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review 2017-02-03 00:11
Mercy & Mayhem: A Mercy Mares Cozy Mystery - Ava Mallory
  First of the Mercy Mares Cozy Mystery. This sets up the characters and Mercy's profession. It was fun and lighthearted. I enjoyed the mystery although I did not solve it. Being that Mercy is a traveling nurse I'm not sure how some of the characters will be able to remain in the series. I liked Mercy but I loved Nubbin' and Betty. I want to read more of this series to see who stays and who goes.
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review 2017-01-08 14:59
African American and Cherokee Nurses in ... African American and Cherokee Nurses in Appalachia: A History, 1900-1965 - Phoebe Ann Pollitt

When I first read the introduction to this book, I recognized that I was one of those people who just assumed that Appalachia was lily-white. Clearly, I had a lot to learn and this book was a big help.

The style is definitely scholarly, rather than narrative, and few, if any, individuals appear in more than one chapter. Still, it's a quick read and very informative, so I'd recommend it to anyone interested in Appalachia.

Disclaimer: free copy sent in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2015-03-29 16:53
The Nurses by Alexandra Robbins
The Nurses: A Year of Secrets, Drama, and Miracles with the Heroes of the Hospital - Alexandra Robbins
T I T L E: The Nurses- A Year of Secrets, Drama, and Miracles with the Heroes of the Hospital
A U T H O R: Alexandra Robbins
P U B L I S H E R: The Workman Publishing Company
P U B L I S H--D A T E: May 5, 2015
I S B N: 9780761171713
Non Fiction (Adult)

Nursing is more than a career; it is a calling, and one of the most important, fascinating, and dangerous professions in the world. As the frontline responders battling traumas, illnesses, and aggression from surprising sources, nurses are remarkable. Yet contemporary literature largely neglects them. In THE NURSES, New York Times bestselling author and award-winning journalist Alexandra Robbins peers behind the staff-only door to write a lively, fast-paced story and a riveting work of investigative journalism. Robbins followed real-life nurses in four hospitals and interviewed hundreds of others in a captivating book filled with joy and violence, miracles and heartbreak, dark humor and narrow victories, gripping drama and unsung heroism. Alexandra Robbins creates sympathetic, engaging characters while diving deep into their world of controlled chaos—the hazing (“nurses eat their young”); sex (not exactly like on TV, but it happens more often than you think); painkiller addiction (disproportionately a problem among the best and brightest); and bullying (by doctors, patients, and others). The result is a page-turner possessing all the twists and turns of a brilliantly told narrative—and a shocking, unvarnished examination of our healthcare system.


Read review on:

W O R D   G U R G L E 


Source: www.wordgurgle.blogspot.com
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review 2015-02-27 02:37
Heroic Measures - Jo-Ann Power

Gwen defies her aunt and studies to be a nurse. The battle front of WWI needs nurses and doctors and Gwen volunteers to go along with her classmates. They were not prepared for what they found there but push up their sleeves and get to work helping the doctors and healing the wounded.

The WWI era is an underwritten period of history. I am glad to see that some stories are coming out about a significant period of history where society is changed and the expectations of the past can no longer determine the life of a woman. I loved Gwen's courage to stand in the face of her aunt's anger and live her own life as she tries to better it so she can take her sister out of the aunt's household as well as out of the mines. The period feel of the story is spot-on. The horrible conditions in the battlefield comes through strongly. I like how history is given, but not dryly, as we learn of the implementation of mobile surgical hospitals along the front. I also like that the aftermath of the war is looked at as someone needed to begin the clean-up after the Armistice is announced.

The secondary characters are well written. I felt I knew them and how they impacted Gwen's life. Romance is in the story but it is not the main focus of it. The history of army nurses and WWI was well researched. I look forward to the next book in the trilogy.

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text 2014-06-01 19:44
My Continuing Study of How My TBR List Only Gets Longer: Mary Borden, and a Bit on Ebook vs Paper
First World War Poems from the Front - Paul O'Prey
The Forbidden Zone: A Nurse's Impressions of the First World War - Mary Borden,Hazel Hutchison
Nurses at the Front: Writing the Wounds of the Great War - Margaret R. Higonnet
Goodbye to All That - Robert Graves

It starts, like so many of my link-following-book-discovering adventures, with one article:


WWI Anthology Includes Robert Graves Attack on 'scum' Celebrating Victory

Alison Flood, Guardian, 28 May 2014


You should read all of it, because it's interesting what Graves felt he couldn't write about while everyone around him was celebrating. Which is understandable because Graves served in the army and had been injured and left for dead - he took a dim view of people who he felt hadn't seen any of the death celebrating anything to do with the war.


