Recently, the bestselling author of Wicked Plants, Amy Stewart, came out with another creepy book. This one is entitled Wicked Bugs: The Louse that Conquered Napoleon's Army and other Diabolical Insects. Both books are richly illustrated with copper plate etchings by Briony Morrow-Cribbs. Stewart says she thinks this particular type of etching gives the book a lurid, dangerous quality, and certainly combined with the red and black "warning colors" displayed on the cover of Wicked Bugs, she has a point. Her most recent effort details some 100 "bug" culprits that have or have had the most dangerous effects on humans.
Amy Stewart's ad hoc use of the word "bugs" goes beyond what our resident entomologist Art Evans would put in that category, but Stewart uses the word with apologies for her broad definition. She told Art that the title had to be short and catchy, and that she knew she would never be able to get away with doing other books with titles like Wicked Tapeworms and Wicked Spiders. During our telephone conversation Stewart laughingly said, "I was only going to get one shot at this, so I included everything that was even remotely interesting to me."
What grabs Stewart's attention will likely grab yours. It's frequently humorous, slightly creepy and full of wonder. With the Morrow-Cribbs engravings the book is an informative, funny, nicely produced package. By the way, Amy Stewart will be at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens for a lecture and book signing Thursday October 20th. Here's Amy's blog Dirt and more about her new book. We'll be airing portions of Art's interview with Amy through the summer starting Tuesday, June 14th at 8:35 during Art's regular "What's Bugging You" segment in Morning Edition. You'll also find the complete 19 minute audio interview below Amy Stewart's Wicked Funny promotional video for Wicked Bugs!