Rose George’s previous book was about toilets, and was hilarious, so when she tackles the shipping industry in Ninety Percent of Everything: Inside Shipping, the Invisible Industry That Puts Clothes on Your Back, Gas in Your Car, and Food on Your Plate, we are in for a treat. She travels on a container ship, avoids pirates, and goes looking for pirates. Along the way, she describes how the shipping industry is ruthlessly competitive and in many ways unregulated since ships can sail under any flag, which means that labor rules are lax and workers work hard and are paid as little as possible.
The book could have done without the chapter on WWII shipwrecks, and with a streamlined chapter about the impact of shipping noises on whales and other marine life, but if you ever wondered who works on those giant container ships, this is the book for you. And check out Moby-Duck, too, for stories of ships in the Pacific Ocean.