The anthologist by Nicholson Baker
Collected poems by Donald Justice
A Final Arc of Sky: A Memoir of Critical Care - by Jennifer Culkin
Jennifer Culkin’s affecting and effective A Final Arc of Sky: A Memoir of Critical Care is primarily an account of her experiences working as an emergency flight nurse on board a helicopter (an Agusta A109A for those whirlybird aficionados among you) in the state of Washington. But as we read about her attempts to keep heart attack and trauma victims alive while en route to the nearest hospital, we also gain insights into her personal life and her views on parenting, family relationships, and religion. As difficult as emergency medical care is under the best of circumstances (i.e., in a hospital setting), Culkin helps us see how the difficulty and danger are ratcheted up when you’re 8,000 feet up in the air and several hundred miles from the nearest hospital, working in the cramped confines of a chopper’s cabin. Some of the saddest parts of the book are where she describes the deaths of close friends and co-workers (in helicopter accidents) and her mother’s difficult death. Constantly living with life and death tempers a person, I believe, and Culkin is not only the kind of nurse I think we all dream of encountering when we’re in need of emergency care, but the sort of writer whose words and wisdom we can cherish.
On the face of it, Warren St. John's Outcasts United is the story of a boys soccer team and its female coach, but since the coach is Jordanian and the boys are refugees from a veritable United Nations of countries, it is also a story of immigration. I found St.
In The Color of Lightning, her powerful and moving third novel, Paulette Jiles begins with a real person and, taking the little that is known from the historical record, creates a life for him that illuminates a morally complex time and place in American history--f
J. R. Moehringer's The Tender Bar sets an extremely high bar (pun intended) for memoirs.
If you were to ask me how many words there are in Toni Jordan's satisfying debut novel Addition, I'd check the number of pages, count the number of lines on enough pages and the number of words on enough lines to get reasonably accurate averages, and then multip
Awww shucks. I know that's hardly a usual way to begin a book review, but it was my immediate response to finishing Matthew Quick's heart-warming, humorous, and soul-satisfying first novel, The Silver Linings Playbook.
The Last Flight of the Scarlet Macaw: One Woman's Fight to Save the World's Most Beautiful Bird
by Bruce Barcott (2008)
The main character in Carol Cassella's very readable first novel, Oxygen, is, like Cassella herself, an anesthesiologist in Seattle. Dr. Marie Heaton finds her life gone badly off track when what should have been a pretty routine surgical procedure goes wrong, and eight-year-old Jolene Jansen dies on the operating table. Jolene's mother files a malpractice suit against Marie as well as the hospital, and guilt, grief, and fears about her future as a physician begin to take their toll on Marie. She turns for support and reassurance to her colleague, Dr.
One of the best reasons to give Janet Lee Carey's Dragon's Keep to young teens (especially girls) is that it's a page-turning fantasy filled with well-drawn, three-dimensional characters (both human and otherwise). Because one exciting episode (and chapter) no sooner ends than another one begins, Carey's book would have made a wonderful serial, if only there were a magazine for teens that did that kind of thing.
The Canon: A Whirligig Tour of the Beautiful Basics of Science by Natalie Angier (2007)
The Age of Gold: The California Gold Rush and the New American Dream by H. W. Brands (2003)