#SundayReview: STIFF by Mary Roach

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In the spirit of my new NaNo novel, MORTY, I figured now would be a wonderful time to share one of my favorite books.

STIFF by Mary Roach is one of my atypical nonfiction recommendations. Generally speaking, I read and write only the fantasy genre, but this book intrigued me. I first saw it when a classmate was reading it, and she were more than happy to tell me all about it.

Mary Roach is an American nonfiction author specializing in popular science and humor. She has a degree in psychology and never intended to make a career in science, but found the topics to be far more interesting than pretty much everything else. In reading STIFF, I appreciated her lighthearted nature. The book is an easy and entertaining read, and sneakily educational.

STIFF is a study on the afterlife of cadavers. Basically, Mary Roach spent a lot of time investigating what happens to human bodies that have been ‘donated to science.’ Far above and beyond organ donation, cadavers are incredibly important to studies involving death or the human body.

It’s already an easy sell.

I was already planning on donating my body to science. I’m one of those practical people that is more horrified of letting something valuable go to waste than I am concerned about how my body is used after I die. After reading this book, I can now rest easier at the prospect of death just fantasizing about how mistreated my remains will be post-mortem.

Obviously, some cadavers are used anatomy labs. Anatomy and physiology students use cadavers to learn about the parts and systems of the body.

But how about these other uses?

  • Cadaverous heads used for cosmetology
  •  Being dropped off of incredibly tall buildings to see how bones break and blood spatters
  • Testing explosives
  • Rotting in an open field to determine decay times

So yeah. By the way, I’m really morbid.

STIFF is one of the most unique and interesting books I have ever read. It satisfied my morbid curiosity and my geekiness. Definitely worth a read!

S.K. Balk lives in the frozen wasteland of Northern Michigan. She is the author of the dystopian medical sci-fi THE BLOOD OF NERYS (also available in print).

Check out our #SundayReview category every Sunday to find out what we are reading, watching, or learning about storytelling in all of its forms!



About oneofthedragons

Samantha K. Balk and F. R. Donaldson met on An Archive of Our Own, one of the many fanfiction sites online, when Sam asked Frankie to illustrate the fanfiction that would one day lead to Sam's first novel. They've been friends ever since! This blog was created as a way to share the oftentimes difficult journey any new author experiences on the uncomfortable quest of an introvert for attention to his or her most personal work. It is meant to remind you that authors don't just appear fully fledged like a George R. R. Martin, that all of us start out unsure and feeling inadequate. Feel free to ask us anything. Sam: sammykaye9@gmail.com Frankie: reluctant.fraggle@gmail.com

Posted on October 23, 2016, in #SundayReview and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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