A frank, thorough read that proves the importance of organ donation.

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Life Goes On

JOURNEY OF A LIVER TRANSPLANT RECIPIENT

A memoirist spares no detail about her life with chronic liver disease.

Jowett was in the eighth grade when her liver first acted up. Her “sick, jaundiced skin and glowing yellow eyes” were symptoms of what would eventually be diagnosed as autoimmune hepatitis, a debilitating condition she would battle well into adulthood. From a small town in Ontario to the University of Victoria to Arizona, Michigan, the Netherlands, and back to Canada, Jowett tried to live a normal life while managing her disease. She built relationships with gastroenterologists at each locale, had monthly blood tests, took lots of medication, struggled with her weight, and handled complicated health insurance issues, but for the most part, life was good. She got married, earned a nursing degree, and had a baby. It was during her second pregnancy that her disease took a dire turn, leading to incapacitating symptoms, hospitalization, and a harrowing birth. For the next six years, she endured worse and worse as she waited to become sick enough for a liver transplant. “My body and mind wanted to fight to live,” she says, “but with each illness I acquired, I felt my physical self become weaker and weaker.” Through it all, she never quit. When finally placed on the transplant list, she had just days to live. In her debut, Jowett doesn’t shy away from the tough stuff. With unabashed honesty, she describes gruesome details about what her body went through. Those unfamiliar with malfunctioning livers will be shocked to learn all the side effects, including an enlarged spleen, gallstones, and others; thankfully, Jowett aptly explains complicated medical procedures and biological workings. She doesn’t always focus on the disease, and many pages recount other anecdotes about her life. There are some interesting stories—how a hypnotist freed her of a needle phobia, life in Europe, etc.—but some details will likely be interesting only to loved ones. Readers learn, for example, that while Jowett was bedridden as a child, she mixed the colors wrong in a paint-by-number kit. Toward the end of the book, several chapters provide background on how organ donation works, with stories of other transplant recipients.

A frank, thorough read that proves the importance of organ donation.

Pub Date: July 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-46-026709-7

Page Count: 296

Publisher: FriesenPress

Review Posted Online: Jan. 25, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2016

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Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

SEVERAL SHORT SENTENCES ABOUT WRITING

New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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