Friday, February 3, 2012

Books 'n Bars (8) - Packing for Mars

Tuesday we met for our eighth Books 'n Bars meeting and it went very well! I'm so proud that this book club is still going on and people are still interested! Our group hasn't grown for a few months, which I'm sort of okay with. Sometimes a smaller group is better and allows for more well-rounded conversation and participants. We tossed around a few ideas for the summer and I'm so excited to start picking out some new venues that feature a patio so we can sit outside and talk books. We also talked about possibly switching the night to a Friday for the spring, and see how that fares... I'll keep you all posted!

This month we discussed the non fiction book, Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void by Mary Roach.

This book was a change of pace for us, and was definitely a different kind of read for me, but I really enjoyed it! The author spent several years studying space travel and what it is like for the astronauts in space. She didn't want to see the typical astronaut waving and giving the thumbs up sign all the time, she wanted to know what it was really like up there.

This book explored exactly what a human has to give up to be able to spend a year with zero gravity. What do you have to do to your body to prepare? How do use the restroom? How do you even know that you have to use the restroom, considering there is zero gravity and your urine is floating in your bladder.... Yes, folks, I'm serious. These are the things we do not think of, but Mary Roach wrote about for us.

I will say, if you don't like hearing about fecal matter, you might not like this book. There were lots of "turds" floating around. If you do like hearing about poop (don't lie, some people do), you will probably get many giggles out of this book. Poop makes everyone laugh, right? As long we don't have to smell it...

 This month we met at one of Des Moines' local breweries, Raccoon River. The restaurant/bar is located next to one of the oldest hotels in Des Moines, Hotel Fort Des Moines, and the building, built in 1916, was originally a car dealership! You cannot step foot into any of these buildings in this area of downtown and not take note of how gorgeous they are. One of my favorite features of the building Raccoon River is in now, are the huge doors when you first walk in. I wish I would have taken a picture, because they're so gorgeous to me! The doors were actually salvaged from a historic house built in the 1870s in the Grand area - I just love stuff like that!


So, now that you've read that history, you may be wondering if we drank beer?

Why yes, yes we did!

Two of us tried their light brew, which tasted like Bud Light and another friend tried a malty red brew. I wasn't a fan of the red, but I think I just wasn't enjoying beer at all that night! We also shared some nachos, which were really tasty (although a little greasy - but they're nachos, so I feel a little silly for saying that).

Overall, a GREAT January! Can't wait for our meeting in February, which will be on the 28th at 6pm at The Continental in the East Village! We need some help though... we couldn't decide on a book! It's narrowed down to three: Room, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet and The Internet is a Playground, and you can check out all the details (and add your two cents on which book we should read) here!

Today I am linking up with Heather at Blonde, Undercover Blonde for Book Club Friday! :)


Heather said...

Haha, that's hilarious about using the bathroom! I never thought of that before...

pinkflipflops said...

I haven't read any of those yet but I think Room would lead to great conversations from what I've heard of it.

Wiz said...

Ha! So funny. Never would have thought about how astronauts use the bathroom!

Anonymous said...

The book made me think about astronauts in a whole new way! I loved it!

As you know, my vote is for "The Internet is a Playground." I've started reading it...and it's awesome. So funny! I laughed so hard I've cried.

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I am glad that your bookclub is still going strong! I wish my local one hadn't fizzled. :( But at least i have 2 awesome online ones!

whit said...

Book N Bars sounds like an AWESOME idea! I read Stiff by Mary Roach and I liked it for the most part.

I vote for Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. I recently read Room and didn't really like it, but I think it's one of those books that you either really like or really don't like. Just wasn't for me!

Following along now so I can find some new books! :)

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

That's so fun! I have read Room; it was pretty good. I actually have HOTCOBAS on my nightstand right now. It is next in line for reading! The other one I haven't even heard of!

Megan W said...

If I still lived in West Des Moines I would be begging to join 'Books n Bars'! I'll settle for living vicariously through you!

I'd recommend reading Room. I was captivated by it!

Shoshanah said...

I've been really wanted to read Room. It just sounds like such an interesting idea, although I'd imagine it's hard to read.

Sarah E. said...

Your all's book sounds really interesting - I think it's definitely something my husband would read (he's big on nonfiction).

I've read Room - it's not bad, but I wasn't too thrilled with how it ended.