Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Packing for Mars by Mary Roach

Reading time: 5 hour
New knowledge 7/10
Need to pay attention 5/10
Emotional connection 3/10
Unquantifiable satisfaction 9/10
Overall 8/10

 Mary Roach is hilarious no matter what subject she takes on - so far she has managed to bring her dry wit and casual humor to such subjects as the paranormal, the dead, and sex. In this latest research project of hers, Roach tackles the topic of space exploration. Though she provides more than enough history that even someone who didn't know the first thing about traveling to space and landing on the moon understands the historical context perfectly, she manages to tell these somewhat dry accounts through the most interesting tidbits and anecdotes she can find. She delves into the memoirs of many astronauts and schedules interviews with NASA officials so that she can tell us about all the little human details of space exploration. 

As most her books, this one is divided by chapters that are little mini-research projects of their own, so there's no issue with putting down the book for days and coming back to it when you have the time. Although I guarantee that once you start reading you won't want to stop. Roach is brilliant at injecting humor into the driest of topics through her own personal observations and opinions - a human element that is far too often missing from non-fiction books.

Packing for Mars on Amazon


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