Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande (#10)

The author who a surgeon in the Boston area and a professor at Harvard, proposes that professionals in critical situations use the simple checklist to verify that all important items easily overlooked are actually completed. Using the checklist allows teams to work together most effectively and not miss anything. Checklists have for some time been an important tool in aviation and building; the author proposes using checklists in surgery to ensure that no mistakes are made and infections are avoided. Impressive results are found with lives saved and complications avoided. This leads to the proposal that checklists can be an important tool in many other arenas of expertise. This is a great book and recommended for anyone who strives for excellence.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Strategic Moves by Stuart Woods (#9)

A little more updated than usual from Stuart Woods with references to Bernie Madoff and Osama bin Laden, a chase, danger, beautiful women, etc.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Safe House by Nicci French (#8)

Samantha who is a single mother to a five year old daughter, is a doctor and has accepted a new job in a small town outside London. Her boyfriend Danny is very much in the picture. The book begins with violent murders in that town which dramatically impacts Samantha when she is persuaded to take into her home a young woman who suffered greatly from the murders. As a result her life is spun out of control in many ways. I really enjoyed this book (though I read it on vacation when my concentration is at its max) but there were a couple of troubling loose ends to the plot. When I finished it, just as my vacation ended, I felt adrift and disappointed. I think the later books by this offer are better because she is clearly a good writer.

Good to a Fault by Marina Endicott (#7)

Clara Purdy is a single woman in her forties who is involved in a car accident at the very beginning of the book, spinning her life out of control and in a totally new direction. Who is at fault in the accident is questionable but Clara takes it upon herself to take full care of the family in the car she hit. The mother of the family is very I'll, not from the accident but from previously undisguised cancer. The father of the family is angry and irresponsible and quickly runs away. Clara finds herself in a new life of caring for three small children, sacrificing her job and her quiet life for all these new people. Life in her community in a Canadian town and all it's characters become part of the story. I loved it!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand (#6) by Helen Simonson

Lovely book! Major Pettigrew is a lonely 68 year old widower, set in his ways, in a small English village. He often visits a nearby shop owned by the delightful Mrs. Ali, a Pakistani widow who is in every way the Major's intellectual match, even though their association is viewed by the local community as very inappropriate. The book is filled with quirky characters especially the Major's son Roger and Mrs. Ali's nephew Abdool Wahid. This was a very enjoyable read. (

Roseflower Creek by J. L. Miles (#5)

Rose flower Creek is written in the voice of 10 year old Lori Jean, growing up in an abusive home in rural Georgia. From the first page we know that Lori Jean dies young, and in the short time we know her in this book, she experiences many losses. She comes across as a real little girl, someone I could have known as a child. I loved this book and I highly recommend it.