I'm a big fan of Mary Roach. Her work has appeared on the blog for All Lady July's past and just normal blog goings on. I randomly saw that she had a new book coming out, I dusted off my kindle and requested it on Netgalley and read it during Dewey's 24 hour readathon. Because I suck I waited a really long time to write the review, so it's not as good as it could be, but trust me, read this book.
As with most Roach books she looks at several different topics that are among the same theme. In this case she talks about people who serve in the armed forces, but actually like, the war part. Just the business of what makes war happen.
There were a couple of topics that I thought were very interesting:
Penis transplants. Yep. One of the many many terrible things about landmines or IEDs is that they can destroy your legs...and maybe parts of your penis. So there's a chapter that talks about penis transplants or reconstruction and why for awhile the VA would only pay to um, reconstruct it but not to make it, um functional. Also we're not very far away from full penis transplants. Though there is some ethical questions about donor sperm. It sounds like a kind of jokey thing but it's a serious problem that can reek havoc on people's mental state and marriages.
Uniform design. Fashion seems like a moot point when almost everyone is wearing the same thing, but it turns out that every little detail is considered when designing and making the uniforms. Like, hey, don't give snipers zipper closures because it's loud and they don't want to lay on them for hours and hours on end. And, hey if you're making uniforms for people's in tanks, they should be flame retardant because those folks don't have space IN A TANK to stop, drop and roll if there is fire. (Between that and the movie Fury I don't EVER want to be in a tank. Ever. God bless our tank riding in men and women.)
Diarrhea. What do you do when you have the shliterbahns and you're on a super top secret mission and you can't exactly pull over at a Speedway? You go in a ziploc bag full of kitty litter.
I will say it again.
God bless our men and women who serve.
I love this book. 4 out of 5. Read it and be thankful for what we take for granted.