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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Adult Book Review: Packing for Mars

Author: Mary Roach
Reviewed by Chloe Fuksa

With the start of a new year, I knew I wanted to read a book by an author I hadn’t read before. Mary Roach’s most well-known book is probably Stiff, but I figured the topic of cadavers might be a bit much for a family-friendly magazine. So instead, I picked up Packing for Mars, released back in 2010. In a way only she could do, Roach dives into a whole array of things that astronauts must deal with when traveling into space.

There’s first the matter of how astronauts even get chosen – and how the notion of the ideal candidate has changed over the decades. Fighter pilots used to be the norm, but now, in Japan for instance, one of the tests involves making origami cranes. Roach goes on to explore things like the breakaway phenomenon and weightlessness and motion sickness. She talks about how space suits have changed and how rover expeditions are first tested in a crater in Canada. And because no topic is off-limits for Roach, there are chapters on skin secretions and bone loss and vomiting, etc – she runs the whole gamut. Lastly, she explains the different food diets that have been attempted over the years, from compressed sandwiches to milkshakes and tube food. We’ve come a long way.

Roach is known as a funny author, and she certainly knows how to land a punchline. Sometimes it veers a little toward teenage-boy humor, but regardless, Packing for Mars is wildly informative. The lengths that Roach went to in her research, the level of detail, is incredible. The bookis certainly entertaining, and I can easily see why readers are drawn to Roach’s distinct style. This one was, at times, perhaps a smidge too bizarre for my taste, but I’m really happy to say I’ve read a Mary Roach book now.

Visit us in Sunset Plaza or call 580-297-5089 to get your copy of Packing for Mars today!

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Chloe Fuksahttp://putnamsix.com
Chloe Fuksa is the owner of Putnam Six Bookstore, located in Sunset Plaza. Like many others in her hometown, Chloe was sad to see Hastings close and decided to open a local independent bookstore in October 2018. Chloe loves that books can comfort you and teach you, they can make you laugh and make you cry, they can transport you to faraway places and inspire your wildest dreams.

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