illness

blue cover with a wooden spoon dripping in chocolate

Stir

Jessica Fechtor
4
Rated by
Hannah Jane C.
Sunday, Jul 9, 2017

​I'll admit I wasn't sure about a memoir that alternated between recipes and recovery from an aneurysm​, but Stir must have won me over because I not only felt the unique disappointment that only happens when finishing a good book, I also can't stop talking about it. Jessica Fechtor's recovery from a brain aneurysm while running on a treadmill is memoir-worthy without the wonderful observations, recipes, and memories.

Showtime at the Ministry of Lost Causes

Showtime at the Ministry of Lost Causes

Cheryl Dumesnil
4
Rated by
Hannah Jane C.
Friday, Mar 10, 2017

The title of Cheryl Dumesnil's latest collection, Showtime at the Ministry of Lost Causes, is like an irresistible flashing light, letting readers know that there's dark humor to be found inside. And yes, her poems twinkle with dark humor, but they are also candidly soulful, colorful and even sweetly sexy at times. Her poem, The Gospel According to Sky, explores cloud shapes, and how "the immutable blue holds those changing shapes, like a lover who's finally learned how

The Big Tiny

Dee Williams
5
Rated by
Hannah Jane C.
Thursday, Jun 9, 2016

I laughed most of the way through The Big Tiny. Dee Williams, a superhero of the tiny house movement, is a very funny and big-hearted lady.

Picture of the cover of Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Jesse Andrews
4
Rated by
Gregg W.
Thursday, Jul 9, 2015

It’s a shame that Me and Earl and the Dying Girl gets lumped in with John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars. Even though both are excellent novels involving a person dying of cancer, both are about vastly different things.

Comet's Tale

Steven D. Wolf with Lynette Padwa
4
Rated by
Hannah Jane C.
Thursday, May 7, 2015

Comet, a rescued greyhound, will win you over with her lovable, graceful and insightful personality. Steven Wolf rescues Comet from the horrors of greyhound racing, and in turn she rescues him when his debilitating back injuries leave him disabled and unable to participate in everyday life.

Two Kinds of Decay

Sarah Manguso
3
Rated by
Hannah Jane C.
Tuesday, Feb 3, 2015

Sarah battles a crazy disease, the kind of mysterious disease with no definitive end. It’s a disease that requires a central line (a catheter placed into a large vein in the neck), the kind of disease that attacks nerves and turns the body into a battleground.

13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher

13 Reasons Why

Jay Asher
4
Friday, May 6, 2011

So yesterday I was reading at the gym, and I am just about to the end of my book and something horrible happens. It starts with a little catch in my throat, then I can feel my eyes starting to fill up...and I realize that I am about to cry over a book in public. And not just anywhere, at the gym, in front of all the ladies going to zumba and the body builders lifting weights.

Wednesday, Jun 2, 2010

What do you say about a book that has been lauded by professional reviewers as a “taut, clear-eyed memoir” with a “sheer and highly efficient writing style” and is “elegant [in its] rendition of the stages [of grief]”?

All I can say is bleech. I didn’t come close to shedding a tear while reading this book and I weep during Hallmark commercials. I don’t understand how a book about the sudden loss of a loving husband after returning from the ICU where a daughter hangs by a thread can leave me void of emotion. But Didion has done it here. It’s inexplicable.