Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Book 48

Book #48: Get Me Out: A History of Childbirth from the Garden of Eden to the Sperm Bank, by Randi Hutter Epstein, M.D.

The sense of humor in this book reminded me of Mary Roach's first book, Stiff (I recommend that one but not so much her later books, by the way). Dr. Hutter Epstein tackles scientific topics with a humorous outlook and a healthy dose of skepticism, realizing that stories that may have been accepted in their time, such as that of the 16th century farmer who performed his wife's c-section (and had both mother and baby live!), may not be as true as we'd like to believe. She discusses the rise of the c-section epidemic, the emergence of in-vitro fertilization and egg freezing, and the "freebirthing" backlash.

One seemingly mundane thing I liked about this book pertains to the formatting of the book's footnotes. The editor or publisher or whomever is responsible for this made the helpful choice of including the footnotes at the bottom of each page rather than in the back of the book. I really appreciated this, since the footnotes were, more often than not, a humorous side note to the accompanying regular text rather than simply a source note.

The little things that make us readers happy, huh?? ;)

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