April 2021–Part Two

Thank you for joining me here!   I hope you enjoy this series and I’d love to hear from you about what you are reading these days.

Book #1:

Goodnight Nobody by Jennifer Weiner (Length: 400 pages).   I’ve read a few books by this author who is known more for her “chick lit”, but this is her first mystery. The central mystery is well-crafted and interesting enough to keep me turning the pages. What I enjoyed even more (and what I think Weiner is good at) is her depiction of motherhood in a very wealthy neighborhood in Connecticut. My favorite characters in this novel are her spicy firecracker of a young daughter (Sophie) whose one liners made me chuckle and her best friend Jamie, who is Sophie all grown up. This is a cute beach book but I wouldn’t rush out to get it . . . it’s worth a library rental but overall it’s nothing to write home about.

Book #2:

In Shock by Dr. Rana Awdish (Length: 265 pages). This is an excellent memoir of an ICU doctor’s personal journey (over the span of two years) in the ICU (after literally dying in the OR). This is very well-written, with lots of (medically) scary details of her health issues. (She does lose her baby during childbirth so trigger warning here). I think EVERY medical caregiver and professional should read this book as it’s so important to see through a patient’s eyes. Dr. Awdish argues for empathy and better communication between doctors (and nurses) and their patients. She wasn’t aware of these issues until she was a patient, but has the humility to recognize where she went wrong as a doctor (fellow) and actually gives concrete tips at the end of the book to both patients and medical professionals regarding HOW to open the lines of communication and increase compassion between these two groups of people. I personally have had a few aggravating encounters with doctors, and found this book to be SO helpful as a patient going forward on my own medical journey. An example from the book that horrified me was when Dr. Awdish saw a glimpse of her baby on the ultrasound (and recognized the baby’s heart had stopped beating) WHILE Dr. Awdish was bleeding out, and the resident asked her how she saw that, and could she point it out to him. This is a must-read!!

Book #3

Grace & Favor by Caroline Upchur (Length: 411 pages).  This is a family drama set in both London and in the Hamptons, and concerns two sisters split at the birth of the younger sister. The older sister is a very famous semi-reclusive author, while the younger sister is a woman with a family of her own. The writing here is good, with excellent character development. The plot is generated by the sisters eventually meeting and what happens from there. The older sister is NOT likeable (in any way) although the author seems to argue she’s just misunderstood. If likeable characters are important to you, skip this one. (Which you may have to do anyway as this book is incredibly hard to find for some reason . . . I had a copy from a library book sale but I am not seeing it on Kindle, etc.)


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