Sunday, January 7, 2018

Review: Miracle at Coney Island: How a Sideshow Doctor Saved Thousands of Babies and Transformed American Medicine

Miracle at Coney Island: How a Sideshow Doctor Saved Thousands of Babies and Transformed American Medicine Miracle at Coney Island: How a Sideshow Doctor Saved Thousands of Babies and Transformed American Medicine by Claire Prentice
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is quite an interesting story. Dr. Martin Couney was a pioneer in the incubation therapy of premature babies. He started out life as Martin Cohn, but eventually changed his name to Martin Couney when he emigrated to America in the late 1800s. Couney was also not a trained doctor, although many did not realize it. He made a name for himself by creating incubator shows at various worlds fairs, expos, and the boardwalks of Atlantic City and Coney Island, helping to save the lives of thousands of premature babies. Set up as sideshows, Couney charged onlookers to view the babies in the incubators or being washed and nursed to a survivable weight. His patients came from area hospitals and doctors who did not have the equipment to help them survive. Many parents of preemies made their way to Couney to ask for help in saving their newborn. He had an outstanding record with a low mortality rate, that likely was the reason the AMA ignored his lack of credentials.

This is a quite unusual read. You're not sure whether to be horrified that the babies were used as part of a sideshow or impressed that this "not a real doctor" actually did a good thing for thousands of babies who have gone on to lead long normal lives. They surely would have died as infants had it not be for Dr. Couney. He may not have had the credentials to be a doctor, but he knew what he was doing and a lot of people have him to thank for their lives.

View all my reviews

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Review: The Girl in the Photo

The Girl in the Photo The Girl in the Photo by Gaspar González
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a Kindle Single edition of a story by Gaspar González about his brother who was killed in Vietnam before Gaspar was born. Inspired by a photo of his brother from a high school dance, González searched for friends and family to give him some history of the brother he never met and to honor him for his service.

Loved this story of reconnecting with the past!

View all my reviews

Review: Book Club Babies

Book Club Babies Book Club Babies by Ashton Lee
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Cherry Cola Book Club reconvenes one final time in Ashton Lee’s Book Club Babies. It’s winter in Cherico, Mississippi and three club members are about to have babies. Led by librarian Maura Beth McShay, the club and the town come together to help out the three ladies, and particularly for Periwinkle Place who delivered prematurely. The overall message of the book is that family is sometimes the ones you surround yourself with. This short read is another cozy conundrum about small-town life in the south.

This was a cute and entertaining book and a nice respite from some of the heavy books I generally read. This is not a book of substance and is predictable and kitschy. It is worth the read if you're looking for something a bit mindless and a bit cozy. I enjoyed the series but at times the dialogue is a bit juvenile and at other times it is what is expected of the sixth edition of a series. I have seen Lee's writing progress over the series and have enjoyed the characters. I did enjoy the books enough to continue following Lee and see what he comes out with next.

View all my reviews