This Is Going To Hurt by Adam Kay

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About the book:

Welcome to 97-hour weeks. Welcome to life and death decisions. Welcome to a constant tsunami of bodily fluids. Welcome to earning less than the hospital parking meter. Wave goodbye to your friends and relationships . . .

Welcome to the life of a junior doctor.

Scribbled in secret after endless days, sleepless nights and missed weekends, comedian and former junior doctor Adam Kay’s This Is Going to Hurt provides a no-holds-barred account of his time on the NHS front line. Hilarious, horrifying and heartbreaking by turns, these diaries are everything you wanted to know – and more than a few things you didn’t – about life on and off the hospital ward. And yes, it may leave a scar.

Click HERE to get your copy!

My thoughts:

Not being in the UK, I can’t pass comment on the NHS or any of that, but I had seen plenty of chat about Adam’s book so I loaned it from the library to see what it was like. I am a fan of medical memoirs, so it was right up my street.

Adam writes with wit and humour, and even in the worst of situations this levity really makes a difference to the narrative. Doctors see people on the worst days of their lives, but we also see them on the worst days of theirs, even if we don’t realise it. We don’t know what they are going through, but Adam has given an insightful look into his life as a Junior Doctor and just how much it impacted him.

I think what I enjoyed the most was the almost conversational aspect of the book. It’s written in diary entries from his time in hospitals, so they are often brief, but some of the entries are very powerful. Others really made me feel for him as his own personal life suffered at the hands of working absolutely crazy hours and nobody could understand why he was missing important events outside of work.

I really enjoyed This Is Going To Hurt, even though enjoy seems like the wrong word considering the subject matter, but you know what I mean. Adam Kay has a way with words, and it made this a really easy read. Tough subjects obviously, but he made it more relatable with his affable writing manner.

If you enjoy glimpse into the medical profession, and a little humour with your non-fiction the you should most certainly add this one to your list!

Recommended!

 

Author Q&A- Mary Turner Thomson

Hey guys,

I’ve got another author q&a for you all today. Mary Turner Thomson kindly agreed to answer my questions for this one!

About the author:

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Mary Turner Thomson was born and grew up in Edinburgh, she got a BA Hons degree from Newcastle in Creative and Performing Arts in 1987, and a Marketing Diploma from Napier University in 1992.
She has worked as a business adviser, marketing consultant and motivational trainer before writing her first book – THE OTHER MRS JORDAN – IN 2006. That autobiography was then updated and reprinted as THE BIGAMIST in 2007. In 2009 Mary worked on another biography with Natalie Hutchison about overcoming adversity – TRADING PLACES – which was published in 2009.
Mary is currently working on her first novel – a psychological thriller.

www.maryturnerthomson.com

maryt@maryturnerthomson.com

Twitter         @TheBigamistBook

FaceBook    Mary Turner Thomson

 

About The Bigamist:

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In April 2006, Mary Turner Thomson received a call that blew her life apart. The woman on the other end of the line told her that Will Jordan, Mary’s husband and the father of her two younger children, had been married to her for fourteen years and they had five children together.

The Bigamist is the shocking true story of how one man manipulated an intelligent, independent woman, conning her out of £200,000 and leaving her to bring up the children he claimed he could never have.

It’s a story we all think could never happen to us, but this shameless con man has been doing the same thing to various other women for at least 27 years, spinning a tangled web of lies and deceit to cover his tracks.

How far would you go to help the man you love? How far would he go to deceive you? And what would you do when you found out it was all a lie?

 


Can you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Mary Turner Thomson and I am an author (of international best-selling book ‘The Bigamist’), trainer, and motivational speaker.

How did you get into writing? Is it something you’ve always wanted to do?
If someone had asked me as a child what my dream job would be it would have been to be an author – but I never in a million years even articulated that dream because I never thought it remotely possible. It was only when the most extraordinary thing happened to me that I realized I had a story that simply had to be told. In 2006 I found out that my ‘husband’ – with whom I had been in a relationship for 6 years – was a bigamist and a con man who actively impregnates women to rip them off for money. So I investigated further and discovered a pattern of behavior which involved sometimes 5-6 relationships at once, 13 children by 6 different women, numerous businesses that he had defrauded and criminal convictions ranging back 23 years. All this from the seemingly mild-mannered, charming, kind man whom I had initially met (which had dissolved in our later relationship to my living in constant fear for my and our children’s lives from people he swore he was keeping us safe from). The book wrote itself in relating my relationship with this man, my discovery and understanding of sociopaths/psychopaths, as well as all the information I discovered including the other women’s and businesses stories.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
True life.

How would you describe your writing to anyone who hasn’t read your books?
I have been told that it is ‘like watching a train crash in slow motion’. You know what is happening and scream ‘no!’ but can’t stop it. The most common response I get is that people ‘can’t put it down’.

Do you think social media helps in regard to promotion and drumming up publicity for a new book?
Absolutely!

What’s your most favourite thing about being an author?
Being able to change perceptions about this type of crime, to raise awareness of psychopaths and how they function, and to change the social culture of ‘victim-shaming’ when this type of thing happens. 100 years ago women who were raped were branded ‘loose’ or must have ‘asked for it’ if they had worn the wrong clothes or smiled at the wrong man. Nowadays we ALL know that is wrong. When someone lies to you to get money it is called ‘fraud’ and illegal, and yet when a person lies to us to get sex (or create babies to manipulate someone) it is not even seen as a crime – unless money is also involved. That is fundamentally wrong.

