In my quest to read fifty books this year (still embarrassingly shy of a certain ex-president’s reading list) I have reached a small milestone, completing my fortieth book last Friday. Number forty is a personal milestone, as it matches my record of forty books in 2008, and I think I’m on track to meet, or – dare I say it? – exceed my goal.
Book number forty was Mary Roach’s humorous and fascinating Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void, an exploration of the doggedly rigorous science that keeps astronauts alive in space. If any book could convince you not to become an astronaut, this is it. Apparently, “the right stuff” includes the ability to live with floating turds, urine blobs sticking to your body, and food worse than the mystery-meat Mrs. O’Grady ker-plopped on your plate in the high school cafeteria. And that is just when everything goes according to plan.
Update: I’ve also updated the legendary List-o-Books 2010 to keep things up-to-date.