Friday, March 8, 2013

Featured Author: Mary Roach

Author Mary Roach counts freelance copy editor, part-time PR person for the San Francisco Zoo, and columnist for on her curriculum vitae.  She has also written articles for National Geographic, Wired, Outside, and New Scientist magazines, but as she says on her website, "I mostly write books these days."  Her first book, Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, grew out of her Salon column - "sort of a reported humor column, wherein I covered things like...amputee bowling leagues and the question of how much food it takes to burst a human stomach."  She claims to have no hobbies but enjoys "bird-watching--though the hours don't agree with me--backpacking, thrift stores, overseas supermarkets, Scrabble, mangoes and that late-night 'Animal Planet' show about horrific animals..."  Mary Roach's books have been called "irreverent romps", "informative", "breezy", "droll", and are recommended for "trivia whizzes, and anyone out for a good laugh"[Book News], but "not for the queasy", as she goes into vivid detail about biological functions.

Respectful and serious yet entertaining, this history of cadavers past and present features visits to morticians, forensic scientists, and medical schools.
Mary Roach, always game to experiment for her book research, goes to medium school, undergoes electromagnetic waves to her brain to see if it helps her to see ghosts, examines a piece of alleged ectoplasm at Cambridge University, and more!
The author discusses what science is doing to make the bedroom a more satisfying place.
Explores the strange universe of space travel and life without gravity.  The author previews space travel without leaving earth, thanks to space agencies' startlingly bizarre space simulations.

Mary Roach has also written the foreword to Science Ink: Tattoos of the Science Obsessed by Carl Zimmer.

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