Reddit Reddit reviews Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers

We found 101 Reddit comments about Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.

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Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers
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101 Reddit comments about Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers:

u/TheBurningBeard · 426 pointsr/news

Bones breaking isn't necessarily what kills you in rapid deceleration situations. Often times it's your heart detaching from your aorta. Every once in a while someone survives a jump off the golden gate bridge or something, and it's usually because when they hit the water their heart happened to be not full of blood for that split second, and wasn't as heavy, thus staying attached.

edit: this comment got a little more attention than I thought it would. If you're interested in this kind of thing, I would highly recommend Mary Roach's book Stiff.

u/toinfinitiandbeyond · 69 pointsr/WTF
u/laterkater · 68 pointsr/WTF

This was detailed on an episode of Human Planet on Discovery. You can watch it here!

I was secretly bummed they never showed the actual process. I feel most bad for the man who has to do the burial itself. If I remember correctly, he had to drink a considerable amount of whiskey in order to stomach what he was about to do.

(Also, if you're still curious about the ways corpses can and have been used throughout the centuries, have I got the book for you.)

u/SuB2007 · 48 pointsr/MakeupAddiction

I highly recommend "Stiff" by Mary Roach. It'

u/Onfortuneswheel · 42 pointsr/UnresolvedMysteries

I am planning to pick up a number of books I saw on this list.

Erik Larson’s Devil in the White City is probably the best true crime I’ve read. Some older true crime novels can be really campy and sensationalized.

Also, it’s not true crime, but Mary Roach’s Stiff is a fun read about cadavers and the human body after death.

u/Carbon_Rod · 35 pointsr/MorbidReality

Stiff - The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, if you want a light read about dead people. More amusing than it sounds.

u/NightGod · 32 pointsr/personalfinance

There are still options like The Body Farm and safety testing (aka, when crash test dummies aren't enough). You might find the book Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers enlightening.

u/Whazzits · 27 pointsr/bestoflegaladvice

Animal and pet bodies are generally disposed of via a process that essentially liquifies the flesh in lye. I know that there was some amount of push several years ago to expand the service to human remains.

There's a company in Europe that was trying to push the idea of "planting" a person's body by using minimal preservation chemistry and no coffin, and putting a sapling above the body.

I'm not Tibetan, but even I can appreciate the symbology of their Sky Burials, wherein a body is sliced and left exposed to the elements, and is swiftly reclaimed by vultures.

However, there is one outstanding option for OP: Donating his body to science! Organ donors are lauded, as they well should be, but there's a pressing need for bodies for research purposes, particularly bodies of younger folk or children. The research gained through body donation can save hundreds, if not thousands, of lives, for decades after it's donated. Bodies have been used to research car crash impact effects--dummies are fine, but there really is no substitute for strapping a body into a car and launching it into a wall to see how it breaks (or doesn't!)

I'd strongly encourage anyone interested in alternative body disposal methods to read Stiff, by Mary Roach. It is far and away my favorite non-fiction book--hilarious, respectful, inquisitive, and educational!

u/Gizank · 26 pointsr/WTF

Interesting timing of this post for me. I was having trouble getting to sleep last night, so I was reading Stiff, The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach. (This was a mistake, but only because the book is very interesting and well written. I got through 86 pages before I gave up and turned the light off. I never got sleepy.)

There are a number of stories in the book that might relate, but this reminded me most of Thomas Holmes (The Father of Modern Embalming.) The Wikipedia entry doesn't really have much trivia about him. More can be found on this page. His info is about half-way down the page. Roach goes into more detail about his story, but the part I thought of here is in that link:

>Holmes retired to Brooklyn, New York where he sold root beer and embalming
supplies. According to Christine Quigley, author of A Corpse: a History and Mary
Roach, author of Stiff, The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, Holmes shared his
Brooklyn home with samples of his Civil War era handiwork. Embalmed bodies were
stored in the closets, and preserved heads sat on tables in the parlor. Not all that
surprisingly, Holmes eventually went insane (Robert Mayer wrote that Holmes became
mentally unhinged after an accident) spending his final years in and out of institutions.
Shortly before he died he is said to have requested not to be embalmed.

By way of a little explanation: I work closely with a medical examiner's office. I was affected a good deal more, at first, than I expected since I don't go there every day and usually work at one remove from the actual place and the work done there. When I asked how people cope with that kind of work, both death investigation and pathology, along with a long and sensitive discussion about the job Mary Roach's book was recommended reading. I borrowed and returned it and eventually bought my own copy, but only last night started reading it. I'm only through 87 pages, but so far, it's a good read. If you want some perspective and maybe a different way to think about your own "final arrangements", or if you're just curious about stuff like what happens to bodies left to science or medicine, you may find it enlightening. She handles the subject with respect, humanity, and humor. It isn't nearly as gruesome as I thought it would be, but I have been exposed to a lot more death and bodies and such in the last three+ years than the average person, so YMMV.

u/LooksAtClouds · 15 pointsr/todayilearned

They have to. They need to calibrate the sensors on the crash test dummies.

