Celebrate the tenth anniversary of Pierce County READS as we welcome Mary Roach talking about her new book Grunt. Ariel Van Cleave, KNKX’s “Morning Edition” producer will interview Mary Roach. How did she get into this line of work—and why are we so fascinated with everything that’s gross? Afterward, Roach will autograph books.
Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War 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. 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.
Mary Roach grew up in a small house in Etna, New Hampshire. She graduated from Wesleyan in 1981, and then moved out to San Francisco. She spent a few years working as a freelance copy editor before landing a half-time PR job at the SF Zoo. During that time she wrote freelance articles for the local newspaper's Sunday magazine. Though she mostly focuses on writing books, she writes the occasional magazine piece. These have run in Outside, National Geographic, New Scientist, Wired, and The New York Times Magazine, as well as many others.Mary Roach also reviews books for The New York Times. Her first book, Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, was an offshoot of a column she wrote for Salon.com. Her other books include Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife, Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex, Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void, and Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal.