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Debra Hamel is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.


Books by Debra Hamel:

THE BATTLE OF ARGINUSAE :
VICTORY AT SEA AND ITS TRAGIC AFTERMATH IN THE FINAL YEARS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


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Kindle | paperback (UK)

KILLING ERATOSTHENES:
A TRUE CRIME STORY
FROM ANCIENT ATHENS
By Debra Hamel


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READING HERODOTUS:
A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH THE WILD BOARS, DANCING SUITORS, AND CRAZY TYRANTS OF THE HISTORY
By Debra Hamel


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paperback | hardcover (UK)

THE MUTILATION OF THE HERMS:
UNPACKING AN ANCIENT MYSTERY
By Debra Hamel


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TRYING NEAIRA:
THE TRUE STORY OF A COURTESAN'S SCANDALOUS LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE
By Debra Hamel


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paperback | hardcover (UK)

SOCRATES AT WAR:
THE MILITARY HEROICS OF AN ICONIC INTELLECTUAL
By Debra Hamel


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ANCIENT GREEKS IN DRAG:
THE LIBERATION OF THEBES AND OTHER ACTS OF HEROIC TRANSVESTISM
By Debra Hamel


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IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY TWEET:
FIVE HUNDRED 1ST LINES IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS
By Debra Hamel


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PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


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Roach, Mary: Packing for Mars

  Amazon  

4 stars

TWEETABLE REVIEW: 4* A funny, fascinating look at the less heroic aspects of space travel. Lots to say about zero-gravity defecation. https://www.book-blog.com/2012/07/roach-mary-packing-for-mars.html

In Packing for Mars, Mary Roach takes a look at the less heroic aspects of manned space flight, considering such topics as what happens to shed skin particles when an astronaut doesn't bathe for weeks, the hazards of vomiting in one's helmet during a space walk, and, most memorably, the logistics of zero-gravity defecation. Some of the topics covered are less interesting than these--a history of chimps in space, for example, and simulated Martian traverses on Canada's Devon Island. That's all well and good, but most readers are likely to forget about simian heroics pretty quickly and leave the book instead with a healthy appreciation of gravity-fed toilets. Roach certainly has an eye for arresting topics--her Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers was fantastic (my review)--and she writes well about them. The only problem I had this time out is that her narrative is slowed by the constant introductions of interviewees. A lot of people are thrown at us, their names and positions, and eventually I just stopped paying attention to who any of them were. I suppose if you're structuring the book as she has, describing the interview process, there's no way of getting around the intros, but perhaps it could be structured differently to avoid their becoming tedious.

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