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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 (www.maryroach.net)-whose 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.

"[Roach's] style is at its most substantial-and most hilarious-in the zero-gravity realm that Packing for Mars explores." -- Janet Maslin - New York Times
"The book is an often hilarious, sometimes queasy-making catalog of the strange stuff devised to permit people to survive in an environment for which their bodies are stupendously unsuited. With an unflinching eye, [Roach] launches readers into the thick of spaceflight's grossest engineering challenges." -- M. G. Lord - New York Times Book Review
"Truly funny...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
"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
"[Roach] has once again discovered a winner of a subject...Roach's strange enthusiasm for all things oddball...makes Mars a more than worthy destination." -- Time
"An utterly fascinating account, made all the more entertaining by the author's ever-amused tone." -- BookPage
"Roach provides a highly readable, often hilarious, guide." -- Christian Science Monitor
"Cool answers to questions about the void you didn't even know you had." -- People
"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
"Over the course of several frank chapters, Roach explores the nitty-gritty details of life in space that filmmakers and historians tend to gloss over...Roach's wide-eyed wonder...sets Packing for Mars apart from the galaxy of space travel histories" -- Boston Globe

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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