American Funeral Vehicles by Walter McCall
This book has TONS of amazing photographs. Though I wish they had done more on the horse drawn hearse and how that led to the shape and changes for powered vehicles, this is a collectors book. You can see how things have changed over the years IN PHOTOS! I learned quite a bit from one book, but this gave me visual reference. If you love hearses, get this book. It is worth the money.
4 out of 5 coffins
Bellevue- Hospital History by David Oshinsky
Bellevue Hospital in New York has a long and somewhat sordid history. This book covers in great depth it's life, growth, and story. Though dry at times it is interesting to read about one of the oldest, if not oldest hospital in the United States. It has great information on how medicine and the medical world changed over the years. It was ground zero for so much. Read this, then you will understand a bit more about the story "10 days in the mad house" by Nelle Bly.
4 out of 5 coffins
Link for 10 Days:
Quackery- A brief History of the worst ways to cure everything by Lydia Kang, and Nate Pedersen
This book is funny, though some of the language and assumptions made were not the best choice of language. It still has a TON of great information. It is broken down really nicely in small chunks of related materials. If you are interested in all things Quack medical, or just medical history in general, this is a good book to read. I enjoyed it because it was not as dry as most on this subject.
4 out of 5 coffins
Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/Quackery-Brief-History-Worst-Everything/dp/0761189815/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1542687241&sr=8-1&keywords=quackery
Mortuary Confidential: Undertakers Spill the Dirt by Kenneth McKenzie and Todd Harra
Cute collection of stories from those who work the graveyard shifts. A lot of good insight into their lives and how these people in the Death industry are just like you and me, ok well maybe not you. I know I am weird. This had quite a few chuckles from me while reading. The stories are short enough that you can pick it up and put it down easily. I reccomend if you are into weird stuff, like me.
I was hoping for more actual dirt though…
Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Mortuary-Confidential-Undertakers-Spill-Dirt/dp/0806531797/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1536728918&sr=1-1&keywords=mortuary+confidential
From Here to Eternity by Caitlin Doughty
If you have read Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, then this one is going to amaze you as well. This time instead of self reflecting Caitlin takes you on a journey around the globe with some of her travels to see what death is like in other places. In order to understand the cultural differences placed on death it can really open our eyes to how backwards we can be. To help remove some of the ewwww factor from death it's self. I hope she travels some more and writes a follow up! This book was also amazing. Please pick up your copy today as a follow up for your book club! Heck, start a book club for her books!
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes & Other Lessons from the Crematory by Caitlin Doughty
WOW. Let me just say if you ever wanted to catch a sneak peek behind the curtain of the funerary world, this book is it. This author is amazing and funny. It was very interesting to see how a woman would have to break so many steriotypes to enter into this field. I was looking at becoming a Mortician so I figured this would give me a glimpse of what I wanted to know, and it didn't dissapoint. Very well written, easy to follow, and just over all inspiring. There are so many lessons in here that even if you weren't looking at the funerary arts, that you can take away with this book. Read this in book club, I DARE YOU!
Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/Smoke-Gets-Your-Eyes-Crematory/dp/0393351904/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1536808699&sr=1-1&keywords=Smoke+gets+in+your+eyes&dpID=41Z%252Bcn7PwcL&preST=_SY291_BO1,204,203,200_QL40_&dpSrc=srch
The Butchering Art
This book is a little dry and kind of all over the place with information. Almost like the author goes off on tangents with her information, then loops back to where she was in the story about Joseph Lister and his life. Joseph Lister is where we get the name Listerine from. He was one of the first people to start the process of figuring out germ theory, and why so many people were dieing after being in the hosplital. This book is so packed with information it will make your head spin. I totally loved it.
Victorian Mourning Fans
Fans have been almost a necessity since the beginning of time. To move stale air, cool the skin, hide away from the sun, and so much more. They have come in all sizes from very large ones on long sticks to cool rooms, to small hand sized ones that fit in a pocket. They have been made all over the world, and from just about every material. During the Georgian and Victorian Era there was even a language of fans, and a code of conduct. With the rules and codes of conduct for mourning, even fans were included. Solid black for deep mourning covered in paper or silk, then Chantilly Lace over cream, lilac, or white. The blades were made of wood, ebony, ivory, mother of pearl, and more. Starting as plain as possible, then as mourning progressed decoration became more ornate. Many folding fans were imported from the Orient, or Venice. Today there are still many Victorian hand fans available on the market, though many are in need of restoration and repair. Is it time to add to your collection?
Images from Ebay
The Medical Book by Clifford Pickover
Very interesting coverage of how medical has changed since B.C. till now. Though my only issue is the year assigned said what happened, but no end date, cure date or much really was ended in it. I would have loved more information like X bacteria was discovered in X year, X year vaccine was released. It was more of a general ball park on most subjects. Still eye opening on when things happened and how things were discovered.
Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Medical-Book-Surgeons-Milestones-Medicine/dp/1402785852/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1516045741&sr=8-1&keywords=the+medical+book+pickover
Death Warmed Over by Lisa Rogak
Everyone loves to eat, and we all bring food to our funeral rituals. Almost every culture has foods that go great with funerals, this book brings together some of those recipes for us to celebrate. Lots of little anecdotes are tucked in to those pages as well as some information from each culture represented with in. Fun little book and most of the foods sound amazing. Not your typical cook book, but one that will definitely turn heads at parties.
5/5 Coffins- tasty treats will ensue
Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Death-Warmed-Over-Funeral-Rituals/dp/1580085636/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1515776174&sr=8-1&keywords=death+warmed+over