Wednesday, July 31, 2019

That Good Night by Sunita Puri

Puri's memoir chronicles her decision to become a doctor, then specialize in the relatively new field of palliative care medicine.  Puri highlights the tension between general medicine's impulse to preserve life at all costs, and palliative care's focus on the quality of whatever length of life remains.

The book recounts many conversations that she has had with doctors, patients and family members.  Her (and her mentor's) skills at navigating these conversations is, for the most part, masterful.  The questions they ask, such as "What does a good day look like for you?", or "What does your loved one "getting well" look like to you?" are thought provoking. The answers are very different depending on the person.

This book gives a good over view of the field of palliative care medicine, as well as being an interesting personal story of family and career.  It made me start to consider what my answers might be, if a traumatic situation should arise.

Monday, July 29, 2019

The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly by Matt McCarthy

A doctor recalls his first year as an intern focusing on his inexperience and interactions with patients and his superiors. With humor this memoir recalls his journey from ineptitude and humbling situations to competence.  The medical aspects of serious health conditions he is involved in are interesting and his relationship with Barney, a man living at the hospital waiting for a new heart is uplifting. Experiencing his own heath crisis and side effects of the medicines he must take, he pushes through and keeps training. I liked this book and appreciated this doctor's journey.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

The Bad Guys Series By Aaron Blabey

You may think wolves, sharks, piranhas, and snakes seem like "bad guys", but they are out to change their image!  For their first mission, Mr. Wolf hatches a plan to free 200 dogs from a Maximum Security Dog Pound.  Will it be that easy to become good guys?  This is the first book of an 11 book series, suitable for beginning chapter book readers.  It is full of wacky illustrations and silly humor.  Check out The Bad Guys series and see if they can salvage their reputations by tickling your funny bone : ). 

Monday, July 15, 2019

The Easy Gluten-Free Cookbook by Lindsay Garza

Along with the basics about the gluten-free diet, and other helpful tips throughout, this book includes a variety of gluten-free recipes that use readily available ingredients and are simple to make. Many of the recipes are for traditional classics like chili, lasagna, potato salad, and chocolate cake. They are each labeled as “5-Ingredient”, “One-Pan” “One-Pot”, “Sheet-Pan”, or “30-Minute” (many with more than one label), and there is a handy index of the recipes by these categories at the end of the book. If the recipes are also vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free, and/or nut-free, this is noted too. Although I don’t typically eat only gluten-free foods, I really enjoyed browsing through this cookbook, and will likely add several of the recipes to my collection.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Send Down the Rain by Charles Martin

     This story of a Vietnam War veteran is a lot about his life before and after serving as a soldier. Having their Dad leave them at an impressionable age, Joseph and his brother are deeply affected by his desertion. They each cope in their own way, going in different directions. Joseph is close to his brother, but is deceived by him more than once throughout the book.
     It is odd to him that he is so successful at things he tried after serving his country. Mostly he was just trying to cope with serious thoughts of desperation, and in so doing.....amassed a lot of money, which he used to help other people in desperate situations.
     It isn't until the end that you realize what a truly great sacrifice Joseph has made his whole life. I really enjoyed this story and think this author is fun to read because he often uses male protagonists.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Last Bus to Wisdom by Ivan Doig

11 year old Donal lives with his grandma on the Double W ranch in Montana.  When she has to have an operation, she sends Donal across the country to stay with his great-aunt and uncle, whom he doesn't know, in Wisconsin for the summer.  Riding the dog bus (Greyhound to you and me!), Donal meets all sorts of interesting people, who he tries to get to sign his autograph book.
Once there, Donal does his best to fit in, but it's tough and he makes mistakes.  One of my favorites is his description of a certain Montana festival to his aunt's bridge group.  His aunt finally has had enough, and decides to send Donal back to Montana before the end of the summer.  But who does Donal discover at the bus station?  His uncle, Herman the German, who has decided to go along for the ride.  We learn more about Herman along the way, and the characters that they meet during the ride are memorable.  They do indeed, take the last bus to Wisdom, and their story comes to a satisfying conclusion.

This is the first book Iv'e read by Ivan Doig, and it won't be the last!