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All the Light We Cannot See
All the Light We Cannot See
by Anthony Doerr
Edition: Hardcover

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 6 Dec. 2014
This has to be one of the best books of 2014. Simply cannot put it down. Read it!


Beware of Pity
Beware of Pity
by Stefan Zweig
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.19

0 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A pitiful novel., 24 Sept. 2014
This review is from: Beware of Pity (Paperback)
Competently written, but the plot is pathetic and the characters are stubbornly childish. The kind of zero-sum romance that the author stages and relentlessly pursues is unfathomable and frustrates. The extensive monologues of loudly professed self-righteousness, -justification, and -gratification the characters binge on are pitiful and not to be believed, and display an alarming lack of emotional intelligence and problem solving strategies. The premise of the novel is built on, essentially, a farce.


Biochemistry
Biochemistry
by Donald Voet
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £75.99

5.0 out of 5 stars I recommend., 2 April 2014
This review is from: Biochemistry (Hardcover)
A really excellent textbook. I was skeptical when I picked up this tome of a textbook, but it reads so well. Good science textbook writers can be difficult to find but the authors here write in an enthusiastic and active voice, which makes a huge difference for me in terms of making the subject jump out of the page. Voet's Biochemistry gets me involved in the subject, and provides the depth required to understand the concepts. It's not the size of the book that matters but how well it explains.


Clinical Anatomy of the Eye
Clinical Anatomy of the Eye
by Richard S. Snell
Edition: Paperback
Price: £64.34

5.0 out of 5 stars Clearly laid out, 3 Jan. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This book has enough detail to allow me to really grasp, understand, and retain the information. 400 or so pages seemed a lot to read for neuro-ophthalmologic anatomy, but because the subject is logically laid out and clearly written, I actually find it much easier to digest than some of the others I've tried. I am mastering eye anatomy using Snell's Clinical Anatomy of the Eye.


Fitzpatrick's Color Atlas and Synopsis of Clinical Dermatology: Sixth Edition (Fitzpatrick's Color Atlas & Synopsis of Clinical Dermatology)
Fitzpatrick's Color Atlas and Synopsis of Clinical Dermatology: Sixth Edition (Fitzpatrick's Color Atlas & Synopsis of Clinical Dermatology)
by Klaus Wolff
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars A great gem for dermatology, 20 Aug. 2013
This textbook is written with students of medicine in mind - I love the delivery of medical content - lots of figures and tables to illustrate the skin lesions, so I don't have to use my imagination to picture what they look like. Clear and concise explanations that follow logical and clinically relevant headings. For example, I open the chapter on eczema/dermatitis, and I immediately think to myself, "How do you define them apart? What's the difference?" And the first sentence starts with, "The terms eczema and dermatitis are used interchangeably, denoting a polymorphic inflammatory reaction involving the epidermis and dermis". It knows that I'm thinking!


Norwegian Wood
Norwegian Wood
by Haruki Murakami
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exquisite Novel about Puppy Love, Coming of Age, Death, and Living in the Moment., 6 April 2013
This review is from: Norwegian Wood (Paperback)
I love Murakami's exquisite style. He writes like some of the authors he mentioned in the novel - Truman Capote, Scott F. Fitzgerald, John Updike, and Raymond Chandler. Truman Capote and Breakfast at Tiff's happen to be two of my favourites so I felt immediately drawn to the American narrative style used in Norwegian wood. The emphasis on the indifferent and non-chalant nature of Watanabe's character compares to the way Capote describes the protagonist as a no-name writer. It is fallibility and vulnerability of Watanabe that accentuates the themes of the novel. The whole book is essentially recollections about a teenager at crossroads at a particularly confusing period of life. He procrastinates, and is indifferent about letting life passes him by, amidst university life, casual sex, student uprisings, booze, and pop culture in the 1960s Tokyo. Until two girls Midori and Naoko enter his life and he is forced to choose between them, and in the process confront himself, and make the tumultuous transition from teenage adolescence to early adulthood.

Norwegian wood is filled with inevitability, tragedy, nostalgia, and sadness. But it is its simplicity that showcases Murakami's elegant fictional style. He explores deep themes - the meaning of death, suicidality, cognitive memory, psychiatric illness, love, lost, sexuality, longing, freedom, and personal choice. In many ways this novel is as much about the power of being able to choose, as it is about the love story plot itself. Watanabe is not so much choosing between Midori and Naoko, as he is choosing between hanging on to the past versus the present. This novel is about how to live in the present moment. In this sense the entire novel serves as a continuous, meandering metaphor. I suspect this book is a product of Murakami's meditation and musing on perhaps aspects of his past that may be too personal to write in another form otherwise. An attempt to bring closure to a sad memory. It is an apt study of clinical depression, perhaps psychotic depression, conversion disorder, sociopathy, and their rehabilitative processes. It is interesting that Watanabe chose to hang onto Naoko as long as he did - a girl with that amount of emotional baggage I would have avoided like a plague. Hence to an extent this may be a protracted literary journey to bring something to closure. And on its way Murakami takes us on a thought-provoking ride.


