Thursday, January 29, 2015


Not too long ago, I discovered booktubers. Now, by the power of the intrawebs, I'm considering to participate in the #yearofcosmere event after being informed of it by one. Essentially, it is a read-a-long of Brandon Sanderson's books. At the end, because many of his books are related, there will be a live discussion on the Goodreads #yearofcosmere group page(which if you are an avid reader is a godsend). Honestly, I don't usually reread books or join book clubs in their activities. But it's Brandon Sanderson, and it's fun once in a while to feel like you're a part of the reading community.

As an aside, if you haven't read him, now's the perfect time!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Grand Rounds

My reads of 2014 have mostly been fiction.To add more non-fiction reads to my bookshelf, I have taken to following friends and people I think have similar tastes to mine on Goodreads. It has turned up fiction gems like "The Martian" which I enjoyed (The protag's conversations with NASA are always fun to read) and then there's Grand Rounds.

Grand Rounds at it's core, is a series of 24 medical case studies which take you through how doctors diagnose and treat medical patients. Much like "House", each case study has a patient and you'll play detective as Dr. Benaroch doles out the clues. He will explain what normally is involved in the review -History of Present Illness (HPI), the basic physical checks - Head, Eyes, Ears, Nose and Throat (HEENT) and other very interesting nuggets of information like how a doctor progresses from student to M.D.

In a  first, I bought this as an audiobook on had wanted to get this as a ebook on Kindle but it seems to be only available as an audio recording and so today I went running to the lectures. As an aside, I am generally not big on audiobooks but these recordings were the perfect medium for these lectures to be delivered.The case studies today were on cancer and heart attack. Both of them have afflicted my friends and loved ones and as such, the case studies hit closer to home. I, in turn, am emotionally affected by them. 

Emotions aside, lectures 6 and 7 have very informative. I did not know that checking for air passage has been obsoleted in favour of chest compressions in the common CPR. It's also not just a course of diagnosis after diagnosis. For example for the lecture on heart attack, the professor suggests treatments and steps we can take to prevent it. In the same lecture, he also gives a short instruction on how to react to a possible heart attack and with it, an updated CPR lesson. Lecture 8 awaits.

Friday, January 09, 2015

One Second and A Million Miles

The first musical that I encountered by Jason Robert Brown was "The Last Five Years" which if you haven't seen it, you should. Then comes his new musical " Bridges from Madison County" and I haven't seen it, but the songs are really quite good. The string arrangements didn't hurt it either. Here's one entitled "One Second and  A Million Miles" :

Speaking of recommendations, I've just finished Brandon Sanderson's new book, "Firefight" which is book 2 of the Reckoners series. Wow. He simply does no wrong.For the fantasy uninitiated, you should check out his "Mistborn" series which was how I discovered him. In those books were perhaps some of the best fantasy writing I've read. From there, I've consumed almost everything he has written save for the last three books of the "Wheel Of Time" series which he coauthored with Robert Jordan.

From Mistborn if you are looking for something abit heavier you can try his Stormlight Archive of which 2 out of the planned 10 books have already been published ."The Way Of Kings" and "Words Of Radiance" rank very highly in my recommendations. I had chills reading those books. If you are looking for some abit lighter, you can sample his Young Adult offerings all of which are a hoot to read. (Alcatraz anyone?)