Part memoir of a passionate scientist, part "Who knew" fascinating factoids about plant life, this book generated one of the best discussions my book club has had in years. Ambition, friendship, mental illness, science research funding, TSA rules, sexism, this book has so many facets to discuss and it's a great read.
The phrase 'white nationalism' can dredge up a lot of images for people - angry beige men outlined in the glow of tiki torches or homemade militias kitted out in ill-fitting camo and American flags. In this study of three distinct women of white supremacy, the insidious nature of white women and their complicity in violent rhetoric is brought to the light, despite their best attempts to shield it in 'traditional feminine values' like baking and the pure art of... polka dancing? So much for the superior race.
Despite the subject manner, Doughty approaches her work as a mortician with a "death-positive" attitude, which extends itself to here exploration of cultures working outside the western tradition of burials and mourning. As tender as they are technical, her essays range from the beauty of a funeral pyre in a Colorado community to the high-tech world of Japanese cremation facilities, and all are told in an open and optimistic manner you wouldn't expect from someone dedicated to the art of death.
It's approaching that time of year where we all like to get cozy under our electric blankets with a hot apple cider in hand. If you're lucky, you might be surrounded by the ones you love the most during the magical season. It's also the perfect time to dream up hypotheticals like 'how much sustenance would mom provide if I had to resort to eating her during a blizzard in 1846?' or 'how does one overcome paradoxical undressing while suffering from hypothermia', which means you should absolutely get this book.