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Kidzdoc Has 20/20 Vision in 2020, Chapter 1

75 Books Challenge for 2020

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Edited: Today, 6:10am Top

Happy New Year, everyone! I was thinking about my reading goals for 2020 last weekend, and in looking at my shelves I realized that there were many very enticing books that have been there for years that I haven't gotten to yet, due to my progressively declining reading output and new, shiny books that have supplanted them. I started compiling lists of fiction and non-fiction books that I wanted to read this year, and while doing so I came up with the idea of choosing 20 books in each category for 2020; hence the (corny) name for this year's thread.

I'll continue to read books written by The New York Times's Black Male Authors for Our Time, along with ones written by Black female authors that were recommended by these men. I'll continue to be the administrator for the Booker Prize group on LT, and I'll follow both the Booker International Prize and the Booker Prize in 2020. My favorite literary prize, the Wellcome Book Prize has, unfortunately, taken a hiatus for at least this year, so I'll read books I own that were finalists for the award that I haven't read yet.


A Lucky Man by Jamel Brinkley
The Tradition by Jericho Brown
My Mother, Your Mother: Embracing "Slow Medicine," The Compassionate Approach to Caring for Your Aging Loved Ones by Dennis McCullough, M.D.

1. Elderhood: Redefining Aging, Transforming Medicine, Reimagining Life by Louise Aronson
2. The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom
3. Volume Control: Hearing in a Deafening World by David Owen

Edited: Jan 4, 3:04pm Top

20 Classic Works of Fiction by Authors from the African Diaspora from the Shelves to Read in 2020

Abyssinian Chronicles by Moses Isegawa
Arrow of God by Chinua Achebe
Beloved by Toni Morrison
The Emigrants by George Lamming
The Famished Road by Ben Okri
The Farming of Bones by Edwidge Danticat
The Fisher King by Paule Marshall
Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin
The Interpreters by Wole Soyinka
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
Maps by Nuruddin Farah
Moses, Man of the Mountain by Zora Neale Hurston
Native Son by Richard Wright
The Palm-Wine Drinkard by Amos Tutuola
Petals of Blood by Ngugi wa Thiong'o
Someone Knows My Name by Lawrence Hill
A State of Independence by Caryl Phillips
Texaco by Patrick Chamoiseau
Train Whistle Guitar by Albert Murray

Edited: Jan 15, 11:02pm Top

20 Non-Fiction Books from the Shelves to Read in 2020

Afropean by Johnny Pitts
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Birth of a Dream Weaver by Ngugi wa Thiong'o
Black and British: A Forgotten History by David Olusoga
Blood in the Water: The Attica Uprising of 1971 and its Legacy by Heather Ann Thompson
Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging by Afua Hirsch
Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America by Beth Macy
Flesh in the Age of Reason: The Modern Foundation of Body and Soul by Roy Porter
Frantz Fanon: A Biography by David Macey
Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud and the Last Trial of Harper Lee by Casey Cep
The Gray Notebook by Josep Pla
How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
Journey to Portugal by José Saramago
The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music by George E. Lewis
Secondhand Time by Svetlana Alexievich
Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi
Volume Control: Hearing in a Deafening World by David Owen ✅
Why Niebuhr Matters by Charles Lemert
The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom ✅

Edited: Jan 4, 3:15pm Top

Black Male Writers for Our Time

Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah: Friday Black ✅
Jeffery Renard Allen: Song of the Shank
Jamel Brinkley: A Lucky Man
Jericho Brown: The Tradition
Marcus Burke: Team Seven
Samuel R. Delany: Dark Reflections
Cornelius Eady: Hardheaded Weather ✅
Percival Everett: Wounded
Nelson George: City Kid: A Writer's Memoir of Ghetto Life and Post-Soul Success
James Hannaham: Delicious Foods
Terrance Hayes: American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin
Brian Keith Jackson: The Queen of Harlem ✅
Major Jackson: Roll Deep
Mitchell S. Jackson: Survival Math: Notes on an All-American Family ✅
Yusef Komunyakaa: The Chameleon Couch
Rickey Laurentiis: Boy with Thorn
Victor LaValle: The Ballad of Black Tom
James McBride: The Good Lord Bird
Shane McCrae: In the Language of My Captor
Reginald McKnight: He Sleeps
Dinaw Mengestu: All Our Names ✅
Fred Moten: The Service Porch
Gregory Pardlo: Digest
Rowan Ricardo Phillips: Heaven
Darryl Pinckney: Black Deutschland ✅
Brontez Purnell: Since I Laid My Burden Down
Ishmael Reed: Juice! ✅
Roger Reeves: King Me
Maurice Carlos Ruffin: We Cast a Shadow
Danez Smith: Don't Call Us Dead
Colson Whitehead: The Nickel Boys ✅
Phillip B. Williams: Thief in the Interior
De'Shawn Charles Winslow: In West Mills
George C. Wolfe: The Colored Museum
Kevin Young: Book of Hours

Edited: Jan 15, 11:01pm Top

Planned reads for January:

Elderhood: Redefining Aging, Transforming Medicine, Reimagining Life by Louise Aronson ✅
If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin
Life on Mars by Tracy K. Smith
A Lucky Man by Jamel Brinkley
Monument: Poems New and Selected by Natasha Trethewey
The Tradition by Jericho Brown
Volume Control: Hearing in a Deafening World by David Owen ✅
The Yellow House by Sarah H. Broom ✅

Edited: Jan 4, 3:06pm Top

Anna, Rachel and I wish to greet you to my new thread!

Jan 4, 3:42pm Top

Happy New Year Darryl! Looks like you’ve got some great reading planned.

Jan 4, 3:47pm Top

Happy New Year Darryl. I look forward to your reviews of the books from your shelves.

Jan 4, 4:13pm Top

Happy new year, Darryl!

Jan 4, 4:23pm Top

Best wishes for 2020!

Jan 4, 4:26pm Top

Happy New Year Darryl and happy reading in 2020.

Jan 4, 4:34pm Top

Happy New year!

Jan 4, 5:07pm Top

Happy New Year Darryl! Very glad to see a 2020 thread from you!

Jan 4, 5:17pm Top

Happy New Year, Darryl! I'm not much one for lists, but yours look really good. Not sure I'll manage it, but I'm thinking of choosing at least one book from each of your lists and reading them this year, not least because my reading of black authors is woefully lacking. (Though I've read and loved books by Jemison, Butler, LaValle, and Ellison.)

Jan 4, 5:23pm Top

Happy New Year, Darryl!

Jan 4, 5:57pm Top

Happy 2020, Darryl!

Jan 4, 6:12pm Top

Happy 2020, Darryl!

>2 kidzdoc: Good list to pick from, I know most of those titles, but have not (yet) read them, might do something about that.

Jan 4, 6:18pm Top

Happy New Year, and happy reading!!

Jan 4, 6:24pm Top

Happy 2020! What's up with the Wellcome Prize? "Pause to reflect?" That's an odd thing to put out there, though it's not the first time they've decided not to award a prize. Strange.

Anyway, glad to see you here in 2020.

Jan 4, 6:25pm Top

Happy 2020, Darryl. Happy reading.

Jan 4, 7:00pm Top

Hi Darryl. Fabulous to see you have posted a thread in the group and I love your thread topper pic, even if it is a reminder that I need to book an eye appointment. ;-)

Best wishes for 2020 and happy reading!

Jan 4, 9:59pm Top

Glad to see you, Darryl, happy reading in 2020!

Jan 4, 11:12pm Top

Another resolution is to keep up in 2020 with all my friends on LT. Happy New Year!

Thought for a terrible moment or two that you weren't going to join us this year!

Jan 5, 3:40am Top

Happy New Year ....

Jan 5, 4:37am Top

Thanks, Rhian, Caroline, Katie, Diana, Bonnie, Anita, Erik, Mary, Roni, Chelle, Ella, Rhonda, Richard, Beth, Lori, Anita, Paul and Alex for your lovely New Year's greetings! I hope that 2020 is a great year for all of you.

>20 richardderus: Right, Richard. The announcement that the Wellcome is "taking a pause" is a bit discomfiting, but for me it isn't worrisome because (1) the Prize's organizers did this once before, (2) the Prize has been a popular one in the UK, and (3) the Wellcome Trust has lots of $$$ (make that £££), so funding of the Prize shouldn't be an issue. I'll feel more comfortable when the structure of the 2021 Prize is announced.

