

Wicked Bugs

288 pages

Algonquin Books, 2011

List Price: $18.95

In the spirit of the wildly successful Wicked Plants, author Amy Stewart has done it again. This time, she exposes the sordid secrets of the some of the world's most dastardly insects. Gardeners, no matter how they feel about bugs and their creepiness, have to come to terms with them if they ever hope to be comfortable inhabiting the same space (the garden).

If you're one that has a hard time with that, then you might think this book isn't for you. But not reading it would mean you'd miss finding out some of the most fascinating and intriguing facts about both common and little-known insects that we share the planet with. Many, you'll never encounter in your backyard. (Whew!) Others will earn new respect from you as you come face-to-face with them.

"Scorpions glow under ultraviolet light, so Arizonans who wish to check under their beds for scorpions can use a black light flashlight."

Once again, I chose one of Amy's books for bedtime reading and just as with Wicked Plants, I nudged my husband and made him listen to me as I read one incredible fact after another about bugs. Luckily, he finds them just as captivating as I do, but it's a miracle we both don't have nightmares after reading some of this.

Listen, as Amy gives you a preview:

Wicked Bugs

Doesn't that sound fun? Of course it does. Buy it.

Amy Stewart is the bestselling author of five books on the perils and pleasures of the natural world. She has been featured on NPR, in the New York Times, and on CBS' Sunday Morning. She is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and the American Horticultural Society's 2010 Book Award. Visit for more.

Read more garden book reviews

Read Kylee Baumle’s blog, Our Little Acre