Book of the Week: Packing for Mars

Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void, Mary Roach
W. W. Norton & Company (August 2, 2010)
Featured on Amazon's Best of the Month Book List for August, 2010

From Amazon.comWith her wry humor and inextinguishable curiosity, Mary Roach has crafted her own quirky niche in the somewhat staid world of science writing, showing no fear (or shame) in the face of cadavers, ectoplasm, or sex. In Packing for Mars, Roach tackles the strange science of space travel, and the psychology, technology, and politics that go into sending a crew into orbit. ...Her zeal for discovery, combined with her love of the absurd, amazing, and stranger-than-fiction, make Packing for Mars an uproarious trip into the world of space travel. --[Lynette Mong]

After reading a number of reviews for Packing For Mars, I have to say, I'm rather eager to read it (& I'm not a big Non-Fiction reader). But the book appears to be a favorite of science geeks, space geeks, and humor geeks alike. You can glean her sense of humor through her stark, to the point sentences that tend to highlight the absurd. "To the rocket scientist," she writes, "you are a problem. You are the most irritating piece of machinery he or she will ever have to deal with." Thanks to the New York Times, you can read more of the book here.

Readers over at Goodreads give the book 4+ stars (out of 5).
Amazon readers give it 5 stars (out of 5).

This is Roach's fourth book. She's the author of Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers (W. W. Norton, 2003)Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife (W. W. Norton, 2005)and Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex (W. W. Norton, 2008).

Even though this book was just released, signed first editions are already selling for $40 to $100 over at Signed first editions of Bonk are also available for $50-$100, and Signed first editions of Spook are selling for up to $50 (I found no signed firsts for Stiff).

For more information on Mary Roach, visit her Web site.

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