I'm glad I stumbled into this book near the end of 2010. Now I have a favorite book of the year! Hillenbrand has a very unique style of writing narratI'm glad I stumbled into this book near the end of 2010. Now I have a favorite book of the year! Hillenbrand has a very unique style of writing narratives. Her words pulled me in and refused to let me go even with the vast amount of background information she had given through out the book. There was not even one dull moment. After reading the book, I have a totally different perspective for life, and human nature, both extremes......more
Read this book, then you'll know what made Lang Lang the way he is today. The way his father raised him proved exactly what Malcolm Gladwell pointed oRead this book, then you'll know what made Lang Lang the way he is today. The way his father raised him proved exactly what Malcolm Gladwell pointed out in his book, The Outliers...There's no such thing as a prodigy, but a hardworking person who happens to be at the right place at the right time, and works on whatever he's good at much more frequently than all the other people....more
I love the voice of this author, you can tell everything comes directly from her heart. She wrote about her and her family's life, during the communisI love the voice of this author, you can tell everything comes directly from her heart. She wrote about her and her family's life, during the communist rule in Russia. I'm not a stranger to this kind of political system, being Chinese myself. Elena Gorokhova was born in the 1950's in Leningrad and eventually married an American and moved to the US. Even though English is her second language, her characters are described and written in such details that make them practically jump out of the page. The book is structured somewhat chronically with each chapter centered around a specific incident or period in her life, for example: her fascination with English, her sister's struggle to choose a college major in her own will without angering her parents, being a tour guide to a British visitor, her primary and secondary education, why her mom never smiled....
I intentionally slowed down near the last 1/3 of her story, to slowly savour her writing, her word use, her wit and even her humor. How she could inject those sad moments of her life with a sense of hope and fun. This is what she wrote when she was given a tour to a young British student when she was in middle school, and the boy took a picture illegally, pretending his was just playing with the camera:
"He thinks he is a genius, having come up with such a brilliantly distracting maneuver, but in the area of pretense no British student can compete with our decades of daily practice."
and of her own government:
"The rules are simple: they lie to us, we know they’re lying, they know we know they’re lying but they keep lying anyway, and we keep pretending to believe them."
I don't re-read books very often, but I may have to re-read this one someday down the line since I know I sure will find new and insightful meanings in each of her carefully crafted sentence... ...more
I've never watched Tina's shows or movies and I agree that not every celebrity has the talent to pen a book. The sample of this book sent to my KindleI've never watched Tina's shows or movies and I agree that not every celebrity has the talent to pen a book. The sample of this book sent to my Kindle made me laugh-out-loud a couple of time...so I decided to purchase. I really enjoyed the first part of the book, where she talked about her upbringing, her theater training..and a really funny chapter about her honeymoon cruise. She was greatly influenced by the friends she hung around with during her improv shows. Every chapter has a few laugh-out-loud, snarky quotes that remind me of a few of my funny friends on the Kindle fan site, whose posts I greatly enjoy reading. Her sense of humor was absolutely unsurpassed. The first 1/2 of the book deserves a 4.
However, I could not say the same for the second part of the book, which was basically a recount of her show life experience, 30 Rocks, SNL and a few others. Even someone as funny as Tina stumped at writing things that involved too many facts, dates and names of people (a lot of people...in fact, she dedicated at least one chapter introducing each SNL script writer, why they were hired, along with their most memorable writing....) I wanted to scream, "Who cares about them? Give me more you!" Alec Baldwin, her producer Lorne and Sarah Palin appeared quite frequently in this part of the book, too. I spent 80% of my reading time dragging through the second part of the book. This part pulled my rating down to 3 stars....more
A bit too preachy and self-gloating for my taste, but it's a quick religious read about the real meaning of Christmas, from a man who played Santa ClaA bit too preachy and self-gloating for my taste, but it's a quick religious read about the real meaning of Christmas, from a man who played Santa Claus professionally and religiously. Some real stories that he encountered in his life were quite touching....more
There were only a handful (or even less) books that influenced me deeply after reading; The Year of Magical Thinking by Didion was one of them. This pThere were only a handful (or even less) books that influenced me deeply after reading; The Year of Magical Thinking by Didion was one of them. This particular book she wrote right after her husband's death from heart attack. The grief and pain in the book were so raw and deep that I could feel my own heart being torn into pieces. I purchased her newest book, Blue Nights, on publication date, but decided to put it aside until I'm actually emotionally stable enough to devour another sad book from her. Most of the times, I feel too vulnerable to let her strong words play with my feelings.
