The Road

 Dark, grim, disheartening, frightening. 

The Road is skillfully written by Cormac McCarthy in a short, urgent and to the point prose that truly makes this tale about post-apocalyptic America.  It details the plight of a man and his son as they try to survive treacherous conditions, starvation and roving groups of cannibals.  You don’t really want to read this book for the plot, but more for the writing style that took the story and boiled it down to the essence of meaning.  There is no wonder why this book has won so many awards and held in great acclaim.  A must read. 

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In Cold Blood

A gripping book that is based on the actual events that unfolded in 1959, in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas.  It is about the murder of the Clutter family, for the small sum of about $50 dollars.  It is excitingly written by Truman Capote as he goes through the events that led up to, through and after the murders.

Obviously Dick Hickock and  Perry Smith could not have understood the implications of the horrible crimes that they committed; not only for themselves, but for the whole of America.  The book delves into the story of the family and Dick and Perry, but it also documents the hysteria, nervousness and worry that the small town residents began to feel after the murders.  Thankfully both of the killers were caught and paid with their lives for the crimes, but America would never be the same.

One of the great works of all time; a definite must read.

 

The Healing of America

Finished reading this book over the weekend and it sheds a lot of light on America’s poorly implemented and broken healthcare system and what we can learn from countries that do it better and for cheaper.  It dispels a lot of the myths that Fearmongers (I love that term) are currently throwing around in regards to Universal Coverage “It’s all socialized medicine out there!” (p.s. We already have socialized healthcare here, i.e. the Department of Veteran Affairs, “It will ration our healthcare!” plus others.  He and I believe the first question as a nation we have to answer is an ethical one.  Do people in our country have a right to healthcare?  Our answer is a definitive yes.

He tours over six different countries from France to Japan to India looking for options how to treat his bum shoulder.  It is interesting to see the differences in practices, suggestions, course of treatment, cost and who pays.  Each country is extremely different, but all follow one of three basic systems: Bismarck, Beveridge or the Out-of-Pocket model.  I won’t get into all the statistics, but basically the U.S. spends the most on healthcare and gets the worst results out of all the Democratic, rich countries.  About 20,000 people die in America each year from preventable diseases due to no access to healthcare. 

I think a lot more research should be done before bills start getting proposed and voted on.  We should follow the course of action that T.R. Reid has suggested- have delegates go to the nations that have the best Universal Coverage and pick and choose the Best Practices to implement here.  We can learn a lot from France and Japan and be able to implement some of their practices.  Definitely a book worth reading for everyone, considering the current situation about American Healthcare.  You can find it on Amazon here.

The Healing of America