I finished Elderhood earlier this morning, which was both an interesting and eye-opening read, and a slog and a massive disappointment. I'll gather my thoughts about it and write a review later today.

Jan 5, 6:10am Top

Happy reading 2020, Darryl. You have an amazing reading plan.

Jan 5, 6:25am Top

Happy new thread Darryl. I look forward to finding more new books through your reading in 2020.

>26 kidzdoc: As you probably are aware, they are reviewing many of their grant programmes too. A positive thing in terms of thinking about their responsibility for supporting what is often a toxic academic research culture.
I hope they will get positive feedback about the impact of the book prize and recommence next year. I've not seen a call for feedback though - I wondered if you have come across one, Darryl?

Jan 5, 9:26am Top

>27 Ameise1: Thanks, Barbara. I hope that you also have a good reading year in 2020.

>28 charl08: Thanks, Charlotte. I'll look at your thread closely this year for book recommendations as well.

"Toxic academic research culture" indeed. I'm glad that I decided to switch paths from biomedical academic research to medicine; I was an unhappy part-time graduate student and full time research biologist in a lab at NYU Medical Center in the early 1990s when I decided to apply to medical school. I was initially disappointed that I wasn't selected for an interview at NYU School of Medicine, but given the comments made by friends who worked in research labs and went to medical school there I was far better off at Pitt (University of Pittsburgh), a far more nurturing and much less malignant place. I'm also glad that my adviser in residency gave me misinformation and that I did not interview for a position on the faculty of the Department of Pediatrics at Emory, where I completed my residency, and instead was employed by Children's Healthcare of Atlanta as a pediatric hospitalist. I still get the opportunity to work with medical students and residents, without having to deal with the politics and cut throat actions of those trapped in academic medicine, and since I'm employed by Children's rather than Emory my salary is considerably higher as well.

I haven't seen any calls for feedback from the Wellcome Trust about the Wellcome Book Prize; that's a great idea, though. I'll look at the Prize's web site, its Twitter page, and the Wellcome Trust web site for any links or email addresses, and provide my input. Unfortunately the Prize has essentially zero coverage in the US, as my fellow book loving physicians, nurses and APPs (advanced practice providers, i.e. physician assistants and nurse practitioners) have not heard of and do not follow this award.

Speaking of toxic academic culture I'm taking a short break from skimming through Elderhood to collect my thoughts about it, after I finished it just after midnight. I'll post a review of it later this morning.

Edited: Jan 5, 10:39am Top

Looking forward to your thoughts on Elderhood. There were times in the book that I thought she was belaboring a point, then would wonder if there was an angle of view that she could see and I was missing.
Nevertheless, there is good information in there for anyone who is 65 and over or has someone you care about in that age group.

Jan 5, 10:56am Top

Happy New Year, Darryl!

Looking forward to another year of your great reading and reviews.

>26 kidzdoc: "I finished Elderhood earlier this morning, which was both an interesting and eye-opening read, and a slog and a massive disappointment."

Looking forward to this review!

Jan 5, 12:15pm Top

>26 kidzdoc: Yes, I'm looking forward to your review too. I loved Gawande's Being Mortal and had hoped Elderhood would be likewise a good, readable look at end of life living and dying and decision-making.

Jan 5, 12:57pm Top

Hi, Darryl! I just wanted to say that I'm *so* happy you decided to stick with us this year, friend.

Jan 5, 2:18pm Top

Hope you have a great reading year, Darryl!

Edited: Jan 6, 4:23am Top

Book #1: Elderhood: Redefining Aging, Transforming Medicine, Reimagining Life by Louise Aronson

My rating:

Today, a sixty-five year old can expect to live another twenty-five years (half will live longer than that), octogenarians are forty-eight times more prevalent, and "old" includes people two and three generations apart. That's why almost all doctors see old patients. People over sixty-five account for over 30 percent of patients seen in surgery, psychiatry, and neurology, over 40 percent in internal medicine, orthopedics, and emergency medicine, and more than half of patients in cardiology and ophthalmology. All those doctors learned about each other's specialties, and they spent months learning about the care of children and pregnant women, although most don't treat either of those groups. Only a small minority received specific training in the care of old people, and some of that training, even today, isn't really geriatrics at all. Instead, it's traditional education about diseases that occur more commonly with age. Geriatrics isn't just about who is being treated or what diseases they have; it's also about how and where they are cared for and what and who else besides usual medicine and doctors might help their health and well-being.

I first heard about this book while I listened to an episode of Fresh Air with Terry Gross on my local National Public Radio station last year. Dr Aronson is a geriatrician on the faculty of the School of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and because I was fascinated with her comments and insights about the care of elderly patients during the interview I purchased this book shortly afterward.

Louise Aronson was a nontraditional medical student, as she majored in history in an undergraduate college that did not require its students to take maths or sciences. She volunteered in a camp for South East Asian refugees, and observing doctors who worked in the camp was influential in her desire to become a physician. She trained in internal medicine, and her love of older people led her to specialize in geriatric medicine.

Elderhood is a multifaceted reexamination of old age, from the vantage points of not only medicine and science, but also history, anthropology, literature and popular culture. Aronson uses vignettes of patients who have come under her care, and her own elderly parents, to effectively demonstrate the substandard care that many older people receive in the U.S. health care system, and the medical and non-medical interventions that can help them lead better and more productive lives. She also explores the failings of modern medicine and the larger society as a whole in their treatment of the elderly. She notes that medical schools in the U.S. provide very little education about the field of geriatrics to their students, and due to the emphasis on curative over caring medicine, technological and pharmaceutical interventions over patiently listening to the stories of the elderly, subspecialty care over holistic approaches, and the disparity in pay between generalists and specialists, geriatrics is viewed as a far lesser field of medicine by medical faculty, residents, and students alike. As a result there is a severe shortage of geriatricians practicing in the United States, which is a major barrier in ensuring that most older people receive adequate medical care.

She makes a strong case for dividing older people into groups, based on their age (early, middle and advanced old age), similar to the distinctions between infants, toddlers, young children, tweens and adolescents in pediatrics. There is a huge difference between a healthy working 60 year old, a retired 75 year old with chronic but manageable health conditions living independently, and a 90 year old suffering from advanced dementia who is wheelchair bound and living in a nursing home. And, not all elderly people of similar ages are the same. We all know people in their 60s who could run circles around us, and at the same time others of the same age who will likely die soon. Serious illnesses like cancer can quickly transform an active and healthy septugenerian into a markedly aged person, and many of us have watched as a seemingly invincible older parent, relative or close friend transforms into a frail elderly adult in seemingly the blink of an eye.

Aronson describes the barriers she has faced from her immediate supervisors and the UCSF administration in trying to provide care to her patients, and that combined with her growing physical problems led to a severe case of burnout. Her frustrations with UCSF's electronic medical record system and with administrative bureaucracy match those that nearly all physicians face at some point in their careers, but she successfully overcame them and designed a workplace that was both personally fulfilling and beneficial to her elderly patients.

Elderhood is a refreshing, insightful and holistic analysis of the elderly from different disciplines, both within and outside of medicine, and is an excellent addition to written work about this increasingly more important population in Western societies. I was personally somewhat disappointed, though, as I unfairly expected Elderhood to focus primarily on the medical aspects of the care of the elderly, and assist me in caring for my octogenarian parents. The different topics covered in this book made it seem somewhat disjointed, and her repeated insistences that elderly people need to be respected and treated differently by the medical community in particular and society at large was overkill. Despite my criticisms I highly recommend this book to medical professionals, and to those who are or soon will care for elderly parents or relatives, or enter elderhood themselves.

Jan 5, 3:27pm Top

>35 kidzdoc: Good review, Darryl. How does it compare to Being Mortal?

Jan 5, 3:37pm Top

I had better pay attention. I just posted this on your Club Read thread, thinking I was posting it here, then wondered why I didn't see my post here. Hehe...

Thanks for this review, Darryl. This definitely sounds like something I need to read - and it also sounds like something I would *want* to read. I will look for it!

