RaveThe Boston GlobeBeing Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, Atul Gawande’s masterful exploration of aging, death, and the medical profession’s mishandling of both, is his best and most personal book yet — though a little depressing, until you get to the parakeets ... There’s not much laughter, birdsong, or good news in the rest of Being Mortal, but this book is no lament ... Gawande begins by contrasting the final years of his wife’s grandmother in America with those of his own grandfather in India. These two stories illustrate the central paradox that runs throughout Being Mortal: Sophisticated medical care does not guarantee and often actually prevents a good end of life ... Particularly inspiring are the stories of patients who made hard decisions about balancing their desire to live longer with their desire to live better.
RaveThe Boston GlobeSacks’s empathy and intellectual curiosity, his delight in, as he calls it, \'joining particulars with generalities\' and, especially, \'narratives with neuroscience\' — have never been more evident than in his beautifully conceived new book, On The Move. This meta memoir, in which Sacks reconsiders aspects of his life and work that he’s written about in a dozen previous books, is remarkably candid and deeply affecting ... Sacks offers these revelations neither to titillate the reader nor to castigate himself but, rather, to give a fuller picture of himself as a person and, particularly, as a writer ... On The Move is not a portrait of an era, like, for example, Patti Smith’s Just Kids. It’s an old-fashioned memoir (what used to be called \'memoirs\') in which journal entries, snippets of decades-old conversations, lost jobs, houses, and lovers rearrange themselves through recollection into a new and meaningful whole ... It’s a gift, a message from a writer who, though past 80 and mortally ill, retains the ethos of the handsome stud sitting astride a motorbike on its cover: Stay alive; keep moving.
RaveThe Los Angeles Review of Books... beautifully written, informative, and thought-provoking ... a work of both medical history and medical philosophy, one which invites us to look deeply not just at one organ system or category of disease but more broadly at the relationship of mind to body and art to science ... Jauhar is a gifted storyteller who paints portraits deftly and with few words. He is a master of the verbal miniature ... Jauhar does not delve into the long and damaging history of gender bias in heart disease diagnosis, treatment, and research, a lacuna in this otherwise comprehensive book ... Jauhar’s engaging prose makes us as happy to spend time with him, his patients, and his family as we are to read about William Harvey or heart transplant pioneer Christiaan Barnard.
RaveLos Angeles Review of BooksIt’s easy to see why Sick has been grouped in several reviews with other \'illness manifestos,\' recent books by women who insist on the validity of women’s experiences of and decisions about their own bodies ... But Khakpour is no activist, and Sick is not an illness manifesto. Though Khakpour never abandons her belief that she has chronic Lyme, she doesn’t insist that her readers believe she does. Nor is it necessary to accept the legitimacy of chronic Lyme to embrace Khakpour’s story ... Where Sick differs from most illness memoirs — indeed from most memoirs generally — is that it is not a tale of redemption. Khakpour eschews the arc that takes the memoirist from sick to well or, at least, to enlightened ... As her memoir unfolds, though, Khakpour’s intelligence, humor, and the generosity with which she exposes her vulnerability make us certain that her friends would be eager to help her ... Part of what makes Khakpour so compelling as a narrator is that she rejects the limited menu of identities we usually afford the ill and disabled, in life and in memoirs: brave or pitiful.
RaveThe Boston Globe... The River or Consciousness, a charming and informative new collection of 10 essays that Sacks wrote mostly in the last decade of his life, is longer and more wide-ranging in subject but no less cohesive and satisfying ...this collection is thematically as well as stylistically consistent may not seem obvious at first. Sacks writes with equal passion and precision...he gravitates toward several overarching subjects again and again — memory, perception, the relationship between mind and brain — as if turning them in the light so that readers may appreciate them from different angles ...Sacks peppers this new book with personal reminiscences that offer a vivid portrait of the development of his omnivorous intellectual life ... What really unifies The River of Consciousness is the unique combination of intellectual rigor and childlike amazement, of bookishness and warmth, which characterizes all of Sacks’s writing.
RaveThe Boston Globe...brilliant and deliciously readable new book ... Oshinsky’s admiration and affection for Bellevue is clear...But warm feelings don’t keep Oshinsky from offering the darker side of such heroic episodes ... In this masterful history, Oshinsky reminds us that, like the city it serves, Bellevue always bounces back.
Vincent T. DeVita Jr. and Elizabeth DeVita-Raeburn
MixedThe Boston GlobeDeVita’s moving account of his son’s illness, as well as that of his own recent bout with prostate cancer, help soften what feels, at times, like a litany of criticism.
MixedThe Boston GlobeThough less incisive than it might have been, Black Man in a White Coat still makes an important contribution to the ongoing debate about health care in America.