Tag Archive: science



Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human CadaversStiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The narrator, Shelly Frasier, made this book so exciting and fun. Well, despite this book being about cadavers and all.

The book was nonfiction, but the author’s stories keep a heavy and sad topic intriguing. Mary Roach includes a history of how humans have handled the dead. She also shows the research of what is working and what is actually causing harm to us and the planet.

I feel the blurb says it best, and with it, you may know if this is for you or not. I might have said no, but a friend told me about it, and she’s usually a bit more squeamish, but she loved it.

“A contagiously cheerful exploration of the cruel diligences executed on some of our bodies when, after death, we abandon them on the threshold of their graves, this book shows us cadavers turned into carcasses, and scientific experiments, the deceased who contribute to the progress of medicine with perforated genitals and extracted eyes, flesh flung from airplanes or shot with bullets to verify the efficiency of new weapons, and discards crucified like Jesus or devoured by maggots. Mary Roach has written a book that explores the great beyond in order to show us the more visible and deplorable side of the next life.”

Try it, you might like it, and possibly learn something. By the way, I got my audio copy from Libby. For those that don’t know it is a library lending service for Kindle or Audiobooks.

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Why Fish Don't Exist: A Story of Loss, Love, and the Hidden Order of LifeWhy Fish Don’t Exist: A Story of Loss, Love, and the Hidden Order of Life by Lulu Miller
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a lot more fun than the last book I read. I really enjoyed hearing Lulu Miller tell her story and someone else’s while showing what had influenced her life.

I wanted to be a marine biologist in my way younger days. So this book was up my alley in many ways. Of course, that only lasted for ninth grade, and I learned that math was required for that and being an astronaut. Still, the love of the non-existent fish (and space travel) lingers in my life.

My friend recommended this, and I was able to find it on Libby. I didn’t want to do anything but listen to this story, so I got it done far quicker than most books. Lulu Miller did a great job weaving her life with one she admired. I felt like I was with her experiencing everything with her.

If you get the chance to read/listen to this book, I highly recommend it!

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The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of DepressionThe Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression by Andrew Solomon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I don’t know who recommended this book for me. Whoever, thank you! This was so interesting!

Having borrowed the Libby audio narrated by the author, I now hope to buy the book someday.

The thing is, this is more than a book about depression, or even one person’s account of his own journey. This book includes a bit of history of the diagnosis and treatment for centuries. It also includes how the disorder affects different socioeconomic sets of people.

I highly recommend this for anyone who has gone through depression or know of others who might be suffering. It leads to not only a deeper understanding, but medical issues and ways to find health.

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Life in the Fasting Lane: The Essential Guide to Making Intermittent Fasting Simple, Sustainable, and EnjoyableLife in the Fasting Lane: The Essential Guide to Making Intermittent Fasting Simple, Sustainable, and Enjoyable by Jason Fung
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I borrowed this audio copy from the e-library on Libby. I have had a lot of fun listening to this book. Even though it is non-fiction, I found it hugely entertaining.

The narrators, Brian Nishii, Courtney Patterson, Piper Goodeve, had me fooled as I truly thought they were the authors. Their voices were energetic and friendly. I have heard Doctor Jason Fung on YouTubes. By the way, look him up; fascinating and informative videos.

The three authors give you different views of Intermittent Fasting. The Doctor gives scientific, medical information. Megan Ramos gives the advice she gives to her clients, and Eve Mayer talks about her weight loss journey. I like having the book broke up that way. It’s nice not getting overwhelmed by the medical data, or too much advice told in one spot, or too much of a person’s journey without knowing the science of why certain things happened.

Okay, maybe I didn’t explain this well enough. This might show how much I enjoyed this audiobook. I plan to buy this so I can revisit it from time to time. Glad I got to borrow it from the library first.

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How to Die in Space: A Journey Through Dangerous Astrophysical PhenomenaHow to Die in Space: A Journey Through Dangerous Astrophysical Phenomena by Paul Sutter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was the best non-fiction book I have read in a long time! I could not put it down. Paul Sutter is an excellent teacher and author. His sense of humor rescues what could be dry hard science and keeps it fun.

I always wanted to go to outer space. Mr. Sutter might have just discouraged me with his many ways to die.

I highly recommend the Audible version as his voice is so expressive and full of fun. This might be a legit class, and this its textbook. It is a class I would have wanted to take over and over. Maybe eventually, I’d get an A. If not, I still would have loved the education that sunk in.

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The Diabetes Code: Prevent and Reverse Type 2 Diabetes NaturallyThe Diabetes Code: Prevent and Reverse Type 2 Diabetes Naturally by Jason Fung
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I actually finished this one a few days ago. It was a library Kindle book. As usual, I used text-to-speech to get through it.

