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These Books Are So Good — They Will Make You Shout From the Rooftops (with Joy)

Mind Blowing revelations about our past and future

These Books Are So Good — They Will Make You Shout From the Rooftops (with Joy)
Photo by ហាន់ ភក្តី:

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When we like something, we want others to know about it.

Today we have a great selection of books for you. From the history of Salt and Ebola to understanding neurodivergence and climbing atop Mount Everest, they cover a vast array of themes.

These books are so good that you’ll want the whole world to know about them.

Let’s go!

These Books Are So Good — They Will Make You Shout From the Rooftops (with Joy)

What killed the radium factory workers?

Radium is radioactive. And it is dangerous. We know that.

But this wasn’t always the case. First, it was thought to be beneficial for the body.

Here is the kicker!

The specialists who researched radium’s effects worked for radium firms. Kate Moore tells us all about the deception of radium companies and the havoc it created.

“The executives of the Radium Dial Company had confirmed knowledge of radium poisoning since at least 1925, less than three years after their studio first opened in Ottawa.”

What was the cost of this money-first approach? Many innocent lives were lost.

Girls hired to work at Radium Luminous Materials Corporation had to paint watch dials so soldiers could use them. When you hear to what extent they had to handle radium, your blood will boil.

“Lip… Dip… Paint.”

The workers had to use a technique called ‘lip pointing’. It means the paintbrush had to be made thin and pointed by using their lips. And then it was dipped in the radium mixture. After that, it was used to paint.

This means the girls ingested the dangerous substance on a daily basis. Many fell extremely ill. Their teeth and bones started to become rotten.

“It seemed wealthy consumers were much more worthy of protection than working-class girls; after all, dial-painting was still going on, even in 1933.”

A group of the girls sued the corporation and won the case. They didn’t win back their health or life though.

These Books Are So Good — They Will Make You Shout From the Rooftops (with Joy)

Morality left behind.

It’s 1996 and Jon Krakauer is climbing Mount Everest. He takes us with him.

Unfortunately, on the climb, Krakauer and others were caught in a storm. This storm is also known as the 1996 Mount Everest Disaster which claimed the lives of many.

The guide of the author’s group, Rob Hall, also died.

“We were too tired to help. Above 8,000 meters is not a place where people can afford morality…”

People die while climbing Mount Everest all the time. However, the incident of eight deaths within a span of 48 hours was significant.

We learn about Keakauer’s companions, their skill levels, and more. We also learn of moral dilemmas faced by them. They couldn’t help everyone who needed it.

“…the slopes of Everest are littered with corpses.”

For this incident, the author blames the rivalry that exists between different expedition companies. He also suffers from survivor’s guilt.

These Books Are So Good — They Will Make You Shout From the Rooftops (with Joy)

Reinvention of an old punishment.

Cancel culture is the epidemic of our time.

The crowd of social media gangs up on people considered guilty.

“A crowd is only impressed by excessive sentiments. Exaggerate, affirm, resort to repetition, and never attempt to prove anything by reasoning.”

Social media is new but public shaming isn’t. In old times, people used to be punished publicly in order to make them feel shame and embarrassment.

The 19th century saw the banning of the practice of public shaming. Because it was brutal.

But this punishment is back and is more lethal than ever.

“…with social media, we’ve created a stage for constant artificial high drama. Every day a new person emerges as a magnificent hero or a sickening villain.”

As a part of understanding this phenomenon, the author interviews those who have been at the receiving end of online backlash. Jobs have been lost, and death threats made.

The author makes us realize that human behavior is different on an individual level and in a group.

These Books Are So Good — They Will Make You Shout From the Rooftops (with Joy)

What happens to our bodies after death?

When alive, we dress in proper clothes and keep ourselves presentable. There is a different kind of future that awaits us when we are dead.

“The point is that no matter what you choose to do with your body when you die, it won’t, ultimately, be very appealing.”

The author tells us that whether we allow ourselves to be buried the usual way or donate our bodies to science, the visuals are not attractive.

It is an art to weave humor into the topic of death and Mary Roach does it seamlessly.

Bodies have been used for dissection and studied since old times. And because cadavers were not available, the anatomists used to preserve the bodies. One of the techniques was arterial embalming.

“Blanchard’s textbook was the first to cover arterial embalming. He describes opening up an artery, flushing the blood out with water, and pumping in alcohol. I’ve been to frat parties like that.”

If you’d like to acquaint yourself with the journey of the human body after death, this book is for you.

These Books Are So Good — They Will Make You Shout From the Rooftops (with Joy)

An unconventional view.

When I hear of autism, I feel fear. I fear for any child being diagnosed with it, their struggles, and what they face in society.

Silberman offers an interesting view. He says that the neurological differences in humans like ADHD, autism, and dyslexia are coded in the human genome. And these differences should be celebrated.

He is against viewing them as shortcomings. Instead, he views them as drivers of progress and change.

“It seems that for success in science and art, a dash of autism is essential.”

The author tells us about two different scientists who discovered autism around the same time. Their names were Leo Kanner and Hans Asperger. One of them was in Baltimore and the other one was in Germany.

