Monday, May 24, 2010

Another book review

I read some interesting books awhile back. Now, understand that my taste is quite probably unusual, compared to normal people. But you already know about all the ‘ordinary’ books, so my job is to get you to read something you might not ordinarily pick up. Right? May I suggest you give author Mary Roach a try? Titles of the books that we have here at the library are: Stiff-The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, Spook-Science Tackles the Afterlife and Bonk-The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex. These are very readable books. They include a lot of scientific information, numerous footnotes and extensive bibliographies. This lady has done her research. She writes with thoroughness, healthy skepticism and laugh out loud humor. I guarantee, whichever book you choose, you will learn something you never knew before. You may learn some things you never wanted to know, but hey, you’re learning. What I found very interesting was how very long science has been fascinated by these three subjects for centuries.

I’m currently reading Stiff. There is such a history of cadavers being donated to science. I always envisioned them being used to teach doctors and surgeons. Turns out that they are. But, did you know science has also used cadavers to safety test cars and to test firearms (one test to find bullets that cause the least damage and one test to find bullets that cause the most damage). There is also the quandary of the ‘brain dead’ patient, who is legally dead, but their heart is still beating and they are kept in that condition, with great care, until their organs can be harvested. The guillotine section of the book is equally fascinating. Told you my taste is unusual.

Ms Roach is not a scientist, but she is a curious, intelligent woman and I have no doubt that her books are accurate. I also have no doubt that they are often hilariously funny. Try one.

23 comments:

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