Black Man in a White Coat: A Doctor’s Reflections on Race and Medicine

 

Black Man in a White Coat is a very honest and eye opening account of  Tweedy’s personal experiences as a black man working as a medical doctor.  He includes various accounts based on his own personal experiences as a patient and those of his patients as well.  These stories are insightful, well rounded and are adequately used to buttress his points.

This is not a book about race but about various factors that cause inequality and disparities in healthcare treatment of black people.  The author does not blame anyone entity but distributes blame equally both to poverty, the individuals’ poor choices and institutional prejudice and discrimination which has so pervaded our  society. It helps that the author offers suggestions that might start discussions on ways the society could possibly work towards healing.

This book will appeal to anyone looking for unbiased documentaries on racial issues and poverty in our society.

About The Author:

Damon Tweedy, MD

DAMON TWEEDY is a graduate of Duke Medical School and Yale Law School. He is an assistant professor of psychiatry at Duke University Medical Center and staff physician at the Durham VA Medical Center. He has published articles about race and medicine in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and the Annals of Internal Medicine. His columns and op-eds have appeared in the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Raleigh News & Observer, and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He lives outside Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, with his family. Read more

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Poor Little Bitch Girl

Jackie Collins was able to gain some of her readers back with this “show stopper “ of a book – as they term it. Most of her readers compare it to her other titles – “Lucky” and “Chances”.

Personally, I do not feel Poor Little Bitch Girl is as racy and as steamy as her very first ones – “Hollywood Wives” (which got turned into a t.v. series) and “Hollywood Divorces”.

Poor Little Bitch Girl moves back and forth between L.A. and New York. Told from the points of view of three contemporary women in their twenties with occasional input from Collins’ old character – Bobby Santagelo. Collins uses the three female characters – Denver, Carolyn and Annabelle who were friends from high school to portray various female roles in a modern world.

As expected with Jackie Collins’ novels, this story deals with romance, sex, drugs amidst the razzle-dazzle of Hollywood life.

Fast paced, charming, sensational, intriguing, and suspenseful.

If you are familiar with Collins’ novels – Does this cut it for you?

More Info-

Author-Jackie Collins
Title – Poor Little Bitch Girl
Genre: Romance
Publication: 209
Number of Pages: 448
Geographical Setting: Hollywood, New York

Night

I recently revisited one of my old favorites – quite a disturbing and thought provoking piece. Here is my review, please share your thoughts…

Author: Elie Wiesel
Title: Night
Genre: Memoir, Inspirational
Publication: 2006
Number of Pages: 120 pages
Geographical Setting: Europe- Germany
Time Period: 1933-1945

Wiesel writes what seems to be his own autobiography through the eyes of the narrator -Eliezer. We get a first person narrative of events of the holocaust as Elies takes us through the Nazis invasion of Hungary in 1944. To the rude awakening of the Jews, a lot of oppressive and stringent laws are created to oppress the Jews forcing them into the ghettos. From then, there are imposed restrictions and eventual massive deportation of the Jews as prisoners by cattle cars to Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps. On getting to camp, Elie is separated from his father during “selection”. From then on we get a detailed account of the horror, hardship and inhumanity as suffered by Elie Wiesel and his family and the rest of the Jews. Babies are burned in the ditch, hundreds of Jews burned in the crematoria. Prisoners are stripped naked and exposed to extreme weather condition, most people die from malnutrition and disease.
In the end, we see a broken down man, his spirits crushed which causes him to question his faith in God and in his fellow men.
A gut wrenching read, will appeal to those curious about the holocaust.

Here are some read a-likes you might want to check out-

Gratitude by Kertes, Joseph
Schindler’s list by Keneally, Thomas
The jade peony by Choy, Wayson
The diary of a young girl by Anne Frank
Maus: a survivor’s tale by Spiegelman, Art
Holocaust: the events and their impact on real people by Wood, Angela

Memoirs of a Geisha


Enjoy my latest book review!

Title: Memoirs of a Geisha
Author: Arthur, Golden
Publication Date: 1999
Time Period: Japan – 1920s to the 1940s.
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 503

Plot Summary: Arthur Golden weaves a compelling story in this memoir about a poor girl Sayuri sold and taken to the big city and is forced into a kind of life she was totally unprepared for. She finds herself in the world of Geisha, and learns the Geisha trade where she eventually becomes one of the most desired Geisha in Japan. Told from a first person point of view, this book explores in detail the daily life of the Geisha, various stages of the Geisha training, the competitions, and rivalries among the Geisha and the ultimate sale of the Geisha’s virginity. Though leisurely paced, the reader is taken through twists and turns of the plot and is made to feel real sympathetic to the strong willed and determined Sayuri – who decides to go by the wishes of her heart rather than the dictates of the society. You find a lot of cultural elements and language that evokes a strong sense of place that depicts the culture and tradition of the Japanese in a very realistic fashion..

Read a-likes:

My Antonia by Carter, Willa
The whistling season by Doig, Ivan
The commoner by Schwartz, John Burnham

Non-fiction:

Autobiography of a Geisha by Masuda, Sayo
Japanland: a year in search of wa by Muller, Karin
Women of the pleasure quarters: the secret history of the geisha by Downer, Leslie

Memoirs of a Geisha was a compelling and rich story, however I didn’t care so much for the movie – any thoughts?

The Day of The Jackal

I’m currently in this great class – Readers’ Advisory with an awesome instructor – Becky Spratford.  We’ve read quite a bunch of novels and wrote some reviews as well. I’d say-it’s been fun!

I first this title many years back and I have to tell you, I read it again with the same intensity and relish as I did the first time.  This is one of those books you can’t just put down – so be warned!

Skim through this and feel free to add more read a-like titles I might have left out.

Title: The Day of the Jackal
Genre: Thriller
Publication Date: May 2, 2011
Number of Pages: 416 pages
Geographical Setting: Europe – London, France, Germany
Time Period:
1960’s

Plot Summary:

A theme with an urgent matter shrouded in secrecy. The events takes place in the 1960’s Europe – a page turner that keeps you at the edge of your seat. The story unfolds gradually and builds in intensity. A couple of unsuccessful attempts had previously been made to assassinate Charles de Gaulle, President of France by some disgruntled members of the opposition group. Eventually, a decision is reached for a final assassination attempt-which has to be fool proof. An unknown, one man professional killer is hired to do the job. To keep his identity secret, he would take on a code name-The Jackal. Secret meetings are held, payment arrangements made and the killer let loose. As we get a step by step account of how the killer prepares for his job, tension gradually builds up. The government authorities somehow learn of the plot, this then sets off a roller coaster of events, leading to an intense man hunt for the assassin which moves the story at a very rapid pace. The various plans and schemes on how to capture the assassin are shrouded in secrecy making the story all the more suspenseful. As the story progresses, you are nervous as you watch the killer just one step ahead of the police. The book has multiple plots told from an omniscient point of view. This allows the reader to see into the minds of all the characters which adds to the tension. Each chapter ends with a cliff hanger increasing the sense of anticipation. This is a must read for any thriller fan- this book has you on edge the entire time!

Fiction read-alikes:

The Columbus Affair: A Novel by Berry, Steve
Private games  by Patterson, James
The Innocent by David Baldacci

Non –fiction read-alikes:

The murder of King Tut by James Patterson
Kill or Capture by Matthew Alexander