This book is just plain awesome. Ever wanted to know anything about cadavers? This is the book for you. You will probably even find out way more than...moreThis book is just plain awesome. Ever wanted to know anything about cadavers? This is the book for you. You will probably even find out way more than you wanted to. You find out what may happen to you if you donate your body to science (it can be way more interesting than a boring old dissection lab, let me tell you); what happens during the embalming process (I'm skipping that myself), cremation, and the future (maybe?) of disposing of cadavers; what can happen in a plane crash; and what exactly a cadaver's role in bullets and bombs really is. If nothing else, the book will force you to think about what you want to happen to your body after you've exited it (Roach has much more tact and respect than I do).
I found this to be absolutely fascinating. If I hadn't have decided weeks before what to do with my body after I'm gone, I probably would have gone for donating it to science after reading this. It can really be put to good use for countless others. Unfortunately for science I discovered this awesome company called Eternal Reefs that puts you in the ocean. Wait, it gets better: you're cremated, then your family can travel down (or over, depending on your starting location) to Florida and mix up your remains with some cement (my mom has already told me that if I go first, she's not doing the mixing herself, but will gladly watch the company do it--something they not only allow, but encourage), then the cement is put into a mold to create a man-made reef (complete with a plaque that states you name and maybe a bit more info), and then later they cart the reef to one of their authorized spots and have a viewing day where the families get to view the reef, take pictures, etc., then the next day they charter a boat and all your family and friends can go out and watch them drop your reef into the ocean. Cool, right? Supposedly they last forever. I'm not naive enough to believe that, but I know that it'll last a hell of a lot longer than most graves; and it has the ecological benefit of helping preserve the ocean and its wildlife. My mom's doing it too. I'm more excited about it than I should be seeing as it can't be done until after I've kicked it.
So back to the book--I found it to be really great and chock full of fun facts that my family and co-workers really wished I kept to myself. I don't get grossed out often, but if you have a weak stomach, you may have a few problems getting through this one (trust me, I'm very glad that I decided to skip the cannibalism chapter during lunch and come back long after I had any feeling of food remaining in my tummy). Really great read.(less)
Monique Dembele is a midwife in a tiny village in Mali. Kris Holloway is a young Peace Corps volunteer from Ohio who is placed in said village. The tw...moreMonique Dembele is a midwife in a tiny village in Mali. Kris Holloway is a young Peace Corps volunteer from Ohio who is placed in said village. The two almost immediately develop an intense bond of friendship and sisterhood, which Holloway recounts in her memoir. The two years that Holloway spends in Mali are sometimes difficult, with sickness and village traditions interfering with progress. But the book is really about Monique and the women's friendship. Monique is an amaing woman--with a sixth grade education and nine months of medical training, she is the village's sole healthcare worker. "Worker" is an adequate term, as all she does is work. She labors tirelessly at the clinic, then returns to the family compound for daily chores, and often she gets called in the middle of the night for a birth. Through it all she is uncomplaining and accepts her life for what it is.
I loved this book. Really, really loved it. Monique was such an amzazing woman--a legacy that I hope her children can continue and thankfully Holloway tells the world about. It was not really what I expected--it was much better. I assumed that it would be more of an academic/western look at miwifery practices in Africa, but it was really about the unlikely friendship between the two women. Amazing and highly recommended.(less)
3 1/2 stars, rounded up to 4. Good story, suspense, kept me riveted and interested throughout. I didn't realize that this is the final book in a trilo...more3 1/2 stars, rounded up to 4. Good story, suspense, kept me riveted and interested throughout. I didn't realize that this is the final book in a trilogy until after I started it, but it stands alone just fine. I want to read the other two, it's just a little unfortunate that I already know the ending. The only thing that I didn't like was that the person behind the game was obvious from the start and not a surprise at all. At least to me (and a couple of other reviewers as well). Other than that, I really enjoyed it. (less)
This woman is me. Me me me. And it's a little refreshing and a little scary to read about her dating experiment. I'm currently venturing into the worl...moreThis woman is me. Me me me. And it's a little refreshing and a little scary to read about her dating experiment. I'm currently venturing into the world of online dating and a lot of what she writes is resonating with me now. Some good tips (yeah, txt fail ain't gonna call back -- bummer). Some good advice and general good info and insight into the current dating world. But it sure is scary out there...(less)
Wow. One knows from the outset that this won't be a happy novel, but the overwhelming sense of survival and optimism is surprising. Gives a new insigh...moreWow. One knows from the outset that this won't be a happy novel, but the overwhelming sense of survival and optimism is surprising. Gives a new insight into the life of a Sudanese refugee, one of the infamous "Lost Boys." Places a human stamp on a political issue and makes one think twice about the "hardships" in our own lives.(less)
Heart.Breaking. Charlie Gordon is 32, 33 in a month. He is happy, works hard at his job in a bakery, has friends who like him, and school at night to...moreHeart.Breaking. Charlie Gordon is 32, 33 in a month. He is happy, works hard at his job in a bakery, has friends who like him, and school at night to make him smarter. All he wants to be is smarter. In pursuit of this goal he eagerly agrees to be the test case that has the chance to greatly improve his intelligence. Charlie leaps at the chance and works as hard as he can to aid the process, including writing his "progris reports." Charlie's dream does come true--quickly. Soon he is the darling of the science world and his intelligence surpasses that of his teachers. Things don't always turn out as planned, however; and soon Charlie starts to see and experience some issues that he never imagined.