I have also just started Volume Control and so far, it is quite readable, ie, not too much *jargon*. He is a good writer so that helps

Jan 5, 5:06pm Top

>30 tangledthread: I agree that Dr Aronson did overemphasize her opinion that the elderly should be treated with more respect, especially by the medical community. I skimmed the book this morning after I finished it just after midnight, and in doing so I realized that I liked it better than I thought I did. I upgraded my rating of it from 3-1/2 stars to 4 stars, accordingly.

>31 streamsong: Thanks, Janet!

>32 Storeetllr: Thanks, Mary. Elderhood isn't as good a book or is as well written as Being Mortal is, but it's still a very worthwhile read. Atul Gawande is probably my favorite physician writer, past or present, so it would be unfair to expect others to be as good as he is.

Jan 5, 5:08pm Top

>33 scaifea: Thanks, Amber! It's people like you that make me want to stay in this group, for now and the foreseeable future.

>34 thornton37814: Thanks, Lori! I hope that 2020 is a good reading year for you as well.

Jan 5, 5:27pm Top

Great to see you start up your 2020 thread, Darryl! Happy New Year.

Jan 5, 5:42pm Top

>40 cushlareads: Thanks, Cushla! Happy New Year to you and your family.

Jan 5, 5:45pm Top

Was first to "thumbs up" your review! Especially since I never did get around to reviewing it.

Like you, I wouldn't compare it to Being Mortal, but it did remind me somewhat of God's Hotel, maybe because of the emphasis on social and environmental issues.

Atul Gawande favorited over Siddhartha Mukherjee? Hmmmm....

Jan 5, 5:46pm Top

Glad you’re with us again! Just finished up The Water Dancer a couple of days ago. Ta-Nehisi Coates is an amazing writer.

Jan 5, 6:01pm Top

I agree about Atul Gawande, but I'd also add Abraham Verghese to that group, as well.

Jan 5, 6:48pm Top

>35 kidzdoc: Great review!

Jan 5, 7:22pm Top

>43 drneutron: ...and after I wrote this, I saw you already visited my thread... 😀

Jan 5, 8:43pm Top

Here you are at last, Darryl! Happy New Year! I was wondering if you were hiding from us.

Jan 5, 9:29pm Top

>42 tangledthread: Thanks for the thumb, tangledthread! I completely agree with you that Elderhood is much more comparable to God's Hotel than Being Mortal, as both books combine the physician author's medical careers, their interests in holistic medicine, their personal lives, and their nontraditional and laudable views about the practice of medicine in the United States. Speaking of the author of God's Hotel, Dr Victoria Sweet, I found and bought a copy of her second book, Slow Medicine, at Joseph Fox Bookshop in Philadelphia when Dan (dchaikin) from Club Read and I spent a day together last summer. I'll do my best to get to it this year.

Siddhartha Mukherjee is a top notch physician writer, but Atul Gawande still gets my top vote. I've read two of Mukherjee's books, but I've read three by Gawande, along with several of his articles that have appeared in The New Yorker, and a couple of his Op-Ed pieces in The New York Times. I also had the great pleasure of attending Gawande's talk at the Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco in 2003, when he talked about his book Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science. He was a great speaker, who was relaxed, open and very willing to discuss his own mistakes, and he related well to a mixed audience of medical professionals and laypeople. I got to speak to him briefly after the talk, and he was just as friendly and easygoing as he was in front of the podium. As you can probably tell I have a definite man crush on Atul Gawande!

>43 drneutron: Thanks, Jim! I had originally planned to wait to participate in the 75 Books group until later this year, but once I created my first Club Read thread yesterday it was easy to create an identical one here. Unlike past years Club Read will be my primary focus of activity, as there are far fewer members than here, and almost infinitely less chatter, with richer conversations about books. My current Club Read thread is the most active with 38 messages, whereas several people here have already exceeded triple digits! I do enjoy the chatter and the company here, but due to my busy winter work schedule and relative lack of free time I won't be able to keep up with everyone's threads, especially the fastest moving ones.

I think I commented on your thoughts about The Water Dancer, and I definitely wished you a Happy New Year on your thread!

Jan 5, 9:37pm Top

>44 jessibud2: Absolutely, Shelley. Abraham Verghese is definitely in the top tier of physician writers, although I haven't read anything by him in at least a decade.

>45 figsfromthistle: Thanks, Anita!

>46 drneutron: Yes, sir!

>47 cameling: Hi, Caroline! Happy New Year to you, too! I had to work weekdays the past two weeks, and was on call on Christmas and New Year's Day, so I didn't have the time or energy to create a new thread here or deal with the tsunami of posts at the end of December or the beginning of January. (For that matter I still don't.) Until things slow down at work I'll follow a very small number of slower moving threads in this group, but yours will be one of them.

Jan 6, 2:29am Top

Hi Darryl. Stopping by to wish you a Happy New Year.

Jan 6, 4:04am Top

>50 mahsdad: Thanks, Jeff! Happy New Year to you and your family as well.

Jan 6, 8:35am Top

Okay, you win on Gawande. I've only read Being Mortal, will have to look for some of his other books.
Slow Medicine is on my coffee table right now, waiting for me to get through some of my Christmas book haul.

Edited: Jan 6, 9:26am Top

>52 tangledthread: Thanks...but I don't wish to take anything away from Siddhartha Mukherjee, who is a very gifted writer in his own right. The Emperor of All Maladies, Dr Mukherjee's first book, is absolutely brilliant, and is an easy choice for my list of top 10 books on the history of medicine. I've also heard him speak, at a luncheon with other finalists for the 2017 Wellcome Book Prize in London, as he spoke about his second book, The Gene, which was also superbly written. The four speakers were only given 15 minutes to speak, which msde for rushed and stilted talks, including the one given by Sarah Moss, who has become one of my favorite novelists.

I suspect that you'll get to Slow Medicine before I do, so I'll look for your thoughts about it. BTW, I noticed yesterday that the first touchstone for that book goes to a different one, My Mother, Your Mother: Embracing "Slow Medicine", the Compassionate Approach to Caring for Your Aging Loved Ones by Dennis McCullough, who is also a physician. After I looked up the book on Amazon I ordered it, and I plan to read it soon.

Jan 6, 9:37am Top

Happy new year Darryl! I hope it brings you good things in books and in life.

Jan 6, 10:24am Top

>35 kidzdoc: We need to look long and hard at what adding value to society means, and how to make it possible for anyone to do this. *sigh* And then there's that unicorn breeding program....

Jan 6, 1:22pm Top

My favorite physician writer is Siddhartha Mukherjee, but that may be due to the nature and subjects of the books he has written. I have found that he takes a difficult subject, cancer or genetics, and thoroughly explains it in a way I as a lay person can understand, but clearly without dumbing it down. I like Atul Gawande very much, but I see his books as geared toward helping us make difficult decisions, or improving the practice of medicine. I don’t want to say “self-help”, but something like that. I haven’t read either of the Aronson books yet, but I read Slow Medicine last year, which I enjoyed and would categorize along the lines of a medical memoir-her personal and evolving journey on how to best practice medicine.

Jan 7, 1:23pm Top

Belated happy new year and thread, Darryl!

>35 kidzdoc: Excellent review with tons of information.

Jan 7, 3:33pm Top

>5 kidzdoc: >4 kidzdoc: >3 kidzdoc: >2 kidzdoc:
And there's my go-to list for books if I am stuck!!!

I have plans to read the ones on my shelves that have languished for the lure of the shiny new (to me) ones that grab my attention....ah good intentions, right!?

Happy reading!!

Jan 7, 3:55pm Top

Hi Darryl mate, I have just starred you.

Jan 7, 7:34pm Top

>54 Sakerfalcon: Thanks, Claire!

>55 richardderus: Agreed. Unicorn breeding program?!

>56 arubabookwoman: Very good point, Deborah. Mukherjee and Gawande write about different topics, and both do so superbly.

Jan 7, 7:36pm Top

>57 karenmarie: Thanks, Karen!

>58 LovingLit: Hi, Megan! Who was it that said "the road to hell is paved with good intentions?" 😎

>59 johnsimpson: Thanks, John!

Jan 7, 7:47pm Top

My Kaiser doctor yesterday said flu cases spiked by 1400 cases here last week. Hope you aren't seeing that in your area, Darryl!

Jan 7, 7:50pm Top

>62 ronincats: We've been inundated with admissions due to influenza since Thanksgiving; this is my 20th winter working as a hospitalist, and we all agree that this is the worst flu season we've ever seen. Last week I took care of five hospitalized toddlers who had complex febrile seizures due to infections with influenza.

