Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Packing for Mars

Posted out of order. This is neither novel mentioned in the previous post.

I have enjoyed Mary Roach's writings for years and years. I first came across her as a writer for Reader's Digest. My parents have subscribed to RD for most of my life and when I would visit, I would grab any issues I hadn't read and look for her two page humor piece. She has always been extremely entertaining. If you want to read some of her pieces, Google her name and Reader's Digest.

When she published her first book, Stiff, I pounced on it. It was about cadavers and how they are used in scientific study.

I have not read her books on the afterlife (Spook) or sex (Bonk) but read a nice review of Packing for Mars in Book Page. The library got Packing for Mars in so I signed it out and read it.

Packing for Mars is about space travel, particularly the effects of space travel on the human body. This is not a topic that would normally interest me and if not for Roach writing it, I probably wouldn't have checked it out.

I have an issue with Mary Roach, though. She is really, really interested in body functions. I don't have the desire to read about defecation, urination, vomiting, etc. Swelling of organs also not high on my list of interests. Mary loves it. It's why I probably won't read Bonk. I'm afraid it'll turn me off of sex.

After reading Packing for Mars, I can safely say that I will not be participating in space flight any time soon. I actually enjoy showers and real food. I don't enjoy motion sickness and being in tiny places for long periods of time. It is plenty fascinating reading Roach's research into those who are willing and able to take part and even more fascinating reading about the preparations involved.

The research Roach does is excellent. She talks to folks from space programs around the world which I find quite remarkable given the secrecy of governments. If I had an interest in space or even science, this would probably be a two star book but it didn't quite appeal to me enough for me to give it such a rating.

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