The story told through the "progris reports" is unique and imaginative. The reports are "written" by Charlie, so one sees the advances in his IQ. Great novel that explores human nature and what is most important in life. (less)
What makes a "normal" college-educated girl from the protective suburbs turn into a stripper and peep show star? Diablo Cody attempts to explain her t...moreWhat makes a "normal" college-educated girl from the protective suburbs turn into a stripper and peep show star? Diablo Cody attempts to explain her tansformation in her memoir. After moving to Minnesota to be with her boyfriend Jonny, whom she met on the "World Wide Waste of Time," Cody works a perfectly boring day job until she is lured away to the exotic wold of stripping. Starting on an amateur night, she continues on for over a year, moving from club to club until she eventually works as a masturbating peep show star.
As a feminist who is conflicted on the subject of sex work (if it's really what you want to do, kudos to you and go for it; but it the actual work still undermines women in all aspects of society), I was really interested to read Cody's book. I've read Strip City and Brothel, and I'm still looking for more. Cody's memoir did not disappoint, and actually exceeded my expectations--she's witty, intelligent and funny. Her story is interesting and I never got bored. It didn't change my opinion on sex work, but it did entertain me and I'm glad she decided to write of her experiences. I only hope her family forgives her for her awesome story.(less)
Hilarious. Feminist. Tina Fey. That's all that really needs to be said. Mainly musings on her life and funny stories from childhood to the present. Al...moreHilarious. Feminist. Tina Fey. That's all that really needs to be said. Mainly musings on her life and funny stories from childhood to the present. Also a good explanation of the rise of her career. I laughed and laughed. My favorite line? "When Oprah suggests that you've overextended yourself, you need to re-examine your fucking life."(less)
It is amazing to me that with all the smack, coke, acid, alcohol, prescription drugs (not to mention the car crashes) that this man is still alive to...moreIt is amazing to me that with all the smack, coke, acid, alcohol, prescription drugs (not to mention the car crashes) that this man is still alive to tell his story. And it's an amazing one. Clapton writes of his entire life, from his unusual childhood and upbrining to the present day. He covers all aspects of his musical career and his substance abuse recovery.
Some of it was a little jumpy, but I'd have to attribute that to his limited memories of those days...and it's a wonder he remembers anything at all. One of the most interesting things to me since I previously read Pattie Boyd's autobiography is how the two write about the same time. This helped to fill in some of the gaps, and it's interesting to see how the two viewed some of the same situations. Very interesting life and his record of recovery is sure to be an inspiration to many facing the same challenges.(less)
I've loved Marjane Satrapi ever since I read Persepolis in one of my Women's Studies class in college. I've had this on my bookshelf for a while and f...moreI've loved Marjane Satrapi ever since I read Persepolis in one of my Women's Studies class in college. I've had this on my bookshelf for a while and for some reason never got around to it until now. It's a hilarious graphic novel centered around an afternoon of tea in Iran and women's gossip. Topics range from plastic surgery to sex to mistresses to faking virginity to reclaiming virginity. Statrapi's illustrations are amusing and like Persepolis, it's a very quick read. Great book.(less)
Ruth Ramsey, a health teacher at her local surburban school, has a theory when it comes to sex ed: pleasure is good, shame is bad, and knowledge is po...moreRuth Ramsey, a health teacher at her local surburban school, has a theory when it comes to sex ed: pleasure is good, shame is bad, and knowledge is power. Others, however, don't exactly feel the same way and they are quite vocal about it. The recently-formed "Tabernacle," an evangelical church, has declared an all-out war on comprehensive sex education, and convinced the schoolboard that abstinence-only is the only way. Meanwhile, Tim, a member of the aforementioned church, coaches Ruth's daughter in soccer--and Tim and Ruth don't really see eye-to-eye on many things. But there's something about the other that bothers them both...
This was my favorite Perrotta book that I've read so far. I liked the topic--an all-too frequent source of frustration for me. It's very realistic in terms of the political climate of today and the feelings on both sides. I only wish that Ruth's character had fought a little more for her position. Finally, kudos to Perrotta for mentioning Andrea Dworkin--I quite enjoyed that.(less)