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  1. 7.0 hrs • 9/27/2016 • Unabridged

    A donor mother’s powerful memoir of grief and rebirth that is also a fascinating medical science whodunit, taking us inside the world of organ, eye, tissue, and blood donation and cutting-edge scientific research. When Sarah Gray received the devastating news that her unborn son Thomas was diagnosed with anencephaly, a terminal condition, she decided she wanted his death—and life—to have meaning. In the weeks before she gave birth to her twin sons in 2010, she arranged to donate Thomas’s organs. Due to his low birth weight, they would go to research rather than transplant. As transplant donors have the opportunity to meet recipients, Sarah wanted to know how Thomas’ donation would be used. That curiosity fueled a scientific odyssey that leads Sarah to some of the most prestigious scientific facilities in the country, including Harvard, Duke, and the University of Pennsylvania. Pulling back the curtain of protocol and confidentiality, she introduces the researchers who received Thomas’s donations, held his liver in their hands, studied his cells under the microscope. Sarah’s journey to find solace and understanding takes her beyond her son’s donations—offering a breathtaking overview of the world of medical research and the valiant scientists on the horizon of discovery. She goes behind the scenes at organ procurement organizations, introducing skilled technicians for whom death means saving lives, empathetic counselors, and the brilliant minds who are finding surprising and inventive ways to treat and cure disease through these donations. She also shares the moving stories of other donor families. A Life Everlasting is an unforgettable testament to hope, a tribute to life and discovery, and a portrait of unsung heroes pushing the boundaries of medical science for the benefit of all humanity.

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    A Life Everlasting by Sarah Gray

    A Life Everlasting

    7.0 hrs • 9/27/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 10.0 hrs • 7/5/2016 • Unabridged

    Issa Ibrahim’s memoir details in searing prose his development of severe mental illness leading to a horrific family tragedy, his acquittal by reason of insanity, and his subsequent commission to a mental hospital for nearly twenty years. Raised in an idyllic creative environment, mom and dad cultivating his talent, Issa watches his family’s descent into chaos in the drug-crazed late 1980s. Following his father’s death, Issa, grief-stricken and vulnerable, travels down a road that leads to psychosis—and to one of the most nightmarish scenarios conceivable. Issa receives the insanity plea and is committed to an insane asylum with no release date. But that is only the beginning of his odyssey. Institutional and sexual sins cause further punishments, culminating in a heated legal battle for freedom. Written with great verve and immediacy, The Hospital Always Wins paints a detailed picture of a broken mental-health system but also reveals the power of art, when nurtured in a benign environment, to provide a resource for recovery. Ultimately this is a story about survival and atonement through creativity and courage against almost insurmountable odds.

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    The Hospital Always Wins by Issa Ibrahim

    The Hospital Always Wins

    10.0 hrs • 7/5/16 • Unabridged
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  3. 9.4 hrs • 5/10/2016 • Unabridged

    Ally was at a breaking point when she woke up in a psych ward at the age of eighteen. She couldn’t put a sentence together, let alone take a shower, eat a meal, or pick up a phone. What had gone wrong? In recent years, she had produced a feature film, a popular reality show for a major network, and had acted in an off-Broadway play. But now, Ally was pushed to a psychotic break after struggling since she was seven years old with physical symptoms that no doctor could explain; everything from joint pain, to night sweats, memory loss, nausea, and brain fog. A doctor in the psych ward was finally able to give her the answers her and her family had desperately been searching for, and the diagnosis that all the previous doctors had missed. She learned that she had Lyme disease—and finally had a breakthrough. What she didn’t know was that this diagnosis would lead her down some of the most excruciating years of her life before beginning her journey to recovery from eleven years of misdiagnosis and physical pain. She would need to find her courage to heal physically, mentally, and emotionally, and become the survivor she is today. Set against the backdrop of the fast-paced fashion and entertainment industries, Bite Me shares the heartbreaking and hilarious stories that moved Ally forward on her journey from sickness to health. Its themes will be familiar to more than 300,000 Americans diagnosed with Lyme disease each year, many of whom, like Ally, wondered for years what was wrong with them. Bite Me offers readers hope and ideas for how one can transition from victim to survivor, and shares the spiritual principles and actions that have contributed to her wholeness as a human, mother, and international spokesperson against Lyme disease.