The Opium War: Drugs, Dreams and the Making of China
The Opium War: Drugs, Dreams and the Making of China
by Julia Lovell
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.68

6 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Incisive account of China's modern history, 2 Oct. 2012
First of all, reading a London University lecturer's account of the Opium War is probably as impartial as immersing oneself in Maoist propaganda - conflict of interest anyone (if you don't believe, check out the imperialist book collection in places like the SOAS library, with titles like 'how to break up China' in its 19th century collection) - it is meticulously researched yet written in a way I couldn't feel much empathy flowing out of the writer. Overall from reading the book it left me with a feeling of apathy and moral disgust - two nations/civilisations driven further apart through its fractious history with little remorse, and little chance of reconciliation. Just waiting for another chance to rekindle mutual ill-will, such as the tumultuous times right now as China again runs a trade surplus against the US, whilst Euro crisis lingers. It seems if we left things to the historians we should be expecting the next form of mutated and degenerated gunship diplomacy.

Second, I can appreciate the frustration on behalf of the British merchants in the 19th century, having to kowtow to the corrupt late Qing officials whilst Victorian Britain successfully rampaged through Asia and Africa under the guise of missionary christian salvation and imperialism. However, reading between the lines I can also piece together the hard facts about the opium war, and it is hard to morally reconcile with the actions Imperial Britain took - financing its India sovereignty through illegal opium introduction and sell into Canton China. When China cracked down on opium use to stop its people from being ravished by the ill effects of widespread narcotics addiction, the English won the war with its frigates, forcibly legalised opium sell and use in China, then proceeded to enslave a third of world population and turning them into morphine/heroine addicts to reap the profits of its opium monopoly. To justify its own actions, English told its own version of history by asserting that the Chinese themselves are responsible for her opium use because her people are morally weak. Yet, if you think about it, medically, opiates are class 1 addictive drugs as we now know today - I wonder how most nations would fare if morphine and heroin uses by the general public were to be forcibly legalised. There is a reason it is not, and I don't think it is a matter of moral strength. In fact, if you looked at Britain itself, with the size of its own problem with alcohol, cigarettes, benzodiazepines, antidepressants, psychotropics, stimulants, it is hard to justify the implementation of unregulated narcotics use in any nation as a means of reaping profit. I suspect these kinds of actions occurred in the 19th century because nobody had advanced enough pharmacological understanding of opiates. Yet, what is done is done. As indignant as it is, the Opium war has come to serve as an imminent cautionary tale for interactions between East and West.

I am not sure whether I am happier having read more into this distasteful episode of history. Basically a portrayal of the ugliness of human greed and incompetence no matter how you slice it. Though I suspect it pales to what Germans did in the second world war. Sick.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 7, 2014 11:49 AM BST


The Easy Guide to OSCEs for Specialties: A Step-by-step Guide to OSCE Success (Masterpass) (MasterPass Series)
The Easy Guide to OSCEs for Specialties: A Step-by-step Guide to OSCE Success (Masterpass) (MasterPass Series)
by Muhammed Akunjee
Edition: Paperback
Price: £27.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Provides structure for OSCEs, 3 Jun. 2012
Performing well in OSCEs requires a separate set of skills compared to knowing the medicine - you have to be systematic and structured when you approach to patient to do specific tasks. I think this book addresses these issues because it gives you a structure for what you are doing when you are talking to the patient, which is also applicable for other situations. So yes I think this is a valuable book.

For example, I am going through the paediatric counselling section right now - you will find that each osce station is roughly marked out of 30. If you take away the examiner's and actor's subjective marking (5 marks each), each station can be roughly scored out of 20. Out of the 20 marks, 7-8 marks can be attributed to doing a good introduction and closing statements, and the actual content is marked out of 10-12 marks (which means you need to make on average 5-6 points for each counselling station whilst addressing concerns). So it gives you an idea of what you are supposed to do to pass, and to get good marks. It also standardises your introduction and closing statements so you ensure you are off to good starts and ends. Yes this is the smarter way to practise OSCEs compared to loads of memorisation, which I do not prefer.


The Finalists Guide to Passing the OSCE: Clinical Examinations and Procedures (Masterpass Series)
The Finalists Guide to Passing the OSCE: Clinical Examinations and Procedures (Masterpass Series)
by Ian Mann
Edition: Paperback
Price: £26.99

5.0 out of 5 stars To the point, makes you pass., 1 Jun. 2012
I just did the PLAB2 exam and am not feeling good about how I performed.

So I went through the available OSCE texts to see if I can improve on my technique.

This book - it's simple, concise, no fanciful pictures and colours, just bullet points on what examiners are looking for. From quickly going through it I think it is worth reading thoroughly, because like it says when you know what is expected of you, you can go into the exam situation with a lot more confidence. It has all the stations in the practical part of the PLAB exam, including PEFR which came up for me. Take the PEFR for example, I did everything else apart from asking the patient to stand up to do the PEFR. Only got a peak flow of 350, where as other candidates easily got 550 from the patient. What I'm saying is that I think this book can help with those little mistakes that you are just plain not aware of, but will affect your performance. Once you know these tricky parts and what the examiners are looking for, you can go into this exam with a lot more confidence knowing how much you should score.

So yes I am going to read this book, and I 5 starred it.


Quiet Life Tablets 100
Quiet Life Tablets 100
Offered by Greens Pharmacy
Price: £4.88

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't work., 1 May 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Sorry but these tabs didn't work on me. 50mg valerian? How many of these do I have to take to even get to the therapeutic level?
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 5, 2013 5:08 PM GMT


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