This is a hilarious book! However my 5 star rating of this book comes with a one caveat - this is not a book for "everybody". (but, honestly, if you...moreThis is a hilarious book! However my 5 star rating of this book comes with a one caveat - this is not a book for "everybody". (but, honestly, if you didn't figure this out just from the title, then you kinda deserve to be "grossed out" - or whatever) Let the squeamish be warned.
It very possible that going through life with a last name like 'Roach' worked to 'inform the author's sense of humor' but that's fine with me. In my opinion, Mary Roach has the most finely tuned "morbid sense of humor" on the planet.
This book is not an irreverent send up of the dearly departed and this book is not a dry, clinical textbook. This book is a well written, well researched, funny collection of observations and interviews (put together in a very readable prose style) that at turns will make you smile and make you think.
I knew from the first paragraph of the introduction that I was going to like reading this author:
The way I see it, being dead is not terribly far off from being on a cruise ship. Most of your time is spent lying on your back. The brain has shut down. The flesh begins to soften. Nothing new happens, and nothing is expected of you.
Anyone with a modicum of medical curiosity should find this an entertaining book (more than once while reading I laughed out loud and my daughter asked "What's so funny?"). But I repeat my caveat that this is not for everyone - only on one occasion did I read a humorous passage to my daughter - every other time I simply told my daughter "when you get older you might want to read this book".
My entire family are voracious readers (and all slightly cracked) but I won't be recommending this book to my wife, my brother or my dad. On the other hand, my mom (a retired RN) is going to really enjoy reading it.(less)
No spoilers in this "review" - actually just a quick note that I absolutely loved this book. A good friend of mine recommended Cormac McCarthy to me a...moreNo spoilers in this "review" - actually just a quick note that I absolutely loved this book. A good friend of mine recommended Cormac McCarthy to me and started me with "The Road". Since then I have also read "No Country For Old Men" and of the three books, I liked this book the best. I am now eagerly pursuing a copy of "The Crossing" - the 2nd book in McCarthy's "Border Trilogy".(less)
This is the logical extension from the first "Coffee Shop Theology" and it also does a very fine job of breaking down complex theological concepts int...moreThis is the logical extension from the first "Coffee Shop Theology" and it also does a very fine job of breaking down complex theological concepts into everyday language.(less)
A nice trip down memory lane with some old friends.
...much of what i like about this book falls under the category of "spoiler" so i'll only say this:...moreA nice trip down memory lane with some old friends.
...much of what i like about this book falls under the category of "spoiler" so i'll only say this:
If you like the X Men or good comics (or just good storytelling in general) then you should read this book. It neatly wraps up the "Phoenix" story arcs and introduces a new chapter in the lives of the original X-Men as they continue to battle prejudice.
Of course Marvel's books in the "X family" (mutants with an "X Factor" in their DNA) are popular with teens - they've got all the [well written] themes of "needing to belong" and "finding yourself" that we all struggle with. But more than that, you'll find understated commentary on the bigger tensions of our day - race, class and what does it mean to be an American.
Relevant social commentary without being preachy. These are from the 1990's. Back then Marvel wasn't as heavy-handed and obvious on politics.(less)
There are several things that I really like about this book: 1) It is not a "fictionalized account" (its the letters, not "about" the letters) 2) This b...moreThere are several things that I really like about this book: 1) It is not a "fictionalized account" (its the letters, not "about" the letters) 2) This book is exactly what it claims to be (is that redundant? Perhaps - but books that claim to be one thing and then turn out to be something else *really* annoy me.) 3) The correspondences between father and son are not "over-edited". If I sit down to read a book of letters I don't want to read some stylized or white-washed version of the letters. 4) Nobody pulls punches - If dad feels the son is inconsistent, the dad tells him about it. If the son feels the dad is inconsistent in his reasoning, the son tells the dad about it. 5) Because these are real correspondences, the sometimes irrational reasons for our beliefs are brought out. (it cuts both ways) 6) There is a logical flow in the course of the discussion (with some minor rabbit trails).
Both the flow of the book and the fact that the father is not a professional theologian really made the book more "accessible" for me [also not a professional theologian]. We were able to use this book as our discussion starter in an adult Sunday School class and it worked really well. We had planned to take one set of correspondence a week but (if memory serves) on one or two occassions, we spent more time on something.
In the interest of full disclosure I must admit that I do not agree 100% with Greg Boyd (the "Son" in the title and a professional theologian) but I still found the book worthwhile.(less)
You *think* you know the story but unless you've read it, you don't know the whole story. We read this in a high school lit class right around the tim...moreYou *think* you know the story but unless you've read it, you don't know the whole story. We read this in a high school lit class right around the time that I was "discovering" Greek and Roman mythology for the first time. This is no formulaic Thursday night TV drama. This is NOT "we have a mugging and a body" - this is a REAL mystery and you have to remember that the Greeks pretty much invented plot twists and the story can keep your attention *despite the fact* that you've "already heard it". So if you've never actually sat down and read this, try it out.(less)