Day 03 – The best book you’ve read in the last 12 months

As my 30 Days of Books adventure continues, I have to admit this one was kind of hard. Not because I haven’t done my fair share of reading in the past 12 months. Although I am admittedly nowhere near the level of my pal Kelly, I do get in a good deal of book time. No, sadly, this one was hard because I just haven’t liked a lot of what I’ve read lately. Kind of sad, huh?

I looked over my reading list for the past year and found many a lackluster choice, but one stood out head and shoulders above the rest. Which is funny, since a lot of the book dealt with heads removed from shoulders. The best book I’ve read in the last 12 months is Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach.

If we’re being completely honest, I had wanted to read Bonk, as I’ll take “la petite mort” over actual death any day of the week, thank you very much. And do come again. [See what I did there?]


But when I lobbied for Bonk at my September book club meeting (which I had hosted in spectacular fashion, power outage be damned!), it was suggested that Stiff might be more in line with an October feel. I was summarily outvoted. And so I picked up a copy of Stiff.

It’s not that I was completely turned off by the subject of death [make your own necrophilia joke here], but I just didn’t expect to enjoy the book. Much to my surprise, I couldn’t get enough of tales of cadaver research and old school grave robbing and something called the Body Farm that you probably don’t want to Google too strenuously if you’re a bit skittish about the science of decay.  I had seen the Body Worlds exhibit during its most recent stay at the MD Science Center and enjoyed it, so that chapter was even more fun for me.

I’m very comfortable with the thought of my own death.  Maybe that’s why I liked this book as much as I did.  Who knows? It’s a fascinating subject and while I’ll never be a doctor or a mortician or a forensic anthropologist, I definitely recommend Stiff to anyone who wants to know the various ways your body can end up postmortem.

And if you prefer not to think about your own demise? Well, maybe Bonk is more your speed. But I can’t actually recommend it, as I still haven’t gotten around to reading it!