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review 2017-11-22 20:05
Stiff / Mary Roach
Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers - Mary Roach

Stiff is 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. In this fascinating account, Mary Roach visits the good deeds of cadavers over the centuries and tells the engrossing story of our bodies when we are no longer with them.

 

Mary Roach never disappoints me. She is interested in unusual subjects and she approaches them with a slightly off-kilter sense of humour. However she has finally found a subject that I can’t read about while eating--I had to save this book for after-supper reading.

We hate to be brought face-to-face with our mortality and that is exactly what human cadavers do. We have to consider who they were before death and that we will be like them some day. I think even Ms. Roach found herself testing her usual gung-ho boundaries during this research. She talks about the line that she had to ride, to be sufficiently respectful of the dead (who, after all, still have people in the world who care about them) and her usually irreverent self. She retains the humour by making fun of her own reactions.

As a society, we don’t like to think about death, yet we get all emotional about using human bodies (which were donated by those who used to inhabit them) in safety tests of various sorts. I guess it’s not as dignified as we expect the dead to be treated. It also seems to be extremely uncomfortable for those doing the testing.

Weird and wonderful, this is everything you wanted to know about being dead, but were afraid to ask. Mary is rarely afraid to ask. If you enjoy this book, I would recommend her logical following volume, Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife.

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text 2017-11-17 17:50
It's the Weekend!
Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers - Mary Roach
The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles) - Mary E. Pearson
The Mummy Case - Elizabeth Peters

Hopefully I'll have at least a little time to read this weekend.

 

I'd like to finish The Mummy Case, which I haven't had enough time to enjoy.

 

Next books due at the library:  Stiff and The Kiss of Deception.  Both have holds and can't be renewed, which makes them priority.  I always enjoy Mary Roach's writing, so I know Stiff will be fun, but I've forgotten all about The Kiss of Deception, so I'll go into it blind and see how things go.

 

In other news, I've got company coming for dinner on Saturday night, so I must do a mountain of laundry, clean the bathroom, and scrub or vacuum all the floors on Saturday morning.

 

Sunday will be a cooking and reading day, with any luck.

 

Enjoy your weekend, folks!

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text 2017-11-02 23:57
Today's Daily Deal
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - Jeff Woodman,Mark Haddon

I might have passed this one by if it weren't for the $10 credit I earned last month that expires in a couple of days--use it or lose it! So, I suppose that this one should really be put on the "expanding my horizons" shelf because it really not within my (ab)normal range of reading.  :-)

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review 2017-10-23 16:48
Curious
Curious - Seth King

Curious indeed.  I wanted so much to love this.  And love the cover and the characters I did.  But I was mostly left a little confused.

 

Both of these guys came off to me as Gay or at least Bi...but never straight with the curiosity for something else so the MSM for me didn't really apply to these guys (although I appreciated the introduction and discussion of this "growing phenomenon").  Having both POVs for me reinforced this as well as seeing so many scenes from their beautiful friendship growing up. I think ultimately this might have worked better for me had we only gotten Nathan's POV.  Perhaps even switching to Beau's at the very end of the book.  Because it seemed their personal thoughts never really coincided with what unfolded and therefore the intended WTF moment at the end was not near as impactful as it could have been.

 

The prologue was left unresolved, so honestly I still have no idea who walked into the hotel room or why this prologue was even included.

 

The switch in POVs many times had me scratching my head as to who's head I was in, and left me having to flip back to see.  The indication of who is speaking during the dialogue at least a few times would have helped this, as this was very limited if done at all.

 

 

I love Seth's writing and there are some amazing moments in this book but ultimately this one fell short for me.  

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review 2017-10-02 15:08
Little mystery, big revelations
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - Mark Haddon

This reminded me a lot of ROOM. Lacking the chroniclers limitations, we can read between the lines, anticipate and fear much that escapes them. It's likely that people that enjoyed/hated that one will feel similarly about this one.

 

I lack knowledge or real life contact to make a judgment on the verisimilitude of this one, but it was an interesting peak, hopeful and also painful.

 

The interspersed chapters on maths and science I found surprisingly easy to understand and entertaining, though I doubt it would be the majority vote.

 

Two bit comments:

 

- The teacher deserves an award.

- I thought I felt overwhelmed the first times I walked around Buenos Aires at sundown. Then again, the kid managed to get where he was going eventually, by public transportation even, when I know several adults that threw the towel and ran for a cab.

(spoiler show)

 

This could work well for Amateur Sleuth, Diverse Voices, I guess Chilling Children? I picked it up thinking it set in London. At least we do get there.

 

 

 

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