12 Books in 12 Months

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers


By: Mary Roach

I love science. I love medicine. I love non-fiction reads.

This book is a perfect combination of these criteria and as a bonus, Mary Roach describes the situations she presents with a sort-of morbid humor that isn’t at all disrespectful. Somehow.

stiffStiff is my first read by this author and I think I will add a few more of her books to my list this year. It is quite interesting to learn something scientific as it applies to the real world. Stiff really dives in to the contributions cadavers have made, and continue to make in our society. Personally, I have often thought of donating my body to science, but I was not always clear what that meant exactly. This gives some really great insight and even discusses how the criteria for becoming a human cadaver can be a little extreme. Such as, not having certain diseases present prior to expiration. Apparently, a body just simply being a body isn’t enough….

Nonetheless…cadavers really get under-appreciated. They have helped with safety testing on cars (and still do!) and body decomposition studies (plus much more that I haven’t had the liberty to read just yet). Stiff even discusses the early years of cadavers and “body-snatching”.

Morbid. Interesting. Historical. True Life.

Bonus: references are included and foot-notes are provided for a more in-depth and interesting history on the topic being presented.


Since I love Amazon’s delivery system, you can buy it here:


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