Best Selling Books by Mary Roach

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Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers

release date: May 17, 2004
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Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers
A look inside the world of forensics examines the use of human cadavers in a wide range of endeavors, including research into new surgical procedures, space exploration, and a Tennessee human decay research facility.

My Planet

release date: Apr 04, 2013
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My Planet
From acclaimed, New York Times best-selling author Mary Roach comes the complete collection of her “My Planet” articles published in Reader’s Digest. She was a hit columnist in the magazine, and this book features the articles she wrote in that time. Insightful and hilarious, Mary explores the ins and outs of the modern world: marriage, friends, family, food, technology, customer service, dental floss, and ants—she leaves no element of the American experience unchecked for its inherent paradoxes, pleasures, and foibles. On Cleanliness: Ed has crud vision, and I don’t. I don’t notice filth. Ed sees it everywhere. I am reasonably convinced that Ed can actually see bacteria. . . . He confessed he didn’t like me using his bathrobe because I’d wear it while sitting on the toilet. “It’s not like it goes in the water,” I protested, though if you counted the sash as part of the robe, this wasn’t strictly true. On the Internet: The Internet is a boon for hypochondriacs like me. Right now, for instance, I’m feeling a shooting pain on the side of my neck. A Web search produces five matches, the first three for a condition called Arnold-Chiari Malformation. While my husband, Ed, reads over my shoulder, I recite symptoms from the list. “‘General clumsiness’ and ‘general imbalance,’” I say, as though announcing arrivals at the Marine Corps Ball. “‘Difficulty driving,’ ‘lack of taste,’ ‘difficulty feeling feet on ground.’” “Those aren’t symptoms,” says Ed. “Those are your character flaws.” On Fashion: My husband recently made me try on a bikini. A bikini is not so much a garment as a cloth-based reminder that your parts have been migrating all these years. My waist, I realized that day in the dressing room, has completely disappeared beneath my rib cage, which now rests directly on my hips. I’m exhibiting continental drift in reverse. On Eating Healthy: So Ed and I were eating a lot of vegetables. Vegetables on pasta, vegetables on rice. This was extremely healthy, until you got to the part where Ed and I are found in the kitchen at 10 p.m., feeding on Froot Loops and tubes of cookie dough.

Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex

release date: Apr 06, 2009
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Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex
A New York Times Bestseller “Rich in dexterous innuendo, laugh-out-loud humor and illuminating fact. It’s compulsively readable.” —Los Angeles Times Book Review In ?Bonk, ?the best-selling author of Stiff turns her outrageous curiosity and insight on the most alluring scientific subject of all: sex. Can a person think herself to orgasm? Why doesn't Viagra help women-or, for that matter, pandas? Can a dead man get an erection? Is vaginal orgasm a myth? Mary Roach shows us how and why sexual arousal and orgasm-two of the most complex, delightful, and amazing scientific phenomena on earth-can be so hard to achieve and what science is doing to make the bedroom a more satisfying place.

Fuzz

release date: Jan 01, 2021
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Fuzz
One of Bookpage's Most Anticipated Nonfiction Books of 2021 Join America's funniest science writer (Peter Carlson, Washington Post), Mary Roach, on an irresistible investigation into the unpredictable world where wildlife and humans meet.

Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal

release date: Apr 01, 2014
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Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal
The humorous science writer offers a tour of the human digestive system, explaining why the stomach doesn't digest itself and whether constipation can kill you.

Bonk

release date: Jan 01, 2009
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Bonk
Few things are as fundamental to human happiness as sex, and few writers are as entertaining about the subject as Mary Roach.Can a woman think herself to orgasm?Is your penis three inches longer than you think?Why doesn't Viagra help women - or, for that matter, pandas?Does orgasm boost fertility? Or cure hiccups?The study of sexual physiology - what happens, and why, and how to make it happen better - has been taking place behind closed doors for hundreds of years. In this fascinating and funny book, Mary Roach steps inside laboratories, brothels, pig farms, sex-toy R&D labs - even Alfred Kinsey's attic - to tell us everything we wanted to know about sex, and a lot we'd never even thought to ask.

Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War

release date: Jun 07, 2016
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Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War
A New York Times / National Bestseller "America's funniest science writer" (Washington Post) Mary Roach explores the science of keeping human beings intact, awake, sane, uninfected, and uninfested in the bizarre and extreme circumstances of war. Grunt tackles the science behind some of a soldier's most challenging adversaries—panic, exhaustion, heat, noise—and introduces us to the scientists who seek to conquer them. Mary Roach dodges hostile fire with the U.S. Marine Corps Paintball Team as part of a study on hearing loss and survivability in combat. She visits the fashion design studio of U.S. Army Natick Labs and learns why a zipper is a problem for a sniper. She visits a repurposed movie studio where amputee actors help prepare Marine Corps medics for the shock and gore of combat wounds. At Camp Lemmonier, Djibouti, in east Africa, we learn how diarrhea can be a threat to national security. Roach samples caffeinated meat, sniffs an archival sample of a World War II stink bomb, and stays up all night with the crew tending the missiles on the nuclear submarine USS Tennessee. She answers questions not found in any other book on the military: Why is DARPA interested in ducks? How is a wedding gown like a bomb suit? Why are shrimp more dangerous to sailors than sharks? Take a tour of duty with Roach, and you’ll never see our nation’s defenders in the same way again.

Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void

release date: Apr 04, 2011
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Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void
“America’s funniest science writer” (Washington Post) explores the irresistibly strange universe of life without gravity in this New York Times bestseller. The best-selling author of Stiff and Bonk explores the irresistibly strange universe of space travel and life without gravity. From the Space Shuttle training toilet to a crash test of NASA’s new space capsule, Mary Roach takes us on the surreally entertaining trip into the science of life in space and space on Earth.

Six Feet Over

release date: Aug 31, 2010
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Six Feet Over
Does the light just go out and that’s that – the million-year nap? Or will some part of my personality, my me-ness, persist? What will that feel like? What will I do all day? Is there a place to plug in my laptop?” Mary Roach trains her considerable humour and curiosity on the human soul, seeking answers from a varied and fascinating crew of contemporary and historical soul-searchers: scientists, schemers, engineers, mediums, all trying to prove (or disprove) that life goes on after we die. Along the way she encounters electromagnetic hauntings, out-of-body experiences, ghosts and lawsuits: Mary Roach sifts and weighs the evidence in her hilarious, inimitable style.

Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife

release date: Oct 17, 2006
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Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife
The best-selling author of Stiff and Bonk trains her considerable wit and curiosity on the human soul. "What happens when we die? Does the light just go out and that's that—the million-year nap? Or will some part of my personality, my me-ness persist? What will that feel like? What will I do all day? Is there a place to plug in my lap-top?" In an attempt to find out, Mary Roach brings her tireless curiosity to bear on an array of contemporary and historical soul-searchers: scientists, schemers, engineers, mediums, all trying to prove (or disprove) that life goes on after we die.
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