Read more about it - and many other creative uses for dead bodies - in Mary Roach's book, Stiff.

u/KaleAndChickenSalad · 14 pointsr/AskWomen

I recommend both! For Stiff, I advise getting the audiobook version. It's very well done. The book itself is not any more graphic than it needs to be and is respectful (although I did take issue with the author's apparent negative view of cosmetic surgery in an early chapter.) I found the whole thing fascinating. I was actually most fascinated though when she got to the chapter about the possibility of human head transplants. Here's the page on Amazon.

As for A Dog's Purpose, I messed up and accidentally failed to notice there was an Audible version until literally just now, so I can't attest to the quality of the reading. But the book itself (as stated, I'm only half way through) is really good. Here it is.

u/mementomary · 14 pointsr/booksuggestions
  • Naked Statistics by Charles Wheelan is a great overview of the science of statistics, without being too much like a lecture. After reading it, you'll have a better understanding of what statistics are just silly (like in ads or clickbait news) and what are actually important (like in scientific studies).

  • You on a Diet by Roizen and Oz is touted as a diet book, and it kind of is. I recommend it because it's a great resource for basic understanding the science behind the gastrointestinal system, and how it links to the brain.

  • All of Mary Roach's books are excellent overviews of science currently being done, I've read Stiff (the science of human bodies, post-mortem), Spook ("science tackles the afterlife"), Packing for Mars (the science of humans in space), and Bonk (sex), and they are all very easy to understand, but scientifically appropriate. I'm sure "Gulp" is good too, although I haven't read that one yet.

  • "How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming" by Mike Brown is a great, accessible overview of exactly why Pluto was demoted to dwarf planet, told by the man who started the controversy.

  • "A Brief History of Time" by Stephen Hawking is a little denser, material-wise, but still easy to understand (as far as theoretical physics goes, at least!). Hawking explains the history of physics and the universe, as well as the future of the discipline. While there is a bit more jargon than some pop-science books, I think an entry-level scientist can still read and understand this book.
u/cerealdaemon · 11 pointsr/AskReddit

As regards to the Body Farm. The university of tennessee gets many, many donations every year for research, they have a giant freezer full of cadavers awaiting their turn in the Tennessee sunshine. If you donate your body to science, there is no way to be assured where it is going to go. For more reference on this, check out a book called Stiff

u/painahimah · 10 pointsr/trashy

This is really common - if you donate a body to science it goes where it's needed. The entire body isn't needed for research in one place so the remains can be parted out as needed.

I highly recommend the book Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers - it talks about the options out there for our bodies after we die, and manages to be light-hearted but respectful at the same time. It's really one of my favorite books

u/tedistkrieg · 8 pointsr/Documentaries

This book, Stiff is partially about the body farm, among other things. It is an awesome read

u/DanishWhoreHens · 8 pointsr/NoStupidQuestions

What we practice in the US now, embalming with airtight caskets (they have “burping coffins” like Tupperware to release gas) began during the Civil War because of the hideous condition the bodies would often arrive home in after so long. If you’re down with learning about all the different things having to with the funeral industry and as well as how industry professionals have either lobbied to make some absurd practices legal requirements or will try to convince you they are when they’re not then these are fascinating to read, Jessica Mitford’s The American Way Of Death and Mary Roach’s Stiff: The Curious Lives Of Human Cadavers. Some of the most interesting reading you’ll ever do to be sure.

u/TinyPinkSparkles · 8 pointsr/todayilearned

There are a LOT of uses for cadavers.

Reading this book made me want to donate my body to science.

u/ChagSC · 8 pointsr/AdviceAnimals

There is actually a lot of controversy on the lack of regulation for the global cadaver trade.

This is also a great read:

u/civildefense · 8 pointsr/IAmA

have you ever read stiff by Mary Roach? its quite good.

u/Y_pestis · 8 pointsr/biology

just some of my standard answers.

The Disappearing Spoon- yes, it's chemistry but I found it very interesting.

Abraham Lincoln's DNA- if you have a good background in genetics you might already know many of these stories. Read the table of contents first.

New Guinea Tapeworms and Jewish Grandmothers- disease based biology. There is a follow up book if it turns out you like it.

