Having visited the exposition Body Worlds: Vital twice while it was in town, I found myself enthralled with these renderings of the human form. As manHaving visited the exposition Body Worlds: Vital twice while it was in town, I found myself enthralled with these renderings of the human form. As many people of my generation, I grew up attending classrooms in which Mr. Muscle kept silent vigil on a shelf. I read Zoobooks publications and some textbooks to see what musculature, organs, and the rest of the body looked like, but it seemed a bit fantastical to imagine the miracles beneath my own skin. Even in the echibit, I found myself thinking how they looked more like well-sculpted clay than actual specimens that once lived and breathed.
I first heard about plastination a decade or so ago on the "Ripley's Believe it or Not!" television show and was instantly intrigued by this process, which the book describes and illustrates with photos. I appreciated reading how the work began, especially as it connected to centuries-old practices, making it seem less an aesthetic endeavor than I originally believed it to be. Such arguments are also tackled in essay form within the text, making this more than some ghoulish picture book.
Although I do not have a job in the medical field due to an aversion to blood, this book has been fascinating but also quite useful. I have been able to see normal versus abnormal pictures or explanations of family medical conditions, such as carpal tunnel, a shoulder injury, and my father's heart surgery. My father had no idea what the structures of his heart looked like, and I was able to show him pictures with amazing detail taken from a number of angles so he would have more of an idea of what was happening and where. In the hospital waiting room, I was able to tell some other visitors about the structures of their own loved ones' aortas when I overheard them discussing the subject. They were surprised to hear I am a preschool teaching assistant and not studying nursing.
All in all, this is a wonderful book. I have looked it over with my own children, using a little discretion when needed. I would have liked to see many more pictures, but I don't think even a book with three times as many would appease my curiosity. I also thought it extremely odd to read about the future desire for von Hagens to find a terminally ill person who would allow himself or herself to be filmed expiring and being re-imagined postmortem as some sort of Frankenstein-like superhero with structural modifications for some future display. Still, I find myself looking at and sharing this book regularly and hope to do so for years to come....more
I have always had a soft spot for Steve Martin. When I found out he had written Shopgirl, I watched it immediately and saw another side of him. When II have always had a soft spot for Steve Martin. When I found out he had written Shopgirl, I watched it immediately and saw another side of him. When I saw this book for sale at my local library, I snapped it up with little concern as to what it was going to be about. Needless to say, I was not disappointed.
This story deals with Daniel Pecan Cambridge (Love the Pecan part and how it does get its moment within the story). He is young, suffering from a dynamic form of extreme OCD, and longs for companionship in the mental cage he has constructed for himself after childhood trauma. Although he is unemployed, his days are full because of his affliction.
I think this book does a great job of showing what it can be like to suffer from OCD. I also like that there is that glimmer of hope for an escape, that he might eventually be able to unlock that cage. I also suffer from OCD, although not nearly to this degree. I love that Steve Martin chose to shed light on this condition and its sadness and ridiculousness that so many of us face daily. Although he probably thought up this angle for the laughs and novelty, there is such heart in the execution without becoming sappy, mostly because there is that aspect of humor.
If I were to change something about this story, I would ask for more family interactions to see how what is merely touched on works in practice. I would also ask for a tad more about the legal troubles issue, although I can sort of guess what went on there. All in all, this is a wonderful story, and I hope more people get to experience it!...more
This book has a lot of obscure medical information, which I was totally into. I'm sure my co-workers, friends, and relatives will hear bits of triviaThis book has a lot of obscure medical information, which I was totally into. I'm sure my co-workers, friends, and relatives will hear bits of trivia spouted out at random intervals that I would not have known about otherwise. I found the chapter about drinking to be particularly useful and informative, although I'm not a heavy drinker. The title of this book is hilarious, albeit a bit embarrassing. When my co-worker asked what I was reading, she invariably asked, "Well? Why do they have nipples?" I had to answer, "I haven't got that far yet." Now that I finished the book, I can't really even remember why, so I guess it will remain a mystery for her.
What I am not really into is the cocktail party setting of the book. The authors don't really commit to it, so I was frequently confused when I picked the book back up for more before-bed reading. It seemed like the authors were trying too hard to be funny, which made them come across as buffoons. The IM segments were probably worst of all. they would nitpick and get off subject and generally IM. This seemed like a lazy attempt at filler material, especially as they were trying to name the book. I was also unhappy to see this in conjunction with the party scenes, because they didn't really fit in with each other, and I think the unrealistic party scenes alone were more than enough. I think they could have better used this space with more trivia, which was pretty well-organized, by the way....more
I enjoyed this book quite a bit. It surprised me, pleasantly, in many ways. It let me down only in that it ended too soon.
When I first picked up thisI enjoyed this book quite a bit. It surprised me, pleasantly, in many ways. It let me down only in that it ended too soon.
When I first picked up this book, I expected the author to merely parade grisly experiences before me, making me thankful for my civilian life and giving me a new-found awe for those who can handle this most difficult profession. I wasn't really expecting much in the way of wording or decorum. When I read that brown is a former professor who taught at prestigious Tufts University, I assumed she left because she couldn't hack it. Instead, I saw how a natural, easy talent for words created an aura around the narrative, giving the book a shimmer of sophisticated prose. The words rarely got in the way of the story-telling, except in instances of her penchant for overusing certain words (savvy is a major offender). In a way, I think her teaching didn't serve as much a a previous life before she chose nursing as much as a primer to share her story and transcending messages. She knits stories together through time into a storyline more than merely a timeline. She shares her lessons but does not preach. These are the earmarks of genuinely good storytelling. The details she chooses are meaningful, interesting.
Just as important as what she tells and how is what she has omitted. I admired her strength while reading about her accident and return to duty, afraid the accident would cost her the dream. I would have been disappointed to see the book turn selfishly to cover the minutae of her recovery, the physical therapy sessions, the grim expressions on her doctors' faces when they tell her of the severity of her accident like a cheap TV movie. I was also glad to see her home life stayed in the background, giving patients and work their rightful amount of spotlight.
In my personal life, I seek experiences to write about to relay to others. This book showed me how to do that the proper way to approach this. For that reason, this was a valuable read. ...more
This book is a great real look at the life of a CSI. You get to hear the crazy stories while still catching the nitty gritty details, which are dumbedThis book is a great real look at the life of a CSI. You get to hear the crazy stories while still catching the nitty gritty details, which are dumbed down or at least explained for the rest of us....more
I really enjoyed this book because I felt such a connection that can only come from a shared journey. While I am not a lesbian, I am the mother of twoI really enjoyed this book because I felt such a connection that can only come from a shared journey. While I am not a lesbian, I am the mother of two girls, so the bumpy road of pregnancy and all of the resulting negativity, pregnancy brain, and insecurity felt like transcriptions from the journal I wish I'd kept. That said, I highly recommend this book and reading more of Askowitz's work....more