This is something new and a bit different for me. I recently decided I wanted to start reading again and demanded a serious book haul for Christmas to instill that long lost feeling of reading all day and doing nothing else. If anything, I figured it might help keep my cognition up, as the brain fog from my POTS is practically a disability at this point. So this is an attempt to get my brain back.
I signed up for Goodreads at the start of the year and set a goal of 30 books for the year. How am I doing so far? 3/30 completed, a fourth started but not finished in January. Not bad, if I do say so myself.
First up, a book I requested for Christmas, The Humans by Matt Haig. Basically, an alien from a highly advanced race comes to earth to kill the human, a Professor Andrew Martin, who is responsible for solving the Riemann Hypothesis. This knowledge would have given humans access to advanced forms of technology they probably weren’t quite ready to handle. Our alien takes on the physical shape of Andrew Martin, destroys the evidence, and hilariously has to adapt to living with the Martin family on Earth, which is apparently one of the worst planets in the universe to inhabit, all the while keeping his true identity a secret. But when destroying all the evidence involves killing Andrew Martin’s wife and teenage son, can our alien protagonist follow through with his orders?
I adored this book, and it was a quick read at 278 pages. I gave it a 5 star rating on Goodreads.
Next, also a book I requested for Christmas, a medical memoir of a paramedic at the infamous Grady Hospital in Atlanta entitled A Thousand Naked Strangers, an apt title if you understand medicine and the way it works. The author, former paramedic Kevin Hazzard, takes the reader through his time spent in EMT school, working as an EMT, then finally going through paramedic school and becoming a full-fledged paramedic at the aforementioned Grady Hospital. We follow along on his ambulance as he goes through several stages of being that all paramedics seem to go through, all the way until the end.
I enjoyed this book quite a lot, especially working in the medical field myself. Also a quick read at 261 pages, I gave it a 4 star rating on Goodreads.
When I opened Lilac Girls on Christmas morning, I was surprised and elated at the sheer size of it. It was printed in a style where the end of the pages aren’t cut the same, making it seem more like a manuscript. I love that! This is a historical fiction novel based largely in historical fact. The main characters, including Caroline Ferriday and Herta Oberheuser were real people. The characters of Kasia and Zuzanna were based upon actual prisoners at Ravensbruck, which was Hitler’s only concentration camp for women. Despite being a fictional novel, there is enough basis in true events, such as the medical experiments performed on the female prisoners known as “Rabbits” that this book is not for the faint of heart. However, if you want to know about history and why it should never be allowed to repeat itself, given our own present circumstances, then give this one a read.
I gave this one a solid 4 stars on Goodreads. One of the characters seemed a bit unbelievable and irksome and it bothered me throughout the whole book. But I highly recommend this book! It’s a bit of a longer read at 476 pages, but well worth it.
So that’s January! Not as many as I was hoping, but Lilac Girls was a fairly sizable novel that needed brain breaks due to the content.