Packing for Mars, by Mary Roach
Okay, I've officially joined the Mary Roach fan club. I get it now. She's certifiably hilarious; I can't remember the last time I laughed out loud while reading non-fiction! This is Roach's book about the science of space travel - not the rockets or flight paths or lunar modules, but what it takes for human beings to actually survive in space. Gravity (and the lack thereof), food, waste management, personality types. Roach covers a whole lot of ground, the stuff that isn't generally included in textbooks. It's fascinating, to think that a mere fifty years ago we honestly had no idea what space could do to a person. If nothing else, Roach's book leaves one with a healthy respect for NASA's ability to test just about every scenario possible. Her writing is incredibly enjoyable, funny and informative and great fun to read. My only complaint was reading the rather lengthy chapter on excretion while eating my breakfast... Informative, but gross. I can't wait to read Roach's other books.