The Front Porch prints regular book reviews by local librarians or volunteers. The following are by volunteers from the Park Hill Community Bookstore, 4620 E. 23rd Ave. To submit book reviews, e-mail Madeline@FrontPorchStapleton.com for information.
Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande
Reviewed by Kathleen Schroeder
‘Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End’ by Atul Gawande is a sobering read. As a physician/author, Gawande explores the role of medicine in the aging process, as well as in death. He believes that doctors have lost sight of the well being of the individual in the pursuit of extending life at all costs, even if for a short time. The decline of his own father’s health and subsequent death is a central theme in the book.
Too often the safety of the elderly becomes paramount for their adult children and they are moved from familiar surroundings to safe places, such as assisted living facilities. They may be safe, but in doing so they lose the ability to make choices for themselves, even if they make the wrong choices. The loss of autonomy is a powerful contributor to the mental well being of the elderly.
Gawande not only addresses the elderly, but people who have life threatening illnesses. He faults the medical community for not being honest with patients about their illnesses and includes himself among the guilty. Doctors have been trained to keep trying new treatments to keep the patient alive but often at the expense of their quality of life.
This book may not be an uplifting book to read but it’s a necessary book to read. We should all be more empowered to take charge of our life and our wishes for the end of life so that we can live and die with dignity.
Warrior Cats: Into The Wild by Erin Hunter
Reviewed by Jade Farrar, 11
This book is very interesting. It is about a house cat named Rusty who turns wild and lives in the forest.
He becomes a warrior of Thunder Clan, known as Firepaw. Thunder Clan is a group of cats who protect their territory from the other three clans: Shadow Clan, River Clan, and Wind Clan. Thunder Clan’s leader, Bluestar, is very compassionate and peace-loving. On the other hand, her deputy, Tigerclaw, will betray his leader to become leader. Firepaw is the only one who seems to notice how mysterious Tigerclaw is acting. Firepaw is having trouble persuading the other cats to believe this because they disagree with Bluestar’s decision to allow him into the clan, even when he isn’t forest born.
I loved this book, and I think you will too if you like adventure, action, and cats. And don’t you hate it when a great book ends, and it’s not a part of a series? Well that won’t happen with this book because there are 64 books so far and more in the making.