- Aw man. why would they do that? + What do you mean? - That poor old man is dying. It's the third time this month he's shown up at the ER with pneumoni- Aw man. why would they do that? + What do you mean? - That poor old man is dying. It's the third time this month he's shown up at the ER with pneumonia - he can't even swallow anymore, so food ends up going to his lungs. They should just let him be already instead of bringing him back every time. And we're making it worse by treating him. - Yeah, well, what can we do? + Not treat him. - But we can't do that. + Yes we can. Somebody should just take his daughter aside and tell her when a loved one can't even eat anymore, it's time to let them go. - Wait, here? You can't have that conversation here. + Well, he's here now. - But now he's sick - we can't just not give him antibiotics. There's nothing we can do right now. Besides, you just don't have that conversation on the ER. It's best to do it tomorrow, upstairs on the ward. + I don't see why not. Why is it that not intubating or not performing CPR is acceptable, but not starting a drip isn't? Right now the guy is feverish, unconscious and is not in any pain. You start an iv, hydrate him, give him a couple of doses of antibiotics and he'll wake up an realize how short of breath he is. That's cruel, you know. - But we can't not give him an iv! This is the emergency room - now we have to deal with the acute event. Upstairs is the place to make decisions. + The hell it is. You know as well as I do that tomorrow you'll have to see 10 or 12 patients in a row and you won't have the time or the energy to talk this through with her. Besides, by then he'll be semiconscious and responding to the antibiotic. You try and stop giving it to him then. I dare you. - I just don't think this is the place to do it, that's all. It doesn't look good. We should just talk to her and make arrangements for the next time he gets sick. + Well, in my experience that just doesn't happen very often. And even so, there's no reason why he still has to suffer this time around. If they avoid talking to her, right now, they'll be responsible for all the suffering he has to go through from this moment until he finally dies. I'm surprised everyone is willing to take that responsibility on their shoulders so easily. I know I won't when I'm in change of my ward. - Don't be like that. People should make arrangements for how they want to die when they're not sick. That's the moment to reflect and make plans - not the ER at 3 am. Not when they're sick and infected and it's my responsibility to bring them back, and I have the means and the duty to do so. + I agree with you there. But nowadays that doesn't really happen like that. Not yet. And he's here now, and he's dying. - I just don't think this is the place, is all....more
This was very nicely written, but I can't say that I found it terribly enlightening. Though, to be fair, it's only like 100 pages long, and I tend toThis was very nicely written, but I can't say that I found it terribly enlightening. Though, to be fair, it's only like 100 pages long, and I tend to think a lot about this sort of stuff, so of course I would find it a bit generic. Still, I can picture people I know having quite a few "aha" moments if they read this. All in all, it's compact and full of common sense - and it's a self-help book that won't make you cringe while you read it, which is a victory in and of itself :)...more
I really liked this book. It's been pointed out that it's a bit romantic, maybe less supported by data than most of Judt's work. He half-wrote it, halI really liked this book. It's been pointed out that it's a bit romantic, maybe less supported by data than most of Judt's work. He half-wrote it, half-dictated it while his health was already deteriorating, and it probably shows. But that doesn't make it any less valuable - on the contrary, it reads a bit like a philosophical piece, full of common sense and way less defensive than a regular political pamphlet might have sounded.
Judt doesn't hide his lefty disposition, but he doesn't defend socialism or attack conservative policies per se. Instead, he insists that we've become so accustomed to thinking of politics in economic terms that we've forgotten how to discuss politics from an ethical point of view. Before we can figure out how to get out of this mess, and how big a part the State should play in the process, we need to redefine public conversation.
The result is both accessible and full of content, and I enjoyed it immensely, possibly (probably) because I agree with most of it. Which is the tricky thing about this sort of book, I guess. But I'm not a politically involved person, and finding many of my intuitions and sensibilities articulated in a single thread makes me feel validated, and retroactively less ignorant. I hope this will help me the next time I find myself involved in a political argument in real life. If so, this book will have served its purpose....more
This is the second book I've read this month that I wish I had written myself. Either I'm becoming more and more unoriginal, or I've turned into an exThis is the second book I've read this month that I wish I had written myself. Either I'm becoming more and more unoriginal, or I've turned into an expert at choosing books that will reassure me in what I already know I think. I'm not sure which of these possibilities is more depressing, but none of them change the fact that this is a perfect little book.
And I couldn't have written this one anyway. Mr. Jacobs is a much more dedicated reader than I will ever be. But -big but- he is in no way a professional reader. Which is why this book is a rare gem - its author takes his background as an English professor and douses it with so much common sense and enthusiasm that the result reads like... well, it reads like me.
The only problem I see about it is the title. It couldn't be more wrong for this book. It makes this sound much more romantic, traditionalist and nostalgic than it actually is.
Big points this book makes:
- Harold Bloom is a pompous twat.
- There is a difference between reading at whim and reading at Whim. The first wastes your time and results in reading trash only. The second is what happens when you know yourself, the sort of reader that you are and what books will make you happy.
