THE OTHER DR. GILMER by BENJAMIN GILMER

The Other Dr. Gilmer: Two Men, a Murder, and an Unlikely Fight for Justice

A rural physician learns that a former doctor at his clinic committed a shocking crime, leading him to uncover an undiagnosed mental health crisis in our broken prison system–a powerful true story expanding on one of the most popular This American Life episodes of all time.

This is a true-crime as well as a biography. Dr.Benjamin Gilmer became a doctor later in life than most. And he has accepted a job at a clinic in rural North Carolina. Cane Creek Clinic serves an area of the poorest of the poor. He also is replacing another doctor who just happens to have had the same surname. Only this Dr. Gilmer is in prison for murdering his own father.

Benjamin is somewhat obsessed with the story and how and why a doctor would suddenly do something so outside of his beliefs. Is he mentally ill? Was there past abuse? As he listens to the staff and patients tell him about the former doctor, Benjamin becomes convinced that Dr. Gilmer had been going through withdrawals from an anti-depressant. An SSRI. Dr. Gilmer himself had complained that his brain wasn’t working right, but still they sent him to prison.

Benjamin meets This American Life journalist Sarah Koenig and together they work relentlessly to get the man out of prison. But the prison system isn’t in the business of caring about your mental status. So they are just beating their heads against a wall of politics and ignorance. This country obviously needs reform in our mental health system and our prison system.

This was a story that I did know about. And I admire the good doctor for giving it his all for so long. One thing I did not understand was how he earned a living while doing all of this work. It didn’t seem as if he was at work a lot and his small family was barely hanging on financially. I wish that had been addressed.

NetGalley/ March 1st, 2022 by Ballantine Books





The CHURCHILL SISTERS by RACHEL TRETHEWEY

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A lot has been written about Winston Churchill. And there are books about the girls and their mother. This book pulls all of them together, using unpublished letters from archives and numerous other sources, the author gives us a complete picture of the private lives of the three girls who lived to adulthood. Diana, serious and fragile, Sarah, a free-spirit, a glamorous, ambitious woman who wanted a career in acting, and Mary, the baby who stayed the course. Their brother, Randolph, did not live up to anyone’s expectations however.

The girls were smart and very different from each other. Their life goals were different as well. With Winston as their father, they also had a tremendous sense of duty to the country. Each found some way to be a part of the war efforts. They adored their father and were a little less enamored of their mother, who was often cold and distant.

They were Churchills and everything they did was news. While Diana and Mary were careful to be seen as proper ladies, Sarah, could have cared less. She lived her life to the fullest.

It was most interesting to see their relationship with their father. Clementine was gone a lot. But to read of the great man himself playing hide and seek in the bushes with his girls was a side I hadn’t seen.

How difficult it must have been to live in a fishbowl and have your every movement scrutinized. To be judged on who your father is rather than who you are.

I thoroughly enjoyed this look at the sisters. And this book was thoroughly researched, listing every source. Beautifully written.

NetGalley/ December 07, 2021 St. Martin’s Press

THREE MARTINI AFTERNOONS AT THE RITZ by GAIL CROWTHER (The Rebellion of Sylvia Plath & Anne Sexton)

The story of two of the greatest poets of the twentieth century. Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton. The two meet at a workshop in Boston led by Robert Lowell, they for a friendship that spun way out of control fueled by jealousy, respect, and a rivalry that never ended.

There is so much I did not know about these two fierce women. So creative and yet so tortured by mental issues, attempts at suicides, stays in asylums. In a time when women were supposed to be home tending their men, they were not being pushed aside. I’m sure they had much difficulty with their male counterparts and while their work could be shocking and angry and full of self-doubt, they felt they had as much right as men to forge their own paths.

Back in the day women like this were usually described as hysterical and placed in an asylum.

There afternoons drinking martinis were where they discussed all of that. They were so different and yet their lives almost mirrored each other. They both died young with people still thinking their works were unfit to read.

But all this time later, we have all read their work. Some of it is hard, but it’s honest.

I appreciated all of the research that went into this book. It was a deep dive and the author did a great job.

Well Done!

NetGalley/ April 20th, 2021 Gallery Books




BLOOD AND TREASURE DANIEL BOONE AND THE FIGHT FOR AMERICA’S FIRST FRONTIER by Bob Drury and Tom Clavin

Blood and Treasure: Daniel Boone and the Fight for America's First Frontier

The middle of the 1700’s were full of uncertainty for the thirteen colonies that Great Britain has founded so far. There are so many different battles going on it’s no wonder everyone was a little anxious.

Everyone wants to find a new frontier. And they are all willing to die for it. The Natives, the French, the Spanish and of course our mother country. The conflicts were gruesome and cruel. Everyone was lying. Someone’s word meant nothing. The Natives were rightly upset and everyone wanted a piece of the country.

And here is where we meet Daniel Boone. Well, actually my husband is a direct descendant of his sister, Elizabeth, so we thought we knew pretty much everything. We did not.

The name Daniel Boone brings me immediately to the song. First off, he wasn’t a big man. He wasn’t at all like the movie and cartoon versions. He was a man with a passion for finding out what lay beyond the Appalachians. He wasn’t a fighting man, but he did his part for the revolution. It’s always dangerous to turn people from the past into larger than life characters and that has been done with Boone.

It was a fast read and based on a lot of research. How did Boone become such a legend? He was seldom home, working as a trapper with a friend or his brother. They would be gone for long periods of time. He saw his fair share of suffering in his own household and they always seemed to be on the edge of financial ruin and yet Daniel did what he had to do to care for his family.

