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Behind the Ether Screen: Memoirs of an Anesthesiologist
Behind the Ether Screen: Memoirs of an Anesthesiologist
by Gabriele F. Roden MD
Edition: Paperback
Price: £2.83

4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but a touch introspective, 1 July 2013
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As a fellow anesthesiologist (as anaesthetists are called in the USA), I was looking forward to reading Dr Roden's book to see if we shared many experiences in common. I finished it with mixed feelings. All her clinical vignettes are well written and readily recognised by any practising anaesthetist, particularly the prickling sense of impending horror as a stable patient under anaesthesia suddenly deteriorates dramatically. However, I suspect that Dr Roden is a little unusual amongst anaesthetists in that she displays quite a tendency to over-analyse and dwell upon incidents that are not that unusual. Generally speaking, anaesthetists are nothing if not practical and pragmatic individuals. That is not to imply that they are unfeeling and insensitive - far from it - but the degree of emotional angst expressed by Dr Roden might have found a more appropriate outlet in psychiatry ( a specialty that she considered joining at one time).

Here in the UK I would be asked to explain myself to hospital management if I chose to openly join patients in prayer, even at their invitation. If I went so far as to contact the close family of a prisoner I had anaesthetised, this would be considered inappropriate behaviour. Reflective practice is to be encouraged, but Dr Roden takes it rather too far in several chapters of the book.

For a medical memoir, rather a large portion of the book is devoted to her childhood and her difficult relationship with her father. By contrast, her time at medical school and her years of residency - highly formative for all doctors - are very scantily covered. She alludes to her husband with no mention of when or where they met or how their relationship had developed.

Nonetheless, despite these reservations, I did enjoy the book and will keep it on my bookshelf. Memoirs of fellow anaesthetists are all too rare and not to be discarded. I hope that Gabriele Roden found the contentment and fulfilment in retirement that she sought.


iGadgitz Red Genuine Leather Flip Case Cover Holder for Samsung i9100 Galaxy S2 Android Smartphone Mobile Phone
iGadgitz Red Genuine Leather Flip Case Cover Holder for Samsung i9100 Galaxy S2 Android Smartphone Mobile Phone
Offered by iGadgitz
Price: £11.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Good product, but needs a better catch, 6 Feb 2013
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This case is solid and looks fantastic. If the release catch at the top of the phone was more easily manipulated, I'd have given it the full 5 stars. As it is, I feel that I have to be really careful when handling it as I get the impression that if I quickly grabbed the release catch, it would either break, or the phone might flip out of the case.


From Medicine to Miracle: How My Faith Overcame Cancer
From Medicine to Miracle: How My Faith Overcame Cancer
by Dr. Mary Self
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Awe- inspiring account of recovery against all odds, 8 Dec 2012
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I bought this book because I remembered Mary Self from her days as a medical student in Liverpool. I didn't know her personally, but she and her prosthetic leg (and the reason for it) were widely recognised and respected throughout the Royal Liverpool Hospital when I was a young trainee doctor. I had not heard of her since, so when I discovered this book accidentally on the Amazon website, I was curious to find out what had happened in the intervening decades. I found her account of her life with the re-emergence of the tumour, subsequent deterioration and eventual logically inexplicable recovery to be utterly gripping. She shares her intensely human emotions with the reader at all times, and even if you can't quite share her level of religious faith, this in no way detracts from the book. The religious side of the writing is never saintly or sanctimonious. Anybody, religious or not, can appreciate the torment she goes through as a young woman who has everything to live for and has to face the appalling prospect of seemingly imminent death. I cannot recommend the book highly enough. I just hope that Mary is still with us, still revelling in family life and the miracle of her recovery.


Two Caravans
Two Caravans
by Marina Lewycka
Edition: Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars Over-hyped, 20 Sep 2012
This review is from: Two Caravans (Paperback)
I enjoyed A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian much more than this book. I found the comic element promised on the cover to be largely overstated, and the quirky mixed -up English as spoken by the migrants gets to be irritating after a while. However,the most valuable part of the book for me was the highlighting of the appalling conditions suffered by British broiler chickens kept in cruelly overcrowded and dirty conditions for their short 5 week life span before being slaughtered to provide us with cheap chicken meat. I will endeavour to buy free range whenever possible as a direct consequence of reading this book.


