Morbid Curiosities and Other Itches that Hurt to Scratch


In 24 hours, I inhaled (no pun intended) Smoke Gets in Your Eyes & Other Lessons from the Crematory by Caitlin Doughty.

There are three reasons why I devoured this book so quickly.

  1. It is HIGHLY readable.
  2. There is never a dull moment.
  3. I needed it to be over. Quick.

Cringe-worthy would be putting it lightly.

The better description would be that my stomach was in a vice grip of fascination and disgust for every page of this book.

Then, why read it? And, better yet, why finish it?

So, this book falls in the category of books that come to my TBR list magically. I don’t know why or how I decide I want to read them. But, something about them strikes my fancy and I feel compelled to dive in. I still don’t know what sounded so interesting about a book about death and dying, except that I know virtually nothing about cremation — or any other death science — and it feels like something a well-rounded person should know at least a little bit about.

I appreciated Doughty’s humor, which helped the book along. At times, it felt crude, but I reminded myself that you’d have to have a sense of humor to survive in this line of work… This book also made me so grateful for the people who work in this field. It’s a dirty job (literally), but someone has to do it (literally). And, I’m grateful for the people who step up to the plate. If it means they have to disengage their emotions or crack a few jokes to get through their {horrendous} day, then so be it.

I’m also glad to have read this book because it made me think about death. It’s not a comfortable thought to linger on, but the reality is that we’re all dying. Anything we can do now to help us face that time with dignity and peace is a good thing… right?

If you have a bit of a morbid curiosity about an uncommon line of work and have a cast iron stomach, then this might be the book for you.

But, this is definitely heavy subject matter and it might sit like a dead weight (pun sorta intended) on your heart until you finish it.

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