January is a popular month for joining a gym and focusing on our health. The human body is complex. Often, no matter what we do, life doesn’t go as planned. Here are some books on the subject.

A Different Beautiful by Courtney Westlake—daughter born with a life-threatening skin disorder—Courtney writes about raising an amazing child with physical differences and special needs and true beauty.

There Is a Reaper by Michael Lynes—the author and his family face the loss of their child through a rare form of cancer.

Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider-–Young adult novel about tuberculosis, kids living in a sanatorium, and falling in love.

The novel, Inside the O’Brien’s by Lisa Genova teaches us about Huntington’s disease. There is no treatment, no cure, and is fifty-percent inheritable. Lisa Genova is the author of an equally good read (and movie) Still Alice that deals with early-onset Alzheimers disease.


What About the Hair Down There? Chemo chuckles and treatment tears by Abby Brown. The author journals her breast cancer journey.

Even if we never find ourselves in these tragic circumstances, we are ALL going to die one day. What happens to our lifeless bodies can be shocking and truly fascinating at the same time.


 Stiff: the curious lives of human cadavers by Mary Roach. This book taught me about the good deeds of cadavers. Roach witnessed surgeons practice plastic surgery on severed heads. She also visited a research decay facility where they learn how to determine the time of death.


I apologize if you count on my musings to be upbeat and cheerful. If that’s the case, do not read Tom Jokinen’s experience as an apprentice in a mortuary. (I LOVED it!)

What books about the mystery of the human body have you read?




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