Tag Archives: Simar B. ’20

Hot Lights, Cold Steel: Life, Death and Sleepless Nights in a Surgeon’s First Years by Michael J. Collins (review by Simar B. ’20)

Hot Lights, Cold Steel: Life, Death and Sleepless Nights in a Surgeon's First YearsHot Lights, Cold Steel: Life, Death and Sleepless Nights in a Surgeon’s First Years by Michael J. Collins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hot Lights, Cold Steel tells the story of Dr. Collins while he was a resident at the Mayo Clinic. Specifically, it is a medical memoir about his life; Dr. Collins went from a lowly junior resident to the chief resident of orthopedics at one of the most renowned hospitals in the world. He did this by working his way up and working tirelessly, trying to learn all he could. Moreover, he worked extremely hard to support his family, moonlighting in Mankato Hospital 90 miles away from his home just to make ends meet. The story is centered on the theme of choices and making the right one for the patient in the hardest of circumstances. For example, a young teenager came to him with a severely damaged leg, and he had to make the choice of whether to amputate the leg or try to save the leg and risk the boy’s life. Dr. Collins’ story is absolutely riveting and a great read for anyone interested in becoming a doctor. – Simar B. ’20

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11/22/63 by Stephen King (review by Simar B. ’20)

11/22/6311/22/63 by Stephen King
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

11/22/63 by Stephen King is a novel about Jake Epping, a high school English teacher, who travels back in time to try to save President John F. Kennedy’s life. He meets his friend Al Templeton who tells him that he has discovered a way to go back in time. However, Al is dying, and he entrusts Jake to fulfill his life mission to save President Kennedy, thinking that the world would be much better off had Kennedy survived. Jake is apprehensive but takes on Al’s mission and travels back into 1958. Jake bides his time for three years, slowly making his way to Dallas to stop the assassination. Unfortunately, time also moves on sluggishly for the reader, and it is quite difficult to not put the book aside because it drags on and on. The gist of 1000 pages is Jake bets a lot of money to sustain himself, stalks Oswald for a year, and falls in love with Sadie, a librarian in the school he teaches. It does not feel like a novel, but it feels like a biography of the fictional Jake Epping. Despite all this, the book picks up towards the end. Overall, I enjoyed this book only because of how it ended, but the casual reader might not enjoy it.

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Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World by Tracy Kidder (review by Simar B. ’20)

Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the WorldMountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World by Tracy Kidder
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder is a thrilling biography of Dr. Paul Farmer, treats millions of patients from Haiti to Siberia with his charity Partners in Health. Dr. Farmer epitomizes the founding tenets of medicine, devoting himself to curing patients of their ailments regardless of their socio-economic status. He commits himself to serving the poor and the needy, trying to treat poverty and one of its symptom: sickness. The book is absolutely riveting and inspiring, putting you in the eyes of Dr. Farmer. This is a man who does not take “no” for an answer and will see everything to the end. He truly does change the world one patient at a time. Among other good works, the book describes how Dr. Farmer is able to reduce the cost of second-line drugs for multi-drug resistant tuberculosis by ninety-five percent and establishes a free clinic in Cange, a desolate region in Haiti. Overall, I loved how Kidder portrays Farmer and allows you to understand the motivation that pushes this man to give up everything for a cause. It reminds you that there are people in this world who will “fight the long defeat,” as Kidder puts it, to do the right thing and help the impoverished of the world (257). – Simar B. ’20

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