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    Bite Me

    9.4 hrs • 5/10/16 • Unabridged
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  4. 10.9 hrs • 4/19/2016 • Unabridged

    Nursing is more than a career; it is a calling, and one of the most important, fascinating, and dangerous professions in the world. As the frontline responders battling traumas, illnesses, and aggression from surprising sources, nurses are remarkable. Yet contemporary literature largely neglects them. In The Nurses, New York Times bestselling author and award-winning journalist Alexandra Robbins peers behind the staff-only door to write a lively, fast-paced story and a riveting work of investigative journalism. Robbins followed real-life nurses in four hospitals and interviewed hundreds of others in a captivating book filled with joy and violence, miracles and heartbreak, dark humor and narrow victories, gripping drama and unsung heroism. Alexandra Robbins creates sympathetic, engaging characters while diving deep into their world of controlled chaos—the hazing (“nurses eat their young”); sex (not exactly like on TV, but it happens more often than you think); painkiller addiction (disproportionately a problem among the best and brightest); and bullying (by doctors, patients, and others). The result is a page-turner possessing all the twists and turns of a brilliantly told narrative—and a shocking, unvarnished examination of our healthcare system. The Nurses is a must-read both for the general public, who will learn hospital secrets that could save their own or a loved one’s life, and for nurses, who will proudly share the book as a rallying cry for support and celebration.

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    The Nurses

    10.9 hrs • 4/19/16 • Unabridged
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  5. 8.5 hrs • 3/1/2016 • Unabridged

    On October 13, 1972, a Uruguayan Air Force plane carrying members of the “Old Christians” rugby team—and many of their friends and family members—crashed into the Andes Mountains. I Had to Survive offers a gripping and heartrending recollection of the harrowing brink-of-death experience that propelled survivor Roberto Canessa to become one of the world’s leading pediatric cardiologists. As he tended to his wounded teammates amid the devastating carnage of the wreck, rugby player Roberto Canessa, a second-year medical student at the time, realized that no one on earth was luckier: he was alive—and for that, he should be eternally grateful. As the starving group struggled beyond the limits of what seemed possible, Canessa played a key role in safeguarding his fellow survivors, eventually trekking with a companion across the hostile mountain range for help. This fine line between life and death became the catalyst for the rest of his life. This uplifting tale of hope and determination, solidarity and ingenuity gives vivid insight into a world-famous story. Canessa also draws a unique and fascinating parallel between his work as a doctor performing arduous heart surgeries on infants and unborn babies and the difficult life-changing decisions he was forced to make in the Andes. With grace and humanity, Canessa prompts us to ask ourselves, what do you do when all the odds are stacked against you?

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    I Had to Survive by Dr. Roberto Canessa, Pablo Vierci

    I Had to Survive

    Translated by Carlos Frías
    8.5 hrs • 3/1/16 • Unabridged
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  6. 1 reviews 0 5 4 4 out of 5 stars 4/5 (1)
    8.4 hrs • 2/16/2016 • Unabridged

    A look at the lives of the real nurses depicted in the PBS show Mercy Street and their Civil War struggles. Heroines of Mercy Street tells the true stories of the nurses at the Mansion House of Alexandria, Virginia, a mansion turned war-time hospital and setting for the new PBS drama Mercy Street. Among the Union soldiers, doctors, wounded men from both sides, freed slaves, politicians, speculators, and spies who passed through the hospital in the crossroads of the Civil War, were nurses who gave their time freely and willingly to save lives and aid the wounded. These women saw casualties on a scale Americans had never seen before, and medicine was at a turning point. Heroines of Mercy Street follows the lives of women like Dorothea Dix, Mary Phinney, Anne Reading, and more before, during, and after their epic struggle in Alexandria and reveals their personal contributions to this astounding period in the advancement of medicine.

