Monday, July 03, 2006

Blue Shoes and Happiness. Stiff..The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers

Blue Shoes:Stiff
Originally uploaded by pookie_san99.
Im slowly getting through my stockpile of books.Here are two more I've recently read and recommend.
Stiff..The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers.
Author..Mary Roach. Publisher..W.W Norton. 292 pages.
An irreverent funny science based book on cadavers.The writer looks at the process of death,the different ways cadavers are used such as "crash test dummies" and how cadavers are disposed,for example by cremation or burial.
Various chapters describe cadavers use in the criminal,accident inquiry and medical fields.Theres also a chapter on organ transplants including a look at head transplants.
The author asks questions I'd be too embarassed to ask.For example when told that male penises and testicles bloat after death she asks how big.."Softball large or watermelon large?"
A not too serious informative look at a side of life most prefer to avoid thinking about.Let alone write on the subject.

Blue Shoes and Happiness.
Author..Alexander McCall Smith. Publisher..Pantheon Books.
227 pages
I spent an enjoyable week travelling to and fro work reading this book,the seventh in the No 1 Ladies Detective Agency series.
Once again I was absorbed by the adventures of Mma Ramotswe ,a traditionally built woman and the characters who live in Botswana.As with the earlier books you learn more about the characters pasts and the history of Botswana.
I get the impression that the traditional society of which Smith writes is under threat from the modern world.One of the threats is AIDS or as the characters refer to it as "the cruel sickness" which leaves many children without parents and being looked after by their grandmothers.
While this book,like its predecessors, can be read alone I feel maximum enjoyment is derived if you start with the first in the series as you watch characters form and develop through the books.


Bibliophile said...

I liked Stiff, too. It answered some questions people think you are morbid and crazy if you ask them. Have you read her book about ghosts?

tim said...

No I havent but its on my "to be read at some stage in the near future" list