Stiff- more than you wanted to know about dead bodies.

And by the same author but space based... Packing for Mars.

I hope these help... Cheers.

u/bkwyrm · 6 pointsr/Jessicamshannon

Along with Mary Roach’s Stiff, I have often recommended
Last Breath: Cautionary Tales from the Limits of Human Endurance
. The former is science writing about cadavers, albeit lighthearted, and the latter is a collections of essays-wrapped-in-fictional-example (for lack of a better term) about what the body and mind go through when dying in various ways.

u/cochon1010 · 6 pointsr/SkincareAddiction

I cringed so hard when I was reading Stiff recently (which I actually highly recommend) and the author apparently interviewed Dr. Oz and cited him as a credible, medical source because of his work in cardiology.

The book came out in before his Oprah days and before having his own show, but it's just crazy how you can go from respected doctor at the top of your field to huge sell-out. I guess he just must be money hungry and eating up his newfound fame. I can't think of another reason why someone would make that career decision.

u/HufflePuff2xPass · 6 pointsr/AdviceAnimals

Trust me- if you're a donor, at least one part of you's gonna get used. Now, it might not be in a way you'd expect (your skin might end up in someone's ahem sausage enhancement), but the transplant lists are long as fuck. They're not gonna risk wasting even a tiny piece if they can help it

(Stiff-The Curious Life of Human Cadavers has more information on what happens to you if you're an organ donor postmortem if you're interested)

u/SiameseGunKiss · 5 pointsr/Frugal

If you wouldn't be weirded out by it, I high recommend reading Stiff. It's a really great read about the various ways they use cadavers for scientific research. It's actually quite helpful and important. There's a story in there about medical students at a University (I can't remember which) who would have memorial services for their cadavers at the end of the semester. Really neat stuff.

u/SmallFruitbat · 5 pointsr/YAwriters

I can't see it being a problem. Here's a Goodreads collection of cannibalism books if you need comps. Some appear to be YA.

For research purposes, I would recommend chapters in Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers (non-fiction). Contrary to popular belief, The Sex Lives of Cannibals doesn't contain cannibalism. It is hilarious South Pacific travel writing though.

u/ifonly12 · 4 pointsr/books

Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why? by Laurence Gonzales

Swimming to Antarctica : Tales of Long Distance Swimming by Lynne Cox

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach

I was home for a holiday, and found these laying around my mother's book stash. She recommended all of them and I thoroughly enjoy each one. Although, usually I read fiction. All of these books are intriguing, well-written, and educational. If you never read non-fiction a good place to start is reading Mary Roach. Here is her TED talk about orgasms.

u/tunafan6 · 4 pointsr/morbidquestions

Books: "Morbid Curiosity Cures the Blues", "10 Ways to Recycle a Corpse: and 100 More Dreadfully Distasteful Lists", check for related items on Amazon for both of these books.

Buy something from oddities/taxidermy shops. - I don't know if they sell online, it's a small shop, but you get the general idea.

Take her/him to the museum of death or crime or anatomy. Many cities have them.

Go to together to St. Petersburg, Russia (Russia itself is morbid enough!) to visit this museum:

If you don't have much money, buy a (fake) shrunken and from Amazon, take it out of box and say it's real :)))

This website might be also a good start to find something close to you:

Edit: also this book:

u/vurplesun · 4 pointsr/books

I've been on a non-fiction kick myself.

A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson is good. Very funny, very informative.

Packing for Mars and Stiff: The Curious Lives of Cadavers both by Mary Roach were also fun to read.

u/[deleted] · 4 pointsr/books

Stiff is a quirky non-fiction about the "lives" of cadavers and the weird ways our bodies are used when we donate them.

u/PComotose · 4 pointsr/IAmA

> never smelled a dead body

In fact, I'm reading this right now. Yes, there's a description of the body breakdown and the, uh, aromas generated.

u/Wohowudothat · 4 pointsr/medicine

>there are also surgical anatomy electives you can take later that involve surgeons (and aspiring surgeons) doing specific operations on one or more parts of your body.

This is also mentioned in the book "Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers."

u/pantherwest · 4 pointsr/booksuggestions

One of my all time favorites is Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air, about a climbing season on Mount Everest where a lot of things went wrong.

I also enjoy Mary Roach - she has a great gift of being able to convey information while being really entertaining in the process. Stiff is my favorite of hers, but I also really enjoyed Packing For Mars.

u/RockyColtTum · 4 pointsr/CFBOffTopic
u/mtalbot · 3 pointsr/IAmA
u/Groty · 3 pointsr/WTF

The interesting thing about rapid deceleration deaths is that it's rarely the pavement, tree, water, whatever that kills a person. Most of the body is pretty good at taking severe impacts. Hit most places with an object at the same speed and it's not immediate death.

