Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach
“Stiff” is an oddly compelling, often hilarious exploration of the strange lives of our bodies postmortem. For two thousand years, cadavers–some willingly, some unwittingly–have been involved in science’s boldest strides and weirdest undertakings. They’ve tested France’s first guillotines, ridden the NASA Space Shuttle, been crucified in a Parisian laboratory to test the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin, and helped solve the mystery of TWA Flight 800. For every new surgical procedure, from heart transplants to gender reassignment surgery, cadavers have been there alongside surgeons, making history in their quiet way. In this fascinating, ennobling account, Mary Roach visits the good deeds of cadavers over the centuries [and in] her droll, inimitable voice, Roach tells the engrossing story of our bodies when we are no longer with them.