- It is perfectly all right to be distrustful of Greatest Hits of Literature lists [I am SO relieved. I've always had the feeling that this obsession with lists is somehow a specifically Anglo-Saxon phenomenon that I simply don't get. Well, apparently that's exactly what it is. These stream from a "DIY American tradition" to which I don't belong. I'm not dead inside or anything, I'm just a perfectly normal, healthy European woman. Phew!]. You don't read books like you eat your Brussels sprouts.
- If you're absolutely certain you don't want to read a particular book, use Wikipedia. Lie. Everybody does it. Then go home and find something you actually want to read.
- In an age in which everything technology has to offer seems to conspire against dedicated, attentive reading, e-readers are the best thing that could have happened to fiction readers. They have accessory functions, that's true, but they're enough clicks away that they don't encourage distraction because of distraction itself. E-readers promote linearity.[YES!]...more
I was so scared that this would turn out to be a foodie hipster's rant on what food should be like, instead of what it actually is. I'm relieved to adI was so scared that this would turn out to be a foodie hipster's rant on what food should be like, instead of what it actually is. I'm relieved to admit that I was mistaken - in fact, it's one of the most thought-provoking books I've read this year. It's helped me to fully flesh out some apprehensions I had which I'd never actually put into words, such as 'Is organic really about chemical paranoia?' 'What's the environmental impact of mindlessly shipping food all over the continent?' 'How in the world does that even make sense economically?' Okay, that last one I had actually wondered about, more than once. I used to have a long commute.
The Omnivore's Dilemma is also less location specific than Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal, which was a plus for me. I love reading about American lifestyles and behaviors (it's the whole deep-down-i-know-we're-next thing), but most of the industrial talk doesn't really apply to me. Pollan did a great job of giving a panoramic view of all the different approaches to eating in the first world, that's true. But mostly, it was his naturalist's view of things that made his discourse universal and relatable for me.
Also, I've realized I have some very strong and mostly unfair prejudices against hunters. A book that manages to make me change my mind on a particular subject* is a book that deserves 5 stars. Shame on me.
What else? Oh, apparently now I find ecology fascinating, which poses a new TBR list control challenge. F****ck.
*while quoting a lot of Ortega y Gasset, I might add. Ortega FTW!! I went through an Ortega phase when I was like 17, so anyone who quotes Ortega to prove a point instantly gets bonus points with me....more
I'm having a really hard time finding the words for this review.
I think I should start by saying I don't do "inspiring" books, or sports movies of anyI'm having a really hard time finding the words for this review.
I think I should start by saying I don't do "inspiring" books, or sports movies of any kind. I think it's because of the same reason I never give pep talks to patients. I find it sounds corny and fake, and it reeks of self-importance. Which is probably the reason I connected with this book on such a deep level.
After injuring himself repeatedly while running, Christopher McDougall did some research and heard about the Tarahumara, a lost tribe in the Mexican Barrancas del Cobre, who happen to be the world's greatest athletes - they run up to 200 miles in the blistering heat, in handmade sandals, just for fun. He decided to track them down, and eventually was able to contact Caballo Blanco, a mysterious American who has lived among the Tarahumara for years. This ends up leading to a 50-mile race along the Copper Canyons, populated by a band of distance runners so wacky and diverse it seems too good to be true.
Now, this is how the book has been marketed, and that's what happens in it, mostly. But the whole "gonzo reporter finds lost tribe of superrunners and learns their secrets" scenario leaves out the fact that ultrarunning is, actually, a legitimate sport. Well, it's not exactly popular or respected, but it's definitely a thing, even beyond Tarahumara borders. This means that, almost from the beginning, McDougall sets out on a series of apparent detours. The Tarahumara storyline is abandoned for a good part of the book, and instead what ensues is a multilayered, panoramic view on everything surrounding running - the stories of the people who would go on to participate in the Copper Canyon Ultramarathon are intertwined with chapters on vegan diet, evil shoe companies and evolutionary biology.
But the most important thing about it (or, at least, what really makes this book different and real) is that it all happens on the outskirts of the official sports scene. These supermen are the underdogs. There's a feeling of purity and amateurishness to it all, like these people have no expectations put on them, no sponsors, no inherited knowledge to accept or question. They've invented a sport from scratch, and only now are they realizing they're in fact rediscovering a long lost art.
What I mean is, Born to Run reads more like a runner's personal journey of discovery than it does like, say, a special issue of Runner's World. It isn't a testosterone packed instructional book, but a heartfelt ode to endurance and zen running - that beautiful feeling of recovering the awareness of your own body and the boundaries of your own skin.
It's epic joy. EPIC JOY. Can joy even be epic? Anyway, it's pure joy, and it's epic, so it's epic joy.
I have never been so inspired by a book in my whole life. I've rarely been more exhilarated, either. It may actually have changed my life, though it's too soon to tell. For now, this morning I ran barefoot for the first time (4 km, no pain, absolutely LOVED it) and I'm already training for the marathon next April. Half-marathon really, potentially marathon. We'll see....more
I picked this up expecting it would help me gather, organize and extend what little I knew about Buddhism. This book turned out to be rather helpful fI picked this up expecting it would help me gather, organize and extend what little I knew about Buddhism. This book turned out to be rather helpful for that purpose, and as objective as can be expected (considering it's the biography of a man on whom we have very little "biographical" material). I'm not feeling particularly enthralled or "enlightened", but I'm glad I read it....more