At first this book jumped around quite a bit and was hard to follow, but after a few chapters, it settled down. The book centers around the village ofAt first this book jumped around quite a bit and was hard to follow, but after a few chapters, it settled down. The book centers around the village of Kapchorwa in Uganda where there has been an outbreak of Ebola which has become airborne. Four college students are in the village helping to educate the street kids and to provide medical assistance, when the outbreak happens. At the same time, a group of radicalized young terrorist have been brought together for training and eventually are led to Kapchorwa while it is in the midst of the outbreak. The terrorist plan to take advantage of this plague to wreak vengeance on the developed nations whom they see as oppressing them. This is well written and fast paced. I enjoyed it and can hardly wait until the sequel comes out. ...more
This book was excellent, albeit frightening. It is a concise description of the history of viruses, the major ones we face today and the potential virThis book was excellent, albeit frightening. It is a concise description of the history of viruses, the major ones we face today and the potential viruses which can transfer from animals to humans. It is technical without being unreadable. There are fascinating examples which illustrate some of the more difficult concepts and solid information about what is being done now and what should be done in the future.
There are a lot of topics mentioned in the book that I wanted to know more about and I don't think the book is meant to be definitive on the subject by any means, but it is a very good introduction to the subject and It's a book I think everyone should read....more
This is a charming series similar to James Herriot's "All Creatures Great and Small." It features the newly qualified GP, Doctor Barry Laverty, who isThis is a charming series similar to James Herriot's "All Creatures Great and Small." It features the newly qualified GP, Doctor Barry Laverty, who is currently being supervised by Fingal Flahertie O’Reilly in the small village of Ballybucklebo. Like the Harriot's book, the village is charming and the cases are interesting. In this secong book, Barry is under a cloud because of the death of a patient. Could he have overlooked the symptoms which lead to his death? His widow thinks so, so Barry is anxious for the autopsy which will either clear him or end his career before it began.
Add to this some wonderful village characters, an intrigue or 2 and marvelous housekeeper who tries to keep the two men in line and you have an enjoyable and interesting comfort read which can be enjoyed over and over....more
This was a fascinating story. It is the beginning of a series about Dr. Thomas Silkstone who was a pioneer in forensic medicine. The story takes placeThis was a fascinating story. It is the beginning of a series about Dr. Thomas Silkstone who was a pioneer in forensic medicine. The story takes place in Victorian times and it involves a man who seemed to have been poisoned by strychnine mixed in a tonic he took daily. At the time, there weren't tests to analyze different components in a mixture. There also wasn't a catalog of different substances and their effects on the different parts of the body.
The story was about a young Earl, Lord Edward Crick, who was an dissolute young man of 21 who had contracted syphilis when he was 14. He was given a tonic by a local doctor and he died with symptoms that resembled strychnine, however there didn't seem to be any strychnine in the tonic.
A young Anatomist, Dr. Silkstone from Philadelphia is called on by the dead man's sister, partially because the prime suspect is her husband. Through a lot of twists and turns and several more murders, he is finally able to find out who the real killer was.
I listened to this audiobook on a trip from Florida to Virginia and it was the perfect length and kept me engaged for the whole trip. It is the beginning of a series and it looks to me like it is going to be a good one....more
This was a fascinating book! It answered many of the questions I have had about people who commit horrible crimes. It is actually a book about how theThis was a fascinating book! It answered many of the questions I have had about people who commit horrible crimes. It is actually a book about how the brain develops and what happens when something goes terribly wrong in the early years of brain growth. The early experiences of children determine how there brains will grow. If the are given no stimulation or are traumatized, the early brain can't develop properly and every additional experience will be influenced by the missing stages.
I've read a lot of books about feral children, serial killers, sociopaths and psychotics in an attempt to figure out what makes them the way they are. Most of what I have read is limited to what they do instead of why. I keep looking for the missing link. This book is the closest to an answer as I have found. The author uses a medical model of brain development to explain the changes in the brain from trauma or isolation and yet leaves room for individual personality. To me this is the key to why not all children who experience this kind of trauma go on to become murders, serial killers and predators.
As someone else mentioned in a review, this book has made me more compassionate towards people who do heinous things and yet made me more aware of why they cannot be trusted to be free among us. The case of Leon was the best example. Guilty of the rape and murder of two young girls, Dr. Perry was called on to give a pre-sentencing report to decide if his sentence was life in prison or the death penalty. Dr. Perry found that Leon had been left alone in an apartment all day long, day after day. He had no stimulation or love which impaired his ability to relate to others. Sadly, it was a vicious circle for him. He was unlovable because he wasn't loved in infancy but he couldn't get love from the people around him because he was unlovable. He developed into a brutal young man with no conscience and low impulse control. He was damaged by his childhood, but he turned into a man who could not be allowed to live in society. Dr. Perry does not say what happened in his sentencing, but I would have given him life in prison without parole....more
l didn't think I was going to like this book st first, but it was very enjoyable. The female main character was very believable without being incredibl didn't think I was going to like this book st first, but it was very enjoyable. The female main character was very believable without being incredibly beautiful with long long legs...you get the idea. She was very intelligent and courageous without being like a character from James Bond.
