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Welcome! The ultimate luxury for me is curling up with a good book and a warm blanket. The next best thing is reviewing books and sharing them with others.

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11 08, 2015

Review: Nurses by Alexandra Robbins

By | August 11th, 2015|Categories: Medicine, Nonfiction|Tags: |3 Comments


nurses book coverReviewed by Alyssa Katanic

I don’t know about you, but I hate going to the hospital! I try to limit my experiences to happy ones, like new babies! But every once in a while we end up in the ER. While there, the nurses make all the difference! I am always watching their facial expressions to try to figure out what they think about our situation, if they seem to have faith in what the doctor is doing or if they seem annoyed, and their attitude and tone of voice can bring me relief or worry. In fact, I have a team of nursing friends that I often call when I am worried about something. They just seem to be able to figure out at what point worrying is a good thing. I have often wondered what it is really like

12 02, 2015

Review: Jailhouse Doc by William Wright, M.D.

By | February 12th, 2015|Categories: Humor, Medicine, Memoirs, Nonfiction|Tags: , , |1 Comment


jailhouse doc book coverReviewed by Sarah McCubbin

In his humorous memoir, Jailhouse Doc: A Doctor in the County Jail, William Wright, M.D. recounts many of his experiences treating the maladies common among inmates. After retiring from his career as an ear surgeon, he quickly grew bored. When he saw an advertisement for a correctional facility in need of a doctor, he decided to give it a try, which led to his position in a maximum security prison (he wrote Maximum Insecurity about his experience there), before working in a county jail.

Most people will never set foot in a jail, let alone work there. As such, Dr. Wright’s insights offer a peek into a world that is often unseen. While much of the work is unsavory and unappreciated, I found myself often laughing out loud reading Dr. Wright’s accounts–always told with a

10 12, 2014

Review: Nursing Jambalaya with Gumbo on the Side

By | December 10th, 2014|Categories: Medicine, Nonfiction|Tags: , |1 Comment


nursing jambalaya book coverReviewed by Sarah McCubbin

I felt drawn to read Nursing Jambalaya with Gumbo on the Side as it promised to reveal misconceptions about nurses in an entertaining and educational way. My husband is an RN, so I read this book having experienced the profession second-hand through him. This short book is written by three nurses, Jacqueline Spencer, Lynell Whittington-Brignac and Beverly S. Ward, each of whom have over 30 years of nursing experience as clinicians in various capacities. In its pages, they each write with a genuine desire to give wisdom and a sort of legacy to new nurses entering the profession.

Divided into ten parts, each section seeks to explore different facets of nursing. Those areas range from historical insights into things like the important roles of black nurses to the less significant history of the nursing cap. Among other

1 12, 2014

Review: I Have Seen God by Klaus-Dieter John

By | December 1st, 2014|Categories: Christian Living, Medicine, Memoirs, Nonfiction|Tags: , , |0 Comments


i have seen god book coverReviewed by Alyssa Katanic

I Have Seen God tells the story of a young man whose imagination and dreams were captured at an early age by a desire to become a missionary doctor to people of a third-world nation who would otherwise never be able to see a doctor. From boyhood dreams, though training, into marriage, and through the tough work of watching dreams take shape in reality, Dr. John takes readers through this journey to show that all things truly are possible, though not always easy. You might even say that this story is actually more of a prayer list with a description of how those prayers were tactically answered, sometimes even long before John knew to ask.

John quotes Martin Luther as saying that “we should pray as if all of our work were nothing, and work

7 09, 2013

Review: Strange Medicine by Nathan Belofsky

By | September 7th, 2013|Categories: Humor, Medicine, Nonfiction|Tags: , |1 Comment


15811584Reviewed by Sara Drake

Imagine a time when people believed that relieving pain was sinful; therefore medical procedures should hurt a lot! Mr. Belofsky presents a short look at some of the stranger treatments used by medical practitioners throughout the ages. Organized mostly by chronology, the book skims through an amazing number of treatments that will leave the reader giggling, gasping, and occasionally shuddering with horror. This is one of those books to be read aloud, or at least have an audience handy to share choice tidbits with.

Mr. Belofsky covers some of the more well-known practices such as leeches, blood-letting, and lobotomy. The more fascinating tales include eating cooked mice to cure bedwetting, the wealth of cures for wet dreams, and fun with acid. The tales also include some of the medical sidelines, such as the practice of binding books in human

9 01, 2013

Review: Chief Complaint: Brain Tumor by John Kerastas

By | January 9th, 2013|Categories: Medicine, Memoirs, Nonfiction|Tags: , |2 Comments


121025-book coverReviewed by Sara Padilla

Troubled by deteriorating vision, 57-year-old John Kerastas visited the doctor somewhat reluctantly. He wasn’t too worried. Physically fit, Kerastas enjoyed cycling, running and swimming and healthy eating, and he and his equally healthy wife had until then experienced no major health issues. Suddenly and clearly, medical tests revealed that the author had a brain tumor that required critical and immediate intervention.

Shocked, Kerastas launched into planning for the worst case scenario as well as navigating the till then unknown and complex health care system. Chief Complaint: Brain Tumor describes the first year experience of diagnosis and treatment of a serious medical issue with a direct, no-nonsense approach. Throughout the story he maintains a sense of humor that reveals his ability to handle anything life throws toward him, while also tenderly acknowledging painful and emotional moments such as when he cries

20 11, 2012

Review: Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan

By | November 20th, 2012|Categories: Medicine, Memoirs, Nonfiction|Tags: , |6 Comments


Reviewed by Sara Drake

In Brain on Fire, Susannah Cahalan details her descent into madness as a result of a little known autoimmune disorder. One day she works as a journalist at a respected newspaper, a month later she has deteriorated to functioning little better than an infant. She wakes in the hospital with no memory of what has happened. As she recovers, she attempts to recover knowledge of the lost period of her life using her skills as a journalist. She relies on interviews with family, friends, and doctors as well as her medical records to put the puzzle pieces together. This book represents her detailed investigation to discover herself and her past.

Brain on Fire is part memoir, part medical mystery, and part a non-fiction introduction to the brain. The combination presents an emotionally powerful, suspenseful, and informative view

25 04, 2012

Review: God’s Hotel by Victoria Sweet

By | April 25th, 2012|Categories: Medicine, Memoirs, Nonfiction|Tags: , |2 Comments


Reviewed by Alyssa Katanic

God’s Hotel, by Victoria Sweet is a thought provoking read for anyone interested in healthcare, whether as a medical doctor, nurse, patient or through holistic medicine. In her account of her over 20 years at Laguna Honda Hospital in San Francisco, Dr. Sweet seems to cover all of the bases.

While working at the hospital, Dr. Sweet was also studying the pre-modern medicine of a 12th century nun named Hildegard. Hildegard’s medicine was closer to what we may consider holistic or eastern medicine, and is what Dr. Sweet deems as “slow medicine.” It is neat to see how these studies influenced Dr. Sweet’s own practice of medicine and care for her patients at Laguna Honda (a hospital that provided long term care for those who could not afford healthcare).

Despite the fact that the personal, “slow medicine” techniques