Cannonball Read IV

A bunch of Pajibans reading and reviewing and honoring AlabamaPink.

Erin is Scrumtrulescent’s #CBR4 Review #01: Packing For Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void by Mary Roach

There are certain topics that manage to be endlessly fascinating to me, and as a result I find myself gravitating to certain, familiar areas of my local bookstores. If I am in the need of something new to read but not quite sure what that would be, wandering over to the science section usually gives me a few good ideas. This is where I stumbled onto this interesting looking read, and it did not disappoint.

Packing For Mars offers a look at pretty much anything you ever wanted to know about what it was and is like being astronaut. It is not only those lucky few who have been to space that she covers, however. She also spends a fair amount of time with a lot of people who have made it possible (not to mention easier and much less gross) for those astronauts to do what they do.  It turned out to be more than just interesting though; I was at times laughing out loud, dumbfounded, and – more than a few times – totally grossed out.

Roach, as is the case in all her other books as well, has researched this topic meticulously. She presents the basics – anti-gravity and early failures – but delves into places a lesser writer would make hard to get through. Among them: hygiene sacrifices, space cuisine, and the challenges of going to the bathroom in a place with no gravity. She presents this all with the perfect bit of humor and enthusiasm needed to make the writing seem effortless but in the end still leave you in awe of the subject matter.

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