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    Heroines of Mercy Street

    8.4 hrs • 2/16/16 • Unabridged
    1 reviews 0 5 4 4 out of 5 stars 4/5 (1)
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  7. 9.2 hrs • 2/16/2016 • Unabridged

    Free Refills is the harrowing tale of a Harvard-trained medical doctor run horribly amok through his addiction to prescription medication, and his recovery. Dr. Peter Grinspoon seemed to be a total success: a Harvard-educated MD with a thriving practice; married with two great kids and a gorgeous wife; a pillar of his community. But lurking beneath the thin veneer of having it all was an addict fueled on a daily boatload of prescription meds. When the police finally came calling—after a tip from a sharp-eyed pharmacist—Grinspoon’s house of cards came tumbling down fast. His professional ego turned out to be an impediment to getting clean as he cycled through recovery to relapse, his reputation, family life, and lifestyle in ruins. What finally moves him to recover and reclaim life—including working with other physicians who themselves are addicts—makes for inspiring reading.

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    Free Refills

    9.2 hrs • 2/16/16 • Unabridged
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  8. 5.0 hrs • 2/11/2016 • Unabridged

    Ida stamped her foot. Her friends were wrong. “I will not be a missionary to India like my parents!” she retorted. “Don’t any of you say I will be, because I won’t—never, ever, ever.” Ida had never forgotten the faces of starving Indian children. She hated India—it was full of horrible situations she could do nothing about. Ida Scudder was sure she would never follow in the footsteps of her medical missionary father. But when she witnessed Indian women dying because their religious beliefs didn’t allow male doctors to treat them, Ida heard herself pray, “God, if you want me to, I will spend the rest of my life in India trying to help these women.” Serving for nearly sixty years, Dr. Ida Scudder lived out the truth and compassion found in Christ. She pioneered a first-rate medical school and hospital, brought life-saving health care to rural people, and left an inspiring legacy that still touches millions of people each year with healing and hope.

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  9. 8.1 hrs • 1/19/2016 • Unabridged

    Supermodel, restaurateur, magazine publisher, celebrity chef, and nationally known lifestyle maven, B. Smith is struggling with a tag she never expected to add to that string: early onset Alzheimer’s patient. Working with Vanity Fair contributing editor Michael Shnayerson, B. and her husband, Dan, unstintingly share B.‘s unfolding story. Crafted in short chapters that interweave their narrative with “Lessons Learned,” their practical and helpful advice, readers travel with them as they learn to deal with Alzheimer’s day-to-day challenges, the family tensions, and ways of coping. At its heart, though, Before I Forget is a love story: illuminating a love of family, life, and hope. Though filled with scary moments and dark days, it is ultimately an uplifting account, coming out at a time of exciting medical progress that may not help B. in time, but will ultimately help us all combat this dreaded deadly disease.

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    Before I Forget

    8.1 hrs • 1/19/16 • Unabridged
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  10. 6.4 hrs • 1/5/2016 • Unabridged

    Like most Americans, you might think of Ben Carson as a trailblazing brain surgeon and, in the last few years, as an outspoken commenter on national issues. But his wife of more than forty years knows him as so much more: a loving husband, a devoted father, a devout Christian, a committed philanthropist, and a fierce patriot. Now Candy Carson introduces us to the private side of a very public figure, as she shares the inspiring story of their marriage and their family. Like her future husband, Candy grew up in inner-city Detroit, one of five children of a teacher and a factory worker. Also like Ben, she overcame her humble background through determination, hard work and perseverance, earning a scholarship to attend Yale University. In that strange new world she focused on her studies, her music (as a violinist and organist), and her deepening spiritual life. She attended church with a handsome, older student who liked to tease her, but never assumed he would be anything more than a friend to her. But Ben and Candy quickly became inseparable, and they married soon after she graduated, just as Ben began his career as a soon-to-be world-famous pediatric neurosurgeon. In A Doctor in the House, Candy reveals many stories that have never been told before, despite the media spotlight on Dr. Carson in recent years. She shows us what it was like when they moved to Baltimore to join a new community centered around Johns Hopkins Hospital. She describes how their family evolved with the births of their three sons and the tragic miscarriage of their twins. She talks about the challenges of Ben’s twelve to twenty-hour work days, as he saved thousands of lives, year after year, while Candy ran the household. She also addresses the prejudice they sometimes faced as African Americans, and how Ben’s calm, levelheaded self-confidence helped him deal with problems at home and in their travels just as successfully as he did in the operating room. Above all, she reveals her husband’s consistency as a believer: in God, in family, and in America. Having lived the American Dream, Ben knows that it’s not a myth, and he believes every child from every background to be capable of achieving it. That’s why he and Candy have been committed to educating and inspiring young people, and over the past twenty years awarded more than 6,700 students with scholarships through their Carson Scholars Fund. A Doctor in the House is a classic American love story—and that story is far from over.

