None Purchased Today

by Mary Roach

I recently re-read this novel as I just bought Mary Roach’s recent novel, Spook.

I love this book, and re-reading it, I was reminded of how much I loved this book the first time. The author is the perfect example of a wonderfully curious mind. The book is remarkably well researched, and has so many different points of view to enjoy.

There are one or two moments that are absolutely grotesque, but the author touches everything with such a curious note of acceptance one travels with her with ease. If one is easily grossed out I would suggest skipping the body farm chapter, but the rest of the chapters are scientifically wonderful.

The best part of the novel is the way that Mary Roach approaches the trip of a dead body as an adventure. She talks in an upbeat excited manner about all the things that happen with each body donated to science. From the bodies used for surgery education, to the bodies used for organ transplants, to the bodies used for tons of other things. The book is slightly dated, and she doesn’t really discuss the process of cadaver bones being used for new transplants, but otherwise is extremely thorough. She remains excited about everything as she sees it, no matter how gross, or bizarre.

I think anyone that is curious about the future of the dead should check this book out. I think anyone that wants to donate their body to science should check this book out. I also think that if you aren’t interested in these things, you should check the book out. There is so much to be found in the book that have to do with the human condition, both living and dead that are freaking fascinating I think the book is worth a read by anyone still alive and able to pick the book up.

I would recommend it to the dead, but hopefully they already know enough about being a stiff to go ahead and skip the reading.

The Dollhouse Murders
by Thomas Mauriello/Ann Darby
photos by John Consoli

Miniatures, mayhem, murder, what more could one ask for?

For me, not much more.

The cases are not as short story like as I was hoping for, but they are still interesting and engaging.

I have a definite love of all things dead, and tend to be drawn to the books of the dead. This one is much more clinical than some other books of the dead I’ve read, but it doesn’t really suffer for that aspect. The thing that is difficult is not immediately guessing how the cases end as soon as you see the photographs.

The dioramas in the book were created to help Mauriello teach forensics to his students, and I find it to be a brilliant tool. The idea of bringing all forensic aspects of a case together is more than likely a difficult concept to get across until someone is in the field. These tiny death scenes make it obvious that one must pay attention to everything one sees.

The photos are well done, and the dioramas themselves are just freaking amazing in details. One of the other things I enjoyed about the book was how quick of a read the book turned out to be. The stories go quickly, and they don’t always end happily, something else I really enjoyed.

I would say check out the book if you dig the CSI, or the Law and Order, or one of those other televisions shows of that nature.

The Empire of Ice Cream
by Jeffrey Ford

This delightful collection of fantasy short stories was one sweet bon-bon of fluffy delight after another.

I really enjoyed the sweetness of the author, he remains kind and gentle even when he has a monster of a character that eats the bodies of the people he’s talked into suicide. Kindness prevails through these stories, even when they reach the darkest spots of the stories.

The story that sticks with me the most is the title story, but there are several others equally good. They are wonderful fripperies, and the collection is definitely worth the time.

The Eyre Affair
by Jasper Fforde

This series has been suggested to me again and again because of all the fun mish-mashes and jackups of the literary variety.

I do have to say I did enjoy that part of the book.

I love the do-dos more.

The book is a grand interpretation of a an alternate world. The time travel and book travel and the Crimean war that goes on forever and ever. There are lots of funny things, and puns and word plays, but what impressed me the most was the depth of the world’s background, how much Fforde invested in creating the world where his books take place.

The romantic nature of one of the story lines admirably mirrors the Jane Eyre story line, and the tone of the Eyre romance is well captured when they enter the novel itself. I liked the book, and I did dig the puns and the literary allusions, although next to the do-dos my next favorite thing was the concept of someone writing a sequel to Rime of the Ancient Mariner, it made me snort to think of Rime 2: Electric Boogaloo.

Lost in a Good Book
by Jasper Fforde

Thursday Next travels through time, moves through her own memory and finds out she’s pregnant.

The second novel is another fun and funny bit of bookly encounters. The story is more of a transitory sort of thing then a full novel. The story sort of drifts off at the end, not so much ending, as just pausing.

There are a great many cool things about this volume in the Next story, and the idea of a Jurisfiction is a remarkable amusement. The Miss Havisham character is freaking fabulous. One of the things that does remain marvelous is the way no matter what book they hop in and out of, Fforde remains as true as possible to the theme of the original novel. This is not my favorite of the Fforde novels, but it is needed to get to the next one.

The Well of Lost Plots
by Jasper Fforde

The third Thursday Next novel is by far one of the most interesting. I think my favorite of the contained stories is the first novel in the series. I do think this is my second favorite.

The concept is even more involved in the “book world” and I love the background and creation that runs rampant in the well of lost plots, and I’m even more impressed by the background that Fforde has created for his novels.

There is also nothing quite like a Miss Havisham and Mr. Toad road race. There is a lot to enjoy in the Fforde books, and I’m beginning to really look forward to the next novel in the series. I think the Nursery Crime series is also something I’m interested in reading.

After having these books brought to my attention again and again, I would suggest other read them as well. They are sweet, cute, funny, punny little novels and they are definitely worth a read.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind
by Steven Spielberg




How to put this then?

See the movie.

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2 Responses to None Purchased Today

  1. Jodi says:

    I love Stiff and hope to read Spook sometime soon. I have an entire book about that body farm, but was too grossed out to read it after the one chapter in Stiff.

  2. girlzoot says:

    I think the one thing that totally grossed me out entirely was the rice krispies comment. Had to take a little gag break at that point.

    I’m really excited about reading the Spook book. What is the body farm book?

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