Starry Wisdom

Entropic Words from Neilathotep

Thursday, June 2, 2005

A tale of two books

I want to talk about two books I’ve read recently. Why these two books in particular? Because they were both immensely fun in weird ways. And I also bought them at the same time in a 3 for 2 deal at borders a couple of weeks ago.

The first book under discussion is Candyfreak: A Journey through the Chocolate Underbelly of America by Steven Almond. The author of the book is clearly insane, in that he actually adores “gas station” candy. But he’s genuinely amusing in his narrative of his cross country trip to tour independent candy producers while discussing various and sundry bits of candy esoterica. He also has a gift for describing the composition and makeup of candy bars that is simply astounding at time. I endorse this book heartily as a quick enjoyable read.

Book the second is Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach. This is a book about dead people. Actually that’s not quite right, it’s about dead bodies. As the author clearly points out, bodies aren’t people, they are the hull that the people used to inhabit. The book covers a wide variety of topics, from what happens to bodies after death and during decomposition, to what happens in medical school anatomy classes, and how cadavers have been used in various types of research. Oh, and mellified men – finding out what those are are I leave as an exercise to the reader. Overall the author does a great job talking about some fairly touchy subjects, and it is a remarkably interesting book. There were a few points where I think she was a bit hammy, but so be it. This book also gets a hearty endorsement.

So there you go. A post.

posted by neil at 7:16 pm
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