A story about this — 2 years ago
It seems like Mary Roach is everywhere this summer. I read a review in a blog post, and later heard an interview on NPR. Naturally, I downloaded and read her book Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers.
Yes, it’s about death and more specifically, what’s physically left after death. But there’s so much more around the edges of death, and the physical possibilities around those edges. Aside from all the dying and dead bodies, what really struck me was how deep and wide Roach’s research process must be. She really draws you into her research process, telling you both how she found what she shares, as well as tidbits of the things that didn’t make it, the things that were just so interesting but didn’t quite fit in a chapter anywhere.
Of any of the science nonfiction books I’ve read recently, one is a great example of how scientific writing doesn’t need to be so stuffy and personality-less. This would be a great example for students, who sometimes get stuck when writing lab reports because they feel there’s no place for their own perspective.