Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Allan Ropper: Reaching Down the Rabbit Hole: Extraordinary Journeys into the Human Brain

What is it like to try to heal the body when the mind is under attack? In this gripping and illuminating book, Dr Allan Ropper reveals the extraordinary stories behind some of the life-altering afflictions that he and his staff are confronted with at the Neurology Unit of Harvard's Brigham and Women's Hospital. Neurologists diagnose and treat serious illnesses of the brain by combining the hard science of medical knowledge with the art of intuitive reasoning. The unique challenge they face is that their primary sources of information - the patients' brains - are quite often altered, sometimes bizarrely, as a result of disease. Like Alice in Wonderland, Dr Ropper inhabits a place where absurdities abound: a sportsman who starts spouting gibberish; an undergraduate who suddenly becomes psychotic; a salesman who drives around and around a roundabout, unable to get off; a mother who has to decide whether a life locked inside her own head is worth living. How does one begin to treat such cases, to counsel people whose lives may be changed forever? How does one train the next generation of clinicians to deal with the moral and medical aspects of brain disease? Dr Ropper answers these questions by taking the reader into a world where lives and minds hang in the balance

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Claudia Rossbacher: Steirerpakt - Sandra Mohr 07

Steirerpakt: Sandra Mohrs siebter Fall (Kriminalromane im GMEINER-Verlag)Ein skurriler Leichenfund lässt die LKA-Ermittler Sandra Mohr und Sascha Bergmann zur Eisenstraße aufbrechen. Vom historischen Einser-Sessellift, der seit fast 70 Jahren vom Präbichl auf den Polster schaukelt, wurde eine nackte Leiche geborgen. Bald schon wird der tote Mann als Einheimischer identifiziert, der vor 15 Jahren nach Kanada auswanderte. Erst vor wenigen Tagen reiste der Arzt aus seiner Wahlheimat an, um dem Begräbnis seiner Mutter beizuwohnen. Sandra Mohr stößt auf so manche alte Wunde, die er dabei aufgerissen hat. Und auf weitere Leichen...

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Henry Marsh: Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery

What is it like to be a brain surgeon?
How does it feel to hold someone's life in your hands, to cut through the stuff that creates thought, feeling and reason?
How do you live with the consequences when it all goes wrong?
DO NO HARM offers an unforgettable insight into the highs and lows of a life dedicated to operating on the human brain, in all its exquisite complexity. With astonishing candour and compassion, Henry Marsh reveals the exhilarating drama of surgery, the chaos and confusion of a busy modern hospital, and above all the need for hope when faced with life's most agonising decisions.

Friday, 31 March 2017

Jo Marchant: Cure: A Journey Into the Science of Mind over Body

- Can meditation fend off dementia?
- Can the smell of lavender affect the immune system?
- Can your thoughts ease physical pain?
In Cure, award-winning science writer Jo Marchant travels the world to meet the physicians, patients and researchers on the cutting edge of mind-body medicine. Asking how the brain can heal the body and how we can all make changes to keep ourselves healthier.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Daisy Goodwin: The Fortune Hunter

The Fortune Hunter
In 1875, Sisi, the Empress of Austria is the woman that every man desires and every woman envies.

Beautiful, athletic and intelligent, Sisi has everything - except happiness. Bored with the stultifying etiquette of the Hapsburg Court and her dutiful but unexciting husband, Franz Joseph, Sisi comes to England to hunt. She comes looking for excitement and she finds it in the dashing form of Captain Bay Middleton, the only man in Europe who can outride her. Ten years younger than her and engaged to the rich and devoted Charlotte, Bay has everything to lose by falling for a woman who can never be his. But Bay and the Empress are as reckless as each other, and their mutual attraction is a force that cannot be denied.

Full of passion and drama, THE FORTUNE HUNTER tells the true story of a nineteenth century Queen of Hearts and a cavalry captain, and the struggle between love and duty. 

