"If you can write, that's great. If you can tell a story, that's even greater. But if you can work a resilient premise into both, you're worth digging to find."

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Gifted Hands by Ben Carson, MD

Synopsis: Personal journey of becoming and being a much sought after and loved neurosurgeon.

Writing Style: Straightforward

Pacing: Fairly Fast

Personal Highlights: First of all, it’s very likely, even at this early date, that this memoir will end up being one of my favorite books read this year.

First there was Dr. Carson’s mother. She really stood out, not only making him and his brother read, but teaching them to do their best for themselves as opposed to trying to be better than someone else. These early primers laid on my heart for two reasons. Carson learned ahead of time how reading helped him know, instead of merely memorizing content; knowledge that groomed him to surpass traditional models of excellence.

So, Bravo to Mom!!! And Bravo to Dr. Carson who focused on his desire to become a doctor and the actual work it took being a doctor. I personally respected his regard for teamwork and was overdone by how painless he made it to understand the many surgical procedures he performed. I also was surprised by how spiritually grounded he is. It’s rare to encounter pure logic mentioned in the same subset as God, and the entire content read reasonable. It as well is just as rare to read so much medical and scientific content in such a condensed space and be as informed, inspired and uplifted all in one. I can’t say enough about this memoir. The value he placed on family, along with explaining his work and how he saved lives were over the top. Again, ‘Gifted Hands’ will likely be one of my favorite books read this year. Absolute Genius. A GENUINE MUST! Highly recommended!!!

Assata by Assata Shakur

Synopsis: Personal narrative of a black female activist

Writing Style: Passionate

Pacing: FAST.

Personal Highlights: Assata, first and foremost, tells one heck of a story. Raised between Wilmington, North Carolina and Queens, New York she grows up in what I define as a middle class family. Her grandparents own land and introduce her to a rich life; that being rich in principles and experiences. Her mother, also rooted in the same principles and experiences, tries to steer her daughter to a path where she can realize ‘the American dream.’

Except this was a time when young people like Assata were not seeing it, feeling it and having none of it. Incensed about the visual disparities between the black and white race in America (during the 60’s/70’s) is the nexus of this harsh passionate story made palatable by Assata’s hungry desire to fight. Most memorable, aside from her family and people like Miss Shirley, Lil Bit and many other interesting background stories surrounding this event, was Aunt Evelyn. God Bless/ed Aunt Evelyn!!! This is a book to read, particularly for young people interested in studying law, history or social sciences. There are many arguments in this memoir worth reviewing, learning from and respecting.

Think Big by Jennifer Arnold, MD, & Bill Klein

Synopsis: Personal inspiration from TLC Network’s famous TV couple, ‘The Little Couple’.

Writing Style: Engaging, Entertaining, Enjoyable...

Pacing: Light and Easy

Personal Highlights: Part self help ‘Think Big’ mirrors this couple’s other best-selling memoir ‘Life is Short.’ Like in their other book I loved Bill’s humor and Jen’s optimism. My favorite highlights were how Bill and Jen seemed like they had a lot of fun while sharing their experiences and offering advice. I also loved their song playlist, and as well Jen's fashion sense. She is not only classy in personality, but her taste in wardrobe is classy to boot. I just LOVE how she dresses! But what really surprised me about their story was learning how Jen (as a child) was once one of ‘the’ Dr. Carson's patients!! This gave me a good reason to go back and read his memoir. Overall, Bill and Jen continue to pass it forward being great models of inspiration. 'Think Big' was a real treat to curl up with.