The situation posed, an organism which can be used as a form of population control, is within reason and probably in the minds of some scientists right now, unfortunately. I enjoyed learning about life at the South Pole, the underground lakes and the organisms that can live in such an environment. All together a good read. ...more
This novel deals with the frightening mental illness called Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy. In this sickness, a parent, usually the mother, brings the cThis novel deals with the frightening mental illness called Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy. In this sickness, a parent, usually the mother, brings the child into the hospital or to the doctor for a variety of illnesses or accidents in order to either get the attention of the medical community or to gain importance from seeming to rescue her child from horrifying accidents.
This story is written from the point of view of another sibling who watches this pattern develop between her mother and sister and sensitively, but harrowingly describes the effect on all the family. When this sibling suspects the pattern is beginning in another generation, she has to deal with long surpressed emotions and decide what she will do for her family and in her own life. The story is told with sensitivity and depth and gives a window into this terrible sickness....more
My doctor recommended this book to me and I am finding it fascinating. It is about a rare genetic abnormality that causes the main character to be a hMy doctor recommended this book to me and I am finding it fascinating. It is about a rare genetic abnormality that causes the main character to be a hermaphrodite. The story starts in the shadow of Mt. Olympus in Asia Minor and concerns the main character's grandparents from whom Callie/Cal gets the gene which sends her/his life careening into the textbooks.
The story is told well, not just as background, but as an exciting glimpse of the lives of ethnic Greeks whose lives are turned upside down by an invasion of the Turks. The brother and sister emigrate to America and end up living in Detroit in a Greek community. Into this community, Callie is born and lives the life of a girl for the first 14 years of her life. Although this portion of the book is actually background for the main focus of the book, it is written in a charming way and the characters are well developed. ...more
Bare Bones had an unusual twist. Someone was trying to keep Temperance Brennan from working on the crash site of an airplane. Her professional reputatBare Bones had an unusual twist. Someone was trying to keep Temperance Brennan from working on the crash site of an airplane. Her professional reputation takes a nose dive and she comes perilously close to loosing her job. Why does someone want her off the case?
This was very fast paced, but I struggled with the fact that Temperance was no longer the source of information about the mysteries found in the crash. She did have some information from Ryan, but his information was only partial. I am sure that Reichs did this on purpose to indicate how Temperance felt, but it drove me nuts!...more
This was an absolutely fascinating book on genetics. The author used color of dogs as her example and I learned just how complex some colors of dogs aThis was an absolutely fascinating book on genetics. The author used color of dogs as her example and I learned just how complex some colors of dogs are, especially white dogs. The most interesting part was how the genes have switches which activate them only under certain conditions...if the color is brown and if the hair length is ? then... Ms. Dyer also has a way of explaining even the most complex concepts in ways that layman can understand. Not only will this book explain basic genetics to you, but you will never look at dogs the same way again....more
This book is similar to The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea. It tells of a freak blizzard that hit the northern plains states in 18This book is similar to The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea. It tells of a freak blizzard that hit the northern plains states in 1888. Scores of immigrants had sold everything and come to the rich lands of the American prairie only to find that the harsh climate could destroy those dreams in a day. The blizzard was called "the children's blizzard" because it struct about the time that children were going or returning from school. The weather bureau was in its infancy and the politics of the government agency and the conflicting claims of the railroad made it difficult to get what little warning there was out to the people. Actually, while there were problems with the weather bureau, this storm was so huge, so freakish and moving so rapidly that it was probably unpredictable with the weather instruments of the day and impossible to get word to the people on the prairie who had no phones or radios. This storm stands out like the 1935 hurricane in the Florida Keys and the Galveston hurricane of 1909 and the perfect storm of 1991...perfect, but sinister storms where every variable added more fuel to the raging tempests.
I remember a storm a little like this from my childhood in St. Louis. The weather of the morning of the storm was very mild and, like the children in the book, we went to school without boots, gloves or even hats. Out of nowhere came an incredible drop in temperature...in the case of the 1888 storm of even 30 degrees in less than half an hour. In our case, traffic came to a standstill and our buses couldn't run. We were kept at school for hours and hours watching the snow build and wondering if someone could come and get us. The nuns played games with us and allowed us to slide on the hall floors, something totally forbidden, in order to keep us from panicking, but the snow continued to rage. Finally a neighbor walked home from his work and then walked the 2 miles to the school bringing winter hats, boots and mittens for us and we set out for home. I will always be grateful for those wonderful nuns whose faith and good nature made our wait more of an adventure than anxiety. I remember standing at the window, realizing that it was possible than no one could get through and I remember one of the nuns calling us to slide on the perfectly waxed floors and making a game of who could slide the furthest. The incredible novelty of being encouraged to break such a hard fast rule made me leave my fears at the window and revel in such an unexpected pleasure.
