While a readable and informative inside look at neurosurgery, the tone of the this memoir kept me at bay and from fully enjoying it. Neurosurgery as...more While a readable and informative inside look at neurosurgery, the tone of the this memoir kept me at bay and from fully enjoying it. Neurosurgery as a discipline attracts the arrogant and overly confident. Dr. Firlik appears to be no exception, though from her own descriptions of colleagues, she is perhaps more relatable to mere non-neurosurgery mortals than some other docs. Having said all that, though I read this for pleasure, I did find it helpful to me in my own medical practice. It provided another perspective on epilepsy surgery that was perhaps divine timing in creating a meaningful and effective treatment plan for one of my patients.
Perhaps arrogance is so intricately related to neurosurgery that one can't write about the subject without it. Either way, the tone left a distaste in my mouth making it harder to appreciate the good the book does offer. (less)
I saw this in the Medicine Book Box and couldn't remember if I had read it or not. I read lots of books of this type whenever I come across them. As I...moreI saw this in the Medicine Book Box and couldn't remember if I had read it or not. I read lots of books of this type whenever I come across them. As I started reading it though, I realized that I had read it several years ago when it came out when I was in naturopathic medical school. I did give it another read because it was quick and I find this type of info really interesting. Like Hyphen, I found the chatter mostly annoying and extraneous. Some of the questions and answers were quite informative, but others were quite misleading. Just because the FDA approves a substance, does not absolve it of all wrongdoing! Health problems triggered by artificial sweeteners, MSG, etc are totally dismissed in the book since they are "generally regarded as safe" by the FDA. I suppose this is the nature of a book like this, but the human body is treated as a single entity, not one full of individual variance from person to person. I'm not sure what the authors' experience with variance is, but in my cadaver lab, I saw tons of individuality and variation in the many bodies I studied. I also find that my patients all seem to respond differently to the same disease processes and treatments. *shrug*
There are some golden nuggets to be found in this book, but you have to sift through a lot of other junk to find it.(less)
Well this certainly was a poignant and emotional read! I was particularly fascinated to read about Lucy's early life and her struggles with the Ewing'...moreWell this certainly was a poignant and emotional read! I was particularly fascinated to read about Lucy's early life and her struggles with the Ewing's sarcoma. I've already read _Truth and Beauty_ by Anne Patchett which describes the author's close friendship with Lucy during her young adulthood so I had a really different picture of Lucy. How refreshing to see what was going on inside her mind as well! If you haven't yet read Truth and Beauty, do read it as a companion to this one. It really compliments it well.
This was a surprising little book. I'm not sure what exactly I was expecting, something more akin to Stiff by Mary Roach perhaps. What it actually tur...moreThis was a surprising little book. I'm not sure what exactly I was expecting, something more akin to Stiff by Mary Roach perhaps. What it actually turns out to be is a touching memoir of a grandmotherly type retired mortician recounting stories of grief, love and bits of humor from her long career. It made me think of my own mortality and what I'd like done when I die (organ donation, cremation and whatever type of funeral service would most serve those who survive me). It made me value my current relationships a bit more and recognize that there really is only this moment. Overall, a satisfying and touching read. (less)
I was hoping for a little more heart and a little less ego. It was difficult to read in parts thinking about my own little son. I can only imagine how...moreI was hoping for a little more heart and a little less ego. It was difficult to read in parts thinking about my own little son. I can only imagine how difficult it is for parents to struggle with the loss of their little babies. (less)
My review for Armchair Interviews: “Wait half and hour after eating before swimming.” “Cover your head in the winter so you don’t catch a cold.” “Cra...moreMy review for Armchair Interviews: “Wait half and hour after eating before swimming.” “Cover your head in the winter so you don’t catch a cold.” “Cracking your knuckles will give you arthritis.” We’ve all heard the old wives tales, but which ones are really true? Based on his New York Times column “Really?,” Anahad O’Connor sets out to tell us just that.
In an easy to read question and answer format, Never Shower in a Thunderstorm analyzes dozens of commonly held beliefs about health. Some are verified and some are debunked, though which is which may really surprise you. Fully supported by current research and interviews with field experts, O’Connor takes a neutral middle ground, being neither too liberal and “new age-y” nor conservative and cynical in his assessments. His conversational writing style is clever and engaging, as if talking with a witty friend over a coffee or beer. References to current pop culture keep the tone light and entertaining. Several of his answers actually caused me to laugh out loud and read sections to friends. My only criticism would be to have included a bibliography or footnotes for those interested a bit more in the science behind the answers. So many of the research articles O’Connor refers to sounded interesting enough to have warranted reading them firsthand.
Overall, Never Shower in a Thunderstorm is a thoroughly enjoyable and informative read for all folks, not just those with a scientific bent. (less)
Are you or someone close to you trying to get pregnant? Then this is definitely the book for you! Raymond Chang, MD...moreMy review for Armchair Interviews:
Are you or someone close to you trying to get pregnant? Then this is definitely the book for you! Raymond Chang, MD clearly outlines how to boost fertility in couples who are struggling to get pregnant. His primary focus is on Traditional Chinese Medicine, but he also offers some information on foods, vitamins, herbs and other supplements that can be helpful to fertility.
Especially impressive is Chang’s ability to clearly explain both the conventional Western approach to fertility as well as more natural traditional approaches. Often when writers describe Chinese Medicine, it can sound esoteric, confusing and downright batty. Chang is able to speak in terms of Eastern and Western medicine in a manner that allows the couple to feel empowered and able to work with their natural fertility rather than feel helpless and “infertile” as they are often labeled by conventional medicine.
Chang provides a very balanced view of fertility and integrates both Western and Eastern medicine to allow couples to boost fertility and become pregnant. What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Getting Pregnant is a must read for any couple that is struggling to conceive.
This was a great book for its kind, much better than, say Why Do Men Have Nipples, for example. The question and answer format makes for easy reading...moreThis was a great book for its kind, much better than, say Why Do Men Have Nipples, for example. The question and answer format makes for easy reading in little spurts which is nice for my tired mommy brain! I mostly found the information accurate and interesting. As a naturopathic doctor, I was especially fascinated to learn that bowel movements are 2/3 bacteria and only 1/3 fiber, cholesterol, bile salts, food bits, etc! That is A LOT of bacterial material! My only quibble is with the title. The author cites a doctor who actually encourages eating boogers and his argument is more compelling than the author's opinion on why not to! (less)
This was visually and gastronomically wonderful for me! I love reading books about travel and food. I am also a naturopathic physician who educated pa...moreThis was visually and gastronomically wonderful for me! I love reading books about travel and food. I am also a naturopathic physician who educated patients on nutrition, so this was a fascinating way for me to think about various types of diets and the health consequences of them. While the photos often speak for themselves, I did enjoy reading the little stories about the individuals. I'll be placing a copy of this book in my waiting room for patients to peruse before their appointment. Highly recommended!(less)