However, there is one MAJOR weak spot. The aorta! It tears from the rapid deceleration. Immediate blood lose and you're a goner.

Here's a great book that talks about it. I was actually reading the falling death/aorta tearing chapter 32,000 feet over the east coast on my way to vacation. Nodded off, had one of those dreams where I could see through the floor of the airplane and weird falling sensation. Jumped, felt bad for the person next to me!

u/barnosaur · 3 pointsr/pics

This book is all about the different ways human cadavers are used and it really is fascinating.

u/eklektech · 3 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

you would probably get into this book, parts of it talk about the body farm

u/soapydansk · 3 pointsr/Gore

I'm a lady! I started on a long time ago, too. I've always been a little morbid I guess, but I am also just fascinated by the things we don't see that (a) we used to or (b) other cultures still do. My mom worked around a lot of medical illustrators for most of my life, too, so I grew up seeing random fetuses in jars and understood the importance of cadavers.

Also, Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers is one of my favorite books.

But I'd add, as other meta posts have before, that I learned way more than I expected when I started coming here.

u/PaperParakeet · 3 pointsr/todayilearned

And if you're intrigued about the decomposition of the human body, or what might happen after you donate your corpse to silence, here's a good read!

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers

It's one of my long time favorites. It's the first place I read about this skin slippage, termed "gloving."

u/hibryd · 3 pointsr/IAmA

I read in Stiff that plastic surgeons practice on cadavers. Is that more or less gross than working on a live person?

u/vishuno · 3 pointsr/movies

Written by Mary Roach who is hilarious and has other great books! I recommend these in particular:

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers

Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex

Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal

u/LieselMeminger · 3 pointsr/AskReddit

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach. The writing is so good you won't care about the squeamish content.

The Poisoner's Handbook by Deborah Blum. A perfect blend of a historical retelling and science.

A Treasury of Deception by Michael Farguhar.

The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat by Oliver Sacks. Short stories of the mentally abnormal patients of Sacks.

My Stroke of Insight by Jill Taylor. Very good insight on what it is like to live with, and recover from brain damage. Also talks science about parts of the brain as a nice intro to the subject.

Mutants: On Genetic Variety in the Human Body by Armand Leroi.

And of course,
Cosmos by Carl Sagan.

u/theheartofgold · 3 pointsr/booksuggestions

Mary Roach! Mary Roach Mary Roach!

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers

Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex

Packing of Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void

I can't recommend these highly enough. Mary Roach is the most engaging, funny science writer I've read.

Also [A Natural History of the Senses by Diane Ackerman]

u/myhusbandsrepublican · 3 pointsr/books

Stiff by Mary Roach. It deals with cadavers, which most humans don't like to think about, but the author writes it in a way that balances heavy content with humor.

u/woodycanuck · 3 pointsr/IAmA
u/rattlesnarks · 3 pointsr/exmormon

Someone once told me that the parts left over after med school assignments sometimes end up in art projects. Is this true?

Asking because I'm 1,000,000% donating my body if I get to be science AND art.

Also: Stiff by Mary Roach made me want to donate myself to the body farm.

u/rukestisak · 3 pointsr/serbia

Dosta ljetno štivo:

Šala, ali ova knjiga je ful zanimljiva ako imaš jak želudac.

u/nhaines · 2 pointsr/writing

I can highly recommend Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach as a fascinating, yet informative guide as to what happens to human bodies after death.

There's a chapter specifically about the study of decomposition in relation to criminal forensics, so I think it'd be a good read for you.

u/xines · 2 pointsr/IAmA

Have you read the book Stiff'- Curious Lives of Human Cadavers?
One of favorite reads and authors in the past few years.

u/Brandito · 2 pointsr/physicaltherapy

Not a strictly educational read, but a very entertaining and enlightening exploration into something you'll probably become very familiar with in your near future...