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Marcus Sedgwick: The Foreshadowing


The Foreshadowing
It is 1915 and 17 year-old Sasha Fox is trapped by her own terrible and tragic power. She can see the future, can see what will happen to her much-loved brothers Edgar and Tom who have gone to war and, worse still... who would want to see the end of their own story? 

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Oliver Sacks: The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat

In his most extraordinary book, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, Oliver Sacks recounts the stories of patients lost in the bizarre, apparently inescapable world of neurological disorders.

These are case studies of people who have lost their memories and with them the greater part of their pasts; who are no longer able to recognize people or common objects; whose limbs have become alien; who are afflicted and yet are gifted with uncanny artistic or mathematical talents.

In Dr Sacks’s splendid and sympathetic telling, each tale is a unique and deeply human study of life struggling against incredible adversity.

Friday, 27 January 2017

Suzanne O'Sullivan: It's All in Your Head -True Stories of Imaginary Illness

Most of us accept the way our heart flutters when we set eyes on the one we secretly admire, or the sweat on our brow as we start the presentation we do not want to give. But few of us are fully aware of how dramatic our body’s reactions to emotions can sometimes be.
ake Pauline, who first became ill when she was fifteen. What seemed at first to be a urinary infection became joint pain, then food intolerances, then life-threatening appendicitis. And then one day, after a routine operation, Pauline lost all the strength in her legs. Shortly after that her convulsions started. But Pauline’s tests are normal; her symptoms seem to have no physical cause whatsoever.
Pauline may be an extreme case, but she is by no means alone. As many as a third of men and women visiting their GP have symptoms that are medically unexplained. In most, an emotional root is suspected and yet, when it comes to a diagnosis, this is the very last thing we want to hear, and the last thing doctors want to say. 

Friday, 25 November 2016

Lisa Genova: Still Alice

Still Alice
Alice is just fifty when she finds herself in a downward spiral, increasingly disoriented and forgetful. A university professor, wife and mother of three, she has books to write, places to see, grandchildren to meet. But a tragic diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer's disease is set to change her life and her relationship with her family and the world forever. Losing her yesterdays, living for each day, her short-term memory is hanging by a frayed thread. But she is still Alice.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Maeve Binchy: Whitethorn Woods

Whitethorn Woods:
Everything is changing in Rossmore. No longer a sleepy Irish town, nowadays it's a prosperous place, so busy that a new bypass has been proposed.
The people of Rossmore are divided, particularly since the road will go right through the Whitethorn Woords and the well dedicated to St Ann - a well thought by some to have spiritual properties, and by others dismissed as a superstition.

Friday, 26 August 2016

SK Tremayne: The Ice Twins

The ice twins

After one of their identical twin daughters, Lydia, dies in an accident, Angus and Sarah move to a remote Scottish island, hoping to mend their shattered lives. But when their surviving child, Kirstie, claims they have mistaken her identity - that she is Lydia - their world comes crashing back down.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Donna Leon: Ewige Jugend - Brunetti 25

Brunetti ermittelt in den Tiefen der Erinnerung: Contessa Lando-Continui möchte mit dem Leben abschließen, aber der Sturz ihrer Enkelin in den Canale di San Boldo lässt ihr keine Ruhe. Was, wenn es kein Unfall war? Brunetti, Griffoni und Signorina Elettra bringen Licht in dunkle Beweggründe.

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Thomas Raab: Der Metzger


Der Metzger
Möbelrestaurator Willibald Adrian Metzger landet in der Literaturbranche. Und schuld daran ist Hansi Woplatek, der Sohn seiner Stammfleischerei, der zur Schande seines Vaters Schriftsteller werden will.... 

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Scott Mariani: The Sacred Sword - Ben Hope 7


The Sacred Sword
Returning to the UK to try to sort out his stormy personal life, Ben runs into two old friends from Oxford. Ben senses that Simeon is troubled and frightened, but before the truth can emerge both he and his wife are killed in a devastating road crash. And so Ben is propelled on a global quest through Europe, the Holy Land and America to unlock the mystery. 

