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YOUR INSIDE GUIDE TO THE EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT

AND HOW TO PREVENT HAVING TO GO!

Authoritative, illuminating, and calming health care advice.

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A debut manual offers a behind-the-scenes look at hospital emergency departments.

The emergency department of a hospital can be a covert, intimidating place. The aim of this guide written by Voon, a physician trained in emergency medicine, is to demystify the ED. While the author’s slant is specific to Canadian hospitals, this book is likely to be helpful to patients wondering about any ED’s inner workings. Voon very effectively parts the curtains, beginning with an overview of how the ED functions, from triage and registration through medical assessments and treatment. Some of the more informative details in Part 1 are found in the sidebars; they cover myths (for example, being brought to the ED by ambulance does not mean a patient is seen faster), what the numbers on a monitor mean, common medical tests, and more. Part 2 acknowledges arguably the biggest downside of EDs—the wait. Here, Voon empathetically explains some of the reasons there is typically such a long wait, the most critical being the “worst first” strategy: “The main goal of the ED staff is to check for, rule out, and treat potentially life and limb-threatening conditions first.” He also suggests three techniques to reduce anxiety while waiting. In Part 3, the author delivers insights into ED physicians by discussing why they enjoy their jobs. In addition, he provides descriptions of the roles of the staff as well as the basic layout of an ED. All of this detail serves to allay fears of the unknown. Part 4 may be of the most immediate value because Voon shares his assessment of certain serious symptoms and “what we worry about” in the ED. Included in this section is the author’s sensible advice on less acute symptoms and what they might mean, a fairly comprehensive list of over-the-counter medications everyone should have at home, and helpful tips for common conditions. Budding medical practitioners may be especially intrigued by the “maneuvers that are as easy as party tricks to try for problems that sometimes bring people to the ED.” The writing is down-to-earth and the content practical.

Authoritative, illuminating, and calming health care advice.

Pub Date: June 17, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-77-760341-0

Page Count: 162

Publisher: FriesenPress

Review Posted Online: Sept. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2021

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THE BACKYARD BIRD CHRONICLES

An ebullient nature lover’s paean to birds.

A charming bird journey with the bestselling author.

In his introduction to Tan’s “nature journal,” David Allen Sibley, the acclaimed ornithologist, nails the spirit of this book: a “collection of delightfully quirky, thoughtful, and personal observations of birds in sketches and words.” For years, Tan has looked out on her California backyard “paradise”—oaks, periwinkle vines, birch, Japanese maple, fuchsia shrubs—observing more than 60 species of birds, and she fashions her findings into delightful and approachable journal excerpts, accompanied by her gorgeous color sketches. As the entries—“a record of my life”—move along, the author becomes more adept at identifying and capturing them with words and pencils. Her first entry is September 16, 2017: Shortly after putting up hummingbird feeders, one of the tiny, delicate creatures landed on her hand and fed. “We have a relationship,” she writes. “I am in love.” By August 2018, her backyard “has become a menagerie of fledglings…all learning to fly.” Day by day, she has continued to learn more about the birds, their activities, and how she should relate to them; she also admits mistakes when they occur. In December 2018, she was excited to observe a Townsend’s Warbler—“Omigod! It’s looking at me. Displeased expression.” Battling pesky squirrels, Tan deployed Hot Pepper Suet to keep them away, and she deterred crows by hanging a fake one upside down. The author also declared war on outdoor cats when she learned they kill more than 1 billion birds per year. In May 2019, she notes that she spends $250 per month on beetle larvae. In June 2019, she confesses “spending more hours a day staring at birds than writing. How can I not?” Her last entry, on December 15, 2022, celebrates when an eating bird pauses, “looks and acknowledges I am there.”

An ebullient nature lover’s paean to birds.

Pub Date: April 23, 2024

ISBN: 9780593536131

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Jan. 19, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2024

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A WEALTH OF PIGEONS

A CARTOON COLLECTION

A virtuoso performance and an ode to an undervalued medium created by two talented artists.

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The veteran actor, comedian, and banjo player teams up with the acclaimed illustrator to create a unique book of cartoons that communicates their personalities.

Martin, also a prolific author, has always been intrigued by the cartoons strewn throughout the pages of the New Yorker. So when he was presented with the opportunity to work with Bliss, who has been a staff cartoonist at the magazine since 1997, he seized the moment. “The idea of a one-panel image with or without a caption mystified me,” he writes. “I felt like, yeah, sometimes I’m funny, but there are these other weird freaks who are actually funny.” Once the duo agreed to work together, they established their creative process, which consisted of working forward and backward: “Forwards was me conceiving of several cartoon images and captions, and Harry would select his favorites; backwards was Harry sending me sketched or fully drawn cartoons for dialogue or banners.” Sometimes, he writes, “the perfect joke occurs two seconds before deadline.” There are several cartoons depicting this method, including a humorous multipanel piece highlighting their first meeting called “They Meet,” in which Martin thinks to himself, “He’ll never be able to translate my delicate and finely honed droll notions.” In the next panel, Bliss thinks, “I’m sure he won’t understand that the comic art form is way more subtle than his blunt-force humor.” The team collaborated for a year and created 150 cartoons featuring an array of topics, “from dogs and cats to outer space and art museums.” A witty creation of a bovine family sitting down to a gourmet meal and one of Dumbo getting his comeuppance highlight the duo’s comedic talent. What also makes this project successful is the team’s keen understanding of human behavior as viewed through their unconventional comedic minds.

A virtuoso performance and an ode to an undervalued medium created by two talented artists.

Pub Date: Nov. 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-26289-9

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Celadon Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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