I’m thoroughly enjoying Mary Roach’s most recent book, Packing for Mars. I am a huge fan of her quirky, humorous take on science writing — she makes everything more interesting and at times, just downright hilarious. This one is about space exploration and the bizarre things that happen to human beings who have made the amazing adventure. One interesting fact: did you know that on top of all the crazy qualifications to becoming an astronaut, among them are personal traits that you may have no control over? For example, if you snore or have bad breath, you will not qualify for space travel. Which makes sense — think of the close quarters with which they must share their lives for months on end — bad breath would be enough to literally drive your partner crazy.
Among other explorations in the book — the effects of isolation and inactivity, the tricky problem of waste elimination (poop, people), and what to do if you vomit in your helmet while on a spacewalk? I can hardly put this book down.
The next book is a recommendation from Milo and Oliver: Greek Myths for Young Children, by Marcia Williams. Although, I will venture to say that no Greek Myths are really for young children — those stories are so brutal! Consider yourself warned: there’s plenty of death and jealousy, suicide and vanity, and just all things intense. But that’s probably why Milo and Oliver love this book. It’s presented in comic book form, with strips of action to follow along with the storyline. Oliver has been intently studying every page, every day for the past two weeks. When I told him it was due at the library soon, he openly cried. So, of course, I renewed it. We may have to buy this one!