Read 22 nonfiction books in 2022.
3/22 — Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach
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 confirmation surgery, cadavers have helped make history in their quiet way. “Delightful–though never disrespectful” (Les Simpson, Time Out New York), Stiff investigates the strange lives of our bodies postmortem and answers the question: What should we do after we die?
This was my first Mary Roach book and whew! what a gruesome and interesting read. I’m sure my face was making all kinds of ewww expressions while I was reading this one. This was a very thorough and descriptive look at what happens to the body after death. How a medical team could use your organs and how maybe it’s not quite what you’re imagining. It’s a necessary part of science of course but this one is not for the easily grossed out.
About the Author: Mary Roach is the author of seven best-selling works of nonfiction, including Stiff, Bonk, and Gulp. Her writing has appeared in Outside, National Geographic, and the New York Times Magazine, among other publications.
What do you think about this book? Are you an organ donor?
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