Here you can read his story as told from many different people. The history of America is in this book and I am better for having read it.

NetGalley/ April 20th, 2021 by St. Martin’s Press



The Brothers of AUSCHWITZ by MALKA ADLER

My brother’s tears left a delicate, clean line on his face. I stroked his cheek, whispered, it’s really you …

Brothers Dov and Yitzhak are pretty isolated in their tiny village in Hungary, the war seems far away.

Oh how things can change in a day. The Nazis give them one hour before they are taken by train to Auschwitz. The horrors they encounter were vivid and very hard to read with tears running down your face.

This is their story, this time told from the safety of their own home six decades later. It is a biographical account based on interviews of a family torn apart by the Holocaust and the heroic journey back to each other.

There were times I needed to stop a moment with this book. The emotions were running high. It is a beautiful and horrifying look at what family is and what people will do to survive.

NetGalley/ Harper Collins September 01, 2020








BLACK WIDOW by Leslie Gray Streeter

Leslie Gray Streeter offers us a portrait of widowhood we haven’t seen before, one that “will make you laugh and cry, sometimes on the same page” (James Patterson).

Palm Beach Post columnist Leslie Gray Streeter entered her late thirties with her husband Scott, moving in together and starting the process of adopting a baby. Yes, she is Christian and a black woman and he is neither. He is a white Jewish man. But together they are perfect for each other.

And just like that, they were making out and he died. Right there. And this is the story of her path and how she traveled it. I loved this book. I am this book. My husband died the same way at 36. There should be a period of a week at least before you have to start making decisions that are probably all bad. I laughed, I cried, I understood. Someone said you never understand death until it knocks at your door. So true. Thank goodness for friends who will not let you wallow in quicksand, but show up and care and drag you back from the edge and tell you that you aren’t crazy and it’s okay to laugh and cry, sometimes at the same time.

I am honored to have read this!

NetGalley/ March 10th, 2020 by Little, Brown, and Company

 

 

 

RACHEL MADDOW A Biography by LISA ROGAK

Rachel Maddow: A Biography

Rachel Maddow is one of our favorite people. She tells it the way she sees it.
Coming from California in one of the only tiny Red sections of the state, she quickly outgrew the conservative beliefs of her hometown and has always considered herself an outsider.
This is a good look at some of her family and personal life, as well as the story of how she became the top anchor at MSNBC and the only one that our current president never calls out! Why? Because this woman researches everything. She loves shining the light on the things politicians don’t want us to see or talk about.
She is respectful of all of her guests, no matter the political affiliation. I think this is one of the many things we admire her for. She isn’t putting on a show or being flashy, she’s showing you and explaining the facts. Just the facts. And for that, we watch her every time she is on the air.
Rachel does not just spout opinions, she walks us through the tangled web of politics today and helps us understand the FACTS.
NetGalley/ January 7th, 2020 by Thomas Dunne Books

What are you reading this week?

We’ve made it to the halfway point! Wednesday. What is on everyone’s NetGalley radar?

This week I am reading a good mix of genres.

  A Farm – to – Fork Novella from Lynn Cahoon. I love her novellas and updates on this series!

 Some very good Historical Fiction from M.J. Rose

 Have to toss some serious stuff in there as well. Rachel Maddow is my girl crush!

 And of course, we can’t leave out the twisty, spooky, thriller by Erica Spindler.

This is what I’m reading this week, how about you?

PiratePattyReviews

NEW BOOKS OUT TODAY!

American Judas by [Dubrow, Mickey]    Seth and Maggie Ginsberg do their best to navigate an oppressive theocracy where fundamental Christianity is the only legal religion, and abortion, homosexuality, and adultery are outlawed. When a co-worker outs Seth as a Jew, Seth escapes to Mexico, while Maggie is sent to a Savior Camp. American Judas is a dystopian tale about a young couple’s life after opportunistic U.S. politicians abolish the wall of separation between Church and State.

Ernest Hemingway: Artifacts From a Life by [Katakis, Michael]

Beautifully designed, intimate and illuminating, this is the story of American icon Ernest Hemingway’s life through the documents, photographs, and miscellany he kept, compiled by the steward of the Hemingway estate and featuring contributions by his son and grandson.

Dear Santa: A Novel by [Naigle, Nancy]

From USA Today bestselling author Nancy Naigle, Dear Santa is a heartwarming Christmas story about finding your passion for life and love.

House of Gold by [Solomons, Natasha]

From the New York Times bestselling author of The House at Tyneford, an epic family saga about a headstrong Austrian heiress who will be forced to choose between the family she’s made and the family that made her at the outbreak of World War I.

Fun reading all of them. And they all debut today!

xx Patricia

 

ERNEST HEMINGWAY:Artifacts From A Life by Michael Katakis

Ernest Hemingway: Artifacts From a Life

Beautifully designed, intimate and illuminating, this is the story of American icon Ernest Hemingway’s life through the documents, photographs, and miscellany he kept, compiled by the steward of the Hemingway estate and featuring contributions by his son and grandson.

I have always been fascinated with Papa Hemingway. The legends are many and larger than life. What is true and what is just colorful tale? He was so many things besides a writer. 

I’ve read many books about the man and his wives and children. Some not so flattering. This author tells the story of his life through his own documents, letters and things he kept for his own reasons. There are photographs documenting his public and private lives, although he seemed to be pretty up front and public about everything he did.

He was driven to be in the middle of the action. To me he seemed to have an insatiable curiosity about everything and every one. The author has done a wonderful job of putting together all of these things and we get a really good look at the life of a man who was bigger than life.

Very Well Done!

Netgalley/ Scribner October 23, 2018