Jan 7, 7:59pm Top

San Diego cases hit 200 a week in the first week of December, over 400 the third week, 1400 the final week, and the figures for the spike my doctor was reporting haven't been posted here yet.

Only 10 deaths so far, at least, and none of them pediatric.
Take care of yourself!

Jan 7, 8:15pm Top

A belated Happy New Year from me, Darryl!

Edited: Jan 7, 8:36pm Top

>64 ronincats: The CDC reports 6.4 million ILIs (influenza like illnesses), 55,000 hospitalizations, and 2900 deaths, with 27 of them occurring in children, throughout the country. Influenza activity remsins high and on the increase, but it seems to be leveling off, according to the latest graph on the CDC web site (https://www.cdc.gov/flu).

>65 alcottacre: Happy New Year to you too, Stasia!

Jan 8, 6:26pm Top

I wanted to let you know that I had a great time in Germany. The Christmas Markets were wonderful and so much fun. I didn't do any LT meetups but I did meet some interesting and helpful people in Germany. It was a good way to spend my Christmas break.

Edited: Jan 9, 6:02am Top

>67 benitastrnad: Sounds great, Benita. I had to work all but two days over the Christmas and New Year's Day "breaks", which left me nearly broken, especially after this past week from hell. Fortunately tonight will be my last night shift, and I'll be off for a week starting early tomorrow morning.

Last night's shift was a relatively quiet one, and I was able to read over 100 pages of The Yellow House by Sarah H. Broom, which is definitely a page turner. I'm nearly halfway through it, and I should finish it this weekend.

Jan 9, 12:53pm Top

Hi Darryl! I'm sad to hear that Wellcome has taken at least a year off. I really enjoy them too, even though I haven't been able to focus on award winners much over the past couple of years. Glad you had a quiet shift!

Edited: Jan 9, 1:35pm Top

>69 The_Hibernator: Same here, Rachel. I'm hopeful that it's just a one year hiatus, especially since the prize took a year off in 2013.

I'm not a night person at all, and since I don't sleep well during the days it makes each night shift more difficult to get through than the previous one. Fortunately I only have to do one of these weeks of nights once a quarter, and, even better, I'll have a week off to recover from them, as it takes me several days to readjust to daytime life.

Jan 9, 4:10pm Top

I don't know how you manage to switch sleeping patterns the way you do, Darryl. I may not suffer from jetlag when I travel and my body appears to automatically adjust to local time upon arrival. But it also means I get sleepy at about the same time wherever I am, roughly 12.30 - 1am local time,and I wake also around 5.30 - 6am local time. I don't think I could manage to sleep during the day sufficiently for me to stay awake all night for a few nights in a row to work.

Jan 9, 6:33pm Top

>71 cameling:
I am the same way. On my recent Europe trip I was awake at 6:30 a.m. the first day and every day after that. I got tired at night earlier than I wanted to, but was awake at the same time even when I got back to Omaha. I sort of like that I do that. It means that I have plenty of time to spend at breakfast with a newspaper and coffee.

Jan 10, 7:19am Top

Woo! I finished my last night shift early this morning, and I'm now off from work for the next seven days, which will mark my longest stretch off from work since September. I'll relax at home in Atlanta, as I won't visit my parents until next month, so I shall party with this stanky leg dancing toddler, then hit the books, and the kitchen to try some new recipes.

My last two call nights were very benign ones, especially given the time of year, and on each of those nights I was able to read over 100 pages of The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom, a memoir set in New Orleans East that won last year's National Book Award for Nonfiction, and deservedly so. I have less than 90 pages to go, so I'll finish it today.

Jan 10, 7:44am Top

>71 cameling: It's definitely tougher to do this at my age that I was when I was a pediatric resident 20 years ago, Caroline. The hardest part of these night shifts, beyond running to snd from our very busy Emergency Department to admit patients, is being responsible for the care of 50-100+ children who are sick enough to require hospitalization, especially since I am familiar with few or any of them. Some of them are very sick and require intensive management and snap decisions on their care, and occasionally we're called to Code Blues on our pstients or other ones on the patient care areas or elsewhere, and we have to resuscitate critically ill children. Deaths in a hospital as large as the one I work in are not unusual, especially since we're a Level 1 trauma center, and our ED routinely provides life saving care to kids at the brink of death in our trauma bays. Thankfully a combination of adrenaline and experience allows all of us to focus on the task at hand, regardless of the time of day and our level of tiredness and exhaustion.

>72 benitastrnad: Nice.

Jan 10, 4:49pm Top

Whoohooooo to your week off, Darryl. I think all you healthcare professionals are superheroes and while capes might be a hazard in your line of work, you should, at least have chest plates ala Superman or Ironman and a cool spandex outfit.

I was watching reruns of Diagnosis: Murder while I was working today, and they make doctoring look so easy and fun.... and clean. Dick Van Dyke never gets any sorts of stains on his white coat and he's never mussed or harassed by evil tempered patient advocates. A far cry from reality, I'm know.

Jan 11, 3:58am Top

>75 cameling: Thanks, Caroline! Huge shout outs are also due to the nurses and respiratory therapists who work in hospitals, who are also running their tails off and skipping restroom breaks and meals during their shifts at this time of the year.

No...your description of Dr Van Dyke is not a realistic one. On the other hand, all of us who work in hospitals have stories that we either keep secret or keep amongst ourselves, as they are too graphic or unbelievable to those who don't work in the health professions.

I have started to write down funny vignettes of my interactions with my sassiest and most adorable patients, and posting them on my Facebook timeline; one of my favorites was a young African American boy who told his nurse "You can't touch this!!!" when she went to access his peripheral intravenous catheter, then proceeded to dance like MC Hammer in his bed while rapping the words to the song. His mother, his nurse and I nearly peed on ourselves as we were laughing so hard!

This is my first "Kidism" from 2020, which happened last week:

Witty quotes from a precocious and sassy seven year old girl who is hospitalized under my care:

1. W. said that the best toy would be a remote controlled dinosaur that eats doctors. I suggested that, if the controller broke, the dinosaur might eat her as well. She replied, "I'm too pretty to die!" Check.

2. W. later said that she was the smartest person in the room, including me and her mother. I told her that I went to school for 20 years before I became a practicing doctor, and she said that she has been in school for longer than that. (Again, she's seven.) When I told her that that was impossible, she replied, "WELL, I'm still in school, so that makes me smarter than you and my mom." Checkmate.

I know when I'm defeated. I accepted a big hug from the prettiest and smartest girl ever, and I'll try to outwit her tomorrow.

Edited: Jan 11, 7:34am Top

Oof. Yesterday was an almost complete blur, as I stayed in my pyjamas all day, slept for 16-18 hours, and only read 20 pages of The Yellow House, which I assumed that I would finish. I'm much more wide eyed and bushy tailed today, so I'll likely finish this outstanding book, which has been a 5 star read so far, before noon, which has been a 5 star read so far, and then start Volume Control: Hearing in a Deafening World by David Owen, which Madeleine recommended to me late last year.

A line of severe weather with strong to severe thunderstorms, hail, gusty winds, and possible tornadoes is supposed to pass through the Deep South today, so I'll lay low and stay indoors.

Jan 11, 7:32am Top

I agree - every person who works in a hospital, doing whatever they do, is amazing: nurses, doctors, custodial staff, admin assistants dealing with stressed family members,...all of them are amazing and should be appreciated way more than they are.

i *love* the patient anecdotes! Adorable!!

Edited: Jan 11, 7:41am Top

>77 kidzdoc: Thanks, Amber! The hospital can be a stressful place for children and parents to be in, especially if the child is seriously or critically ill, and family members can occasionally be cross, irrational, or needy, and those emotions can be transferred to the medical professionals and the ancillary staff that encounter these stressed out families.

I'm glad that you liked that anecdote. W., who truly was one of the smartest and prettiest girls I've had the pleasure to meet, was also the source of what was probably the most unusual text message I've received in my nearly 20 year career as a pediatric hospitalist (my 20th anniversary is on August 1st of this year). I was on long call (8 am to 8 pm) on New Year's Day, and her nurse sent me a text via our secure messaging system during shift change at 7 pm, when the night nurses replace their daytime colleagues. W. asked her to ask me if I could come to her room so that I could give her a hug before I left for the night.