The author also debunks the claim that vaccinations cause autism.

“Kanner named their condition autism — from the Greek word for self, autos — because they seemed happiest in isolation.”

This book is an interesting exploration of autism and other neurological conditions.

These Books Are So Good — They Will Make You Shout From the Rooftops (with Joy)

The deep dark pit of evil.

Vivien Spitz was a court reporter. She documented the Nuremberg trials.

These trials were held by allies against Nazi Germany. Spitz documented the testimony of various doctors and their assistants who served under Nazi rule.

“In their eyes, the victims did not belong to humankind…”

Her book explores the horrors unleashed by these physicians during the Holocaust.

The author explores the background of the doctors. She goes on to discuss the selection process employed in the concentration camps.

Spitz tells us about the crimes of Josef Mengele at Auschwitz concentration camp.

Mengele injected dye directly into children’s eyes to change their eye color.

This is only one of many sickening acts done by doctors under Nazi regimes. The perpetrators also include female nurses.

Although the author realizes that any nation can commit evil, she believes the atrocities in Germany to be incomparable.

“No nation compared in scale with the meticulously organized, highly prioritized, deliberate atrocities in Germany between 1933 and 1945.”

This book will make you dumbfounded and a bit hopeless. How can a human wreck this kind of suffering on others?

These Books Are So Good — They Will Make You Shout From the Rooftops (with Joy)

An intertwined history.

Personally, I haven’t had a drink ever. I live in a country where alcohol is banned. The roots of this ban are religious.

Based on whatever I have learned about DUI accidents and other stuff, I feel grateful.

So this book isn’t of that much value to me. But for someone who is either into plants, alcohol, or both, this will make an interesting read.

“Gardeners are the ultimate mixologists.”

The author traces the origins of various alcoholic beverages. She discusses the wide variety of tastes and aromas offered by each one of them.

The first alcoholic drink was apple cider, says Stewart. It is referred to as hard cider.

I might not drink booze but I know the importance of the process of fermentation.

Whether it is chocolate or vinegar, this process is important for our culinary needs.

The author also tells us how chocolate is made.

“Even today, chocolate is made by fermenting the beans for several days to allow richer and more complex flavors to emerge.”

The author believes that by learning the connection between plants and drinks, drinkers can enrich their experience with a deeper understanding.

These Books Are So Good — They Will Make You Shout From the Rooftops (with Joy)

Salty history.

Kurlansky traces the origins of salt to China and Egypt. It was used for mummification and in food.

“When sodium, an unstable metal that can suddenly burst into flame, reacts with a deadly poisonous gas known as chlorine, it becomes the staple food sodium chloride, NaCl, from the only family of rocks eaten by humans.”

Salt was obtained in two ways. Seawater evaporation and salt mines.

Kurlansky tells us about the Celtic tribes. They used to mine salt. Roman concerned them. After that, the salt industry saw unprecedented expansion.

“Proteins unwind when exposed to heat, and they do the same when exposed to salt. So salting has an effect resembling cooking.”

The author also tells us about the role of salt taxes in the American Revolution and Indian Independence.

This book makes me think of the butterfly effect. A small change can trigger a big one.

Similarly, a simple and small ingredient can determine the flow of history.

These Books Are So Good — They Will Make You Shout From the Rooftops (with Joy)

Even therapists need therapy.

Lori Gottlieb is a psychotherapist.

Through this book, she shares a difficult time in her personal and professional life that led her to a therapist’s office.

“Don’t judge your feelings; notice them. Use them as your map. Don’t be afraid of the truth.”

Gottlieb doesn’t share her own story but also that of her four patients. Each of them has different struggles owing to the circumstances they had to face.

One of her patients is a producer named John. He is rude and off-putting. He gets lunch delivered to therapy sessions among other things.

Through therapy, it is revealed that John lost his son at 6 years of age. He had lost his own mom at that age too.

“Relationships in life don’t really end, even if you never see the person again.”

We also meet Rita who made some questionable choices as an adult and as a parent.

As a result, her adult children are estranged.

As someone who has been in therapy, I do believe it is a beneficial tool. And this book makes us see exactly how.

These Books Are So Good — They Will Make You Shout From the Rooftops (with Joy)

The killers among us.

Ebola is a Biosafety Level 4 hazard.

Biosafety Level 4 agents are highly contagious and fatal. These include the Marburg virus and Ebolaviruses.

The author tells us about these lethal viruses and how they have affected humans.

“Nature is anything but simple.”

The author tells us about the Ebola virus outbreak in a Monkey House in Washington D.C. All the monkeys were euthanized. It was discovered later that the strain monkeys were carrying was not dangerous to humans.

The description of what Ebola does to humans is terrifying. Blood starts coming out of every possible place. Body tissues are liquified.

“You can’t fight off Ebola the way you fight off a cold. Ebola does in ten days what it takes AIDS ten years to accomplish.”

Kitum Cave in Kenya is the place known to house the host organism of the Ebola virus. At the end of the book, the author visits this cave in a hazmat suit.


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