Tuesday, January 06, 2015

What I read in 2014

In my first year of retirement, I read thirty books! I kept a list! Looks like at this point in my life, my favorite choice is mysteries.

In order:

Monday Mornings by Sanjay Gupta
Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink
The Famous DAR Murder Mystery (Borderville) by Graham Landrum
Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Classified as Murder by Miranda James (Dean James)
The Night of the Comet by George Bishop
Baptism by Max Kinnings
Kinsey and Me: Stories by Sue Grafton
My Life in Middlemarch by Rebecca Mead
Creole Belle by James Lee Burke
The Obituary Writer by Ann Hood
Still Life with Bread Crumbs by Anna Quindlan
A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman
The Glass Rainbow by James Lee Burke
Light of the World by James Lee Burke
Swan Peak by James Lee Burke
The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)
Difficult Men: Behind the Scenes of a Creative Revolution: From The Sopranos and The Wire to Mad Men and Breaking Bad by Brett Martin
Dollbaby by Laura Lane McNeal
The Tin Roof Blowdown by James Lee Burke
Learning to Walk in the Dark by Barbara Brown Taylor
How the Light Gets In: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel by Louise Penny
Soil and Sacrament by Fred Bahnson
The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
The Beautiful Mystery: A Chief Inspector Gamache Mystery by Louise Penny
The Mockingbird Next Door by Marja Mills
The Story of Land and Sea by Katy Simpson Smith
Misdiagnosed: One Woman’s Tour of – and Escape from – Healthcareland by Jody Berger

Which one was the best read of 2014? Five Days at Memorial. For me, it was personal. The hospital is located a mile from my home, and if it had been built on my block, it would never have flooded -- and I say "never would have" because it's been flooded time and again since it was built in 1927. It was personal because most of my immediate family spent their last days there -- it was, after all, the local neighborhood hospital. And I was hospitalized there just months before Katrina. Two of the doctors who treated me are mentioned in the book.

What happened at Memorial never should have happened. The disaster that happened there over five days before, during, and after Katrina happened as a result of a lot of bad decisions by a lot of people, but if I had to point a finger in one direction, it would be at the corporate level of the hospital's owner. It's significant that Tenet ended up selling all its holdings in Louisiana and getting the hell out of there. Their reputation for care and compassion was, well, it wasn't. Not after what happened at Memorial. That particular hospital is now owned by Ochsner and has had its original name restored -- Baptist. And it's slowly coming back to life.