Jan 11, 8:34am Top

>79 kidzdoc: Aw! *heart melted* I love that she's both a spitfire and a sweetheart. Patients like her must go a long way toward making the patience-testing parents worth it...

Edited: Jan 11, 9:27am Top

>80 scaifea: Absolutely. W's parents were very nice to me, but the consultants, nurses and I found them to be a handful to deal with, due to their extreme anxieties; talking to them was the equivalent of having small objects thrown at your head in rapid fire succession from two directions. If W. wasn't my favorite patient that week I wouldn't have enjoyed going to that room.

Jan 11, 9:29am Top

>79 kidzdoc: I expect you'll be telling that story to Access Hollywood Venus Edition when she's the world's first brain surgeon/actress/President of the Planet. I love the energy!

Jan 11, 9:31am Top

>82 richardderus: Absolutely! 😂

Jan 11, 1:31pm Top

Love the anecdotes about W and her family. The patients and parents are lucky to have you, the nurses, and consultants.

Jan 11, 1:35pm Top

Enjoy your week off! Hope all your recipe trials work out well

Edited: Jan 12, 5:01pm Top

>77 kidzdoc: I have a copy of The Yellow House winging its way to me, Mark's warbling set me to ordering it.

Glad you caught up with your kip Darryl, after such intense work periods, that's a necessity. Enjoy the rest of your week off. Back to dancing now >73 kidzdoc:?

Jan 11, 3:22pm Top

>76 kidzdoc: What a cute and sassy girl, is W. And quick too. If she's as chirpy in hospital, I can only imagine what a ball of fun she is to have around when she's not sick. Yup, you've been well and truly defeated by a 7 year old.

So what are you cooking during your week off?

Jan 11, 5:29pm Top

>76 kidzdoc: Thanks for making me smile with that anecdote.

Jan 11, 6:38pm Top

Happy New Year, Darryl! Happy New Thread! I swear, I thought I had been by here all ready. Bad Mark! What do you think of The Yellow House so far? I never did review it but I did some warbling about it, along the way. I thought it was excellent. She is a heck of a writer.

Jan 12, 12:01am Top

Hi Darryl and happy new year! I am looking forward to reading The Yellow House some time in 2020; I look forward to your comments.

>76 kidzdoc: I love the Kidisms. W sounds like a pretty and smart little girl indeed. And it's always good to know when one is defeated. :-)

Enjoy your week off now that you are rested!

Jan 12, 9:08am Top

>84 karenmarie: Thanks, Karen!

>85 ChelleBearss: Thanks, Chelle. My first cooking attempt was, if I may say so, a great success, as the mustard greens I made were nearly as good as my father's.

>86 Caroline_McElwee: I finally finished The Yellow House this morning (5 stars!), after spending most of Friday and a good chunk of Saturday sleeping. I'll write a review of it shortly, before I start my next books.

Jan 12, 9:26am Top

>87 cameling: Right, Caroline. W. reminds me of another former patient of mine, an equally sassy girl who lined up her stuffed attack animals at the foot of the bed and instructed them to devour me (but not the nurses, patient care techs or consultants) upon my entrance to her room. Her mother found and friended me on Facebook, so I'm able to keep up with her daughter's regular activities and frequent scholastic successes.

I'll post a photo and the recipe of the mustard greens I made yesterday in the next message. I was too lazy to make my usual early Sunday morning trip to Publix, so I'll go this evening or tomorrow morning. I saw an enticing recipe for skillet Spanish cornbread, which would be a perfect accompaniment to the mustard greens, so I'll make that tomorrow. Earlier this week I found a recipe for roasted beet & goat cheese salad with wild rice and chickpeas that looked very appealing, and I'll probably make two entrées I've made previously, spicy sardine bucatini, and a vegan carrot and chickpea soup that I mentioned to Chelle yesterday. Today I'll probably make kaddu, an Indian sweet and sour butternut squash, although I'll use an acorn squash.

>88 The_Hibernator: You're welcome, Rachel!

>89 msf59: Thanks, Mark; I thought that you were ignoring me! I'll write a review of The Yellow House shortly.

>90 EBT1002: Thanks, Ellen!

Jan 12, 9:44am Top

One of the longstanding traditions in the Deep South is to make Hoppin' John, blackeyed peas with rice, on New Year's Day, to bring luck, a practice that is thought to have originated from slaves in the Low Country of South Carolina that were brought over from West Africa, but has now been commonly accepted by both black and white Southerners, at least in Georgia. A common accompaniment to Hoppin' John is greens, either collard, mustard or turnip greens; the beans are supposed to represent coins, and the greens banknotes, as the color of U.S. currency is green.

I made Hoppin' John and beet greens on New Year's Day 2019; there were no fresh collard, mustard or turnip greens to be found anywhere in Atlanta after Christmas. The end of 2019 was a different story, though, and Publix, my preferred local supermarket, had a BOGO (buy one get one (free)) sale on its store brand of collard and mustard greens. I bought two 1 lb bags of precut mustard greens, but I was unable to cook them on New Year's Day, as I had to work late that night and I had to make jalapeño cream cheese chicken enchiladas for the New Year's Day potluck at work the night before. My father has made the greens in my family for years, and after getting a basic outline of his method for cooking mustard greens I made a pot of them, putting my own spin on his recipe.

To make these mustard greens I covered 2 ham hocks and roughly 8 smoked turkey neck bones in water in a tall soup pot, and cooked them uncovered for about 45 minutes, letting the pot come to a boil and lowering it to a simmer. I added 1 lb of washed precut mustard greens, a diced large Vidalia sweet onion, and a finely diced red chile pepper to the pot. Once the first lb of greens wilted I added another lb of greens to the pot. I brought the pot again to a boil on medium high heat, then covered it, and lowered the heat to a simmer. I checked the pot after 1 hour, and the greens were cooked to my liking. After tasting the greens and pot liquor I added 1 tsp of sea salt, and they were perfect.

Edited: Jan 12, 11:32am Top

Book #2: The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom

My rating:

In my growing up years, those of us who traveled from the East, that abandoned suburban experiment, into these streets {in the French Quarter} for work were the supporting players, the labor, the oil that fired the furnace, the engine that made the wheel turn, the key that opened the door. I have a deep connection to this city's soil. It grew me. I love much of its rhythm, its ritual as lived by the citizens who make this place. This is the place to which I belong, but much of what is great and praised about the city comes at the expense of its native black people, who are, more often than not, underemployed, underpaid, sometimes suffocated by the mythology that hides the city's dysfunction and hopelessness. If the city were concentric circles the farther out from the French Quarter you went—from the original city, it could be reasoned—the less tended you would be. Those of us living in New Orleans East often felt we were on the outer ring.

New Orleans East (incorrectly labeled East New Orleans in this map) is the newest section of the Crescent City, which is separated from the more populous and better known neighborhoods by the Industrial Canal, its western border and a passageway for ships that connects Lake Pontchartrain, the East's northern border, to the Mississippi River. The East is also bounded by the Intracoastal Waterway to the south, which connects the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico in the southeastern corner of Louisiana, and the Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge to the east, an uninhabitable marshland populated by waterfowl, fish and alligators. New Orleans East is well off the beaten path of not only tourists but also most residents of the city, and unless one works there or has "people" (family or friends) who live in the East there is very little reason to visit.

The East began to gain significant numbers of residents in the 1960s, when developers and politicians touted the former cypress marshland as a "new frontier" that would soon become "the brightest spot in the South, the envy of every land-shy community in America." The creation of the NASA New Orleans East facility during the Space Age was the main driver for the East's development, as houses of varying quality and design were quickly constructed to meet the hyperbolic prediction that 175,000 or more people would move there within a decade. The East was originally planned to be an exclusively or nearly entirely white community, as segregation was still rampant in the city and state, but increasing numbers of African Americans began to move there in the 1980s once the last remnants of Jim Crow were extinguished, leading to white flight to the suburbs. Some very nice neighborhoods remained, particularly in the communities close to Lake Forest Boulevard and Read Boulevard near Lake Pontchartrain and north of Chef Menteur Highway, but areas to the south of Chef Menteur and close to the Intracoastal Waterway fell into progressive disrepair, due to its impoverished residents and the worsening crime experienced throughout the city. Hurricane Katrina in 2005 proved to be a devastating blow to the East, as thousands of houses were severely and irreparably damaged, and many formerly inhabited streets and sections are now bereft of people.

