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Smoke Gets in Your Eyes And Other Lessons from the Crematory

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes  And Other Lessons from the Crematory Author Caitlin Doughty
ISBN-10 9780393245950
Release 2014-09-15
Pages 256
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“Morbid and illuminating” (Entertainment Weekly)—a young mortician goes behind the scenes of her curious profession. Most people want to avoid thinking about death, but Caitlin Doughty—a twenty-something with a degree in medieval history and a flair for the macabre—took a job at a crematory, turning morbid curiosity into her life’s work. Thrown into a profession of gallows humor and vivid characters (both living and very dead), Caitlin learned to navigate the secretive culture of those who care for the deceased. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes tells an unusual coming-of-age story full of bizarre encounters and unforgettable scenes. Caring for dead bodies of every color, shape, and affliction, Caitlin soon becomes an intrepid explorer in the world of the dead. She describes how she swept ashes from the machines (and sometimes onto her clothes) and reveals the strange history of cremation and undertaking, marveling at bizarre and wonderful funeral practices from different cultures. Her eye-opening, candid, and often hilarious story is like going on a journey with your bravest friend to the cemetery at midnight. She demystifies death, leading us behind the black curtain of her unique profession. And she answers questions you didn’t know you had: Can you catch a disease from a corpse? How many dead bodies can you fit in a Dodge van? What exactly does a flaming skull look like? Honest and heartfelt, self-deprecating and ironic, Caitlin's engaging style makes this otherwise taboo topic both approachable and engrossing. Now a licensed mortician with an alternative funeral practice, Caitlin argues that our fear of dying warps our culture and society, and she calls for better ways of dealing with death (and our dead).



Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes Author Caitlin Doughty
ISBN-10 9781782111047
Release 2015-04-16
Pages 272
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THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER 'Unforgettable . . . a hilarious, poignant and impassioned plea to revolutionise our attitudes to death' Gavin Francis, Guardian From her first day at Westwind Cremation & Burial, twenty-three-year-old Caitlin Doughty threw herself into her curious new profession. Coming face-to-face with the very thing we go to great lengths to avoid thinking about she started to wonder about the lives of those she cremated and the mourning families they left behind, and found herself confounded by people's erratic reactions to death. Exploring our death rituals - and those of other cultures - she pleads the case for healthier attitudes around death and dying. Full of bizarre encounters, gallows humour and vivid characters (both living and very dead), this illuminating account makes this otherwise terrifying subject inviting and fascinating.



Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes Author
ISBN-10 1444826883
Release 2016
Pages 352
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Most people go to great lengths to avoid thinking about death, but when Caitlin Doughty - a young woman with a degree in medieval history and a flair for the macabre - took a job at Westwind Cremation & Burial, her morbid curiosity turned into her life's work. Leading us behind the black curtain of her profession, Caitlin takes us into a world of vivid characters (both living and deceased) and bizarre details (exactly how a flaming skull looks) - and explores the funeral practices of historic and contemporary cultures, calling for better ways of dealing with death and our dead.



From Here to Eternity

From Here to Eternity Author Caitlin Doughty
ISBN-10 1432848534
Release 2018
Pages 291
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Describes death customs and rituals from around the world, exploring how they compare to the impersonal American system and how mourners respond best when they participate in caring for the deceased.



Stiff The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers

Stiff  The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers Author Mary Roach
ISBN-10 0393069192
Release 2004-05-17
Pages 320
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"One of the funniest and most unusual books of the year....Gross, educational, and unexpectedly sidesplitting."—Entertainment Weekly 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. In this fascinating account, Mary Roach visits the good deeds of cadavers over the centuries and tells the engrossing story of our bodies when we are no longer with them.



Ghostland

Ghostland Author Colin Dickey
ISBN-10 9781101980200
Release 2017-10-03
Pages 336
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Dickey, piqued by a house hunt in Los Angeles that revealed derelict foreclosures and "zombie houses", embarks on a journey across the continental United States to decode and unpack the American history repressed in our most famous haunted places. With boundless curiosity, Dickey conjures the dead by focusing on questions of the living -- how do we deal with stories about ghosts, and how do we inhabit and move through spaces that have been deemed haunted? Paying attention not only to the true facts behind a ghost story, but also to the ways in which changes are made to those facts and why, Dickey paints a version of American history left out of the textbooks, one of things left undone and crimes left unsolved.



Working Stiff

Working Stiff Author Judy Melinek, MD
ISBN-10 9781476727257
Release 2014-08-12
Pages 272
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A New York City forensic pathologist and her Harvard-educated husband describe her experiences as a student and doctor throughout the events of September 11, the subsequent anthrax bio-terrorism attack and the disastrous crash of Flight 587.



