Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife by Mary Roach


Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Here we go, tackling my Goodreads.com TO BE READ list!  Starting with “Spook” by Mary Roach…

I learned a number of interesting things reading Mary Roach’s survey of the historical and scientific efforts to prove the existence of a soul.  This is not a book written to debate various moral, religious, or philosophical beliefs. It’s not meant to prove or disprove life after death, the existence of souls, or if heaven is out there. Rather it explores the various research that have been implored to discover that. It’s meant to shed light and simply learn about history and interesting ideas!

The author begins the journey in rural India with a reincarnation researcher and ends up in a University of Virginia operating room where cardiologists have installed equipment near the ceiling to study out-of-body near-death experiences. Along the way, she enrolls in an English medium school, gets electromagnetically haunted at a university in Ontario, and visits a Duke University professor with a plan to weigh the consciousness of a leech. Her historical wanderings unearth soul-seeking philosophers who rummaged through cadavers and calves’ heads, a North Carolina lawsuit that established legal precedence for ghosts, and the last surviving sample of “ectoplasm” in a Cambridge University archive.

This book is very entertaining and Mary Roach’s ability as a writer is clear. Not only is she light and humorous, but she’s also very personal, and we walk away from this book feeling as though we know her quite well, and I look forward to reading her other books.  <– In which, be prepared because I have several of her books on my TO BE READ list!

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