REVIEWED BY NATALIE DANFORD
Ashes to ashes, dust to ... diamonds? Transforming cremains into bling is one of the wacky trends chronicled in Cullen's bouncy—and often quite funny—account of "shopping-after-death options." The TIME writer discusses possibilities such as "green burials" of unembalmed bodies (as featured on Six Feet Under), caskets carved to look like everything from a bottle of beer to a 1958 Corvette, and plastination—which basically turns a corpse into a mannequin. A chapter dedicated to the traditional Japanese funeral of her own grandfather in '04 mixes humor and sadness. Ultimately, this quick, lively study reveals a deep truth: that death and its rituals "can make the living appreciate the here and now."