Robert Sullivan thought it would be cool to spend a year or so hanging out in an alley watching some rats, and write a book about it and rats in general. It turned out to be a pretty good book, but with a lot of needless philosophising which didn't seem to result in any great conclusions, that I could tell. I would have been happy with just lots of facts and observations. (The book has them, just mixed in with the other stuff.)
Reading this book I realized that I am missing what seems to be a fundamental human trait -- I'm not afraid of rats. I suppose if you stuck me in a dark alley surrounded by lots of them, I might be, but when I imagine the scenario it doesn't faze me at all. We had rats as pets and I have a great deal of appreciation for them; they are intelligent and resourceful and generally very sensible animals. And unlike cats, they don't vomit.