Monday, March 31, 2014

What I've Been Reading...or not!

Thought I would share some book that I have read and others that I started and never finished!
The first book is "The Good Nurse." This book was highly recommend and reviewed. I couldn't wait to read it.  I read about a third of the way through and just couldn't take it anymore!!
From Amazon: 
 After his December 2003 arrest, registered nurse Charlie Cullen was quickly dubbed "The Angel of Death" by the media. But Cullen was no mercy killer, nor was he a simple monster. He was a favorite son, husband, beloved father, best friend, and celebrated caregiver. Implicated in the deaths of as many as 300 patients, he was also perhaps the most prolific serial killer in American history.
Cullen's murderous career in the world's most trusted profession spanned sixteen years and nine hospitals across New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Sounds interesting...doesn't it!  But, this guy goes from one hospital to another and NO ONE stops him! He would be working at a hospital and they would want to get rid of him so they would give him decent references and he would get hired at another hospital!  The system made it very easy for this guy to kill his patients. This circle goes on and on and I found the book a nit redundant and not going anywhere.  Some reviews said that the ending is better than the beginning, but I just didn't have the patients to find I moved on to my next hospital book.
This is another book that I couldn't wait to jump into!
From Amazon:
In the tradition of the best investigative journalism, physician and reporter Sheri Fink reconstructs 5 days at Memorial Medical Center and draws the reader into the lives of those who struggled mightily to survive and to maintain life amid chaos.
After Katrina struck and the floodwaters rose, the power failed, and the heat climbed, exhausted caregivers chose to designate certain patients last for rescue. Months later, several health professionals faced criminal allegations that they deliberately injected numerous patients with drugs to hasten their deaths.

Five Days at Memorial, the culmination of six years of reporting, unspools the mystery of what happened in those days, bringing the reader into a hospital fighting for its life and into a conversation about the most terrifying form of health care rationing.

In a voice at once involving and fair, masterful and intimate, Fink exposes the hidden dilemmas of end-of-life care and reveals just how ill-prepared we are in America for the impact of large-scale disasters—and how we can do better.  A remarkable book, engrossing from start to finish, Five Days at Memorial radically transforms your understanding of human nature in crisis.
I did not finish this book, but will go back to it. It is so heartbreaking and frustrating in so many ways. The nurses and doctors stay with these patients during and after Hurricane Katrina and all most all of the hospital staff did not go home to check on their own families, but stayed with these people in need. It gives such an insight on what was happening in the hospital and the terrible communication and response of emergency workers. At times the hospital was directed to "emergency personal" that wasn't even emergency qualified people, just an "operator" of the phone answering service and HE was telling the hospital what to do, when he had NO idea what to do!! The staff does need to make life changing decisions about some of their patients, which is understandable after reading the book. The staff does get arrested for ending patients lives, but I haven't gotten that far. The book does show that an event, just like Hurricane Katrina, took place in New Orleans before and how the "lessons learned" from that event never panned out, because it was a "one time thing."  It is an eye opener how unprepared Americans are for  devastating events.
The next three books are ones that I DID finish!! 
This book was amazing, but I had to put it down several times because it is heartbreaking. 
From Amazon:
Orphaned while onboard ship from Ireland, seven-year-old Lavinia arrives on the steps of a tobacco plantation where she is to live and work with the slaves of the kitchen house. Under the care of Belle, the master's illegitimate daughter, Lavinia becomes deeply bonded to her adopted family, though she is set apart from them by her white skin.
Eventually, Lavinia is accepted into the world of the big house, where the master is absent and the mistress battles opium addiction. Lavinia finds herself perilously straddling two very different worlds. When she is forced to make a choice, loyalties are brought into question, dangerous truths are laid bare, and lives are put at risk. 
I can't say much more than the review...I found that Lavinia saw people for who they where, not by their color or status and that was her downfall and she desperately tries to make things right in such a wrong place.
I did not go see the movie "12 Years a Slave." I have a hard time with such stories. I shared this with my mom and she told me she too, has a hard time with the same subject but went on to tell me,  "I tell myself people lived through years of that treatment. I think I can watch 2 hours of a movie that tells their story."
Makes such amazing sense to me and that it why I read and finished my first book on slavery.
This is a great book!! Don't let the cover fool you!! When I first started reading the book, I thought, this is going to be your typical bad marriage trying to stay together. Oh so not true!! One of the best parts in the book is the epilogue. It tells even further what happens with the characters...SO clever!!
From Amazon:
 Cecilia Fitzpatrick lives to be perfect: a perfect marriage, three perfect daughters, and a perfectly organized life. Then she finds a letter from her husband, John-Paul, to be opened only in the event of his death. She opens it anyway, and everything she believed is thrown into doubt. Meanwhile, Tess O'Leary's husband, Will, and her cousin and best friend, Felicity, confess they've fallen in love, so Tess takes her young son, Liam, and goes to Sydney to live with her mother. There she meets up with an old boyfriend, Connor Whitby, while enrolling Liam in St. Angela's Primary School, where Cecilia is the star mother. Rachel Crowley, the school secretary, believes that Connor, St. Angela's PE teacher, is the man who, nearly three decades before, got away with murdering her daughter—a daughter for whom she is still grieving.
I do love a Stephen King novel, but had waited on reading this for some time. Decided to give it a read due to needing a book that I really didn't have to think about!
From Amazon:
Set in a small-town North Carolina amusement park in 1973, Joyland tells the story of the summer in which college student Devin Jones comes to work as a carny and confronts the legacy of a vicious murder, the fate of a dying child, and the ways both will change his life forever.

This is not your "typical" Stephen King book. It isn't a scary horror story and it doesn't get "weird" at the end. The first 150 pages is building the background and at times it took forever!!! There are things that King spends time on, that really didn't help more the story along and weren't relevant towards the story. About 150-170  pages in, we meet Mike and Annie and then the story did get a bit more interesting. I did hang in there and read the entire book, just because I wanted to know who the killer was...that's why you read a mystery!! I am off to figure out what will be my next read!! 

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