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review 2017-10-17 19:38
Carpe Jugulum ★★★★★
Carpe Jugulum - Terry Pratchett

I can’t believe I just finished the last Discworld book in the Witches series. Dammit, why isn’t there more?!? Wait, I think there’s still a couple in the Tiffany Aching stories I haven’t read yet, maybe those count?

 

It didn’t take me long to progress through the first three of the five stages of grief. I may never reach Acceptance, though, because I am really going to miss Granny and Nanny Ogg and Magrat and Agnes/Perdita. Mostly Granny, though. I sure hope she makes some cameo appearances in the other books I haven’t read yet.

 

Carpe Jugulum was fun. So much fun that I mostly blew off watching the ALCS and stayed up waaaay past my bedtime during the work week to finish.

 

Previous Updates:

10/15/17 10/394pg 

10/17/17 337/394pg

 

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text 2017-10-17 12:38
Carpe Jugulum - progress 337/394 pg
Carpe Jugulum - Terry Pratchett

Vampires are not naturally cooperative creatures. It's not in their nature. Every other vampire is a rival for the next meal. In fact, the ideal situation for a vampire is a world in which every other vampire has been killed off and no one seriously believes in vampires anymore. They are by  nature as cooperative as sharks. 

 

Vampyres are just the same, the only real difference being that they can't spell properly.

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review 2017-10-16 00:39
Star Wars Aftermath: Life Debt
Life Debt: Aftermath (Star Wars) (Star Wars: The Aftermath Trilogy) - Chuck Wendig

I have neither the energy nor the desire to review this in depth. My feelings for this book are much the same as my feelings for Aftermath. I still freaking hate Wendig’s writing style. I still like some of his original characters, and I still think they feel awkwardly shoehorned into the galaxy far, far away. And I still think he’s a decent storyteller in spite of his style not being my cuppa, and I still think maybe I’d enjoy this series more if it had nothing to do with Star Wars and wasn't written in third person present tense.

 

The only new impression Life Debt gave me is that Mister Bones is basically becoming the Jar Jar Binks of refurbished murder droids. I don’t remember him annoying me this much in Aftermath.

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text 2017-10-15 16:18
Carpe Jugulum - progress 10/394 pg
Carpe Jugulum - Terry Pratchett

The pointy hat carried a lot of weight in the Ramtops. People talked to the hat, not to the person wearing it. When people were in serious trouble they went to a witch.*

 

*Sometimes, of course, to say, "please stop doing it."

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review 2017-10-15 15:04
Hospice Whispers: Stories of Life ★★★★★
Hospice Whispers: Stories of Life - Rev Dr. Carla Cheatham

A short book and quick read that uses brief vignettes to illustrate some key principles of providing hospice care. The principle audience is chaplains, but I feel it provides good, useful information for all professions, and probably even for lay people who may be looking for ways to support family or friends who are going through an end of life experience.

 

Thoughts:

  • Snippets of science-based knowledge regarding the patient experience and abilities at end of life and through the progression of dementia and how physical changes can impact a person’s ability to perceive and process information and to communicate. Using that knowledge, we can look for ways to help people find peace and contentment at end of life. The focus can shift from what they can no longer really do as they decline physically and cognitively, but to what they can still do.
  • Offers examples of practical tools and techniques to connect with patients and their families
  • Reinforced over and over – we cannot presume to know what the patient and family need. We are not the experts on knowing what their end of life experience should look like. We must be respectful to the ethic of autonomy and dignity that we are called to honor. For some people, it’s physical closeness and prayer. For some, it’s popcorn and games of dominoes. For some, it’s watching TV shows that may include violence and explicit sexual content.
  • Reminder that there may be family history and dynamics that we don’t know about, so do not make assumptions based on the information available to us. We cannot make judgements, determine who is right or wrong, make excuses, or take sides in conflicts. We can only use the information to “be more aware of how the grief process and medical care are being impacted by those patterns”.
  • Reminder that we are not there to “fix”, only to provide support at end of life. Must develop the ability to just “be with ourselves”, not filling up the silence with noise and distractions, so that we can just “be” with our patients, and to “sit with compassionate equanimity” in the midst of another’s spiritual, emotional, or physical pain.
  • Hospice workers must set boundaries and engage in self-care, and bring a healthy and full self to their work, not look to take self-fulfillment from the patients and families that they are there to help.

 

Quote: “Chaplain, if one more kind, loving, well-intentioned, good-hearted person tells me my momma is in a better place, I’m gonna slap the shit out of them!”… I took her hands and said, “On behalf of all the kind, loving, well-intentioned, good-hearted but misguided people who say stupid things, I am so sorry. And when you slap the shit out of them, tell them you have the chaplain’s permission to do so.”

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