Packing for Mars by Mary Roach (unabridged audiobook read by Sandra Burr; 10.5 hrs on 9 discs): I have never wanted to be an astronaut. The notion of having nothing between you and the vacuum of space but a thin wall is absolutely terrifying. I don’t want to worry about using the toilet while weightless or eat food from a tube or go weeks without bathing. I am also prone to motion sickness. That said, it’s still interesting to read about the challenges involved in propelling man out past the atmosphere. I liked a lot of the history, but unfortunately the majority of the facets of space life covered here have to do with vomit and feces. I understand how important those two things are in these sorts of conditions, but it got really old. Not something I’d recommend to the casual reader, but if you’re hoping to become an astronaut, it could serve as a much-needed warning for what you’re getting yourself into.
A note on the audio: I dislike Burr’s fiction narration intensely, but she reads nonfiction like this very well.