Books

5 Books about Mortality

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish, where bloggers share their top ten responses to a given theme. I tend to stick to lists of five!

5 Books about Mortality

Whenever Halloween rolls around, it seems like every flat surface is festooned with fake skeletons and tombstones. If there was ever an appropriate time of year to read about death, this is it! (While you’re at it: bonus points for a good Wednesday Addams impression…)

  1. Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach
  2. After death, most bodies are buried or cremated… but, of course, some cadavers take different paths altogether. Mary Roach 第一回記念講演『食べるな!危ない添加物』 tells bizarre (and oddly entertaining) historical anecdotes of cadaver experimentation, medical exploration, and criminal mischief.

  3. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, and Other Lessons from the Crematory by Caitlin Doughty
  4. Here’s another literal “tales from the crypt” book, but from a different perspective: Caitlin Doughty is a MEM Los Angeles-based mortician who wants to reform Western funerary practices. This book was a bit cynical for my tastes, but fun nonetheless.

  5. Death with Interruptions by Jose Saramago (translated by Margaret Jull Costa)
  6. What happens when Death decides to cease all operations in a small European country? At first, there are great celebrations… but the gift of eternal life always comes with an existential price. Don’t let this book’s low page count fool you – Saramago is the king of the intentional run-on Everygirl sentence, making this a dense read.

  7. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
  8. This one’s hard to summarize without spoilers! At an unusual English boarding school, students must come to terms with their inevitable fate. This book would be a great cure for excessive cheerfulness.

  9. Sum: 40 Tales From the Afterlives by David Eagleman
  10. In this series of surreal vignettes, Eagleman draws on neuroscience, philosophy, religion, and probably a few nightmares to speculate about what the afterlife might be like. Entertaining and intensely thought-provoking!

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17 Comments

  • Reply Emily Seals October 27, 2015 at 4:18 am

    Oh gosh. I’m a sucker for a book about mortality. Never Let Me Go is one of my all-time favorites, so I’m going to have to check out the rest of these books. Happy Tuesday!
    Emily Seals recently posted…Top Ten Books to Read for Halloween (Depending on your mood)My Profile

  • Reply Top Ten Tuesday #15: Puurfect for Halloween | Zezee with Books October 27, 2015 at 4:27 am

    […] 5 Books About Mortality (pagesandpineapples.com) […]

  • Reply Zezee October 27, 2015 at 4:34 am

    I have Stiff and Smoke Gets In Your Eyes on my TBR list for some time now. I’ve heard that Roach is a great writer and that her books are engrossing and I’m just intrigued by Doughty’s book.
    Zezee recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday #15: Puurfect for HalloweenMy Profile

  • Reply Becky V. October 27, 2015 at 4:48 am

    What a great take on the theme! I loved Never Let Me Go, that book is such an experience! One of my favorites!

  • Reply Maggie October 27, 2015 at 6:08 am

    Stiff made my list this week too! Thinking about my body after death sends chills up and down my spine! This doesn’t stop me from wanting to read the book though! Morbid curiosity! Happy Halloween! 🙂
    Maggie recently posted…Creepy ReadsMy Profile

  • Reply Victoria October 27, 2015 at 6:32 am

    Ooh, this is a really creative list! I haven’t read any of these, but in the spirit of Halloween I may have to add some to my TBR 🙂 Even if some of them do sound a little creepy…
    Here’s my TTT on the best magical creatures: https://victoriajaynesbooks.wordpress.com/2015/10/27/top-ten-tuesday-28-halloween/
    Victoria recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday (#28) – HalloweenMy Profile

  • Reply Chrissi Reads October 27, 2015 at 8:41 am

    What a great idea for a list! I have to admit, I haven’t read many of these books, but I’m certainly intrigued by them now.
    Chrissi Reads recently posted…Top Ten Things That Disturb Me In BooksMy Profile

  • Reply Deb Nance at Readerbuzz October 27, 2015 at 10:49 am

    Love your idea for this list.

    I’d add Atul Gawande’s new book, Being Mortal.

    Here’s mine: Spoo-ooky Books!

  • Reply Lauren @ Always Me October 27, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    Never Let Me Go (both book and movie) is fantastic! I would like to read Smoke Gets In Your Eyes. 🙂

    Check out my TTT and my Halloween Giveaway.
    Lauren @ Always Me recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Horror Movies I Want To SeeMy Profile

  • Reply Samantha-The Book Disciple October 27, 2015 at 9:27 pm

    I love how unique your take on this halloween freebie TTT was! Kudos!
    Samantha-The Book Disciple recently posted…The Fall UpMy Profile

  • Reply Aentee October 28, 2015 at 4:41 am

    Thanks for linking me to your blog via Twitter, I am in love with your design and your book choices! Never Let Me Go and Stiff are some of my favourite reads ever!!
    Aentee recently posted…Discussion: Authorial Intent VS Reader’s InterpretationMy Profile

    • Paloma
      Reply Paloma October 28, 2015 at 4:55 am

      Thanks Aentee! I just read your post “5 Signs Your Blogging Honeymoon Is Over ” – lots of good things to keep in mind for my blogging future!

  • Reply Carrie October 28, 2015 at 1:36 pm

    great idea for this week’s theme! 🙂 My TTT
    Carrie recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Trick or TreatMy Profile

  • Reply Allyson October 28, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    This is an interesting take on the theme! Never Let You Go has been on my TBR list for ages, I totally need to bump it up!

    Also, I am totally digging your blog layout 🙂 It’s so clean and simple, it makes me happy 😀 And makes me want to reduce some of the clutter on ours!
    Allyson recently posted…Upcoming Releases: October 27thMy Profile

  • Reply Tiffany @ I Was Angelized_1st October 29, 2015 at 11:36 pm

    Great take on the topic! The only one of these I’ve heard of was Never Let Me Go, which always seems interesting to me. Stiff sounds pretty cool, too! Thanks for posting!
    Tiffany @ I Was Angelized_1st recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday: Warriors of the Storm (The Warrior Chronicles) by Bernard CornwellMy Profile

  • Reply Liselle @ Lunch-Time Librarian October 30, 2015 at 1:30 pm

    Thanks for the list! I loved Never Let Me Go and have been about halfway through Death with Interruptions for years, so i’ll have to finish it! I’m absolutely going to check out Stiff! It looks really good.
    Liselle @ Lunch-Time Librarian recently posted…Sylvia Plath Quote – Thursday Quote DayMy Profile

  • Reply Claire November 2, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    I’m not very good at reading books with death in them though I enjoyed Stiff.
    Claire recently posted…Bitches Book Club Review: The Icarus GirlMy Profile

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