Stiff by Mary Roach

u/broshades · 2 pointsr/AskReddit

Check out the book Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers some time. There's a lot more to preparing dead people than that that you would never guess/want to know.

u/lumpy_potato · 2 pointsr/AskReddit

"The Hegemony Consul sat on the balcony of his ebony spaceship and played Rachmaninoff's Prelude in C-sharp Minor on an ancient but well-maintained Steinway while great, green, saurian things surged and bellowed in the swamps below." - Hyperion, Dan Simmons

"Joe Gould is a blithe and emaciated little man who has been a notable in the cafeterias, diners, barrooms, and dumps of Greenwhich Village for a quarter of a century" - Up In The Old Hotel - Joseph Mitchell

"He told them he loved them" - Columbine - Dave Cullen

"Kazbek Misikov stared at the bomb hanging above his family. It was a simple device, a plastic bucket packed with explosive paste, nails, and small metal balls. It weighed perhaps eight pounds. The existence of this bomb had become a central focus of his life." - The School - C.J. Chivers

"It was summer; it was winter." The Long Fall of One-Eleven Heavy - MICHAEL PATERNITI

"The human head is of the same approximate size and weight as a roaster chicken. I have never before had occasion to make the comparison, for never before today have I seen a head in a roasting pan" Stiff: The Curious Lives of Cadavers - Mary Roach

u/vivestalin · 2 pointsr/Frugal

This book is a really great read if you're curious about why cadavers are so useful. From a certain standpoint, a lot of people could do more for humanity dead than alive.

u/sesamecakes · 2 pointsr/books

there is a fascinating nonfiction book called the Poisoner's Handbook ( that I enjoyed. It's basically about the birth of modern forensics. Another fun read would be Stiff (, which is also nonfiction about cadavers.

u/jwynia · 2 pointsr/writerchat

One of my favorite non-fiction authors is Mary Roach. She picks a topic and gathers all kinds of detailed and odd information about it, often covering the kinds of details that the genuinely curious find fascinating.

Stiff is about what humans do with the dead remains of other humans, including her visit to the body farms where scientists figure out the cascade of beetles, bugs and grubs invade the remains.

Gulp is all about the human digestive tract

Bonk is about sex, including the author convincing her husband to have sex in an MRI for science

Packing for Mars is all about the details of putting people into space

Basically, I think everything she writes is worth reading if you write fiction.

u/FixMyToilet · 2 pointsr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

It's not World War Z, or an action type book. This book is called Stiff. It's a very interesting and informative book about cadavers. I went into this book with much skepticism, but was intrigued by her personal recollection and delivery. The book made me go from laughing out loud to cringing by the subject at hand. I highly recommend this book, and it's available on kindle.

The off-chance you read it, (Let me know how you like it!)

My wishlist - (Only one item below $15.)

u/kiss-tits · 2 pointsr/todayilearned

Mary Roach writes some pretty interesting novels, such as Stiff, the curious lives of human cadavers

I used her as a source for a paper in college and found that book very informative.

u/MinnesotaTemp · 2 pointsr/videos

For the lazy ^ It really is an amazing book, I listened to the audiobook.

u/HaveAMap · 2 pointsr/CasualConversation

Can I give you a list? Imma give you a list with a little from each category. I LOVE books and posts like this!

Non-fiction or Books About Things:

The Lost City of Z: In 1925, the legendary British explorer Percy Fawcett ventured into the Amazon jungle, in search of a fabled civilization. He never returned. Over the years countless perished trying to find evidence of his party and the place he called “The Lost City of Z.” In this masterpiece of narrative nonfiction, journalist David Grann interweaves the spellbinding stories of Fawcett’s quest for “Z” and his own journey into the deadly jungle, as he unravels the greatest exploration mystery of the twentieth century. Cumberbatch will play him in the movie version of this.

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers: Hilariously gross and just super interesting. Her writing is like a non-fiction Terry Pratchett. Everything she's written is great, but this one is my favorite.

Devil in the White City: All about HH Holmes and his murder hotel during the Chicago World's Fair. Incredibly well-written and interesting.

The Outlaw Trail: Written in 1920 by the first superintendent of Capitol Reef National Park (aka, the area around Robber's Roost). He went around interviewing the guys who were still alive from the original Wild Bunch, plus some of the other outlaws that were active during that time. Never read anything else with actual interviews from these guys and it's a little slice of life from the end of the Wild West.

Fiction, Fantasy, Sci-Fi:

Here I'm only going to give you the less known stuff. You can find Sanderson (light epic fantasy), Pratchett (humor / satire fantasy), Adams (humor fantasy), etc easily in any bookstore. They are fantastic and should be read, but they are easy to find. I suggest:

The Cloud Roads: Martha Wells is an anthropologist and it shows in her world building in every series. She creates societies instead of landscapes. These are very character-driven and sometimes emotional.

The Lion of Senet: Jennifer Fallon starts a great political thriller series with this book. If you like shows like House of Cards or things where there's a lot of political plotting, sudden twists, and a dash of science v. religion, then you'll love these.