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    A Doctor in the House

    6.4 hrs • 1/5/16 • Unabridged
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  11. 0 reviews 0 5 4.5 4 out of 5 stars 4.5/5
    7.7 hrs • 10/6/2015 • Unabridged

    They were the most prominent American family of the twentieth century. The daughter they secreted away made all the difference. Joe and Rose Kennedy’s strikingly beautiful daughter Rosemary attended exclusive schools, was presented as a debutante to the queen of England, and traveled the world with her high-spirited sisters. And yet, Rosemary was intellectually disabled—a secret fiercely guarded by her powerful and glamorous family. Major new sources—Rose Kennedy’s diaries and correspondence, school and doctors’ letters, and exclusive family interviews—bring Rosemary to life as a girl adored but left far behind by her competitive siblings. Kate Larson reveals both the sensitive care Rose and Joe gave to Rosemary and then, as the family’s standing reached an apex, the often desperate and duplicitous arrangements the Kennedys made to keep her away from home as she became increasingly intractable in her early twenties. Finally, Larson illuminates Joe’s decision to have Rosemary lobotomized at age twenty-three and the family’s complicity in keeping the secret. Rosemary delivers a profoundly moving coda: JFK visited Rosemary for the first time while campaigning in the Midwest; she had been living isolated in a Wisconsin institution for nearly twenty years. Only then did the siblings understand what had happened to Rosemary and bring her home for loving family visits. It was a reckoning that inspired them to direct attention to the plight of the disabled, transforming the lives of millions.

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    Rosemary by Kate Clifford Larson

    Rosemary

    7.7 hrs • 10/6/15 • Unabridged
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  12. 5.8 hrs • 10/6/2015 • Unabridged

    Emmy award–winning broadcast journalist and leading Alzheimer’s advocate Meryl Comer’s Slow Dancing With a Stranger is a profoundly personal, unflinching account of her husband’s battle with Alzheimer’s disease that serves as a much-needed wake-up call to better understand and address a progressive and deadly affliction. When Meryl Comer’s husband Harvey Gralnick was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease in 1996, she watched as the man who headed hematology and oncology research at the National Institutes of Health started to misplace important documents and forget clinical details that had once been cataloged encyclopedically in his mind. With harrowing honesty, she brings readers face to face with this devastating condition and its effects on its victims and those who care for them. Detailing the daily realities and overwhelming responsibilities of caregiving, Comer sheds intensive light on this national health crisis, using her personal experiences—the mistakes and the breakthroughs—to put a face to a misunderstood disease, while revealing the facts everyone needs to know. Pragmatic and relentless, Meryl has dedicated herself to fighting Alzheimer’s and raising public awareness. “Nothing I do is really about me; it’s all about making sure no one ends up like me,” she writes. Deeply personal and illuminating, Slow Dancing With a Stranger offers insight and guidance for navigating Alzheimer’s challenges. It is also an urgent call to action for intensive research and a warning that we must prepare for the future, instead of being controlled by a disease and a healthcare system unable to fight it.

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    Slow Dancing with a Stranger

    5.8 hrs • 10/6/15 • Unabridged
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  13. 9.2 hrs • 8/20/2015 • Unabridged

    This beautifully crafted memoir by one of America’s finest storytellers generally is considered Richard Selzer’s most moving and personal work. The story is set in Troy, New York, during the Great Depression of the 1930s and is a classic rite-of-passage tale. Selzer was the son of two strong-willed parents, both of whom tried to shape their son to their own desires and ends. His father, the doctor, wanted his son to be a physician and to follow in his footsteps. His mother, a singer, wanted her son to become a writer. Richard struggled to choose as his emotions were buffeted by his parents and their persuasive and subtle argumentation. “Had I loved one more than the other,” Selzer declared, “my choice would have been easier.” In the end, he excelled both as a surgeon and as a writer, fulfilling his parents’ wishes and discovering himself in the process.

