From Margaret Mezzacapo
Author: Caitlin Doughty
Title: Smoke gets in your eyes : and other lessons from the crematory
What? An interesting, informative, and occasionally amusing book about death and cremation?In a word, yes. Caitlin Doughty, a licensed mortician, has managed to pull off this seemingly incongruous combo. She recounts her experiences work-wise, beginning with her first job as a crematory operator, and gives a lot of background information about what she refers to as the “death industry.” Witty, irreverent, and sometimes graphic, this memoir provides food for thought.
From Eileen Effrat
Author: Bernard Minier
Title: The frozen dead
This fast paced French thriller has it all—-a decapitated horse hanging from a cable car, three men brutally murdered with similar modus operandi, and patients on the loose from a maximum security psychiatric hospital. Commandant Martin Servaz, a city cop from Toulouse, leads the investigation as past nefarious deeds in a small village in the French Pyrenees finally come to roost. This is a police procedural with some rather grisly details. Only recently translated into English from the French, this is Minier’s first novel and I can’t wait for more.
From Edna Susman
Author: Dana Goldstein
Title: The teacher wars : a history of America’s most embattled profession
Coming from a long line of teachers, the author, Dana Goldstein, is a Spencer Fellow in educational journalism, a Schwarz Fellow at the New America Foundation and a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at the Nation Institute. Numerous issues such as overcrowding, teaching ESL, educational fads, federal funding, teachers’ unions, and the use of test scores and ratings are addressed. Many of these issues have been part of our American educational debates throughout history. Even with this, the author remains optimistic about the profession.