Anyway, this anthology sounds really interesting (First World War Poems from the Front, publisher: Imperial War Museum, out on 15 Aug 2014) - but one segment of this article in particular caught my eye:


The anthology also includes three poems by the American nurse Mary Borden which have only previously existed as handwritten drafts. O'Prey called her "an astonishing poet"; she was independently wealthy but enlisted in the French Red Cross in 1914, funding and running her own military field hospital. Writing of her experience in 1929's The Forbidden Zone, Borden said: "It was my business to know which of the wounded could wait and which could not. I had to decide for myself. There was no one to tell me. If I made any mistakes, some would die on their stretchers on the floor under my eyes who need not have died."


Some quick links for those who like background:


Mary Borden (wikipedia, article apparently in need of more cites)

Mary Borden/maryborden.com (I think that site may be based around a Borden bio)

The Forbidden Zone: A Nurse's Impressions of the First World War (Goodreads link)


This is going to be yet another one of my usual "I know her name, but I forget which history book or article mentioned her" moments. But my reaction is also the usual - "I want to read her book." Then the usual problem - her book seems to be a bit hard to obtain. ...Ok to be fair, hard to obtain in a world where so much is on the internet, available for immediate perusal. My choices are to buy a paper copy (a 2008 reprint) or get a book from the library that has an excerpt of The Forbidden Zone - which is still a book worth noting: Nurses at the Front: Writing the Wounds of the Great War. I'll probably try and get my hands on that one as soon as I can make it to the (one) library branch that has a copy. It's only an excerpt though, and those always make me wonder what's been left out. 



Added Later!:

So just as I finished this I decided to do a bit more googling, and what do you know, somehow I'd missed this link which has the entire text:


The Forbidden Zone by Mary Borden


Of course there's no way for me to tell if that's the complete text, but I think it probably is. That website is about the American Field Service Volunteers (link to main page of the site where the text is located).


I should add here that the sort of stories that those volunteers came back with are often grueling - this wasn't a job for the fainthearted. The fact that many British conscientious objectors went to war as ambulance drivers should be proof that these people weren't cowards. Drivers and volunteers often saw the war as close as any of the front line soldiers. (Aside: I only know about WWI Brit conscientious objectors because I read about them specifically, not sure about elsewhere. Both of the WWs have SO much history involved.)


The further paragraphs of mild-rant still stand though. But it's nice to see that someone has made this particular book available, and I'm really grateful for it. I'm also going to (eventually) read some of Borden's other books that I found online.


Anyway, on with what I wrote previously. Because yes, I'm too busy to work this into the rest - and better to just admit that I hadn't googled it up immediately!



All of this is a great answer to the people who will say that they don't see why everyone can't just make the jump to all ebooks. Granted most of the people I read that say that are over in the design blogs and are working with 600 or less sq feet of apartment - but the idea that since you can get "everything" in ebook form, why should you bother with paper at all? And this is my answer - not everything is in ebook form, unless you only ever read current US authors. Not everything will be digitized - there will always be books you won't find. Mary Borden's Forbidden Zone has been cited in various histories and yet it's not in ebook form. There are countless books that are still used as references in history and literature classes that aren't in ebook form. And there are still tons of paper books that have gone out of print and never been digitized - so your only hope of ever reading them is the library or buying one used. In fact with the many cuts to libraries, you're often more likely to find the book in the used stores online than in a library.


I really hope I'm around long enough to see what happens when the current generation grows up and tries to go back and discover their old ebooks that they deleted and forgot about. (20 or 30 yrs from now?) Will it still be easy to find the ebooks published in the past few decades? I'm pretty sure that 98% will still be in existence (unless something radical happens), but I wonder if there will be some that just aren't accessible anymore. I wonder if many of the ebooks that libraries can lend out won't be available because those older ebooks are too expensive for the libraries to purchase/rent from publishers - unless there's a sudden popular demand for early 2000s lit.


Where I come down in this argument is also a usual spot for me - in the middle. I use both ebook and paper. Partly because I love both formats, but mainly because, again, you just can't get all books in ebook format - especially when it comes to anything published prior to 1970. Many of the history books I've enjoyed will never be something I can get in ebook form - there's just not as much demand for them. Since I don't mind reading used books this isn't a problem. But I keep seeing comments/articles that assume all readers could make the jump to "all ebooks, and only ebooks" as if it was a matter of choice. Nope, that time isn't here yet. 


Meanwhile adding this to my TBR pile reminds me that, while I may have read Robert Graves' I Claudius books, I never have gotten around to his autobiography Goodbye to All That. He apparently goes into some of his bitterness over his experiences in WWI - that link'll give you an idea of its contents.

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