Holy mackerel! It took a little getting into because there was just so much sailing vocabulary I didn't know, but I ended up reading through without sHoly mackerel! It took a little getting into because there was just so much sailing vocabulary I didn't know, but I ended up reading through without stopping (much to my chagrin tomorrow morning, I expect).
Recommended by a patron as this is the 100th anniversary of Shackleton's expedition. A surprisingly fast read and a gripping adventure, plus the added thrill of being a memoir by a man who actually referred to Sir Ernest* as "Shacks."
*("For scientific discover, give me Scott; for speed and efficiency of travel, give me Amundsen; but when disaster strikes and all hope is gone, get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton." says the jacket.) ...more
This came highly recommended by a nurse I know: she's been an NP for 20 years and was a NICU and ER nurse in Baltimore for 19 years before that, so ifThis came highly recommended by a nurse I know: she's been an NP for 20 years and was a NICU and ER nurse in Baltimore for 19 years before that, so if she tells me that a book on nursing is gripping, accurate, and worth recommending to new and aspiring nurses, I believe her (and you probably should too).
It was definitely gripping. I spent a week telling everyone snippets of the (mostly horrifying and funding-related) facts I was learning. Every time I left work exhausted after multiple storytimes, outreaches, difficult desk shifts, whatever, I said (to myself and everyone around me), "If I were a nurse, I'd still have six hours left to work AND I wouldn't have had a lunch break AND I wouldn't have been able to pee AND I probably would have been assaulted! And I definitely would have had to clean up a lot of bodily fluids!" So, perspective. Thanks, book.
The writing was smooth and readable, totally the sort of nonfiction that has a lot of potential readers and is a great one to have in your back pocket for RA. I'm grateful that it ended on a positive note, because mostly it left me feeling terrified of hospitalization, and concerned for nurses and hospital funding everywhere. (Give them adequate staffing and let them pee!) And honestly, the appendix of helpful tips if you're ever in the hospital was so practical and useful that I'm considering photocopying it for future reference. Also, I'm never paying attention to "patient satisfaction" ratings ever, only nurse-patient staffing ratios. Not that I'm likely to be someone with a choice of hospitals, but still.
Many separate thoughts. 1) I bet she scoffed at the saccharine and misleading publisher's blurb. 2) you know how A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is raw and hMany separate thoughts. 1) I bet she scoffed at the saccharine and misleading publisher's blurb. 2) you know how A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is raw and harsh and reminds you that kids are living and surviving in ways that their teachers know nothing about? it feels facile to compare the two because of the setting they share, but the two books really are so similar in tone and feel. 3) I kept marveling that she survived and thrived without being a reader, without books as a primary means of escape or creating space. amazing.
Shelved in YA in my library, but this is a mature memoir in tone and content. a crossover at least. gritty, smart, well done....more
The good: it was certainly readable, though slick. Kept my attention and kept me reading enough that IHm. I imagine this is a fairly polarizing read.
The good: it was certainly readable, though slick. Kept my attention and kept me reading enough that I finished it in just a few days.
Everybody's journey, and everybody's pain, is different, and big to them. I think it's completely legitimate that this family struggled with their son's autism, and that it was genuinely challenging and painful. That said, it is really, really hard to feel deep empathy for parents who are so very privileged and well-resourced. So many folks I know with cognitive/developmental disabilities or ASD, from my time in community-based disability advocacy to working in customer service in the public library to friends' siblings, are dealing with all of this minus the tens of thousands of dollars for specialized interventions and care teams, or trying to deal with it on top of family and neighborhood trauma. The number of kids with autism in Somali families in Seattle is apparently significantly higher than the general population, for example, and those families are often also dealing with a whole host of other challenges, including unstable housing, language and cultural barriers, lack of high-paying jobs with good insurance, and deeply rooted systemic racism. Hard to hold that up against "no famous person wants to come talk for half an hour to the wealthy donors and parents at this special school." I don't think he's flippant or not cognizant of their relative wealth and the massive amount of cultural/class capital the family brings to the endeavor... but it really does create a gulf for me as a reader.
I don't mean to lack compassion or scoff at the challenges they faced. But. I would have liked a little more of Owen's voice and a little less east coast insider culture. ...more
Sweet and inspiring collection: ten short portraits of badass feminist nuns. I have been sold on the awesomeness of nuns since reading my beloved LesSweet and inspiring collection: ten short portraits of badass feminist nuns. I have been sold on the awesomeness of nuns since reading my beloved Lesbian Nuns: Breaking Silence. This one felt more like dishy (tho obvs admiring) magazine articles, but it was certainly effective at communicating its argument that nuns are amazing women doing incredible work in the world. I am completely convinced....more
Well, that was surprisingly pretty good! Yes, parts were problematic, and yes, I'm sure it was heavily edited. Still super strong on voice especially.Well, that was surprisingly pretty good! Yes, parts were problematic, and yes, I'm sure it was heavily edited. Still super strong on voice especially. And I find myself not caring how heavily edited it was since she *did* it all. Much less problematic than I anticipated and pretty good on the life lessons, since it was clearly her growing confidence and bravery, not any superficial beauty regimen (which seems to have had little effect), that worked to make her feel happier. ...more
I feel a little guilty rating this so poorly, because I'm certain that the author is not only a stellar scientist but has a thousand thrilling storiesI feel a little guilty rating this so poorly, because I'm certain that the author is not only a stellar scientist but has a thousand thrilling stories to tell. But gosh, she is a clunky writer. I don't even understand how it's possible to make such a fascinating topic dull, unless it's the complete lack of narrative or cohesive storytelling.
If she came out with a ghostwritten memoir, though, I'd read it in a heartbeat! ...more
Hm. This was fascinating and very readable armchair science... but I'm pretty skeptical about the "science" part, like how science-y it actually was.Hm. This was fascinating and very readable armchair science... but I'm pretty skeptical about the "science" part, like how science-y it actually was. But hey, it gave me some things to think about and maybe do differently with the kiddos! ...more