Thursday, July 24, 2008

An Apology to Mary Roach

Dear Ms. Roach,
Recently, I checked out from my local library a copy of your book, "Stiff: the curious lives of human cadavers" that was published in 2003. I have always loved your column in the Reader's Digest and thought your books might be equally witty and good for a laugh, even though the topic wouldn't ordinarily lend itself to humor.

So here's the deal. I checked out your book along with "The Host" by Stephenie Meyer, "Mistborn" by Brandon Sanderson, "Austenland" by Shannon Hale, and "The Bread Baker's Apprentice" by Peter Reinhart. I mean, come on. You don't really have much to offer to compete with the likes of them. I mean, I love bread. I actually would pick to read about making artisan bread than about cadavers. Can you blame me? Peter Reinhart isn't as funny as you, but at least I can eat what he's writing about. Your book not so much.

I did read about half of it, but that's only because I had to chaperone a church dance and got stuck in the coat check room. In July. Needless to say, I had some time on my hands and I took your book with me, but only because my husband absconded with "Mistborn." It was funny and very interesting. Who knew what all was done after someone donated their body to science! I'm sure glad there are people who are willing to do that for humanity's benefit, even if it is totally gross and I hope I never have to witness it personally.

The book was due on Tuesday and since my library wouldn't let me renew it because somebody else has requested it, I'm taking it back only half-read. Hope you understand. I might try another one of your books later, when there isn't something more interesting and compelling in my book pile.

An admiring reader,
Jenny of the Red Hot Eyebrows


  1. wow
    that says a LOT
    thanks for the warning

  2. Interesting. I think her latest book is called Boink and is about the sex lives of Americans. I, too, really like her Reader's Digest column. Maybe if I happen to stumble across one of her books in the library, I'll have to check it out.

  3. I have to disagree with ~a. Was it good or bad or only slightly interesting?

    I like her column in RD and am a little weirded out with her topics that include the afterlife, sex, and now apparently cadavers.

    One thing Mary Roach clearly is: weird.

  4. It was funny, interesting, well-written and obviously well-researched. It just wasn't compelling enough to beat out the other books I checked out. I'll try to be more specific next time.

  5. I saw that book at your house while we were there and just the picture on the front kind of creeped me out, so I think I'll pass that one by. I'm one of those that likes to ignore unpleasant things like cadaver labs and morgues. But it's nice to know there's another author out there that writes interesting books. I don't read Reader's Digest, so she was completely unknown to me.