4121 Wilson Avenue is the location of the Yellow House, the shotgun house named for the color of its siding, that the author's mother, Ivory Mae Gant, purchased in 1961 at the age of 19, using money from the insurance policy she received after her first husband died unexpectedly. The street is on the south side of Chef Menteur Highway, with similar shotgun houses on one side and industrial development on the other. Ivory remarried, and Sarah Monique Broom was born to Ivory and Simon Broom on New Year's Eve 1979, months before Simon died of a cerebral aneurysm. By the time of her father's death the house contained a dozen children, with Sarah being the baby of the clan, as her mother never remarried nor allowed another man to touch her.

Sarah left home after high school to attend college at the University of North Texas and UC Berkeley, and after graduation she moved to Harlem to work for O, the Oprah Magazine and as a program director of a radio station in the capital of Burundi, before she returned to Harlem, with infrequent visits back home, as the Yellow House fell into progressive disrepair after her father's death. She was living in NYC in 2005 when Katrina decimated the Yellow House, causing her family to flee the city, and from the home that none of them would ever live in again.

The Yellow House is an autobiography of the author and her maternal family over a century, an account of what happened to her mother and siblings who lived in the house during and after The Water, her name for Katrina, and a reconciliation with the brothers and sisters who she hadn't seen often since her move away from New Orleans. It also casts its gaze on New Orleans East and the city as a whole, as she uses the vantage point of an apartment in the French Quarter, the historical and cultural center of the city, to do her research. It is one of the most interesting, well written and compelling memoirs I've ever read, which was of particular interest to me as I lived in New Orleans for three years while attending college and had close relatives and friends there who were also forced to flee the city after Katrina and have never returned. I have no criticisms of this superb book, which was a worthy winner of the 2019 National Book Award for Nonfiction, and it deserves a 5 star rating from me.

Jan 12, 12:42pm Top

>93 kidzdoc: I banish the t-word carcass leavings from these otherwise ideal greens that I may partake of their scrumminess.

>94 kidzdoc: She was quite a Presence on stage at the National Book Awards ceremony (I watched it online)...towered over LeVar Burton, the host for the evening, and was chilly towards his attempts to offer her a warm hug. It was amusing, if just a bit cringe.

Jan 12, 1:05pm Top

>95 richardderus: Hmph. I suppose it's okay if you left out the smoked turkey neck bones and used ham hocks instead. Neck bones require more work to get to the meat, but the taste is nearly as appealing as ham hocks are to me.

I'll have to look for a video of Ms Broom at the National Awards ceremony. She's close to 6 feet in height, IIRC, so I'm not surprised that she towered over LeVar Burton!

Jan 12, 2:10pm Top

Glad to hear you have some days off work. Enjoy them.

Jan 12, 2:42pm Top

Great review of The Yellow House, Darryl. I'm keeping it on the wish list.

Jan 12, 4:10pm Top

Nice review of The Yellow House. I am going to try to find it at the library.

Jan 12, 4:58pm Top

>35 kidzdoc: I'm interested in your excellent review here Darryl because I'm well, older, but not frail and actually more active than people half my age that I know. But I see some of my friends slowly going downhill in a disturbing way. I want people to know that if you retire with no plan for how you will spend your days you are making a big mistake. I also know how hard it is, at least where I live, to find a good gerontologist. Settling for a family practitioner who really doesn't have the expertise to deal with some of the issues older people suffer from does not work.

>94 kidzdoc: Excellent review of The Yellow House. I hope to get to it soonish.

Jan 12, 6:05pm Top

>93 kidzdoc: That looks absolutely delish, Darryl. Thanks for sharing the recipe... I'm definitely going to make this when I get back from my trip in March.

How did the skillet Spanish cornbread turn out?

Loved your review of The Yellow House....your book bullet has well and truly found a target in me. Off to the burgeoning wish list it goes.

Edited: Jan 13, 6:21am Top

>97 Ameise1: Thanks, Barbara; I shall!

>98 EBT1002: Thanks, Ellen!

>99 banjo123: Thanks, Rhonda!

>100 brenzi: Great points, Bonnie. It seems as though the lives and identities of many physicians are inextricably linked with their profession, and those for whom this is true have a hard time hanging up their stethoscopes and finding other ways to spend their retirement days. I seriously doubt that will be a problem for me, as I have many interests that have nothing to do with medicine, and when I'm on vacation, especially in Europe, I'm happy to not give medicine a second thought. I don't mind talking about my career, but I'd much rather discuss and read books, go to plays, museum exhibitions and restaurants, and listen to other people talk about their personal and professional lives, as I think (or at least hope) my European LT friends would attest to.

There was an article in The New York Times last week about the dire shortage of geriatricians in the US. Let's see...here it is:

Older People Need Geriatricians. Where Will They Come From?

I'm glad that you liked my review of The Yellow House. As I mentioned on my Club Read thread I'll be curious to see how it resonates with readers who didn't grow up in or live in New Orleans, or have any knowledge of New Orleans East. A dear friend of mine from Tulane University, where I was a (wayward) student from 1978-1981, lived in the East, and at least one set of my close New Orleanian relatives moved from Uptown to New Orleans East before they were forced to evacuate after Katrina also destroyed their house. All of my relatives, and my ex-girlfriend and her family, fled New Orleans pre-Katrina, and none of them have returned to the city.

>101 cameling: Excellent, Caroline! Do let me know how it turns out. You're an infinitely better cook than I am, so I'm sure your version will be mind blowing.

I didn't go to Publix as I usually do on Sunday mornings, so I didn't make the Spanish cornbread. I will make it tomorrow or Tuesday, though, and I'll post a photo and the recipe here, and in The Kitchen.

I look forward to your thoughts on The Yellow House when you get to it. I'm glad that you liked my lengthy review of it.

Edited: Jan 12, 8:54pm Top

Happy Sunday, Darryl. Fantastic review of The Yellow House. Thumb! You really nailed it. One of my top NF reads of 2019.

Jan 12, 8:56pm Top

>103 msf59: Thanks, Mark!

Jan 13, 7:10am Top

Happy Monday!

Enjoy your days off :)

Jan 13, 7:12am Top

>105 figsfromthistle: Thanks, Anita! No Work Monday is my favorite day of the week, especially on a rainy Monday morning that I don't have to drive to the hospital.

Jan 13, 7:17am Top

>102 kidzdoc: Don't worry Darryl, I can really testify to your enthusiasm for things outside of medicine, but I think we all can from your thread alone!

Jan 13, 9:46am Top

>107 EllaTim: Thanks, Ella!

Volume Control: Hearing in a Deafening World is a superb book so far. Madeline was right!

Edited: Jan 13, 10:17am Top

>108 kidzdoc: Great that you like it! I felt somewhat consoled by it...as if my future in this hearing world will not continue to be quite so bleak.

Jan 13, 10:21am Top

>109 SqueakyChu: That's great news. I'll almost certainly pass this on to my father, who suffers from tinnitus and hearing loss, when I see them in Philadelphia next month.

Jan 13, 6:12pm Top

I loved The Yellow House too. I liked the NO parts more than her life in NYC and Burundi, though those were interesting too. I find myself drawn to many of the books set in NO that I come across. Have you read anything by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton? I read A Kind of Freedom a couple of years ago, and loved it. She has a new book out this year I haven't gotten to yet.

Jan 13, 7:14pm Top

>111 arubabookwoman: I'm glad that you also enjoyed The Yellow House, Deborah. I agree with you; the parts set in NOLA were the most interesting to me, and it helped that I had been to New Orleans East several times when I lived there, to go to the Lake Forest Plaza, an upscale shopping mall off Read Boulevard, and once or twice to visit the home of a dear friend of mine and fellow Tulane student, who I still keep in touch with.

I haven't heard of Margaret Wilkerson Sexton or her novel A Kind of Freedom. That book sounds very interesting, so I'll look for it; thanks for the recommendation!