The Book of Joby: Do you want to cry? This book will make you cry. Mix arthurian legend with some God & Devil archetypes and it's just this very powerful story. Even though it deals with religious themes and icons, I wouldn't say it's a religious book. Reads more like mythology.

On Basilisk Station: Awesome military space opera. Really good sci-fi.

Grimspace: Pulpy space opera. Brain bubble gum instead of serious reading. But that's fun sometimes too!

u/Sharrakor · 2 pointsr/pics

Just sign up as an organ donor, or arrange to have your body "donated for science." Every wonder what your corpse would be used for? It's not usually being dissected by anatomy students. You could be a crash test dummy, or a study in decomposition, or a training head for plastic surgeons, or more...

u/justasmalltowngirl89 · 2 pointsr/Paranormal

Yes! For those interested, it's Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach. She has several others out (6 books and one compilation). Gulp might be my favorite but I really enjoyed Packing for Mars and Bonk. This sub would also really appreciate Spook!

u/grantmoore3d · 2 pointsr/videos

Stiff by Mary Roach is a really good read on the topic of cadavers as well.

u/Deradius · 2 pointsr/biology


If evolution is of interest to you (and if you have interest in the intersection between theology and science), Finding Darwin's God by Kenneth Miller explores both sides of the debate and debunks many common misconceptions about evolution. I first read it in a college biology topics course.

If you like the topic of 'creationist attempts to dispute or disrupt the teaching of evolution in the classroom', Summer of the Gods, about the Scopes Monkey Trial, is a great book (although not explicitly about science).

You may find The Selfish Gene by Dawkins worth a read.

Books by Mary Roach can be fun; I've read Stiff and enjoyed it, and Packing for Mars was pretty good as well.

I have heard good things about The Emperor of All Maladies, though I haven't read it myself.

Our Stolen Future, about contamination of the environment by artificially produced estrogen and estrogen analogs, is dated but interesting.

The Discovery of Insulin by Bliss is a great story about how science happens and how scientific discovery occurs, and it lays out what may be the most important discovery in medical science during the 20th century.

Were those types of books what you were looking for?

u/homegrownunknown · 2 pointsr/chemistry

I love science books. These are all on my bookshelf/around my apt. They aren't all chemistry, but they appeal to my science senses:

I got a coffee table book once as a gift. It's Theodore Gray's The Elements. It's beautiful, but like I said, more of a coffee table book. It's got a ton of very cool info about each atom though.

I tried The Immortal Life of Henrieta Lacks, which is all about the people and family behind HeLa cells. That was a big hit, but I didn't care for it.

I liked The Emperor of all Maladies which took a long time to read, but was super cool. It's essentially a biography of cancer. (Actually I think that's it's subtitle)

The Wizard of Quarks and Alice in Quantumland are both super cute allegories relating to partical physics and quantum physics respectively. I liked them both, though they felt low-level, tying them to high-level physics resulted in a fun read.

Unscientific America I bought on a whim and didn't really enjoy since it wasn't science enough.

The Ghost Map was a suuuper fun read about Cholera. I love reading about mass-epidemics and plague.

The Bell that Rings Light, In Search of Schrödinger's Cat, Schrödinger's Kittens, The Fabric of the Cosmos and Beyond the God Particle are all pleasure reading books that are really primers on Quantum.

I also tend to like anything by Mary Roach, which isn't necessarily chemistry or science, but is amusing and feels informative. I started with Stiff but she has a few others that I also enjoyed.

Have fun!

u/SlothMold · 2 pointsr/suggestmeabook

A lot of the better-researched/possible in the next 5 years stuff will have "speculative fiction" tacked on as a label instead of sci-fi. Just an observation.

In terms of very readable science nonfiction, you might try The Poisoner's Handbook, which is told in anecdotes about murder cases and the development of modern forensics in New York or Mary Roach's humorous essay collections in Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void, and others. The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan was also quite readable and well-researched (about agrobusiness), but his other books get overly preachy, I think.

The Best Science and Nature anthologies are a good starting point when you're looking for new authors you click with too.

u/geekgirlpartier · 2 pointsr/AskReddit

Gifted Hands was an awesome book.

Also Stiff was a great book about Cadavers.

u/washer · 2 pointsr/AskReddit

I'm just speaking for myself here, but if you want to get a factbook, I'd go Uncle John's Bathroom Reader over a book of random facts. With a book of random facts, there's little incentive to do anything but glance at it occasionally. The Bathroom Reader contains longer anecdotes in addition to traditional factoid tidbits, so it's good if you've got a minute or a half-hour.

