IT’S MY FIRST CANNONBALL! And also my first time participating, so I’m PRETTY PROUD OF MYSELF! This really feels like an accomplishment. I met my goal while carrying a full college courseload, parenting a special needs toddler, being the wife to a pre-med student who spends 70 hours a week at work or school, and moving to a new home. I did it! I’m so excited. Like seriously SO excited.
Anyway, it’s fitting that I hit my cannonball with a medical memoir, since I’m pretty sure I’ve read at least five this year, they’re one of my favorite things, and this was my favorite one. Dr. Vertosick covers his residency mostly. He has a stunning gift for describing the brain’s anatomy and functions with words that leave you in awe of the human body and the ways we can tinker with it. My mom had a fourteen hour life-saving brain surgery when I was five, so neurosurgery has always been very interesting to me and this book really hit the spot. It had a few issues, namely the time he tells the parents of an infant with a terminal brain tumor that it was fine to just go home and stop coming to the hospital (and she lived for another year). I fully understand that that’s largely how things were handled then (that happened in the ’70s), but it’s just kind of thrown in there matter of factly and I felt like it could’ve used a little bit of contextualization and acknowledgement of how totally not okay that would’ve been now. Nonetheless, I had a book hangover at the end and anything that leaves me with a book hangover gets an automatic five stars.