The Moment
The Moment
Price: £1.89

4.0 out of 5 stars Marvellous book - just persist with it at the beginning, 14 May 2012
This review is from: The Moment (Kindle Edition)
Like many of the reviewers, I eagerly await each Douglas Kennedy book and have never yet been disappointed. I thought that "The Moment" might be the exception to the rule when I first started the book as I found the first 100 pages bordering on turgid, with lengthy geographical descriptions of old Berlin and some rather unusual arcane vocubulary. However, the book then takes off like a rocket and becomes totally gripping in true Kennedy style. I felt that Thomas was rather too hard on himself for his actions on the night of "discovery" - few people presented with the same facts would have acted any differently. Also, given the background circumstances and surveillance, could a happy ending ever have been permitted by others even if Thomas had allowed Petra to explain all? However, all in all a magnificent read - just don't be put off by the very slow start!


Tehran, Lipstick And Loopholes
Tehran, Lipstick And Loopholes
by Nahal Tajadod
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.07

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth at least trying, 3 Oct 2011
I feel that some of the reviews of this book have been unduly harsh. It's true that not an awful lot happens; but the main point of the book is to illustrate just how much Iran is ensnared in suffocating bureaucracy and the small subterfuges that people employ in order to try and get to the desired end point just a tad faster. Passport renewal serves to illustrate the point as well as any other example of daily life. The book provides interesting glimpses into a totally foreign culture in quite an interesting way and does not deserve the heavy criticism of 2 of the previous reviewers.


How To Marry A Ghost: Number 2 in series (Lee Bartholomew)
How To Marry A Ghost: Number 2 in series (Lee Bartholomew)
by Hope McIntyre
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rather disappointing, 29 Nov 2010
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Having read and thoroughly enjoyed Hope Macintyre's first book in this series (How to Seduce a Ghost), I was looking forward to this sequel. I was disappointed to find that the plot was uninvolving and somewhat far- fetched. A good feature of the first book was the insight gained into the psychology of the attraction between Lee and her sometimes exasperating boyfriend Tommy, and I was hoping that this would be explored further in the second book. However, it felt as if material was being repeated rather than developed further. All in all the book's OK, but not up to the standard of the first novel in the series.


Leaving the World
Leaving the World
by Douglas Kennedy
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.39

5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth persisting with, 27 Oct 2010
This review is from: Leaving the World (Paperback)
I must disagree with the reviewers who are disappointed with this book. I look out for every new Kennedy book and agree that some are better than others; but I found this to be one of his very best. I agree that the first 50 pages or so are slow-paced, and the conversations between the literary intelligentsia seem pretentious and hard to digest, but I found that the book picked up dramatically after this and held me gripped right up to the conclusion. I was sorry to reach the end of the book and hope we don't have to wait too long for another book by this author.


Intern: A Doctor's Initiation
Intern: A Doctor's Initiation
by Sandeep Jauhar
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £15.52

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly excellent, 23 Aug 2010
This book is a gripping account of the gruelling life of American newly qualified doctors (interns). As one who survived the British medical working regime of the mid-1980s, there are many resonating points in common with this system, and Jauhar describes a number of clinical scenarios that will be instantly recognised by medical personnel of any nationality. The book should also be readily understood and enjoyed by non-medically trained people as the author explains any medical terms used very well and much of the discussion relates to ethical issues and the general frailty of the human condition. Highly recommended for all.


Down Among the Dead Men: A Year in the Life of a Mortuary Technician
Down Among the Dead Men: A Year in the Life of a Mortuary Technician
by Michelle Williams
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.39

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Only read it if you're healthy!, 9 Aug 2010
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An excellent eye-opening book! Even to a health professional, the mortuary has always been hidden away in a world of its own and this book answers a lot of questions that we all wonder about from time to time (and might not always feel brave enough to face the answers!). Very readable, not at all intrusive or prurient, and highly recommended. Having said that, maybe it's a subject best deferred unless you and your loved ones are entirely healthy, and even then you can never be sure exactly what the hand of fate has in store for you.........


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