Required Reading

This semester has been extremely boring. With the exception of the bumps at the beginning, it’s petered out into a relatively predictable schedule, so aside from my twitter activity (are you following me? there’s not much to even suggest that I’m still alive. I am! I promise. But in the interest of posting something constructive, I’ve decided to dig through my Kindle archive and suggest some books for those of you interested in the funeral biz.

First up: The American Way of Death by Jessica Mitford. Yes, she is extremely critical of the way death is handled in the United States, and the funeral industry in general. However, I’m of the opinion that it’s important to see the other side and learn why, exactly, people mistrust the funeral biz. An interesting read, and one you’ll spend at least two classes discussing if you take Psychosocial and Ethical Issues of Death. 

Mortuary Confidential by Todd Harra and Ken McKenzie. An honest anthology of some of the craziest, most interesting, and indeed heart wrenching stories from people involved in the funeral service industry. An absolute must read for anyone interested in getting into the field. 

Stiff by Mary Roach. Corpses. What’s up with them? The curious stories of the various uses for the human body after death. The author only briefly goes into what’s done in the embalming room, but a phenomenal read nonetheless.

Curtains by Jim Jokinen. Another honest portrayal of the funeral industry, this time in Canada. This book talks about green burials, burial alternatives, and the every day dramas of working in a family run funeral home. Nearly everyone on campus in the mortuary program as read this book, which says something about its influence.

Finally: Rest In Pieces: The Curious Fates of Famous Corpses by Bess Lovejoy. This one is an absolutely frivolous plug for a wonderful lady with a great writing style and a book that’s full of weirdness and wonderful stories. I actually preordered this one and I’m still working on finishing it. (It came in just in time for midterms. Bess, please inform your publishers of their poor timing.) 

This is by no means a complete list of what you should be reading (and really, if you want to get a jump on things, just read the restorative art textbook until your eyeballs bleed, which is basically the only way to pass that class), but a few of my favorites. 

Have a lovely holiday, for those who celebrate Easter and Passover, and for the rest of you, have a wonderful relaxing weekend! As for me, back to that “research paper on the black death” grind. :]



~ by mementomorissa on March 30, 2013.

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