Also, if you want to get interesting science-type books, one that I haven't read but have heard good things about is Stiff. Hope that helps!

u/irregodless · 2 pointsr/IAmA

I recommend you read Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers

They go over this in the first chapter. Fascinating and surprisingly entertaining book.

u/imafishyfish · 2 pointsr/AskReddit

For some interesting material on organ donation, I suggest Stiff by Mary Roach.

u/aphrodite-walking · 2 pointsr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

I would start off with Stiff and then Bonk. I liked Spook but on amazon it doesn't have as good of reviews as the others so I'd read that one later if you aren't as interested in it. I've yet to read packing for mars but if it's anything like her other books, it's wonderful.

u/anomoly · 2 pointsr/todayilearned

> ... and totally not known even remotely enough in general.

I think this is one of the reasons I'm so open about recommending his work. He seems to have the ability to take topics that most people may not be exposed to and make them comprehensible. It's similar to the way I feel about Mary Roach in books like Stiff, Bonk, and Gulp.

Along with that, Bryson has some purely entertaining works like A Walk in the Woods, Notes From a Small Island, and The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid: A Memoir that are just a joy to read. I guess I'll stop now because I'm starting to feel like shill.

Edit: spelling is hard.

u/kr_sparkles · 1 pointr/CasualConversation

If you haven't read it, you should check out Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach. Each chapter is about a different use for bodies that have been donated to science. It's humorous, engaging informative, and fun. Really great read!

u/MontyHallsGoat · 1 pointr/booksuggestions

The Disappearing Spoon. Also anything by Mary Roach, especially Stiff.

u/WorkWithMorgan · 1 pointr/WTF

You should read the wonderful book: Stiff - The Curious Lives Of Human Cadavers. It's excellent.

u/kandoras · 1 pointr/AskMen

Currently on my list and in no way expected to last out the month, much less the summer:

Stiff: The Curious lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach. This is one of the toughest books I've ever read, barring anything by Dickens. One chapter on something like crash test dummies or organ donors will be OK, then I read two pages of the history of human head transplants involving some French Fuck who cut dog's heads off and sewed them onto other dogs and I've got to put it down for a few hours.

Bonk: the Curious Coupling of Science and Sex, also by Mrs. Roach. I certainly hope to find this more enjoyable than the one about cadavers.

And finally, A Dance with Dragons, book 5 of George R. R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire / Game of Thrones series. Which, if the first four are any indication, promises to be a heady mix of both of the first two books on the list.

u/PinkBuffalo · 1 pointr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

The Human Bone Manual is like a biblical source to me. Also, Stiff, by Mary Roach is some SERIOUSLY interesting stuff.

u/juicius · 1 pointr/todayilearned

There is a book titled [Stiff] ( by Mary Roach. Entertaining and macabre reading. It talks about using human cadaver for crash testing.

u/planeray · 1 pointr/AskReddit

They all go to saving lives, madam!

Seriously though, absolutely, they can take whatever they want when I'm gone - I can't think of anything more selfish than denying someone who needs them something I can't use any more.

If you're looking for different options and a generally interesting read about the subject - even covering off the opt in/out arguments, have a read of Stiff by Mary Roach. Can highly recommend any of her books!

u/mr_arkadin · 1 pointr/AskReddit

aka Stiff by Mary Roach (some places don't feature the sub-title); great listen.

u/caught_thought · 1 pointr/gaybros

Someone already suggested it, but I'd like to restate House of Leaves. Though perhaps it's not a good vacation book because it will suck you in and it's kind of a dark book.

The Xanth and Apprentice Adept series by Piers Anthony are really quick reads; they're corny as shit fantasy for teenage boys, but they got me through some rough years so I'll always have a spot for them. Also on the fantasy side, check out Hyperion.

On the nonfiction side: Stiff and Salt were both awesome. I've read a bunch of other books by the author of Stiff, and they're all worth it--she's very accessible and funny, but also serious and respectful of the topics.

u/gayotzi · 1 pointr/AskAnthropology

Not totally accurate, but if you’re looking for popular science/entertainment that’s somewhat anthropology related.... Kathy Reichs is a board certified forensic anthropologist and has written a lot of books. They (she) are what the TV show Bones was based on.

Stiff by Mary Roach is a good one

For nonfiction, and if you’re interested in things highly relevant politically now, these are some incredible works on immigration.

Becoming Legal
They Leave Their Kidneys in the Fields

I’m pretty sure this author is a sociologist, but still a great book. imagined communities

u/Topples7 · 1 pointr/thatHappened

But your organs don't get transplanted unless you're brain dead. (Which I'm assuming he wasn't)

He died to become a crash test dummy, help someone learn Botox injections, or literally rot in a field for years.

