Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers
How has cadaver research helped advance science and make our lives better? Read this classic from Mary Roach with us this February.
Welcome to the SciFri Book Club page about Stiff by Mary Roach. There’s lots of ways to participate: Read the book, join our community space, attend an event, sign up for our email newsletter, or send a message on the SciFri VoxPop app.
This February, the SciFri Book Club will read a science book classic: Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach. For thousands of years, cadavers have quietly helped doctors, scientists, and detectives solve mysteries of human health. In Stiff, Mary Roach infuses intense curiosity and her unique wit to illuminate the ways our bodies continue to make change, even postmortem. The book tells the stories of some important cases cadavers have helped crack and how their contributions in death have helped us live better.
Stiff brings together a range of topics, including anatomy, physiology, forensic science, neuroscience, chemistry, medicine, and more—and we’ll touch on these ideas throughout this Book Club season. You can get your copy from your local bookstore or on Bookshop.org.
This Book Club season kicks off Thursday, February 1, and you can read along with us! We’ll be (loosely) following this schedule, but all our readers are welcome to join us at their own pace:
Plus, we’ll be hosting events throughout the month! Keep an eye out on our website or join our Events newsletter to be the first to know.
There are so many ways to dive in and participate! You can grab a copy of the book (and support the author and SciFri), read an excerpt from Stiff, join the discussion in our online Book Club community, sign up for our email newsletter, or RSVP for our upcoming Book Club events. Check out all the details below.
If you’d like to purchase a physical copy, we encourage you to start local! Check out the SciFri Book Club partner bookstores and libraries—if you’re in the area, consider supporting your local bookseller or public library (plus, mention our Book Club for a percentage off your purchase at participating shops!).
Want more ways to read? This book is available in a few formats via online retailers, your local library, or elsewhere:
Your local library may not currently have Stiff in its catalog, but many branches offer ways for patrons like you to submit book suggestions to librarians. Look for ways to suggest new titles via the Libby or OverDrive app, a form submission on your library’s website, or a suggestion box at your local branch!
How much has postmortem and autopsy science really changed in the last 20 years? Ask Mary Roach your morbid questions on the science behind (and how to write about) our bodies after death.
Join us online for a livestream with the author on the science topics featured in the SciFri Book Club pick for February 2024. Come with your queries and wonderings—we’ll be taking your questions in the livestream comments!
Want to meet other SciFri Book Club members, talk about the book selection, and find more resources for deeper learning—all without leaving your home? Our community meeting is the place for you!
This discussion meeting will focus on themes and topics featured in Stiff. You’re welcome to join us no matter your reading progress—come chat with other science-interested folks about anatomy, physiology, forensic science, neuroscience, chemistry, medicine, and more.
And as you start reading, join us on our online community space: the SciFri Book Club is on Mighty Networks, a platform where we can gather, read and discuss science books together. We’ve built this community space to create a better way for readers to stay connected with other Book Clubbers, and we hope you’ll join us there!
Not sure this is the book for you? Want to read an excerpt before you commit? We’ve got you covered.
W. W. Norton, publisher for Stiff, has offered SciFri Book Clubbers an excerpt of the book! You can read this sample on our website.
Subscribe to SciFri Book Club emails to stay updated on our monthly read sand join us for community discussions. We’ll send emails a few times per week.