Type to search

Authors Best Best Books Bibliography By First Name Bibliography By Last Name Education First Name: M-N History Last Name: Q-R Medical Natural History Nature & Ecology Nonfiction Outdoor & Sports Outer Space Science & Nature Social Science

Ranking Author Mary Roach’s Best Books (A Bibliography Countdown)

Share

“What are Mary Roach’s Best Books?” We looked at all of Roach’s authored bibliography and ranked them against one another to answer that very question!

We took all of the books written by Mary Roach and looked at her Goodreads, Amazon, and LibraryThing scores, ranking them against one another to see which books came out on top. The books are ranked in our list below based on which titles have the highest overall score between all 3 review sites in comparison with all of the other books by the same author. The process isn’t super scientific and in reality, most books aren’t “better” than other books as much as they are just different. That being said, we do enjoy seeing where our favorites landed, and if you aren’t familiar with the author at all, the rankings can help you see what books might be best to start with.

The full ranking chart is also included below the countdown on the bottom of the page. We will update the article if/when a new book by Mary Roach is released. Although it probably won’t be immediate so the scores on each site have time to settle and aren’t overly influenced by the early, usually much more opinionated, users.

Happy Scrolling!



The Top Book’s Of Mary Roach



7 ) Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 7
  • Amazon: 7
  • LibraryThing: 6

“The best-selling author of Stiff and Bonk trains her considerable wit and curiosity on the human soul.

“”What happens when we die? Does the light just go out and that’s that—the million-year nap? Or will some part of my personality, my me-ness persist? What will that feel like? What will I do all day? Is there a place to plug in my lap-top?”” In an attempt to find out, Mary Roach brings her tireless curiosity to bear on an array of contemporary and historical soul-searchers: scientists, schemers, engineers, mediums, all trying to prove (or disprove) that life goes on after we die.”

Purchase / Learn More



6 ) My Planet: Finding Humor in the Oddest Places

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 6
  • Amazon: 4
  • LibraryThing: 7

From acclaimed, New York Times best-selling author Mary Roach comes the complete collection of her “My Planet” articles published in Reader’s Digest. She was a hit columnist in the magazine, and this book features the articles she wrote in that time. Insightful and hilarious, Mary explores the ins and outs of the modern world: marriage, friends, family, food, technology, customer service, dental floss, and ants—she leaves no element of the American experience unchecked for its inherent paradoxes, pleasures, and foibles.

Purchase / Learn More



5 ) Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 5
  • Amazon: 6
  • LibraryThing: 5

Can a person think herself to orgasm? Why doesn’t Viagra help women-or, for that matter, pandas? Can a dead man get an erection? Is vaginal orgasm a myth? Mary Roach shows us how and why sexual arousal and orgasm-two of the most complex, delightful, and amazing scientific phenomena on earth-can be so hard to achieve and what science is doing to make the bedroom a more satisfying place.

Purchase / Learn More



4 ) Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 2
  • Amazon: 4
  • LibraryThing: 3

Grunt 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. Mary Roach dodges hostile fire with the U.S. Marine Corps Paintball Team as part of a study on hearing loss and survivability in combat. She visits the fashion design studio of U.S. Army Natick Labs and learns why a zipper is a problem for a sniper. She visits a repurposed movie studio where amputee actors help prepare Marine Corps medics for the shock and gore of combat wounds. At Camp Lemmonier, Djibouti, in east Africa, we learn how diarrhea can be a threat to national security. 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.

Purchase / Learn More



3 ) Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 3
  • Amazon: 1
  • LibraryThing: 4

“The irresistible, ever-curious, and always best-selling Mary Roach returns with a new adventure to the invisible realm we carry around inside.

“America’s funniest science writer” (Washington Post) takes us down the hatch on an unforgettable tour. The alimentary canal is classic Mary Roach terrain: the questions explored in Gulp are as taboo, in their way, as the cadavers in Stiff and every bit as surreal as the universe of zero gravity explored in Packing for Mars. Why is crunchy food so appealing? Why is it so hard to find words for flavors and smells? Why doesn’t the stomach digest itself? How much can you eat before your stomach bursts? Can constipation kill you? Did it kill Elvis? In Gulp we meet scientists who tackle the questions no one else thinks of—or has the courage to ask. We go on location to a pet-food taste-test lab, a fecal transplant, and into a live stomach to observe the fate of a meal. With Roach at our side, we travel the world, meeting murderers and mad scientists, Eskimos and exorcists (who have occasionally administered holy water rectally), rabbis and terrorists—who, it turns out, for practical reasons do not conceal bombs in their digestive tracts.

Like all of Roach’s books, Gulp is as much about human beings as it is about human bodies.”

Purchase / Learn More



2 ) Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 3
  • Amazon: 1
  • LibraryThing: 2

Space is a world devoid of the things we need to live and thrive: air, gravity, hot showers, fresh produce, privacy, beer. Space exploration is in some ways an exploration of what it means to be human. How much can a person give up? How much weirdness can they take? What happens to you when you can’t walk for a year? have sex? smell flowers? What happens if you vomit in your helmet during a space walk? Is it possible for the human body to survive a bailout at 17,000 miles per hour? To answer these questions, space agencies set up all manner of quizzical and startlingly bizarre space simulations. As Mary Roach discovers, it’s possible to preview space without ever leaving Earth. From the space shuttle training toilet to a crash test of NASA’s new space capsule (cadaver filling in for astronaut), Roach takes us on a surreally entertaining trip into the science of life in space and space on Earth.

Purchase / Learn More



1 ) Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 1
  • Amazon: 1
  • LibraryThing: 1

An oddly compelling, often hilarious exploration of the strange lives of our bodies postmortem. For two thousand years, cadavers (some willingly, some unwittingly) have been involved in science’s boldest strides and weirdest undertakings. They’ve tested France’s first guillotines, ridden the NASA Space Shuttle, been crucified in a Parisian laboratory to test the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin, and helped solve the mystery of TWA Flight 800. For every new surgical procedure, from heart transplants to gender reassignment surgery, cadavers have been there alongside surgeons, making history in their quiet way. In this fascinating, ennobling account, Mary Roach visits the good deeds of cadavers over the centuries from the anatomy labs and human-sourced pharmacies of medieval and nineteenth-century Europe to a human decay research facility in Tennessee, to a plastic surgery practice lab, to a Scandinavian funeral directors’ conference on human composting. In her droll, inimitable voice, Roach tells the engrossing story of our bodies when we are no longer with them.

Purchase / Learn More



Mary Roach’s Best Books



Mary Roach Review Website Bibliography Rankings

BookGoodreadsAmazonLibraryThingOveral Rank
Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers 111 1
Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void 312 2
Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal 314 3
Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War 243 4
Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex 565 5
My Planet: Finding Humor in the Oddest Places 647 6
Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife 776 7