Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Remember Me: A Lively Tour of the American Way of Death” as Want to Read:
Remember Me: A Lively Tour of the American Way of Death
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Remember Me: A Lively Tour of the American Way of Death

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  201 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews

In "Remember Me," "Time" writer Lisa Takeuchi Cullen has created a humorous and poignant chronicle of her travels around the country to discover how Americans are reinventing the rites of dying. What she learned is that people no longer want to take death lying down; instead, they're taking their demise into their own hands and planning the afterparty.

Cullen hears stories

ebook, 240 pages
Published April 5th 2011 by HarperCollins e-books (first published 2006)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Remember Me, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Remember Me

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-10)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Petra X
Jun 25, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: death, 2013-reviews
The book starts off well enough with an interesting concept of a biodegradeable body-in-a-pod burial in a wood of deciduous trees. It has some other nice ideas - having your ashes cast in concrete with a brass plaque attached and dumped on a reef for the fishes to carouse around. But in between these and one or two other nice ideas the writing is tedious and has TMI on the author and her child, and finally, and tragically on a situation in her own family.

Not too long after I read this book my m
As kids, we used to sign autograph books with the rhyme "Remember Grant. Remember Lee. But best of all, remember me." Lisa Takeuchi Cullen takes the reader on a wonderful tour of how America prepares for that final send-off. Not so much about the spiritual traditions that abound in our nation (though there is a little) but more about how we dress up for our final party. I had heard of a fair number of the new alternatives to six feet under, particularly with "cremains". (When my priest friend f ...more
Judy Vasseur
Sensitively written, I am moved to tears while reading about the families of 9/11 victims who had no remains to bury. "One couple...having waited two years, resorted to burying a vial of blood their son had donated."

Other chapters talk about "Green" burials, turning your loved ones into diamonds, "Fantastic Afterlife Vehicles" , cryogenics, plastination, mummification.

In the final chapter, the author loses her own grandfather and describes a very beautiful Buddhist funeral in Japan. Eye opening
Nov 17, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book while browsing the library shelves on the general topic & saw a favorable blurb by Mary Roach, so thought I'd give it a whirl.

Written in a personal, yet light-hearted style, Cullen explores the world of "consumer shopping for after-death options". She crashes a funeral industry conference, talks to the creators of LifeGem (man-made diamonds from cremains) and Eternal Reefs (mixing cremains & concrete to make artificial coral reefs), explores mummification and plastinati
Feb 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I spent the better part of two years trying to rearrange my schedule so that I could go to mortuary school, and it just didn't work out for me. However, during that period of time, I became a bit obsessed with the wide range of options for individuals to prepare of their own deaths or to plan a loved one's disposition. I read about cryogenics and jumbo caskets and reefs made out of cremains, and I even settled on an option for myself: the increasingly popular green burial. For two years, I resea ...more
I found this book fascinating, and really enjoyed the way the author made a heavy topic entertaining and informative, without being overly flippant. While I was reading it I tried recommending it to several people, but no one would go for it. We're all going to die some day, and reading this book is a great way to start thinking about what you want for your body after you die, rather than leaving it up to your family or just tradition. I guess for most people, death isn't that fun to think about ...more
Interesting and informative look at the modern way of dealing with death in America.

Don't want to be buried in a coffin in a traditional cemetery? Well, you and millions of other Americans no longer have to. Forget about cremation, that's old news. How about having your ashes turned into diamonds? Or into artificial reefs to rebuild damaged coastlines?

Or if you still want to be buried, how about foregoing embalming and burial in a fancy-shmancy coffin and instead get buried 'organically' under a
Mar 08, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: morbid-books
This is yet another book collecting essays that repeat over and over, "Wow, look at the weird things people do to celebrate their loved ones!" The book is at its best when she profiles bereaved families, but whenever she makes herself a part of the story, Cullen -- a staff writer for Time magazine -- comes off as remarkably shallow.

Still, I was interested in the company that turns cremains to diamonds and another that is creating an artificial reef out of cremains mixed into cement. There *was*
Jul 18, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: someone who thinks about strange things...
Shelves: 2006booklist
A book about different ways Americans deal with the bodily remains of their loved ones. Everything from creating diamonds out of their carbon producing cremains to the procedure of preserving an entire body with plastique and posing the body in art exhibits. Cullen’s visits a family going through each method of *disposal* for a family member. Her narrative is sympathetic, curious and well thought out. Which method do you want? (Read during my journey to Atlanta to see REM being inducted into the ...more
Oct 16, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
If you can get past the writing, it is a really interesting read. The author's tone is self-rightous, judgemental, and bordering on mockery until her own almost redeemable "epilogue" at the end as she reflects on writing the book while coping with her own personal tragedy. The content is neat and I found a few things that I'd consider for myself, though there are some crazy funerals out there! But hey, more power to those that can have it their way on the way out. Wouldn't read anything by this ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Grave Matters: A Journey Through the Modern Funeral Industry to a Natural Way of Burial
  • Rest in Peace: A Cultural History of Death and the Funeral Home in Twentieth-Century America
  • When We Die : The Science, Culture, and Rituals of Death
  • Corpses, Coffins, and Crypts: A History of Burial
  • Not In Kansas Anymore
  • Final Exits: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of How We Die
  • The Whole Death Catalog: A Lively Guide to the Bitter End
  • The Last Dance: Encountering Death and Dying
  • Body Brokers: Inside America's Underground Trade in Human Remains
  • The Undertaking: Life Studies from the Dismal Trade
  • The Hour of Our Death
  • Loser Goes First: My Thirty-Something Years of Dumb Luck and Minor Humiliation
  • The American Way of Death Revisited
  • Celebrations of Death: The Anthropology of Mortuary Ritual
  • Death, Dissection and the Destitute
  • Dead Center: Behind the Scenes at the World's Largest Medical Examiner's Office
  • Death to Dust: What Happens to Dead Bodies
  • Buried Alive: The Terrifying History of Our Most Primal Fear
I'm Lisa Takeuchi Cullen. I used to be a journalist. Now I make stuff up.

In both fact and fiction I'm drawn to worlds I once knew little about. My debut novel, "Pastors' Wives" (Plume/Penguin 2013), is about three very different women married to pastors at a Southern evangelical megachurch--the kind with the Jumbotrons and the power band. It was inspired by an article I wrote while I was a staff
More about Lisa Takeuchi Cullen...