Thanks for the Books

November was a stressful month. The injury that sidelined me for the last half marathon of the season continued to plague me & myself but I pushed through it – ran 70 miles for the month. I don’t think I have ever mentioned this here but…back on January I was a dumbass and agreed to a 1000k challenge. By November 1st I had 267k left to go. I’m now down to 151k. Almost 100 miles. But enough of that. It stresses me out to even think about it.

Here are the books finished for November:

  • Goodbye, Mr. Chips by James Hilton. I thought of this as a short story because it’s less than 100 pages long.
  • Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
  • The City and the City by China Mieville (AB)
  • Advise and Consent by Allen Drury – confessional: I knew that a fictional political book might bore the crap out of me but what I didn’t expect was outright disgust after the election. I couldn’t stomach the contents of Advise and Consent.


  • Then There Were Five by Elizabeth Enright. (AB)
  • Love Songs From a Shallow Grave by Colin Cotterill
  • Toast to Tomorrow by Manning Coles


  • Living Poor by Moritz Thomsen
  • Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn (audio and print)
  • Baby Doctor by Perri Klass
  • The Fifties by David Halberstam

Postscript: it came in too late for me to mention here, but I DID get that Early Review book that I was pining for. I’ll review it next month.

Baby Doctor

Klass, Perri. Baby Doctor: a Pediatrician’s Training. New York: Random House, 1992.

Reason read: November is National Health Month.

Think of Baby Doctor as part memoir, part journal and part collection of essays. Klass starts from the logical beginning, her first night on call as an intern. Fresh out of medical school she finds herself in the neonatal intensive care unit with a three pound baby who can’t breathe. Over the next 300 pages she tells us what it’s like to worry about a young mother’s ability to care for a newborn, what it’s like to watch a patient die, what it’s like to fear the accusation of child abuse in her own home and even, shockingly, what it’s like to be stalked and harassed. As her knowledge progresses and her confidence grows, Klass encounters new challenges such as resident. Klass also addresses heavier topics such as feminism and playing God; when to intervene and when to let nature take it’s course. I found both sections enlightening.

Eye opener: which came firstI can’t imagine what it takes to be a doctor, never mind a pediatrician, charged with caring for ill people children all day. I can’t imagine being a writer, thinking about your next essays at the same time as being a pediatrician, either.

Honest quotes to quote, “I don’t even try to like lost of people” (p 80) and “It is considered bad form to arrive at the destination hospital, leap briskly from the ambulance, and throw up” (p 243). True.

Author fact: Being a doctor wasn’t enough for Perri Klass. She wanted to be a writer as well.She graduated from Harvard Medical School and wrote for the New York Times.

Book trivia: I don’t know what kind of photographs I was hoping for, but they weren’t there either way.

BookLust Twist: from Book Lust in the chapter called “Physicians Writing More Than Prescriptions” (p 185).

Know Your November

I am trying to move into this month without cracking up or breaking down. I’ve lost the run temporarily and even a small interruption sets me back. You know it is with a mental stability that isn’t quite that solid. I don’t want to say anything more than that.

Here are the books. Nonfiction first:

  • Living Poor:  a Peace Corps Chronicle by Moritz Thomsen – in honor of the month Ecuador’s civil war for independence ended.
  • Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life by Jon Kabat-Zinn – (AB) in honor of the holidays and how much they can stress you out. I’m reading this and listening to it on audio.
  • The Fifties by David Halberstam – in honor of finishing what I said I would.
  • Baby Doctor by Perri Klass – in honor of National Health Month.


  • Goodbye, Mr. Chips by James Hilton –  in honor of National Education Week. This should take me a lunch break to read.
  • Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman – in honor of Gaiman’s birth month.
  • Advise and Consent by Allen Drury – in honor of November being an election month (and is it ever!).

Series Books:

  • Then There Were Five by Elizabeth Enright – (EAB = electronic audio book) to continue the series started in September in honor of Enright’s birth month.
  • A Toast To Tomorrow by Manning Coles – to continue the series started in October in honor of Octoberfest.
  • Love Songs from a Shallow Grave by Colin Cotterill – to END the series started in May in honor of Rocket Day.