What’s Been In My Reading Basket Lately?

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As usual many, many, many books, but one tops the ‘You gotta’ read’ list;

51MPnT7LW4L__SX329_BO1,204,203,200_SMOKE GETS IN YOUR EYES & Other lessons from the Crematory by Caitlin Doughty

WARNING: Do not read this book while eating if that’s your habit, as is mine. I tried. I couldn’t.

Wow—Itsa’ some book! Caitlin rolls out the gurney with death atop it and dares us to hop on for a ride.

The author first earned a degree in medieval history, but, once she realized the unlikely chances of getting a job in that field, she decided to get a job in a crematory.

Then she decided to write about her experiences. Caitlin is a brilliant writer and has a wonderful way of pulling the reader into her work with death. As well as giving the reader fascinating bits of history about the dying and the dead she also points out many similarities between her two chosen fields.

The author holds nothing back and she is dead on when she states, ‘Most people want to avoid thinking about death’.Especially the icky stuff. Her macabre sense of humour makes us see, no matter how icky or horrifying death is (and Caitlin hides nothing), it is life.

Maybe there is information we could continue to live without knowing, but, at the same time, we come to see just how much we have sanitized death to . . . well . . .  death. Something terminally unhealthy for us, and for our earth.

I was horrified, amused, saddened and grossed out. I laughed, I rolled my eyes, and I teared up. I am so grateful there are people like Caitlin (and Mike, Bruce, and Chris) and they are willing to do what we can’t or won’t. Bless every one of them.

I rate this book, on a scale of 1 to 10, a 20+.


  1. writeknit Said:

    I think I need to look at the library for this book the next time I go!! 🙂


  2. That’s pretty high praise for a book! Sounds like it might be somewhat gory?? I can see how medieval history would not be high on the list of job requirements. 🙂


    • Yep! This book takes the mind places it may not want to go. Most likely won’t. She is brutally honest and that’s why I give this book high praise. The funny (not ha ha) thing is that the more gruesome aspects of her work has caused her to embrace life like nothing else. It’s a gruesome but beautiful book.
      If something horrific happened to someone I loved, I’d want to know there was someone like Caitlin at the end, caring like she does and doing the things I may not (most likely wouldn’t) be able to do.

      Liked by 1 person

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