Interested in reading books about science but didn’t spend four years studying biology? Try one of Mary Roach’s four nonfiction books. Written in a style that is both easy to read and humorous, this author answers questions you didn’t even know you wanted to ask.
Stiff: The Curious Life of Human Cadavers, Roach’s first book, looks at how human bodies have been used over the centuries. From medical experiments to forensic science to safety research, cadavers have had a large impact on what we know today.
Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife is, according to Roach, "a book for people who would like very much to believe in a soul and in an afterlife for it to hang around in, but who have trouble accepting these things on faith. It's a giggly, random, utterly earthbound assault on our most ponderous unanswered question." From the most rigorously scientific experiments to mediums trying to contact the spirit world, Roach looks at how people have answered the question "Does the soul exist after we die."
Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex, Roach’s third book, covers the history of sexual physiology. How and why people have studied sex, from ED to farm animal insemination, is reported with an eye towards the quirky.
Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void, Roach’s newest book, looks at what happens to humans in space and what it takes to get up there. Roach takes a trip through various space agencies’ bizarre simulations, to figure out the psychology, technology, and political elements that go into spending a crew into space.
Whether your interest is death, ghosts, sex, or astronauts, Mary Roach will leave you wanting more. For more information check out her website or check out any of her books through the Springfield-Greene County Public Library.
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