Off the top of my head I can only think of two novels that were set in New Orleans, The Axeman's Jazz by Ray Celestin, a superb historical mystery about the Axeman of New Orleans, a serial killer who murdered at least six people in the city in 1918-1919 but was never identified, and, of course, A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole, which most of my Tulanian friends and I read after it was published posthumously in 1980, when I was still a student there.

Jan 14, 9:17am Top

I received Margaret Willkerson Sexton's The Revisioners as a Christmas present. I had never heard of her before receiving the book....haven't read it yet, just the jacket, background etc. and am intrigued.

Rarely to I get books as presents that I haven't requested. I think I'm going to like this new daughter-in-law ;)

Jan 14, 12:41pm Top

My European travel plans for the year are taking shape. I'll visit London from 21-28 March (booked), spend the month of June in Lisbon, go to Edinburgh for the festivals from 12-24 August (booked), and stay in the Netherlands for a few days to visit my Dutch LT friends before I go to Edinburgh or afterward. The Decatur Book Festival just outside of Atlanta will be held from 4-6 September, so I'll meet up with LT and local friends there, as I've done the past two years. I'll probably make at least one additional trip to London in October as well.

>113 tangledthread: Congratulations, tangledthread. I look forward to your thoughts about The Revisioners. Your DIL sounds sounds like a keeper!

Jan 14, 1:14pm Top

>114 kidzdoc: Sounds like you're going to have a busy year!

Jan 14, 1:51pm Top

>115 RebaRelishesReading: Right, Reba. Work hard, play hard.

Jan 14, 2:38pm Top

I finally caught up with you. Your thread is moving quite fast.

How did the beet and goat cheese salad turn out. I baked some beets on Sunday. I put them in the oven to roast and left them there for 6 hours. I didn't even think about them until I got back from the good-bye supper I attended for a colleague. I was sure I was going to find police and fire trucks outside my house and blaring alarms, but I didn't. The beets are a little over cooked, but still usable in my arugula and beet salad.

My current nonfiction book is a winner. It is titled Black in Selma: The Uncommon Life of J. L. Chestnut, Jr. by J. L. Chestnut and Julia Cass. It is written by the first, and for many years, the only black lawyer in Selma, Alabama. It is about the political life of a small town and right off the bat he tells about political power as used in a small southern town. It won the American Bar Association Silver Gavel Award back in 1991 and so far is very good reading. Glad I picked it up.

Edited: Jan 14, 3:20pm Top

>117 benitastrnad: Hi, Benita! I'm less than halfway through my first thread, so I'm moving at a snail's pace compared to the power posters in this group!

I haven't made that beet and goat cheese salad yet. My refrigerator and freezer are still loaded with food, and other than making mustard greens this weekend and another tortilla española yesterday I've been eating leftovers from my freezer, namely West African chicken mafé (groundnut stew), Portuguese seafood stew, and red beans & rice.

I saw an easy recipe for New Orleans barbecue shrimp earlier today, and I'll probably make that for dinner tonight.

Wow...I'm surprised that beets cooked for six hours in the oven had any texture at all!

Black in Selma sounds good. Do let me know what you think of it.

Speaking of Selma I assume you heard the very sad news about my congressman, the civil rights activist and author John Lewis, who announced just after Christmas that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

Jan 14, 4:34pm Top

>114 kidzdoc: That is a lot of travel planned, Darryl.
Glad our small country is included, looking forward to see you again!

Jan 14, 5:43pm Top

>118 kidzdoc:
yes. I heard the news. Here is a quote from the book Black in Selma about John Lewis.

"It would be another twenty years - until 1965 when I saw John Lewis, president of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), eyeball to eyeball with Sheriff Jim Clark - before I would see another black man in Selma as unafraid as John Shields."

In the context of the book, that statement speaks volumes about the courage of John Lewis. Earlier in the book Chestnut says about John Shields, " Shields had discovered something that seemed to free him from fear of white power."

Edited: Jan 14, 8:23pm Top

>119 FAMeulstee: Same here, Anita! I booked an apartment in Edinburgh this morning, as there was a great deal on Hotels.com on a highly rated property close to Edinburgh Haymarket station, and to several essential festival locations, particularly Charlotte Square Gardens, where the Edinburgh International Book Festival takes place. Getting a reasonably priced hotel room or apartment is always the first order of business in planning a trip to Edinburgh in August, and I'll figure out the flights and my accommodations in the Netherlands later. Given my excellent experience staying at the NH Utrecht, the hotel adjacent to Utrecht Centraal Station, in 2018, I'll probably do so again in August.

>120 benitastrnad: Nice quotation about Black in Selma, Benita. Thanks for posting it.

I took a very long late afternoon/early evening nap, so I'll wait until tomorrow to make barbecue shrimp.

Jan 14, 8:37pm Top

>94 kidzdoc: I am excited! My local library actually has that one!

I grew up with an RN for a mother and, when I was at the hospital for my surgery last week, thanked all of the nurses for their hard work. As far as I am concerned, thanks are not nearly enough for all of the dedication that (most) medical professionals instill in their patients. So, thank you, Darryl, for being a hard working doctor with his patient's best interests at heart. Thank you as well for putting up with their parents!

Jan 15, 1:10am Top

I'm finally dropping in on your thread, Darryl. It looks like you are having a good week off reading, cooking and planning your next trips. All things I know you enjoy. That reminds me, I should get back to planning my own trip.

Edited: Jan 15, 6:46am Top

>122 alcottacre: Excellent, Stasia! I hope that you decide to read The Yellow House.

ETA: Thanks! I feel that I get plenty of thanks from parents and families of the hospitalized kids I see, but the nurses don't get anywhere near as much respect, IMO. We have "Catch Me at My Best" cards on every unit, which parents can use to recognize employees who provide excellent service, and I encourage families who praise their nurse — which happens frequently, and far more often than not — to fill out snd submit these forms. As I've said previously hospitals would be unmanageable without strong nurses, and I couldn't work in an environment where I didn't like or respect them. An excellent nurse trumps a mediocre physician any day of the week.

>123 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Meg. Do you have a location in mind for your next trip?

Jan 15, 6:39am Top

FYI: Dan (dchaikin) from Club Read will be hosting a reading of Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellmann, which was longlisted for last year's Booker Prize, starting on March 1. If anyone is interested in joining us please him or me know.

Jan 15, 7:03am Top

Morning, Darryl. Happy Wednesday. I really enjoyed The Revisioners and look forward to reading Sexton's earlier novel. I am just about done, with Dopesick. Another important book and more proof that Big Money has no problem throwing the public under the bus, whenever it is beneficial to them. This is tragic and only a snapshot of rural America.

Jan 15, 7:29am Top

>126 msf59: Happy Wednesday, Mark. I'm glad that you also enjoyed The Revisioners. I look forward to your review of Dopesick, which is one of the 20 nonfiction books I intend to read this year.

I'll finish Volume Control: Hearing in a Deafening World today, and I should complete A Lucky Man by Jamel Brinkley and The Tradition by Jericho Brown by tomorrow.

Jan 15, 7:50am Top

>48 kidzdoc:
My current Club Read thread is the most active with 38 messages, whereas several people here have already exceeded triple digits! I do enjoy the chatter and the company here, but due to my busy winter work schedule and relative lack of free time I won't be able to keep up with everyone's threads, especially the fastest moving ones.

No need to keep up with me Darryl but please stop by once in a blue moon to say hi. If my going too fast is a problem I'll slow down!

>79 kidzdoc: Was a very touching anecdote. I'll bet you were smiling inside and out.

>114 kidzdoc: I might need to come to the UK slightly sooner as I have some issues with Kyran at University and my mum is really quite ill and may not do her usual Phoenix-from-the-Ashes trick this time around.

Jan 15, 8:36am Top

Hi Darryl!

>125 kidzdoc: I got Ducks, Newburyport for Christmas and may be interested in reading it in March (or at least starting it in March as it's almost 1000 pages).

Edited: Jan 15, 8:55am Top

>128 PaulCranswick: Thanks for visiting, Paul!

No need to keep up with me Darryl but please stop by once in a blue moon to say hi.

Uhh...I'm pretty sure I've visited your threads more than you have mine, sir; I posted a comment on your current thread yesterday! I'm patiently waiting for a visit from my good buddy Joe as well.

Yes, I did like that anecdote.

I'm sorry to hear about Kyran's academic difficulties and your mother's failing health. They will both be in my thoughts.

