Archive for April, 2011

Long Day in LA

Posted April 30, 2011 By Jandy

We have been having fun at the Festival of Books. Then we tried to find a Mexican restaurant in downtown LA. We got lost… Then we found the Library Bar. It seemed like it would be a good place on a book day. But they had a private party going on. We finally landed in an Irish pub. Sheesh!

Edgar Awards 2011

Posted April 29, 2011 By Jandy

The 2011 Edgar Award winners for presented by the Mystery Writers of America was announced last night. You can check out the list at their web site. I haven’t read any of the nominated books or stories this year. (Probably because I’m busy catching up on the books on Mt. Bookpile.)

L.A. Times Festival of Books

Posted April 29, 2011 By Jandy

It’s that time again. The Festival of Books is this weekend. This year it has moved to the campus of University of Southern California. I hope that campus isn’t as sprawling as UCLA.

My daughter, Mrs. Undomestic, is getting away w/o her husband or daughters this weekend. It’ll be the two of us surrounded by books, authors, and more books. We had a great time last year. I expect the same this year.

I’ll be on the lookout for Diane Mott Davidson…

Hugo Awards 2011

Posted April 25, 2011 By Jandy

It’s that time – the Hugo Awards for 2011 have been announced. The Hugo Awards are one of the two major science fiction awards.

Of the books and short stories, I have only read the two Connie Willis novels, Black Out and All Clear. I have one other book, Cryoburn by Lois McMaster Bujold, but have to catch up on the Miles Vorkosigan novels first. I believe those are best read in order.

I also glanced over the movies and television shows and immediately chose Toy Story 3 and Dr. Who: ‚ÄúVincent and the Doctor”, one of my favorite episodes of the past year.

Check the list out – perhaps you’ll find a new author to try.

Cool Bookshelves

Posted April 21, 2011 By Jandy

These bookshelves showed up on one of the blogs I follow, The Swiss Army Librarian. They are extremely cool and featured in a few places around the Internet. But I couldn’t find anywhere to purchase them. I wonder how much they are and it they would be worth it.

They’re designed by ClarkeHopkinsClarke Architects in Australia.

Healthcare Reform

Posted April 11, 2011 By Jandy

As a medical librarian, most of the books that cross my desk are clinical textbooks and references. But occasionally there is one I want to read. My boss ordered this one and I read it before he returned from his conference. It’s one I recommend highly for any patient or doctor concerned with healthcare reform in the United States.

Demand Better! Revive Our Broken Healthcare System is written by two doctors who have been involved with improving our current system, Drs. Sanjaya Kumar and David B. Nash.

Drs. Kumar and Nash show the discrepancies in our current system. For example, clinical guidelines available for many standard diagnoses, especially in heart care. Yet many doctors do not know them or reference them before treating a patient. They go with what they’ve done in the past whether it’s the best care or not.

It has been shown that an angioplasty procedure doesn’t make much difference overall diagnosis and care of a heart attack patient. But the invasive procedure is still often done – often because the procedure adds money to the doctor’s or hospital’s pocket. The patient will be in the same condition within three years whether the procedure was done or not. Why should a patient allow himself to have tubes surgically inserted if there’s no benefit? Because the doctor says so.

As a patient, check into treatments available from reputable sources like MedLinePlus or Health on the Net Foundation. Take the information with you when you go to the doctor. Question anything you are unsure about.

As a doctor, as busy as you may be, make yourself aware of your clinical guidelines. You may save your patient pain and grief. Be ready to work out other solutions. It may cost a little now, but will pay off in the future. Happy patients refer their friends to doctors who treat them well.

The use of clinical guidelines is only one area Drs. Kumar and Nash discuss. They also discuss medical errors, communication between medical practitioners in all fields (nursing, lab techs, physical therapists, etc). They show good and bad examples in the current health payment system. Medical student education changes are addressed.

They offer solutions to many of these problems. They also highlight practices, hospitals, doctors, etc., who have started with these solutions and the results that have been shown so far.

What surprised me is how quickly things have gone from bad to worse. When I started in the medical field back in the early 80’s, healthcare needed revision to improve. Then in the 90’s we pushed healthcare reform. Then again in the 2000’s. Yet it’s worse now than it was when it comes to costs, problems, and errors.

Demand Better! is an eye opener and a Must Read.


Posted April 9, 2011 By Jandy

Mother talking on the phone with her son:

“Do something for me, Simon.”


“Be careful. You’re the only second son I have. Take care of your Fiona, but be careful.”

“I can do that. Don’t worry, Ma. Please.”

“Now that’s a useless request for a mother…”

From The Search by Nora Roberts

She has mothers pegged, all right!

Dresden Files Series Continues

Posted April 4, 2011 By Jandy

Jim Butcher tweeted this morning that he has finished writing Ghost Story. Hopefully that means it will make its July publishing date. He already announced the name of book 14, Cold Days.

Butcher’s Twitter Log

Library Book Sales

Posted April 2, 2011 By Jandy

My local library has 2 or 3 book sales a year. Because of their excellent used bookstore, they get more books donated that can be sold through the store. The overflow is sold in a large sale to benefit the Friends of the Library. That means ultimately it benefits the library.

Today was the spring sale of the year. I volunteered to work opening this morning. Of course the first thing I did was look over the huge selection. With all hardbacks and trade paperbacks only 50 cents and mass market paperbacks a quarter, it’s hard to resist. I walked out with 11 books. Only one was for my daughter although I was looking for other titles for her. I’ve read one of the other books I bought. So that means 9 more for Mt. Bookpile. (I only took 2 off this week.)

Friends of the Library book sales – dangerous. No wonder my Mt. Bookpile shelves are overflowing.