Groopman describes various cases from his practice and those of other doctors, as well as a case in which he was a patient seeking diagnosis and treatGroopman describes various cases from his practice and those of other doctors, as well as a case in which he was a patient seeking diagnosis and treatment. He uses these cases to discuss the thinking errors that cause diagnostic mistakes and oversights, and the ways that the medical system perpetuates diagnostic mistakes once they are made. He is honest and so are the other doctors he interviews. He writes very clearly and some of the stories are really compelling.
I have a lot of experience with doctors that mirrors Groopman's experience. I was especially interested in his discussion of seeking treatment for his chronically painful wrist. I recently sought treatment for a chronic painful knee, and we both found that specialists wanted to treat the problem in a way consistent with their speciality and wanted to diagnose it via surgery rather than less invasive methods.
As another reviewer points out, Groopman doesn't get very deeply into medical bias. He mentions that doctors treat patients they don't like differently, but he doesn't show a lot of insight into the societal reasons (sexism, racism, classism) behind such bias. He suggests that patients should help steer doctors toward broader thinking by asking certain questions ("what else could it be?"), but doesn't mention that many doctors won't listen to certain types of patients....more
I like books about the restaurant business and I'm interested in the sea and the history of commerce and commodities, and I like sushi, so that's whyI like books about the restaurant business and I'm interested in the sea and the history of commerce and commodities, and I like sushi, so that's why I grabbed the book off the library's new book shelves. I finished it in two days because it's pretty well written.
It takes you on a meandering tour of the sushi world, focusing on bluefin tuna, from the point of view of restauranteurs, auction houses, fishmongers, tuna ranchers (I certainly didn't know there was any such thing) and more. Each chapter introduces a specific person and describes what that person does in the global market.
I will keep the little Seafood Watch card in my wallet (which says I should avoid bluefin tuna anyway - which is fine because apparently it never comes near my local sushi joints, nor could I afford it if it did). But I will never imagine again that I can know where any fish came from....more
I listened to the audiobook, narrated by the author, but it doesn't seem to have an ISBN.
I read this as part of my quest to understand how everythingI listened to the audiobook, narrated by the author, but it doesn't seem to have an ISBN.
I read this as part of my quest to understand how everything is connected to everything else, and how it is economically feasible to create very inexpensive products by shipping materials all over the world. It's a set of essays mostly about shipping modalities, but each essay goes at the subject from a different angle (or several angles).
The book doesn't really answer the "how can things be so cheap?" question but it gets me a step closer to the "how everything is connected" part.
My favorite chapters were: "A Fleet of One" and "A Fleet of One - II" about a guy who owns a chemical tanker. "Tight-Assed River" about small boats that push strings of barges ("longer than the Titanic") up and down the Illinois River "Out in the Sort" about the travels of live lobsters sold by a Nova Scotia company, Clearwater Seafoods (which may make you not want to eat lobster at Asian buffets any more) and the sorting facility at the UPS Worldport facility in Louisville, KY "Coal Train" about 19,000 ton coal-laden trains more than a mile long and the Union Pacific engineers, conductors, and dispatchers who get them where they're going (the dispatchers sometimes quit the job and go into air traffic controlling, because it is easier).
There are also chapters about a ship-handling course that uses scale models, and a canoe trip; those are good too but they didn't fascinate me....more
This biography argues that Carême, a French chef in the first half of the 19th century, invented modern haute cuisine. It describes in great detail soThis biography argues that Carême, a French chef in the first half of the 19th century, invented modern haute cuisine. It describes in great detail some of the aristocratic feasts he prepared. Carême kept detailed records and wrote several books; many of his recipes are featured throughout the book. If you want to try them, it will take some translation, since the units of measure he uses are different from modern ones. Also, make sure you have access to a food processor! There are some drawings of his sculptural desserts (he began his career as a patissier), over-the-top buffets, and some of the kitchens he worked in. The book has lots of fascinating details about the conditions in which chefs and cooks worked in that era. (Carême is thought to have died from cumulative exposure to coal fumes.) There's some history scattered through the book because Carême worked for a lot of historical figures of the period, including Talleyrand and Napoleon, but it's not a good source for piecing together a timeline of what went on....more
Series of short essays about modern methods of food production, manufacture, and distribution, with forays into the science and history of same.
HartelSeries of short essays about modern methods of food production, manufacture, and distribution, with forays into the science and history of same.
Hartel is a bit more enthusiastic about the safety and benefits of high-volume food processing/production than might be warranted. In one essay he makes what seem to me to be excessive claims about how our food is safer than it ever has been in the past.
He avoids discussing butchering or meat processing and mainly sticks to discussions about the production of candies and snacks, methods for preserving freshness, and so on.
I learned some interesting information, but for me it was only barely worth slogging through the cutesy writing style. ...more
The "traditional" Japan of the title is the era of the shoguns, and Dunn describes the living conditions and daily life of people in a variety of roleThe "traditional" Japan of the title is the era of the shoguns, and Dunn describes the living conditions and daily life of people in a variety of roles, from samurai to monks to merchants to farmers.
I watch a lot of Japanese historical movies, and I had picked up a lot of what this book discusses, but it's nice to have some extra detail and context.
There are illustrations. In this edition, the illustrations are pretty small and it's hard to see detail, but I have seen a larger format edition of this book, which might have better illustrations. The illustrations were created by someone with a European-sounding name and rendered in a "Japanese" style. Some aspects of the illustrations depict stereotypes and thus might feel offensive to some.
This book was written in the 1960s and is aimed at an audience of Westerners who don't know much about Japan. Some of the attitudes are outdated. ...more