I read the Obesity Code first. So this is the follow-up book. The information is similar in that it is about Intermittent Fasting and how it can help both conditions, obesity, and diabetes. I found both books quite interesting and inspirational. Though this one seems to have redundancies and often repeated itself. I figure that was to keep the medical eyes reading. There were a lot of charts to help prove Doctor Jason Fung’s theory.

If you are interested in IF, please give this and his other books a look. I think I need to get the hard copy as a reference.

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The Cancer Code: A Revolutionary New Understanding of a Medical Mystery (The Wellness Code Book 3)The Cancer Code: A Revolutionary New Understanding of a Medical Mystery by Jason Fung
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a surprise. I thought it was going to be a bit of a dull read. Especially since I was reading it at bedtime. But bedtime is the time to read something dull. It helps you sleep, right? Nope! This was very interesting. I found myself engrossed in the information staying up as late reading this as any sci-fi or fantasy I usually read. Despite the facts and figures of the research the author pursued, he was able to keep the subject matter personable. The occasional pun kept my mind in the read.

I was fortunate enough to get this copy from our library. I highly recommend this book.

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The Half-Life of Marie CurieThe Half-Life of Marie Curie by Lauren Gunderson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a quick listen on Audible. It was free. Only an hour and fifteen minutes. Narrators: Kate Mulgrew and Francesca Faridany made you feel you were watching a movie. I’m not sure if it is all factual from Marie Curie’s life but it seemed plausible. I loved the messages for women’s rights given life.

If you get the chance it is a good read/listen.

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Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World—and Why Things Are Better Than You ThinkFactfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World—and Why Things Are Better Than You Think by Hans Rosling
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love books that make you think. This one certainly does that! It took a while to get through it. As you probably know, my reading is done at bedtime. This was not that kind of book. Though it was nonfiction, a lot of it kept me up at night.

There were eye-opening statistics that one might not have thought of before. Predictive statistics that the book talked about were even more eye-opening. One of the most striking was made clear to me, showed that like the chart of a newborn baby can’t predict with the same growth later in life. We don’t expect a baby to continue to grow as much or as fast as a school child as the newborn. If a person kept that same growth rate we’d all be giants. So predictive charts need to look at other aspects during different times, incomes, health and wealth influences. I know I’m not saying this the way the author did. But the points he made similar to the example I tried to put forth, were equally stunning.

My friend recommended this book and I am glad I followed through. On the other hand, I must admit that I would have gotten a lot more out of the book had I had the paper book. Since I have trouble reading tree-books for the eye-sight and font issue, I listen to the text-to-speech. The problem was that I didn’t take the moment to read the charts and graphs presented to help the reader understand how things really are as opposed to how we think they are.

Even so, I found this a super interesting book that in the future I might just try to find the paper book just for the illustrations. Maybe I don’t agree with all his perspectives, it seems I have read somewhere that statistics are rarely pure. Most are bent to reflect the person’s paid position to research to the paid end. Still closing one’s eyes to the possibilities presented in this book are so much more destructive than paying attention and learning what we can from it all.

Give it a try. I picked my copy from the local e-library.

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The Hot ZoneThe Hot Zone by Richard Preston

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Do I say “Research?” It is due to the fact that I am writing a fictional ‘zombie’ book for NaNoWriMo that I picked up the Kindle and Audible versions of this book. My zombies are merely sick people. I am not a medical person so I needed some input on how it all starts and how contagious it all is. As it turns out it isn’t as bad as Ebola, but the gore of my book might evolve due to this book.

Meanwhile, this is a book I put off for decades. I remember a guy named Jason at the school I worked at that came up to me with the paperback. He was so excited about it. But the more he talked the squirmier I got. “And it’s a true story!” He exclaimed. I started watching shows like Outbreak. We saw it in the theater. Remember that sneeze? I nearly ran out of there when someone coughed.

I grew–good or bad, I guess that’s for others to judge. But lately, I can watch a disaster movie, or The Walking Dead and notice only the social reaction to the monsters or the disease or the overwhelming snow. So I thought I could now face this book.

Reading happens at bedtime. Bet you can guess how this book blended into dreams. And since I listened as I read the Kindle with the Audible, that voice! Richard M. Davidson’s voice. What a deep bass and excellent for the genre! Creepy and authoritative! Wow!

What I learned is that my characters in my book were dressed properly to deal with their strains of disease. And I learned I never want to be anywhere near someone coughing! If I was a germaphobe before… well, let’s just say there isn’t enough hand sanitizer in the world for me!

Knowing this is nonfiction made this even more frightening. It doesn’t seem like it was that long ago there was an Ebola scare. What a horrid disease! And this author did a poetic job of helping the reader to see it and feel it. If you haven’t read it yet, climb out of your hiding place and give it a try. Forewarned is forearmed as they say. Might as well get the Audible version to make it even more real. I will try to read more of his books now. Time for more vitamin C and Airborne!

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