A timely, informed contribution to the ongoing debate over our nation’s health care policies.

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HOPE FOR A COOL PILLOW

A moving argument for the reform of end-of-life care.

In 2010, as her mother declined from dementia, anesthesiologist Overton (Good in a Crisis, 2012) enrolled in a nine-month Executive Education course at the Harvard Business School called Managing Healthcare Delivery. She was searching for answers about the failures of the health care system, particularly about ways in which practitioners treat dying patients. In a patient’s last year of life, she discovered, “nearly one in three had surgery”; in the last month, “nearly one out of five”; and in the last week, “nearly one out of ten….Those are astounding numbers,” she admits, and believes the profit motive—on the parts of drug companies and hospitals—is driving unnecessary and expensive interventions. Patients who undergo such treatment do not live longer than those in hospice, where the cost is about one-third of that in hospitals. Interwoven with her reflections on the Harvard course and her own medical work, the author sensitively recounts her parents’ last years. Her father endured bouts of chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery for metastasized cancer, each time told by physicians that he would not suffer. But he did: “is lying easier than telling people the truth?” Overton asks. “We routinely make people suffer for no clear benefit except to ourselves,” she writes, and communicate in “euphemisms and circumlocutions.” Eventually, her father experienced excellent hospice care, but her mother had a less positive experience. With hospice now “big business,” Overton strongly recommends comparison shopping. She also advocates setting up medical directives, making wishes known to loved ones, and being aware of such organizations as Compassion & Choices and the Final Exit Network. Based on her personal and professional experiences, the author is convinced that neither legislation alone nor the health care industry can solve its complex problems. Capitalism, she concludes has “ruined healthcare.”

A timely, informed contribution to the ongoing debate over our nation’s health care policies.

Pub Date: March 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-937402-90-7

Page Count: 196

Publisher: Outpost19

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2015

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

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)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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MOMOFUKU MILK BAR

With this detailed, versatile cookbook, readers can finally make Momofuku Milk Bar’s inventive, decadent desserts at home, or see what they’ve been missing.

In this successor to the Momofuku cookbook, Momofuku Milk Bar’s pastry chef hands over the keys to the restaurant group’s snack-food–based treats, which have had people lining up outside the door of the Manhattan bakery since it opened. The James Beard Award–nominated Tosi spares no detail, providing origin stories for her popular cookies, pies and ice-cream flavors. The recipes are meticulously outlined, with added tips on how to experiment with their format. After “understanding how we laid out this cookbook…you will be one of us,” writes the author. Still, it’s a bit more sophisticated than the typical Betty Crocker fare. In addition to a healthy stock of pretzels, cornflakes and, of course, milk powder, some recipes require readers to have feuilletine and citric acid handy, to perfect the art of quenelling. Acolytes should invest in a scale, thanks to Tosi’s preference of grams (“freedom measurements,” as the friendlier cups and spoons are called, are provided, but heavily frowned upon)—though it’s hard to be too pretentious when one of your main ingredients is Fruity Pebbles. A refreshing, youthful cookbook that will have readers happily indulging in a rising pastry-chef star’s widely appealing treats.    

 

Pub Date: Oct. 25, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-307-72049-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Clarkson Potter

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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