Book Corner


Natural Causes: An Epidemic of Wellness, the Certainty of Dying, and Killing Ourselves to Live Longer by Barbara Ehrenreich

What a title!  Some really great food for thought; sections where Ehrenreich shares her own perspective and personal experience are the best.  She is well into her 70s, and has made the honorable and sane decision (IMHO) not to pursue any further medical tests or disease-related interventions.  She also eats whatever she wants.  You’ve heard it before: Exercise, eat right, die anyway.  She still exercises, though.
Unfortunately, most of the book reads like a research paper, a style of non-fiction I don’t enjoy.  “Here’s the point of this chapter.  Here is every single bit of research I could find – here’s a quote, here’s another quote, but look at this quote.”  At one point I even felt she was contradicting her own self from a previous chapter; chapter 2 makes some really spot-on comparisons between the “rituals” of modern medical care and those of what we’d consider “primitive” healing ceremonies and techniques, a later chapter (I can’t find it, I really need to keep stickies nearby when I’m reading) quotes with implicit outrage some new-agey source making the same comparison.
The chapters written from a personal perspective were very worthwhile.  The book is short at barely 200 pages, so it’s not a slog.  A-OK.


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