Down Among the Dead Men

Down Among the Dead Men Author Michelle Williams
ISBN-10 9781593763886
Release 2010-08-10
Pages 272
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Michelle Williams is young and attractive, with close family ties, a busy social life . . . and an unusual occupation. When she impulsively applies to be a mortuary technician and is offered the position, she has no idea that her decision to accept will be one of the most momentous of her life. “What I didn’t realize then,” she writes, “was that I was about to start one of the most amazing jobs you can do.” To Williams, life in the mortuary is neither grim nor frightening. She introduces readers to a host of unique characters: pathologists (many eccentric, some utterly crazy), undertakers, and the man from the coroner’s office who sings to her every morning. No two days are alike, and while Williams’s sensitivity to the dead never wavers, her tales from the crypt range from mischievous to downright shocking. Readers won’t forget the fitness fanatic run over while doing nighttime push-ups on the road, the man so large he had to be carted in via refrigerated truck, or the guide dog who led his owner onto railway tracks—and left him there. The indomitable Williams never bats an eye, even as she is confronted—daily—with situations that would leave the rest of us speechless.



The Chick and the Dead

The Chick and the Dead Author Carla Valentine
ISBN-10 9781250120694
Release 2017-06-13
Pages 272
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Carla Valentine works with the dead. After studying forensics, she assisted pathologists with post-mortems for years before becoming the curator of the world’s most famous pathology museum. When it comes to death, she truly is an expert, and in this book she shares that expertise. Using the most common post-mortem process as the backbone of the narrative, The Chick and the Dead takes the reader through the process of an autopsy while also describing the history and changing cultures of our relationship with the dead. The book is full of vivid insight into what happens to our bodies in the end. Each chapter considers an aspect of an autopsy alongside an aspect of Carla’s own life and work and touches on some of the more controversial aspects of our feelings towards death, including the relationship between sex and death and our attitudes toward human tissue collection. Starting with the first cut, we move from external examination into the body itself, discovering more about the heart, stomach and brain, and into dismembered and reconstructed bodies, at each stage taking a colorful detour into the question of what these things can teach us about the living. Join Carla on the journey from microscope-requesting nine-year-old to pathology educator and death engager at a Victorian museum (a journey made via around 5,000 autopsies) as she tells the story of exactly what it’s like to live a life immersed in death.



Curtains

Curtains Author Tom Jokinen
ISBN-10 9780306818967
Release 2010-03-23
Pages 288
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At forty-four, Tom Jokinen decided to quit his job in order to become an apprentice undertaker, setting out to ask the questions: What is the right thing to do when someone dies? With the marketplace offering new options (go green, go anti-corporate, go Disney, be packed into an artificial reef and dropped in the Atlantic...), is there still room for tradition? In a year of adventures both hair-raising and hilarious, Jokinen finds a world that is radically changed since Jessica Mitford revised The American Way of Death, more surprising than Six Feet Under, and even funnier and more illuminating than Stiff. If Bill Bryson were to apprentice at a funeral home, searching for the meaning of life and death, you'd have Curtains.



Rest in Pieces

Rest in Pieces Author Bess Lovejoy
ISBN-10 9781451655018
Release 2013-03-12
Pages 352
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A “marvelously macabre” (Kirkus Reviews) history of the bizarre afterlives of corpses of the celebrated and notorious dead. For some of the most influential figures in history, death marked the start of a new adventure. The famous deceased have been stolen, burned, sold, pickled, frozen, stuffed, impersonated, and even filed away in a lawyer’s office. Their fingers, teeth, toes, arms, legs, skulls, hearts, lungs, and nether regions have embarked on voyages that crisscross the globe and stretch the imagination. Counterfeiters tried to steal Lincoln’s corpse. Einstein’s brain went on a cross-country road trip. And after Lord Horatio Nelson perished at Trafalgar, his sailors submerged him in brandy—which they drank. From Alexander the Great to Elvis Presley, and from Beethoven to Dorothy Parker, Rest in Pieces connects the lives of the famous dead to the hilarious and horrifying adventures of their corpses, and traces the evolution of cultural attitudes toward death.



Confessions of a Funeral Director

Confessions of a Funeral Director Author Caleb Wilde
ISBN-10 9780062465269
Release 2017-09-26
Pages 208
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The blogger behind Confessions of a Funeral Director—what Time magazine called a "must read"—reflects on mortality and the powerful lessons death holds for every one of us in this compassionate and thoughtful spiritual memoir that combines the humor and insight of Smoke Gets in Your Eyes with the poignancy and brevity of When Breath Becomes Air. Death. It happens to everyone, yet most of us don’t want to talk about this final chapter of existence. Sixth-generation funeral director Caleb Wilde intimately understands this reticence and fear. The son of an undertaker, he hesitated to embrace the legacy of running his family’s business. Yet he discovered that caring for the deceased and their loved ones profoundly changed his faith and his perspective on death—and life itself. "Yes, death can be bad. Yes, death can be negative," he acknowledges, "but it can also be beautiful. And that alternate narrative needs to be discussed." In Confessions of a Funeral Director, he talks about his experiences and pushes back against the death-negative ethos of our culture, opening a thoughtful, poignant conversation to help us see the end of life in a positive and liberating way. In the wry, compassionate, and honest voice that has charmed his growing legions of blog readers, Wilde offers an intimate look inside his business, offering information on unspoken practices around death such as the embalming process, beautiful and memorable stories about families in the wake of death, and, most importantly, a fresh and wise perspective on how embracing death can allow us to embrace life. Confessions of a Funeral Director is the story of one man learning how death illuminates and deepens the meaning of existence—insights that can help us all pursue and cherish full, rich lives.



