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Search tags: y-run-for-your-lives
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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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review 2017-11-20 22:13
The Nine Lives of Christmas ★★☆☆☆
The Nine Lives of Christmas - Sheila Roberts

The premise for this story sounded adorable, and this really could have been a fun, light read. I can absolutely see this being made as a Hallmark movie. As both a Romance and as a Christmas story, it failed for me, though, and I don’t see any other reason for reading this book. As a Romance, it was full of those tired old tropes that are the worst representation of the genre, and the internal logic just didn’t hold up. Shy, sweet heroine who thinks she’s plain, even though she only needs new clothes and makeup to become a total hottie? Check! Handsome, hypermasculine hero who has been so hurt by women in the past that he’s a commitment-phobe who only dates unmarriageable women, but is secretly a sweet teddy-bear who only needs the Right Girl to teach him the value of True Love? Check! Slutty mean beautiful rich girlfriend to serve as the villainess to keep our lovebirds apart? Check!

 

I just couldn’t like either of our protagonists. The heroine is far too passive and so lacking in common sense logic that I just can’t buy that she’s smart enough to have been admitted to vet school. The hero literally only thinks of adult women as either “good-timing bimbos” or “nice girls you take to the altar”. Throughout the entire book, he only thinks of them with regards to what they can do for him, either sexually or as support systems.

 

 As a Christmas story, I suppose the message is about family togetherness? Because he’s forced by circumstances and basic common decency 

to take in his mother and stepsisters, so he has to finally listen when she talks to him, and forgives her?

(spoiler show)

Really, this is just set at Christmas time, so has the trappings of the season.

 

Audiobook, borrowed from my public library, with a very good performance by Kathleen McInerney. I read this for The 16 Tasks of the Festive Season square 2: Guy Fawkes Night: Any book about the English monarchy (any genre), political treason, political thrillers, or where fire is a major theme, or fire is on the cover. There is a fire in the fireplace on the cover art.

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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 2017-11-15 14:27
The Nine Lives of Christmas - 100%
The Nine Lives of Christmas - Sheila Roberts

Ugh. Full review later. 

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text 2017-11-15 13:01
The Nine Lives of Christmas - 83%
The Nine Lives of Christmas - Sheila Roberts

I'm just having a hard time viewing the protagonist as a love interest, when he only thinks of women as either "good timing bimbos" or "nice girls that you take to the altar". He even only thinks of our heroine in sexual vs. marriage terms. 

 

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