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Diane Chamberlain: Her mother's shadow

Lacey O'Neill's stability is threatened when she is named guardian of her childhood best friend's 11-year-old daughter. Mackenzie is justifiably angry that her young mother was killed by a drunk driver, and that she is forced to leave everyone she has ever known to live with a virtual stranger. In the midst of all these conflicts Lacey is also juggling two men: bad-boy Bobby who took her virginity at age 14 and then spent the summer with her best friend, and Rick, an extremely attractive law professor who is visiting the Outer Banks while working on a book. On top of all this, the man who murdered her mother is up for parole and Lacey's victim statement may affect the decision.

The story reminds a little of the moral dilemmas that Jodi Picoult is so famous for, but somehow the ending is a little bit of a disappointment. Reality is not always as easily resolved as this story makes believe, and that is a shame.

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Muriel Bolger: The Pink Pepper Tree

June is refusing to attend her husband Lorcan's funeral and everyone around her is wondering why. Her reasons for not attending will remain her secret. But she has other secrets, too, secrets she shared with her ex-partner Peter, who she once thought of as the love of her life. Now she can't stop thinking about Peter and wonders what might have been. A chance meeting reveals to June that maybe fate is giving her a second chance.

This is a swift and relaxing read. It is a quite predictable, but the kind of summer and beach-read we all need to escape from the realities of our own lives.

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Robert Galbraith - Cormoran Strike 03: Career of evil

When a mysterious package is delivered to Robin Ellacott, she is horrified to discover that it contains a woman's severed leg. Her boss, private detective Cormoran Strike, is less surprised but no less alarmed. There are four people from his past who he thinks could be responsible. With the police focusing on the one suspect Strike is sure is not the perpetrator, he and Robin take into their own hands and delve into the dark and twisted worlds of the other three men. But as more horrendous acts occur, time is running out for the two of them...

An interesting read, although a little darker and more gruesome than previous Cormoran Strike novels. Also, some of the sub-plots become a little bit more predictable, which is a shame. Still, I enjoyed the book.

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Emily Barr: Out of my depth

When Susie decides to invite her old school friends to stay for a reunion she tells herslef that it's just about showing off. It's about letting Amanda, Izzy and Tamsin see how well she's done, with her successful career as an artist, her gorgeous house in France and her delicious boyfriend. But this is a plan that could make or break her seemingly perfect life, and she knows it. She and her friends are still haunted by a dark secret, and they are all waiting for the moment when they must face the truth.

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Beate Maxian: Sarah Pauli 5 - Tod in der Hofburg

Ganz Wien ist anlässlich des Jahreswechsels in Feierlaune. Auch Journalistin Sarah Pauli – sie hat tatsächlich Karten für das weltberühmte Neujahrskonzert der Philharmoniker ergattert. Doch die feierliche Hochstimmung schlägt in tiefes Entsetzen um: Als die Besucher nach der Veranstaltung den Konzertsaal verlassen, eröffnet ein Heckenschütze das Feuer und tötet ein Ehepaar. Sarah lässt die schreckliche Tat keine Ruhe. Sie recherchiert und entdeckt einen Zusammenhang mit einem Mord, der sich wenige Tage zuvor in der Wiener Hofburg ereignet hat. Doch der Todesschütze nimmt schon sein nächstes Opfer ins Visier...

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Donna Leon: Brunetti 24 - Endlich mein

Flavia Petrelli ist zurück in Venedig! In der Titelrolle von ›Tosca‹ tritt die Sopranistin im venezianischen Opernhaus La Fenice auf. Als eine junge Sängerin aus dem Kollegenkreis die Treppe einer Brücke hinuntergestoßen wird, beginnt Flavia um ihr eigenes Leben zu fürchten. Brunetti ermittelt in den Kulissen der Oper. Tod in Venedig, und das auf der Bühne: ein Buch, das Sehnsucht nach Venedig macht.