The teachers and students of 1888 didn't have paved roads lined with houses to follow as we did. Teachers faced the decision to keep the children at school and hope their firewood held out or was enough to keep them freezing in temperatures of -30 degrees, or to lead them home as quickly as possible. In some cases, the decision didn't matter. They were doomed no matter what they chose. In other cases, some children miraculously were found alive where they seemingly had little chance of making it and others were found dead all huddled together on the bare prairie.
It wasn't just children. Farmers got lost going to the barn and froze to death just feet from their homes. Cattle froze standing up and toppled over when it began to thaw. Some communities lost dozens of members and some families lost almost all their children in just one day. Little decisions, easily made, spelled life or death.
I would recommend this book to everyone. It is a glimpse into the tremendous power of nature an a reminder that no matter how advanced we become, we can never control nature. It is also an excellent glimpse into the life of early immigrants and the prairie they lost so much to tame....more
This book is so hard to read...not from the writing, but the events and the people who perpetrated them. I am finding that I can only read a few pagesThis book is so hard to read...not from the writing, but the events and the people who perpetrated them. I am finding that I can only read a few pages at a time. The book is extremely well researched with footnotes and an extensive bibliography. A great deal of it comes from actual interviews.
The extent of Nazi crimes is far more unimaginable that I could have ever thought and nothing is worse than doctors, who are trained to heal, turning into killers. The book deals with the SS doctors, German doctors, prison/inmate doctors and prison/inmate/Jewish doctors. I is also filled with the elaborate lengths the Nazis went to to cover up what they were doing to the world and to themselves.
As I continue to read this book, I am amazed at the amount of source material Lifton has used. The foundation of the book is interviews with the doctors, a few SS doctors, but mainly prisoners who were doctors. I am on the chapter on Mengele and it is one of the most extraordinary things I have ever read. I have read numerous books on Hitler and the concentration camps, but was left unsatisfied. No author could answer the question, "Why?" Why did seemingly normal people do such atrocious things?
The chapter on Mengele explains how he was able to compartmentalize his mind and do seemingly contradictory things. He would work hard to save a Gypsy from typhoid and then send him to the gas chamber later that week. In understanding the mind of Mengele, I finally began to understand some of these incredible events effected ordinary people. Make no mistake, Mengele was not a normal person. He had to have had a sadistic streak already, but, as the author says, he was “the right person at the right time and at the right place.” He saw himself as “healing” the German race and beyond that, healing mankind through genetic selection. He was an ideologue, as were the leaders of the party. They saw themselves as purging the race of man of the undesirables, which would lead to the “thousand year reich.” He was a demigod in Auschwitz and acted accordingly, but at times, he would be seen as honorable and courageous.
This is the book that I have always been looking for. ...more
Most people don't know that the US averted a serious nation-wide epidemic in 1900. Social, cultural and psychological issues prevented public health oMost people don't know that the US averted a serious nation-wide epidemic in 1900. Social, cultural and psychological issues prevented public health officials from curtailing the outbreak and risked a tragedy for the nation. The plague began in Chinatown and virtually all the buildings had to be destroyed.
The book is well-written and worth reading. It gets a little tiresome at the very end, but held my interest the whole way through. One thing I felt was very interesting. The first official from the Health department, Joseph Kinyoun, was an excellent scientist, but was not a good communicator, nor was he at ease in social settings. He was unable to convince the city leaders that there was a serious problem. His successor, Rupert Blue, was a more adept at dealing with politicians and with much persistence, was able to convince the city leaders to take the necessary actions. I find it amazing to think that this country could have experienced a European type plague because of one man's social skills....more
You would not think a book about two scientist competing with each other to find the cause of Bubonic Plague would be so interesting, but this was fasYou would not think a book about two scientist competing with each other to find the cause of Bubonic Plague would be so interesting, but this was fascinating. Japanese researcher Shibasaburo Kitasato and French bacteriologist Alexandre Yersin were in a race with time in Hong Kong in the late 19th century. Shibasaburo Kitasato was a brilliant scientist with a world wide reputation. He had a lab and funding to carry out his research in Hong Kong. Alexandre Yersin was on an extremely limited budget and was forced to research on the plague ships in the harbor and yet is was Yersin who discovered the key to the way the plague was spread. He was also the first to discover a vaccine. ...more