Hard to believe January is already over! I’m off to a fantastic start reading this year; I’ve already finished 12 books, which is amazing for me. I’m beginning to think I can read 100 books in 2010.
Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife by Mary Roach. I wish all science writers wrote like Mary Roach. She has a great sense of humor, a dry wit and a way of making odd things fascinating. The book is about examining various scientific attempts to document what happens after death. Ms. Roach looks at everything from reincarnation to mediums to near death experiences and more. The book was incredibly readable and entertaining. I initially got the book in the hopes of finding out something concrete about life after death as a result of losing my dad last year. (And Ms. Roach acknowledges that most researchers who work in this area are driven to it by the loss of their own loved ones.) Although Roach is unable to find any conclusive evidence one way or another, the journey was fascinating—full of odd historical facts, colorful characters and just plain good writing. Roach isn’t afraid to insinuate herself into her story, and it makes for an interesting read. I also have a copy of her book Stiff, and I’m quite excited to read it now. Although it might sound like a depressing or offbeat topic, the book was extremely mainstream and readable, and I would highly recommend it.
A Sidenote: I had my Little One pick out my next book for me from my bookshelves. He picked this one because he could read the word “spook” and he liked the tiny mirrors on the cover. He asked me to tell him about as I reading it. I explained to him a bit about reincarnation—that some people believe that after you die, you are born again in another body as a little baby. My Little One said very definitively: “That is not what I think happens. I think when you die you go to God, and God has more hearts.” I thought that was so sweet and a lovely way of looking at things. It just reminded me that when you have “big” questions, sometimes the best answers come from children.
It is time to announce the winner of Esquire Presents: What It Feels Like… Drum roll please…
I was so excited that the winner of this particular giveaway is a friend of mine from college, Michael5000 from The Life and Times and Michael5000. I asked all entrants to tell me what interesting or unusual experience they would like to see described. Michael’s answer? “I’d like to learn what it feels like to pay off a mortgage.” Wouldn’t we all love to know that feeling!
And because I actually know him in real life and his advice helped me launch my “blog empire,” I must tell you more about his blog by sharing his mission statement:
The Life and Times of Michael5000 aims to be the Internet’s preeminent provider of difficult pop quizzes on arbitrary topics. It further seeks to delight its community of creative, engaging, drop-dead sexy, and bracingly intelligent readers with glib little posts about the creative arts and dork culture generally, including but not limited to literature, film, the visual arts, music, history, geography, and college football.
Earlier this year, I was actually elected Vice Dork of Michael’s blog, a job that entails a lot of seething (that I wasn’t elected the official Blog Dork) and a chance to pick out two books for him to read from his Reading List. Although his blog is chockful of esoteric information and obscure topics, I personally find it very entertaining and it does include book reviews from time to time. And I double-dog dare you to try one of his Wednesday quizzes. About the only one I’ve ever even had a shot at was one on book covers, and even then I flamed out at the end.