>129 karenmarie: Excellent, Karen! I assume that Dan will create a thread in Club Read for a Ducks, Newburyport group read, and once he does I'll share the link with you.

Jan 15, 2:49pm Top

Hi Darryl! We all understand your busy schedule and why you can't keep up with all the threads. It's just nice to see you on your own thread!

Jan 15, 3:35pm Top

>131 The_Hibernator: Thanks, Rachel!

Edited: Jan 15, 4:16pm Top

I didn't go to Publix and Whole Foods Market as I had originally planned to do this morning, so instead of making skillet Spanish cornbread I made a simplified version of New Orleans Barbecue Shrimp, using a recipe by Chef John from Allrecipes. This Louisiana staple is misnamed, as the shrimp aren't barbecued.

1 1/2 pounds colossal shrimp, EZ-peel type (deveined and shells split down the back)
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon seafood seasoning (such as Old Bay(R)) (optional)
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups chicken stock
lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, or more to taste
2 dashes hot sauce, or to taste
3 tablespoons cold butter, cut into chunks
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
1 sprig fresh rosemary for garnish

1. Peel shrimp and place into a mixing bowl; set shrimp shells aside in a saucepan.
2. Drizzle vegetable oil over shrimp and season with black pepper, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, and seafood seasoning. Mix shrimp to coat with spices and cover bowl with plastic wrap; refrigerate shrimp to absorb flavors, at least 1 hour.
3. Place reserved shrimp shells in saucepan over medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon butter; cook and stir until shells are pink and fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour in chicken stock, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to low; simmer until shrimp shells have given off their flavor, 20 to 30 minutes.
4. Strain shrimp stock through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl and add lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce. Stir to combine.
5. Place a large skillet over high heat until pan is very hot; sear shrimp in the very hot, dry pan until shrimp are browned, about 1 minute per side.
6. Stir 3 tablespoons cold butter, garlic, and minced rosemary into shrimp; cook and stir until shrimp are opaque in the middle and garlic is fragrant, 1 minute. Pour in shrimp stock.
7. Transfer shrimp from skillet to a bowl, using a slotted spoon; reserve sauce in skillet. Bring sauce to a boil and cook until reduced slightly, about 5 minutes. Adjust seasoning to taste. Return shrimp to pan, reduce heat to low, and warm through, about 1 minute. Serve shrimp drizzled with pan sauce; garnish with a rosemary sprig.

I didn't have colossal shrimp; I used a 1.5 lb bag of frozen jumbo Gulf shrimp that I purchased at Publix. Unfortunately I didn't realize that the shells of the shrimp, save for the tails, were removed, so my shrimp stock wasn't as it rich as it should have been. I didn't have fresh rosemary, so I used 1 tsp of dried rosemary flakes instead, and I substituted Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning in place of Old Bay Seasoning. Otherwise I followed the recipe exactly. It tastes very good, but it doesn't come close to the barbecued shrimp I've had in restaurants in New Orleans, and it's far too lemony for my liking. It's not a bad recipe at all, but next time I'll try a more authenic one, such as the one that Emeril Lagasse created.

Jan 15, 4:06pm Top

It tasted too lemony because the rosemary was dried. Rehydrate the flakes in the lemon juice, and double the paprika, if you make this one again.

Also too little garlic, but that's just me thinking that any amount of garlic that isn't cheapest shipped direct to you from Gilroy is too little.

I so loved Ducks, Newburyport! Yay for Dan leading a read.

Edited: Jan 16, 2:51am Top

>134 richardderus: Thanks, Richard. I'll use fresh rosemary next time; if I wasn't feeling under the weather this morning I would have done so. I used six extra large garlic gloves, but a couple more would have been better.

Gilroy...that reminds me of the yumtastic Gilroy Garlic Fries I've had in the past when I went to San Francisco Giants home games at Pac Bell Park (now AT&T Park) a decade or more ago.

Jan 15, 5:46pm Top

>135 kidzdoc: That's a gorgeous blast from the past!

Jan 15, 6:25pm Top

>121 kidzdoc:
I stayed in an excellent hotel on my recent trip to Germany that my sister found on Expedia. The stay was combined with the plane ticket and the two together were most economically priced. Given that it was Christmas and the hotel was four blocks from the Christmas Market it was a bargain. My last two trips to Europe have been done with plane tickets purchased through Travelocity and Expedia, and when combined with the hotels it was bargain priced.

Another thing that kept the trip economical was getting breakfast at the hotel. The recent trip had a full champagne breakfast buffet and I found that a coffee and dessert or pastry at a coffee shop or a bakery in the Subway or Train Station got me all the way through to supper at the Christmas Market.

At my Wine Club meeting two weeks ago we talked about how much cheaper plane tickets are now than they have been in the past. One of the members found some of his household budget books and was struck by the fact that plane tickets to San Francisco were much more expensive in 1988 than they are today. He said even a plane ticket to a conference in Australia was more expensive in 1990 than it was today. Of course, after my recent reading about climate change, and the appearance of Greta Thunberg at the UN, I do admit that I feel a bit guilty about taking a plane to Philadelphia next week. I should be able to take a train.

Jan 16, 1:27am Top

>124 kidzdoc: I already have part of my next trip booked, Darryl. It's a rail tour in Scotland that takes in Islay and Inverary among other places. I just have to decide what else I am doing when I am over there in September.

Jan 16, 1:37am Top

I've now found the chapters on Portugal in In Europa Darryl. So they are there, I just hadn't got to them yet :-)

>138 Familyhistorian: Oh, nice!

Jan 16, 5:28am Top

>133 kidzdoc: & etc I am proud of your efforts in the kitchen Darryl and the passion and honesty with which you describe the successes and qualified successes.

I don't get much time to cook and anyway I have a veritable culinary queen to do so but it is also a hobby of mine too and I like to experiment.

>138 Familyhistorian: If you spend more than 2 hours at one of the Distilleries in Islay you may never get to anywhere else!

Jan 16, 11:20am Top

I am getting ready for the ALA winter conference in Philadelphia. It is January 24 - 27, 2020. I have not yet received conformation that LT will provide the free passes to the exhibits, as they have done in the past, but have made contact with them to find out. So far, I have received no inquiries regarding a meetup, but if anybody reading this thread is interested let me know and I will find a place and we can hang out and talk about what incredible finds we have made on the exhibit floor.

The exhibit floor opens on Saturday, January 24 at 9:00 a.m. and closes at noon on Monday, January 27, 2020. In between are lots of free ARC (Advanced Readers Copies) for both children and adults. As soon as I find out from the LT gods if there will be free passes to this nirvana I will let you know.

Jan 16, 10:16pm Top

>133 kidzdoc: Great recipe. I'm always hungry when I visit here ;)

>135 kidzdoc: I love garlic! I never thought of garlic fries though * Yummy* I must try this soon!

Jan 16, 10:35pm Top

>135 kidzdoc: I would eat those garlic fries in a heartbeat! Personally, I think garlic should be its own food group.

Jan 16, 11:04pm Top

>143 alcottacre: You mean garlic ISN'T a food group?? *puzzled* *perplexed*

Enjoyed the discussion of relative merits of various medical writers. I have dipped into each, and agree that Gawande is the most polished and readily accessible writer for a general reader. Mukherjee has done amazing work in making complex medical topics simpler, but those are still chunksters. Verghese, I read his book about treating AIDS and his novel Cutting for Stone, which I LOVED. That said, I somewhere have gotten the impression that his memoirs are a bit repetitive. I don't know whether I've dipped into them and found them "meh" or whether I've just heard this from a few people. It's been a while since I picked up anything of his. Interesting that each of the three (I think) has a background on the Indian subcontinent?

And I've also become more interested in gerontology as it applies to me personally, as opposed to in general. Now that I sometimes struggle to walk after I've been on my feet for about 4 hours or 4 miles (whichever comes sooner!) with arthritis in my ankles and toes, and with the # of medications I take climbing, I feel I need to know what to expect next. Someone the whole aging thing was kinda theoretical until the last few years.

Today, 8:20am Top

Hi Darryl!

>133 kidzdoc: Unsophisticated cook that I am, I didn’t realize that using shrimp shells to make a broth was a thing. The recipe sounds good to me. I’m partial to lemon with seafood so wouldn’t mind that it’s lemony.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2020

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