I read this book to prepare for my reading of Blue Nights. It's wonderfully written. The author knows Didion quite intimately, and has been friends with her for over 40 years. The Joan Didion one perceived from this book is as real as one could get. The author captured her physical, emotional, and spiritual changes through out the years in a wonderful way....more
A great storyline based on the life of Jane Goodall, but not one of those that I call "must-read' new breed of graphic novels as Persepolis, AmericanA great storyline based on the life of Jane Goodall, but not one of those that I call "must-read' new breed of graphic novels as Persepolis, American Born Chinese or even Sandmen. My 10-year old think it's okay as well....more
This book reads like part House, part Grey’s Anatomy and part diary, yet much, much more informative. By bringing us into his every day life and meetiThis book reads like part House, part Grey’s Anatomy and part diary, yet much, much more informative. By bringing us into his every day life and meeting his various patients at New York Presbyterian Hospital’s emergency department, Dr. Brendan Reilly explains, by example, why US healthcare, or more precise, ER care, has evolved into the complicated, hard-to-navigate maze that we see today; why most young med school graduates decide to to become specialists instead of primary physicians, which our country desperately needs.
The title, One Doctor, was used since all we need is this one doctor who's our advocate. Due to the regulation and involvement of the health insurance industry, most of us do not have a doctor who deeply concerns about us, who knows us well, who rallies for the right care in our behalf. On the other hand, we all have a battery of specialists. We have a cardiologist for our heart, a rheumatogist for our arthritis, an urologist for our prostates...and so on. Specialists make much more money, and where we are referred to once our ailment is out of our primary care’s scope. But, they usually do not know our complete health history since they only focus on a specific part of us. Dr. Reilly claimed that the patient with the one doctor that truly care for him, follows him over time and know him well would win this rat race of so-called American healthcare. It’s the difference between life and death sometimes…or worse, between death and insufferable life.
Sometimes when a patient or family says, “Do everything for me, doctor,” it unnecessarily that they want to try everything possible to live. Sometimes they do not want to hurt the family members who can’t let go, or they’re scared, or they have no idea hanging on could be worse than death. It’s the doctor, a good doctor’s job to find out what these patients really want, since some scenarios can be really worse than death. We all have a different trade-off limit between how much we are willing to suffer to prolong our life, it’s also a responsible doctor’s job to find out. From the various cases we encounter along with Dr. Reilly, we acquire a better understanding of the end of life, terminal illness, palliative care (which is not used enough), the quality of life, letting go, who to assign as surrogate and all other choices we might face in the future which we most likely never prepared ourselves for. We also will learn about the not perfect, but needed advanced directives as well.
As Dr. Reilly stated, “Most of the sad stories happen when this process doesn’t start until it’s too late. That’s how all those folks wind up comatose in nursing home and intensive care units, fogged with drugs and flogged by machines, not a prayer of getting better. It’s a living hell—and the only hyperbole in that phrase is the ‘living’ part.”
Dr. Reilly is a brilliant storyteller and great writer, and also a rare doctor that deeply cares for his patients. I can feel his real concern and love for life and the world. I could also feel the empathy he has for his patients and their families by reading the way he put his thoughts on paper. Several of these stories were deeply moving: Mr. Gunther, who endured a progressive form of cancer earlier in life who now faces another one; Mr. Atkins with a rapidly progressive terminal illness, who does not have time to prepare his family for his death; Ms. Rhodik, who refused to speak, but her family’s decisions are endangering her health. Others were down right disturbing: Fred, who decided that “losing his marbles” was never an option…and many more. We also learn about the cost of a misdiagnosis, as well as the cost of doing too much.
This is a deeply moving book with many though-provoking stories, and lots of useful information from a good and genuinely caring doctor who has over 40 years of experience. Read this book, for your elders, for yourself, for your children…and for the hope of a better health care system in the near future. This book will make you a better patient, advocate, caretaker, healthcare consumer and....human.
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing an advance reading copy. ...more
If you liked The Glass Castle you'd enjoy reading this book as well. The author was one of 9 children growing up in rural Maine. As the only one in heIf you liked The Glass Castle you'd enjoy reading this book as well. The author was one of 9 children growing up in rural Maine. As the only one in her family that read (Stephen King, coincidence?) growing up, her take of their life full of guns, hunting, animal killing, non-existent parents, bullying siblings is unique and well presented. Her control or words and language is also superb. You will not want to put this book down. ...more