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    Down from Troy

    9.2 hrs • 8/20/15 • Unabridged
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  14. 5.2 hrs • 7/7/2015 • Unabridged

    The breast cancer guide every woman needs for herself, her best friend, and her sister—a warm, practical, relatable handbook, that dispels the terror, taking you step-by-step through the process, from diagnosis to post-treatment. When Andrea Hutton was diagnosed with breast cancer, she wanted to know everything. She voraciously read books, articles, and websites and talked to everyone she knew. But nothing prepared her for what the surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation would feel like. Were there tricks that could ease her pain and discomfort? What was “fatigue” and how would it affect her? At what exact moment would her hair fall out and how? Hutton wanted what she could not find: a clear how-to guide for the cancer girl she had become. Bald Is Better with Earrings is Hutton’s answer for women diagnosed with breast cancer: a straightforward handbook, leavened with humor and inspiration, to shepherd them though the experience. Warm and down-to-earth, Hutton explains what to expect and walks you through this intense and emotional process: tests, surgery, chemo, losing your hair and shaving your head, being bald, and radiation treatments. Hutton offers a wealth of invaluable advice—from tricks for surviving chemo, to treating your skin during radiation, to keeping track of meds—and includes a practical list of tips for each stage of the process at the end of every chapter. Compassionate, friendly, and shaped by Hutton’s first-hand knowledge, Bald Is Better with Earrings is the comprehensive, essential companion for anyone dealing with breast cancer.

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    Bald is Better with Earrings

    5.2 hrs • 7/7/15 • Unabridged
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  15. 6.5 hrs • 6/2/2015 • Unabridged

    National Book Award winner Jonathan Kozol is best known for his fifty years of work among our nation’s poorest and most vulnerable children. Now, in the most personal book of his career, he tells the story of his father’s life and work as a nationally noted specialist in disorders of the brain and his astonishing ability, at the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, to explain the causes of his sickness and then to narrate, step-by-step, his slow descent into dementia. Dr. Harry Kozol was born in Boston in 1906. Classically trained at Harvard and Johns Hopkins, he was an unusually intuitive clinician with a special gift for diagnosing interwoven elements of neurological and psychiatric illnesses in highly complicated and creative people. “One of the most intense relationships of his career,” his son recalls, “was with Eugene O’Neill, who moved to Boston in the last years of his life so my father could examine him and talk with him almost every day.” At a later stage in his career, he evaluated criminal defendants, including Patricia Hearst and the Boston Strangler, Albert H. DeSalvo, who described to him in detail what was going through his mind while he was killing thirteen women. But The Theft of Memory is not primarily about a doctor’s public life. The heart of the book lies in the bond between a father and his son and the ways that bond intensified even as Harry’s verbal skills and cogency progressively abandoned him. “Somehow,” the author says, “all those hours that we spent trying to fathom something that he wanted to express, or summon up a vivid piece of seemingly lost memory that still brought a smile to his eyes, left me with a deeper sense of intimate connection with my father than I’d ever felt before.” Lyrical and stirring, The Theft of Memory is at once a tender tribute to a father from his son and a richly colored portrait of a devoted doctor who lived more than a century.

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    The Theft of Memory by Jonathan Kozol

    The Theft of Memory

    6.5 hrs • 6/2/15 • Unabridged
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  16. 9.6 hrs • 5/26/2015 • Unabridged

    What is it like to be a brain surgeon? How does it feel to hold someone’s life in your hands, to cut into the stuff that creates thought, feeling, and reason? How do you live with the consequences of performing a potentially lifesaving operation when it all goes wrong? In neurosurgery, more than in any other branch of medicine, the doctor’s oath to “do no harm” holds a bitter irony. Operations on the brain carry grave risks. Every day, leading neurosurgeon Henry Marsh must make agonizing decisions, often in the face of great urgency and uncertainty. If you believe that brain surgery is a precise and exquisite craft, practiced by calm and detached doctors, this gripping, brutally honest account will make you think again. With astonishing compassion and candor, Marsh reveals the fierce joy of operating, the profoundly moving triumphs, the harrowing disasters, the haunting regrets, and the moments of black humor that characterize a brain surgeon’s life. Do No Harm provides unforgettable insight into the countless human dramas that take place in a busy modern hospital. Above all, it is a lesson in the need for hope when faced with life’s most difficult decisions.

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    Do No Harm

    9.6 hrs • 5/26/15 • Unabridged
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