People today are looking for love and when find a partner it is natural to trust them. Psychopaths use that, and quickly manipulate their victims into a position where they don’t question or doubt their partner. It is brainwashing and the psychopaths are cripplingly good at it! More so because the victim is branded ‘stupid’ if they admit what has happened. I had thought it more likely for me to win the lottery than be caught in the sights of a psychopath. I have since learnt that they make up about 1% of the population – that is 1 in 100 people! FAR more common that you would think!

I get letters a couple of times a week from people all over the world who have read my book thanking me for standing up and talking about this, because something similar happened to then and no-one has understood. Often they have remained silent on the subject and not told even close friends of the manipulation and emotional abuse because they are worried about being branded ‘stupid’, or ‘gullable,’ or ‘desperate’. In some cases my book has even woken victims up to what is happening so that they can get free of their psychopathic relationships. On several occasions victims of the same man have read my book and come to understand what has happed to them as well, contacting me afterwards to share stories and experiences.

Knowing I have helped those people, and made a difference is the best thing about being a published author.

 

What’s your least favourite thing about being an author?
Nothing – I love it all. I have always revered authors and to be classed amongst their ranks is an honour.

Where do you see your writing career 5 years from now?
I have several more books I want to write including a couple of novels (psychological thrillers of course). So watch this space!

What’s next for you?
More writing, more reading, more publishing, more life.

I often wonder are authors voracious readers. Do you read much, and if so, what kind of books do you enjoy?
I read a lot (every night) and don’t really stick to one genre.

Can you tell me your all time favourite book, or if you have to, your top 5?
Lucky by Alice Sebold
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
The Belgariad series by David Eddings
The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson
Game of Thrones by George RR Martin

 

Has there been any books you’ve read that you wish you had written?
Yes, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon – I swear that woman has a time machine and visits the places she writes about. I admire her style so much!

When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
I am a single mum and run a business as well so time is a very precious commodity!

Have you any hobbies that aren’t book-related?
I got my black belt in Taekwon Do in 2010. I started in 2006 – having put Will Jordan in jail and going public with the story I wanted to be sure I could defend myself if he should come seeking me out when he was released. So I do that to keep fit and strong. My kids do it as well and my two younger children have been selected to represent Scotland in the Pan-European ITS championships in July this year. So I spend a lot of a time as a TKD mum ferrying them to training sessions etc.

What’s your favourite holiday destination?
A cottage in Arisaig on West Coast of Scotland. Family around, no electronics, the most stunning sunsets, not-too-freezing sea, card games and a fire to roast marshmallows on. Lush!

Favourite food?
My mother’s cooking – sadly not tasted for 10 years.

Favourite drink?
Wine

Last but not least, why writing? Why not something else?
Because there is magic in the written word, an immortality which transcends all other mediums. When we read a book we are not aware we are reading words printed on a page. We are transported into the story far more vividly than a dream so that it has a reality all of its own. It is timeless and revered and being part of that is a tremendous honour.


 

Huge thanks to Mary for this super-interesting Q&A! 🙂

Fragile Lives by Stephen Westaby

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*Many thanks to the lovely folks at Harper Collins Non-Fiction for my review copy*

About the book:

An incredible memoir from one of the world’s most eminent heart surgeons and some of the most remarkable and poignant cases he’s worked on.

Grim Reaper sits on the heart surgeon’s shoulder. A slip of the hand and life ebbs away.

The balance between life and death is so delicate, and the heart surgeon walks that rope between the two. In the operating room there is no time for doubt. It is flesh, blood, rib-retractors and pumping the vital organ with your bare hand to squeeze the life back into it. An off-day can have dire consequences – this job has a steep learning curve, and the cost is measured in human life. Cardiac surgery is not for the faint of heart.

Professor Stephen Westaby took chances and pushed the boundaries of heart surgery. He saved hundreds of lives over the course of a thirty-five year career and now, in his astounding memoir, Westaby details some of his most remarkable and poignant cases – such as the baby who had suffered multiple heart attacks by six months old, a woman who lived the nightmare of locked-in syndrome, and a man whose life was powered by a battery for eight years.

A powerful, important and incredibly moving book, Fragile Lives offers an exceptional insight into the exhilarating and sometimes tragic world of heart surgery, and how it feels to hold someone’s life in your hands.

Fragile Lives is out Feb 9th and you can get your copy by clicking HERE.

My thoughts:

Anyone who reads my blog will know that I rarely, if ever, review non-fiction. It is definitely not my usual genre, but when I saw it pop up on Twitter recently, I was suitably intrigued. I am so SO GLAD I got the chance to read and review Fragile Lives.

Fragile Lives is a memoir written by Stephen Westaby, one of the most well known cardiac surgeons and hugely prolific in his chosen field. A trailblazer from very early on in his career, he continued to pave the way for the use of new and unknown cardiac treatments and apparatus.

I started it Monday morning, and by Monday night I was a ball of emotions upon finishing it. Every chapter is a case story, and every case is heartbreaking yet life-affirming, if that makes sense. I found myself close to tears on more than one occasion on Monday, knowing that these are real people and they were meeting Westaby at possibly the worst moment of their lives.

The details in Fragile Lives are extremely in depth, especially with regards to the surgeries and various diseases/injuries that are discussed in the book. While it was descriptive, it was not by any means difficult to follow. It was very interesting to read about the anatomy of the heart and the various pathologies Westaby writes about.

I can’t do this book justice with my words. It was truly excellent to read. I was compelled to read it, trapped in the intensity of the chapters. When I had to put it down, I immediately wished I was reading it again. That is always a sign of a great book. If you like medicine, with a large dose of humanity, then pick up Fragile Lives.

Highly recommended!