I cannot recommend this book enough. It's a frightening glimpse into a disease that presents as mental illness and is often misdiagnosed (partly, I feI cannot recommend this book enough. It's a frightening glimpse into a disease that presents as mental illness and is often misdiagnosed (partly, I fear, because women are more often likely to suffer from it). There is still so much unknown about the brain, but I found the idea that Calahan's disease was caught in time and successfully treated to be hopeful. There have already been huge advancements in the diagnosing of the disease since 2009, the year the author was driven mad by a relatively unknown disease and was told that she should just party less, or that she had epilepsy, or that she was schizophrenic.
The neurologist, a man well educated and respected, who not only drew the conclusion that Calahan was a heavy drinker (she wasn't ) but who hadn't even heard of the disease she suffered from when she called him a year later, is a sad sign of the times. Doctors don't know everything, and the more you know the better you can advocate for yourself and loved ones.
A disease like this one, which can mimic so many other physical and neurological diseases, is fascinating and scary. But knowing that there is a chance at recovery and treatment, that the author's story will help others get the treatment that can save their lives, is the spark of hope....more
I felt like the ending was really rushed, and I was really surprised that Martinez didn't go into more detail about all the delays and constant interrI felt like the ending was really rushed, and I was really surprised that Martinez didn't go into more detail about all the delays and constant interruptions of the trial and the sentencing retrial. But I did like hearing about all the preparation that went into trying someone like Jodi Arias for murder- and hearing more about those forged letters. I still can't comprehend the people who believe in her innocence (of which there are two types- those who believe she killed in self defense, or those who still believe her 2nd story about two intruders and that she took the blame to protect her family), although I suppose they aren't all that different than Arias herself.
You know who I wish would write a book about this case? Dr. Demarte. Her testimony was among the most interesting, and I think she has real insight into who Jodi Arias is.
Jodi Arias is a murderer, and I do believe she planned the murder of Travis Alexander. There relationship was complicated, based mostly on illicit sex. She was his dirty little secret- good enough for bedroom games, but he probably was never going to marry her for that exact reason. And while I can feel bad for her about that, despite the role she played in that herself, you can't kill someone simply because they don't love you enough.
The best part of the book is Juan Martinez's explanation of his cross-examination of Jodi, trying to keep her off balance so she couldn't control or keep track of the web of lies she was spinning. I well remember her testimony, and the way Juan Martinez was able to use the point of the three gas cans, purchased and borrowed not to save money but to leave no paper trail of gas receipts in Arizona, to show premeditation. He also got Arias to show her true self, at least moments of it, on the stand- the snarky, smirky and smug side she kept hidden behind tears and rambling testimony while giving testimony to the prosecutor. ...more
The writing is really good. I loved Wharton's take on New York high society in the 1870's.
But I hated the main character. I found him to be such a weThe writing is really good. I loved Wharton's take on New York high society in the 1870's.
But I hated the main character. I found him to be such a weak, jack ass that I couldn't for the life of me figure out why May would want to marry him or Countess Olenska would want to have a fling with him. I hated how condescending he was towards women (even his occasional thought that women should be free as men were to do as they please pissed me off, because he just thought he was so above his peers).
I remembered watching the movie when I was much younger, and I remember not liking his pompousness then, but I thought it wouldn't bother me as much now as I'm older and can better appreciate the pressure society put upon the characters... but nope, still hate Newland Archer. I felt that his love of Ellen was much like his love of May- shallow and completely based on his idea of who they might be in his imagination. Ellen fairs a bit better than May, but only because she remains unattainable.
I listened to the narration, which was mostly good. Except that the British narrator does a terrible American accent. Newland came out as Noland most of the time, and the word 'idea' came out 'idear' (there were other words that came out weird, but that one in particular came up a lot), I wish he'd just stuck with his native accent. ...more
This was a fantastic, thrilling audio to listen to, and I loved Annie. Which made for some rough times, because her character is kidnapped, raped, abuThis was a fantastic, thrilling audio to listen to, and I loved Annie. Which made for some rough times, because her character is kidnapped, raped, abused both physically and psychologically and the twists are brutal. I went into this one a little blind, and only had a vague idea of what it was about, which actually worked really well. But, if I'm being honest, I'm so glad I listened to this one on audio, otherwise I totally would have been ruining it for myself by flipping to the last page.
This is my second Chevy Stevens novel, but I can guarantee it won't be my last! ...more
My second time reading Blue Lily, Lily Blue, but the first time I've listened any of the series on audio. I loved Will Patton's narration, and I'm soMy second time reading Blue Lily, Lily Blue, but the first time I've listened any of the series on audio. I loved Will Patton's narration, and I'm so glad I refreshed my memory. I thought I had retained a lot, but I was super wrong.
Here there be spoilers:
I forgot about Gwendolyn (I could be spelling that wrong), and Persephone, and Neve, and the craziness that was Piper, Greenmantle's wife. I forgot how much I loved Jesse Diddley (sp?). I forgot the tension between Blue and Gansey- how the act of chewing mint leaves can be so charged when you literally can't kiss the person you most want to kiss.
I did remember that this was the book that finally made me really like Adam, whereas in the first two books I only tolerated him. I remembered fussy Mallory, and Gansey's cave freak out, and Greenmantle being darkly amusing.
I am so looking forward to The Raven King on April 26th. In the morning I'll be picking up my signed and doodle copies from Fountain Bookstore, reading feverishly until it's time to drive up to Northern Virginia to go to the kick off of Maggie Stiefvater's tour (and to get my special book hugger). So worth taking a day off from work!...more