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Packing for Mars


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About the Author

Mary Roach is the author of Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War, Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void, Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex, Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife, and Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers. Her writing has appeared in Outside, Wired, National Geographic, and the New York Times Magazine, among others. She lives in Oakland, California.


With wry humor and an often repellent degree of detail, New York Times best-selling author Roach ( previous title, Bonk (2008), is also read by Sandra Burr and available from Brilliance Audio-here discusses the physical challenges astronauts face during space flight, i.e., the zero-gravity realities of disposing of bodily waste, bathing, eating, having sex, and getting sick, along with all of their malodorous consequences. She also tracks NASA engineers' attempts to find solutions to these dilemmas in order to improve astronauts' physical and psychological experiences. Burr narrates in a matter-of-fact tone that well matches Roach's scientific approach. Recommended for adult audiences interested in the curiosities of space flight; not for the queasy. [The New York Times best-selling Norton hc received a starred review, LJ 7/10.-Ed.]-Ilka Gordon, Siegal Coll. of Judaic Studies Lib., Cleveland (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

"A delightful, illuminating grab bag of space-flight curiosities." -- Kirkus Reviews
"A truly funny look at the less majestic aspects of the space program.... Roach's writing is supremely accessible, but there's never a moment when you aren't aware of how much research she's done into unexplored reaches of space travel." -- Entertainment Weekly
"This is the kind of smart, smirky stuff that Roach does so well." -- Geoff Nicholson - San Francisco Chronicle
"Cool answers to questions about the void you didn't even know you had." -- People
"An utterly fascinating account, made all the more entertaining by the author's ever-amused tone." -- BookPage
"An impish and adventurous writer with a gleefully inquisitive mind and stand-up comic's timing." -- Booklist
"The author's writing comes across as reportorial, but with a clear sense of humor; even the footnotes are used to both informational and comedic effect." -- Time Out New York
"With an unflinching eye, [Roach] launches readers into the thick of spaceflight's grossest engineering challenges." -- M. G. Lord - The New York Times Book Review
"Roach's strange enthusiasm for all things oddball . . . makes Mars a more than worthy destination." -- Time
"Roach provides a highly readable, often hilarious, guide." -- Christian Science Monitor
"Roach deftly guides her readers. . . . They never completely lose sight of the accomplishments of space travel, even as they take delight in the absurdities that, in the end, make those successes all the more sublime." -- Dallas Morning News
"A more realistic view of life in space than we have ever gotten from a NASA broadcast." -- The Daily Beast
"It's all about those things NASA doesn't delve into at press conferences." -- BoingBoing

Roach explores the quotidian aspects of space travel for humans with her usual aplomb. She reveals the everyday concerns and aspects-physiological, psychological, and emotional-of long-term space immersion. Sandra Burr proves a great complement to Roach's prose. Her character voices are distinct, and she executes the jargon and technical aspects of space life with a clear and emphatic tone, helping listeners with more complicated passages. She has a matter-of-fact tone with a hint of a wry smile when she explains, say, sex in space, and she is unfailingly clear and affable. A Norton hardcover. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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