I have recently delved into the world of Goodreads. I enjoy the ability to read reviews, and track my own progress through my books along side my reading goal. I asked myself to read 8 more books by the end of 2015. I am down three, with five more to go.
On a recent trip to Barnes & Noble, I discovered a book sitting on a table off to the side titled Last Night in the OR: A Transplant Surgeon’s Odyssey by Bud Shaw. I thumbed through the book, inspected the print type, and found myself attracted to a phrase from a review on the back cover that said, “…what it means to be human.” Well… what does it mean to be human?! Maybe this book can tell me!
I finished the book hiding from the LA heat wave in a Starbucks on Sunday afternoon. I sat there, picked up my phone, and started to write my review on Goodreads:
This book was called an “utterly human admission”, and I could not think of anything more true. Through his book, Shaw really does capture the essence of what it means to be human in a way that anyone of any creed can relate to. Feelings of inferiority, persecution, challenges, sadness, and being misunderstood jump out at the reader from the page. The book shows how the nature of humanity really is in its ability to have great selfishness and great compassion at the same time. This book is about a real person, who lives a real life, not some successful surgeon who is writing his own pompous funeral psalm. I highly recommend this book to any reader, because there will be a vignette for everyone that has deep meaning and immeasurable value. Thanks for sharing, Dr.Shaw.
I did not do the book justice, but these were my immediate thoughts. I feel like archaeology and museum studies could not be further away from being a medical professional. However, I did discover that in academia, feelings of inadequacy and desperation of never being as knowledgeable as ones superiors are not exclusive to myself (which I actually mentioned in my previous blog post about my dissertations). I have also shared the feeling of believing that you are right, when in reality you have never been so wrong. Then, when successful, downplaying it to the extreme because you still feel like it was not good enough. Shaw also writes about his struggles with his family, both in sickness and in health. There was just something so real about this book, and much of that came in how relatable the character was. Such simple things, like a bad day when you are late for work, your car gets broken into, your fridge dies, your new boss is a jerk, and it starts to snow.
So I really do recommend this book. SO much, that I almost want to email the author and tell him thank you. SO much, that I decided to share a tid bit on my blog about it, even thought it is not directly related to museums or archaeology. I am currently reading Ivory Vikings: The Mystery of the Most Famous Chessmen in the World and the Woman Who Made Them by Nancy Brown, which is much more related to my intended blog content. A review will hopefully be coming soon! If you are interested, you can catch more of my book malarkey on Goodreads (click here for my profile).
Peace and long life.