Friday Fave: Book/bookish item on my wish list to Santa

Friday Fave is a weekly discussion about different bookish topics. You can choose just one favourite or a few – the choice is up to you!

This week’s topic is: Book/bookish item on my wish list to Santa

I’m going to do both this week.

So a bookish item on my wish list to Santa is a book sleeve. I need one of these for taking my books out and about as they protect your books from getting damaged. It’s a particular bug-bear of mine when the corners of paperbacks get bent from being in my bag – yes, I’m one of those who’s precious about their books! The only problem is that there are so many brilliant designs, I just want them all!

A book on my wish list is Smoke Gets In Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty. I discovered her through Youtube as she vlogs about the death industry and death in general. Her videos are completely fascinating, and as soon as she posts one, I watch it. She’s informative and funny, without being offensive. Hopefully the book will be even more so! This book was also on my wish list last year, so fingers crossed for this year (otherwise I’ll be gifting it to myself!). I also don’t read many non-fiction books, so it will make a nice change for me.

In case you’re interested, here’s the blurb:

Most people want to avoid thinking about death, but Caitlin Doughty—a twenty-something with a degree in medieval history and a flair for the macabre—took a job at a crematory, turning morbid curiosity into her life’s work. Thrown into a profession of gallows humor and vivid characters (both living and very dead), Caitlin learned to navigate the secretive culture of those who care for the deceased.

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes tells an unusual coming-of-age story full of bizarre encounters and unforgettable scenes. Caring for dead bodies of every color, shape, and affliction, Caitlin soon becomes an intrepid explorer in the world of the dead. She describes how she swept ashes from the machines (and sometimes onto her clothes) and reveals the strange history of cremation and undertaking, marveling at bizarre and wonderful funeral practices from different cultures.

Her eye-opening, candid, and often hilarious story is like going on a journey with your bravest friend to the cemetery at midnight. She demystifies death, leading us behind the black curtain of her unique profession. And she answers questions you didn’t know you had: Can you catch a disease from a corpse? How many dead bodies can you fit in a Dodge van? What exactly does a flaming skull look like?

Honest and heartfelt, self-deprecating and ironic, Caitlin’s engaging style makes this otherwise taboo topic both approachable and engrossing. Now a licensed mortician with an alternative funeral practice, Caitlin argues that our fear of dying warps our culture and society, and she calls for better ways of dealing with death (and our dead).

What’s on your wish list to Santa this year?

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