Source: (This book)[] I read a while back

u/bonniemuffin · 1 pointr/askscience

For highly entertaining non-technical biology reading, consider Stiff: the curious lives of human cadavers by Mary Roach. It covers all the things that can happen to your corpse after you die: use of cadavers in research, safety testing, organ donation, forensics, anatomy labs, etc, as well as some interesting history of all of these things.

u/yakshack · 1 pointr/nottheonion

ITT: a lot of people saying that having their body blown up after they're dead would be kinda cool.

If that's you, I recommend reading this book all about what happens to dead bodies that have been donated to science. I got it through a Redditgifts book exchange. It's morbidly fascinating.

And it turns out that donating your body to science is actually incredibly useful to the living as all sorts of safety mechanisms, surgical procedures, forensics testing, etc have been developed because others have donated their bodies.

u/BloodInMySaltStream · 1 pointr/todayilearned

I just finished this book. If you want to hear more about human cadavers - its really really cool. I'd advise the audiobook, personally.

u/kairos · 1 pointr/portugal

"Recentemente" li um livro que é o Stiff (sim, os meus gostos literários são algo estranhos), onde a autora refere que a história de comer cão é especifica a uma ou outra provincia e não algo generalizado. Confirmas?

Qual a formação da tua mãe?

Estudando tu na Inglaterra, sentes muitas diferenças em comparação com estudantes chineses (que vieram da China)?

u/itstimetopaytheprice · 1 pointr/books

The Age of American Unreason - Susan Jacoby, which is the antithesis of
Slouching Towards Gamorrah - Robert Bork, a horrible horrible book
And for a fun, interesting read:
Stiff: The Curious Lives of Cadavers - Mary Roach

u/NappingPlant · 1 pointr/nosleep

I look up a lot of random bullshit on a whim, I got interested in this after an old episode of Ripley's Believe it or Not. There was this book I read called Stiff: the Curious Lives of Human Cadavers I read a long time ago, I remember a lot from that.

Just look it up the author was a Mary Roach. Here is a link to her book's Amazon and a PDF if you don't have the cash to buy it.

u/mootoast · 1 pointr/askscience

I recommend you read Stiff by Mary Roach if you're really interested. It's a very fun read, and surprisingly humorous. Depending on where you decide to donate your body, you may be used to study body decomposition, used as training dummies for med students, or even used as a crash test dummy.

u/LurkBeast · 1 pointr/atheism

Mind/Consciousness: Fade to black, then gone.


u/geach_the_geek · 1 pointr/biology

This isn't heavily science-y and a bit journalized, but I really enjoyed Stiff: The Curious Life of Human Cadaver's by Mary Roach. I also like Why Evolution is True by Jerry Coyne. There's a lot of overlap with what he teaches at his UChicago Eco & Evo course. Bad Science by Ben Goldacre is also wonderful, but will likely make you angry. Yet another interesting read is The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

u/frodomann108 · 1 pointr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon
u/SaphiraWings · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

Here is a book I think you'll like if you are interested in this type of thing. :)

u/AlphaLima · 1 pointr/zombies

I just finished Stiff which touched on this. If it sounds interesting to anyone else.

u/jchiu003 · 1 pointr/OkCupid

Depends on how old you are.

  • Middle school: I really enjoyed this, this, and this, but I don't think I can read those books now (29) without cringing a little bit. Especially, Getting Things Done because I already know how to make to do list, but I still flip through all 3 books occastionally.

  • High school: I really enjoyed this, this, and this, but if you're a well adjusted human and responsible adult, then I don't think you'll find a lot of helpful advice from these 6 books so far because it'll be pretty basic information.

  • College: I really enjoyed this, this, and started doing Malcolm Gladwell books. The checklist book helped me get more organized and So Good They Can't Ignore You was helpful starting my career path.
  • Graduate School: I really enjoyed this, this, and this. I already stopped with most "self help" books and reading more about how to manage my money or books that looked interesting like Stiff.

  • Currently: I'm working on this, this, and this. Now I'm reading mostly for fun, but all three of these books are way out of my league and I have no idea what their talking about, but they're areas of my interest. History and AI.
u/carcass_lottery · 1 pointr/portugal

Não sou da área da saúde, mas tenho algum interesse pelo assunto. Por coincidência, comecei a ouvir o Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers a semana passada. Aborda, entre outras questões, a maneira como os profissionais de saúde lidam com os cadáveres e autópsias. Ainda só ouvi os três primeiros capítulos mas estou a achar o livro/tema muito interessante (e bem escrito, o que é uma mais-valia). Pode ser que te ajude.

Se quiseres link para o audiobook, PM.