To find us, head left upon entering the store, pass the Service Desk, take the last door on the left (see coat rack), hook a hard left up the stairs, we're in the first room on the left. Does that make us Leftists?
Stiff is an oddly compelling, often hilarious exploration of the strange lives of our bodies postmortem. For two thousand years, cadavers ”some willingly, some unwittingly ”have been involved in science's boldest strides and weirdest undertakings. They've tested France's first guillotines, ridden the NASA Space Shuttle, been crucified in a Parisian laboratory to test the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin, and helped solve the mystery of TWA Flight 800. For every new surgical procedure, from heart transplants to gender reassignment surgery, cadavers have been there alongside surgeons, making history in their quiet way. In this fascinating, ennobling account, Mary Roach visits the good deeds of cadavers over the centuries ”from the anatomy labs and human-sourced pharmacies of medieval and nineteenth-century Europe to a human decay research facility in Tennessee, to a plastic surgery practice lab, to a Scandinavian funeral directors' conference on human composting. In her droll, inimitable voice, Roach tells the engrossing story of our bodies when we are no longer with them.
I'm providing this list well in advance because there's a long waiting list for some titles, esp. Beyond Belief, so request it now!
June: Infidel by Ali Ayaan Hirsi
July: The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature by Matt Ridley
August: The Disappearing Spoon and Other True Tales of Madness, Love and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of Elements by Sam Kean
September: Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape by Lisa Pulitzer
October: Them: Adventures With Extremists by Jon Ronson
November: What to Expect When No One's Expecting by Jonathan V. Last