A cardiologist shares a wealth of experiences from his 50 years of practice.
Nathan doesn’t just treat people’s hearts; he also puts his heart into his work. In these 45 short anecdotes, he tells about his years as a physician in India, England and America. He eventually settled in Florida, and for the last few decades, he’s tended to the special needs of the elderly. In the first section, “The Art of Medicine,” readers get a glimpse into Nathan’s character when he quotes a few comforting lines from the Bhagavad-Gita to a sick patient, including “Don’t grieve for the living or the departed.”He often returns to the theme of treating patients with compassion, although he believes that patients’ distrust of doctors has increased over the years. Some of the prose is a bit mechanical and choppy (“Mr. Dugan, a sixty-five-year-old somewhat obese businessman, recently retired, and he moved to my hometown, Brooksville”), and it includes many undefined medical terms, such as hepatomegaly and amebiasis. However, Nathan’s authenticity and humanity shine through as he candidly tells of lessons he’s learned from his own clinical and personal experiences, including his own heart attack and kidney transplant. Although a few snippets lack drama, most offer a peek into a world that many readers are unfamiliar with; he shares his frustration at being sued, for example, and tells of how he must constantly balance the delicate relationships among the patient, the patient’s family and the insurance company. He also writes that he feels that his learning is never complete. He includes absorbing stories about a prominent surgeon friend who succumbed to Alzheimer’s; a 23-year-old AIDS patient who asked to be taken off her respirator; and a simple prank among friends that led to death. The book also discusses the differences between India’s and America’s medical practice; in India, Nathan says, doctors still make house calls, as many people avoid the hospital, believing it’s where people go to die. Overall, the author’s sincerity and humility give this varied collection tremendous appeal.
An often insightful memoir about the human side of medicine, from a physician who’s still willing to learn.
Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)
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").