The Removers

The Removers Author Andrew Meredith
ISBN-10 9781476761220
Release 2015-07-14
Pages 192
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"A dark, poignant, and emotionally brave coming-of-age memoir: the story of a young man who, by handling the dead, makes peace with the living. For almost twenty years I mistook my father's downfall as my own. But it wasn't. It was not my sister's either, nor my mother's. A literature professor at La Salle University, Andrew Meredith's father was fired after unspecified allegations of sexual misconduct. It's a transgression Andrew cannot forgive, for it brought about long-lasting familial despair. In the wake of the scandal, Andrew's parents limp along, trapped in an unhappy marriage. Meanwhile, Andrew treads water, stuck in a kind of suspended adolescence--falling in and out of school, moving blindly from one half-hearted relationship to the next, slowly killing the nights drinking beer and listening to music with his childhood friends. Broke, Andrew moves back home to his childhood neighborhood in northeast Philadelphia and takes a job alongside his father as a 'remover,' the name for those unseen, unsung workers who take away the bodies of those who die at home. He describes, as only a professional can do, the intimate, horrific, poignant, and occasionally morbidly comedic aspects of handling the dead. Just how do you carry a 500-pound corpse down winding stairs? What actually happens to pacemakers, tooth fillings, surgical screws, artificial hips, and anything else that the deceased has within his or her body? Andrew begins to see his father not through the lens of a wronged and resentful child, but as a sympathetic, imperfect man who loves his family despite his flaws. Eventually the chip on his shoulder starts to lose its weight. Poetic without being florid, and with the literary ability to transform the naturally grotesque into the exquisite, The Removers is a searing story of a young man who finds in death a redemptive path toward the forgiveness of the living, including himself"--



Past Mortems

Past Mortems Author Carla Valentine
ISBN-10 0751565342
Release 2018-03-15
Pages 304
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A day in the life of Carla Valentine - curator, pathology technician and 'death professional' - is not your average day. She spent ten years training and working as an Anatomical Pathology Technologist: where the mortuary slab was her desk, and that day's corpses her task list. Past Mortems tells Carla's stories of those years, as well as investigating the body alongside our attitudes towards death - shedding light on what the living can learn from dead and the toll the work can take on the living souls who carry it out. Fascinating and insightful, Past Mortems reveals the truth about what happens when the mortuary doors swing shut or the lid of the coffin closes . . .



Carsick

Carsick Author John Waters
ISBN-10 9780374298630
Release 2014-06-03
Pages 336
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The visual artist behind such cult films as Hairspray traces his haphazard cross-country hitchhiking journey at the sides of a motley group of unsuspecting drivers, including a gentle farmer, an indie band and the author's unexpected hero. 75,000 first printing.



Bettyville

Bettyville Author George Hodgman
ISBN-10 9780698158450
Release 2015-03-10
Pages 288
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD “A beautifully crafted memoir, rich with humor and wisdom.” —Will Schwalbe, author of The End of Your Life Book Club “The idea of a cultured gay man leaving New York City to care for his aging mother in Paris, Missouri, is already funny, and George Hodgman reaps that humor with great charm. But then he plunges deep, examining the warm yet fraught relationship between mother and son with profound insight and understanding.” —Alison Bechdel, author of Fun Home When George Hodgman leaves Manhattan for his hometown of Paris, Missouri, he finds himself—an unlikely caretaker and near-lethal cook—in a head-on collision with his aging mother, Betty, a woman of wit and will. Will George lure her into assisted living? When hell freezes over. He can’t bring himself to force her from the home both treasure—the place where his father’s voice lingers, the scene of shared jokes, skirmishes, and, behind the dusty antiques, a rarely acknowledged conflict: Betty, who speaks her mind but cannot quite reveal her heart, has never really accepted the fact that her son is gay. As these two unforgettable characters try to bring their different worlds together, Hodgman reveals the challenges of Betty’s life and his own struggle for self-respect, moving readers from their small town—crumbling but still colorful—to the star-studded corridors of Vanity Fair. Evocative of The End of Your Life Book Club and The Tender Bar, Hodgman’s New York Times bestselling debut is both an indelible portrait of a family and an exquisitely told tale of a prodigal son’s return. From the Hardcover edition.



Death to Dust

Death to Dust Author Kenneth V. Iserson
ISBN-10 1883620228
Release 2001
Pages 821
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In our culture, we rarely speak about death -- partly because it is seen as a sort of pornography, shrouded in indecency and immersed in taboos; and partly because we know so little about it. Yet nearly everyone at some point has questions about what happens after death. At long last, here is a book to answer many of those questions: What physical changes occur to a dead body?