Posts Tagged With: space

book review | The Secret Lives of Planets by Paul Murdin

secret lives of planets paul murdinAuthor: Paul Murdin
Title: The Secret Lives of Planets
Series: –
Genre: Nonfiction; Science
Pages: 288
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

As a child, I wanted to be an astronaut. And so I knew all the planets on the Solar System, and lots of facts about them. Alongside dinosaur names. That’s likely why “The Secret Lives of Planets” by Paul Murdin amused me so. A fun little book.

About the Book: Author introduces us to planets like we’re all just having afternoon tea. Telling us their names, name origins, who, how, and when discovered them. What’s their path across our sky and around the sun. What could they be made out of, what we know, and what we can speculate. Each fact, even the driest one, was presented in a kind, almost telltale style, easy to read and absorb.

My Opinion: Author has a great writing style. I appreciated the light humor, facts and side-facts. Nothing felt dry, nothing was boring. In fact, it painted a beautiful mental image of each planet, making me appreciate the sunlight pouring in through the windows, away from the cold, ice, and distant parent star.

This was definitely my cup of tea. A 5 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: NonFiction, Science Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | “Packing for Mars” by Mary Roach

Mary Roach Packing for Mars cover bookAuthor: Mary Roach
Title: Packing for Mars
Series: –
Genre: Science Literature, Space
Pages: 334
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Mary Roach is something of a delight for me. Way back in the day I’ve read her book “Stiff“, about corpses, their treatment, use, etc. It was very interesting, informative, and yet hilarious. I couldn’t wrap my head around it of how can a book about dead people be this amusing, and perfectly respectful. So when I came across my favorite topic – Mars, by one of my favorite authors of Science Literature – Mary Roach… Well, here we are.

About: We’ve all seen the glory of being an astronaut. You’re a living star, a pioneer of space, almost as famous as Loki or Thor. We even waved the Moon off in want to explore a real planet: Mars.

So, how is your day? What do you eat? Do you exercise? Do you bathe daily, wash your hair? How often does the Nature Call you to the bathroom? Do you have enough clothes to last you a week without washing them, or do you do your laundry more often? And how are all these things done in zero G, in a cramped little space with little to no privacy?

If all these questions can be solved and optimized then, according to this book, a two year voyage to Mars could begin for a human being too. But it really does mean two years of calories that are varied enough to not drive the crew insane for having to eat the same mush day in and day out in a cramped space with no real privacy, not to mention the question of intimacy. All and more will be answered or at least discussed in this book.

Mine: At times I laughed. Other times I hysterically howled. Mary Roach has finessed the art of tackling the less glorious sides of the topics we all love. No one will really tell you how the first astronauts used the bathroom. Mary Roach requested to use one of those herself, since… Well, it takes very specific adjustments. You’ll likely not hear about the ickier experiments either, like how often must you bathe, how much oils does your body produce, when does it stop producing excess of it. From potential rat birth in space, to, ah, different kind of floaters. Truly, if you ever wanted to be an astronaut, or are curious of this topic, give Mary Roach a chance. The book is amazingly written, you’ll never be left to your own devices. She’ll explain everything, joke with you, lead you through it, give you more details, and you’ll have a hell of a time.

This was a fun read. It added to my previous read, Apollo 8 too, since it touched upon those missions, and that smuggled contraband in form of a beef sandwich. Mary Roach remains among my favorites, so this book gets a 5 out of 5 for sure.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: Funny!, Books: NonFiction, Science Books | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

For the Bold, Beautiful, Brave – by Blackwood

For the Brave, the Beautiful, and the Bold
By Blackwood

Categories: Books: Everything, Treasures | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Andy Weir – The Martian

18007564  I am the type of person who just feels all sorts of wrong when I have to see a movie before I’ve read the book, even thought I do know it’s different media: spoilers galore, and I prefer book doing it, not the movie. But with work and reading responsibilities, I had little hopes for this book, even though something was pulling me towards it. Luckily, our book club lit a green light, and Andy Weir book “The Martian” (ISBN 0804139024; 369p.; Goodreads) miraculously became a go. So here we are, and I am mad excited.

Mark Watney was part of a six member crew meant to spend some time on Mars, get some samples, celebrate Thanks Giving day, and pack up home to Earth. Everything was prepared, and they even got a slight treat: actual live potatoes for their celebration, not some dry-freeze astronaut crap. But you can’t foresee all, even if you’re a grand like NASA, you’re still dealing with Mars, a desolate planet with no life or resources to provide you with. So when the great hell of massive winds, dust, and sand hits: crew aborts the mission and retreats towards the safety of the ship leading home. It’d not be all that bad, if the ship (or the MAV) wasn’t under a risk of tipping over: even with Mars atmosphere or lack of it, they’re in no position to straighten it up, so this is it, leave now, or leave never. Mark, on the other hand, has a plan, which he quickly tries to rely to his commander, how to keep the damn thing standing. One moment he’s there, spilling optimistic words to her speakers, the next he is gone, signal and all. And after a few precious and risky minutes of search the world believed Mark dead.

But here he is, our crazy botanist. Waking up in this wasteland of a planet, a hole in his suit, shut accidentally with his own blood, alone, and with no way to communicate anyone of his survival. Next NASA mission to Mars is years away, and Mars, as pointed before, has nothing to offer. Unless Mark figures how to use what people already littered the face of this red planet with. Hey, at the very least he has water reclaimer that will keep him as hydrated as they come, and a hab full of nice clean air for as long as it might take. It’s only half as bad, right?

Imagine if Wade Wilson was a few times smarter, sane, and worked with NASA rather than be a merc. Mark Watney is easily one of my all time favorite characters. His will to survive, his jokes, his whole take on “well, I can sit here and cry, or I can get up and fix it instead” is just beyond me. Take a guy who when asked for a picture as proof of survival and well being sends Earth a thumbs-up and a sign saying “ayyyyy”. That’s him, this guy, against whole Mars. Luckily there’s not many Martians to screw with him.

So let me keep it as short as I can, and I can do little about it, for I’m still in the mode of “this was beyond good”, with nights spent out to read another chapter, another log, another page. 5 out of 5, on my fav list, and Thank You, Andy Weir. You gave me a book that kept me awake, rather than help me sleep, and I’ve no regrets.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Treasures | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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