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review 2018-02-07 13:04
The Contadino ★★☆☆☆
The Contadino - Frank J. Agnello

With better editing, this might have been an enjoyable read. There is a good sense of place and history, and the characters are interesting. But it was difficult to get past the frequently shifting tenses, the missing commas, and even a couple of incomplete sentences. These flaws pulled me out of the story multiple times in every chapter.

 

Paperback copy, a gift from my father several years ago, because the setting and historical events reflect our own family’s history of Sicilian immigrants to the USA around the turn of the 20th century.

 

Previous Updates:

2/4/18 - pg 3/472

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review 2017-03-11 19:54
108 Days ★★★★☆
108 Days - Lisa Lindell

“I am appalled. The doctors don’t actually enter the room to examine the patient? They read the chart, full of lies and omissions, and look through the window. Well they can see a nice IV pole when they look in the window. I guess none of the dozens of nurses we’ve told about his face bothered to note in his chart, ‘Wife concerned about disappearing, bleeding face.’ This also explains his eyes. The doctors never bothered to look at the patient, and none of those nurses bothered to write, ‘Wife concerned about melting eyeballs.’"

 

While this book was not a pleasure to read, there was value in doing so, as a health care professional. It provides insight from the family’s point of view into how hospital care is provided, communicated, and coordinated. There is also value in this first-hand account of how dysfunctional family relationships can adversely impact the providers’ ability to communicate and coordinate care. Who should the health care providers talk to? Who can make medical decisions? Wife, mother, father, brother, sister, cousin? Girlfriend? Partner? Without a medical power of attorney, this became a vicious power struggle between family members that medical and hospital staff had to navigate.

 

Since the events of this book in 2003, the acceptance of “patient centered care” as an essential component of health care quality has grown tremendously, and many of the attitudes and barriers that the author encountered are actively addressed, but I have no doubt that patients and families still experience them. We should do better. We must do better.

 

This story also illustrates how impossible it can become to simply manage day-to-day responsibilities when a medical crisis strikes, and what a blessing small kindnesses can be. The author was moved to tears by these practical but unglamorous offers, to mow her lawn, to clean her pool, to babysit her children, a bag of groceries, a paid long-term parking pass for the visitors’ parking lot.

 

I’ll finish with these wise words from the author: “I probably don’t need to state the obvious, but at the very least, everyone needs to have a medical power of attorney. Something like this could happen to you at any time. As Americans, we think we have basic rights and authority. When my husband became incapacitated, so did our rights and so did my authority to protect him.”

 

Previous Updates:

 

23/104: http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1538423/108-days-progress-23-304-pg

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text 2016-09-18 23:08
Unearthly - update: 2/435 pages.
Unearthly - Cynthia Hand

"The first time, November 6 to be exact, I wake up at two a.m. with a tingling in my head like tiny fireflies dancing behind my eyes."

 

"I have the vision again two days later."

 

"That night when Mom gets home she finds me slouched on the couch watching reruns of I Love Lucy."

 

I can't even find the words to express how ragey this use of first-person, present tense makes me. IF THE NARRATOR IS TELLING THE STORY FROM WITHIN THE MOMENT THEN IT MAKES NO SENSE TO PROVIDE PERSPECTIVE THAT THE ACTOR WOULD HAVE WHEN LOOKING BACK TO EVENTS IN THE PAST. 

 

Fuck this shit. Fuck all these books using this stupid writing style. I refuse to read any of it. 

 

And it's really too bad, because I've read enough of this book to tell that the author is a really talented writer. It's as if she originally wrote the book using past tense and some stupid editor told her to change everything to present tense because that's the trendy thing in YA supernatural romance. 

 

This was supposed to be my Supernatural square for Halloween Bingo but I guess I'll have to find something else for it. 

 

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review 2015-10-29 11:13
Ghostly Images: Catch the Spirits by Joe Svehla
Ghostly Images: Catch The Spirits - Joe ... Ghostly Images: Catch The Spirits - Joe Svehla

This book has true stories of ghostly activity in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Many of the stories recounted are stories that were told to the author, but there are some that were the author's own experiences.

It was a good book of ghost stories.

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photo 2015-10-12 02:39
Patti Smith's signature inside my copy of M Train from tonight's event
M Train - Patti Smith

Tonight's event was amazing! Patti Smith is a no frills, down to earth, authentically cool person. She read from M Train (which means Mind Train), signed ticket holders copies, answered people's questions, sang 'Because The Night' with her son on acoustic guitar, but most importantly she gave me hope in the creative process again. She said:

 

"Create because you have to."

 

 

AND

 

 

"The blurbs I write for others are because I liked the book, not because I know the author."

 

 

FINALLY

 

 

"(Laughter) symbolism."

 

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