Archive for May, 2013

LetsTalkDiabetesWithOwls  EverythingisPerfect

I am doing this as a combined book review because both books are hilarious compilations of short stories.  I have been a David Sedaris fan for a really long time and have read all of his books – needless to say Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls was not a disappointment!

Even though this is a combined review, it’s going to be a short review – because all I need to say is that I LAUGHED OUT LOUD MULTIPLE TIMES.  I read most of my books on my eReader on my El ride to and from work, and there were numerous times where I giggled, laughed, guffawed, or had to put my hand over my mouth!

Everything is Perfect When You’re a Liar was just as funny as the new David Sedaris – Kelly’s sense of humor and her use of ALL CAPS in conversations was perfect.  I am always jealous when I read books like this because I wonder how in the world these people experienced these events and met all the different people that gave them the opportunity to write these hilarious stories. If only my life were half as funny!


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The beginning of this book is awesome – the first sentence creates such suspense that there was no doubt that I had to carry on!  While I am generally not a fan of books where people find themselves or find a new sense of purpose, my sister convinced me that I would like this book and so I had to give it a try.  And I am glad that I did!

Wild is the autobiographical story of Cheryl, a woman in her (I believe) late 20’s, who was left bereft after the death of her mother, the scattering of her siblings, and her resulting divorce.  Standing in line at a hiking store, she saw a book on the Pacific Crest Trail (“PCT”) and ended up going back to buy it.  The rest was history!  The book alternates between Cheryl’s difficulties on the trail and her memories of times with her mother or her ex-husband.

The trail stories are, of course, the best part of the book – because Cheryl had a lot of crazy stories to tell!  From meeting different people along the way to her huge and heavy backpack to the supplies she packed and the money she didn’t have, Cheryl definitely had some adventures to write about.  Wild was a fast read and I really enjoyed it.

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What a great book this was! I unexpectedly came across it – I think it was on Amazon while I was looking for other books – and I couldn’t pass it up.  This great novel is the story of “Typhoid Mary” – the first person in America identified as a “healthy carrier” of Typhoid Fever.  Set in NYC in the late 1800’s, Fever follows Mary’s story as she is an Irish immigrant cook in private homes, living with her alcoholic boyfriend.  After emigrating from Ireland as a teenager, Mary lived with an aunt and worked her way up the service ladder to become a successful private cook.  She worked in many rich homes in NYC, and at each house an outbreak of typhoid would soon develop.  Although Mary would help nurse the sick patients to health (or watch some succumb to the disease), she never once caught typhoid herself.  Enter a man from the Department of Health who was tracking the disease, and noticed that Mary was the common link.

Mary could not believe that she, who was healthy as could be, could be causing those people to get sick or die, and so she was taken by force and imprisoned on North Brother Island – where many sick patients went to die.  She was kept in isolation in a little cottage they made for her there.  At one point she got an attorney and there was a trial in which she tried to win her release.  She was ultimately released after 3 years on the island, with the condition that she not cook again, since that was how she was passing along the disease.  But Mary could not live without cooking!  The story is an incredible one and creates a great picture of NYC in that time period.

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