Lower Fairfield County's online book club

Health care without the insurance, and the prescription

Still on the search for a fix for his sore shoulder, Reid leaves Canada before the end of the book to visit India and pay out of pocket at an ayurvedic clinic. I’ll save you the suspense: After weeks spent eating healthfully, relaxing, and being intensely massaged, Reid’s shoulder felt better and had a better […] [Read More]

Non-fiction fiction

I’ve realized, somewhat belatedly, that in my post about not reading enough fiction I erred in adding Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt to the list. My conscious brain realized that it was biography/memoir, but my subconscious brain always confuses McCourt with Ian McEwan, who actually does right fiction. Angela’s Ashes is still more narrative and […] [Read More]

Health care news.

As you all probably know by now, the Senate Finance Committee, one of five Congressional committees critical to health care reform, rejected two proposals Tuesday that would have created a public insurance plan to compete with private health insurance companies. The public option has been a constant demand of more liberal lawmakers but is widely […] [Read More]

Actually socialized health care

Whenever politicians talk about health care reform, Americans probably fear most the systems Britain and Canada have. It makes no difference that Reid and many others who have benefited from them extol their virtues. These systems are so different from what the U.S. does that they’re not likely to be implemented soon anyway.* Britain is […] [Read More]

Banned Books Week 9/26 – 10/3

Next week is Banned Books week. Sponsored by library, publishing and journalism organizations, this week celebrates, among other concepts, the First Amendment, the right to know, the right to free and open access and the importance of access to unpopular or unorthodox viewpoints. In 2008, the ALA Office of Intellectual Freedom received reports of  513 […] [Read More]

The carte vitale

This is my first time over at BookEnds, and I’m slowly slogging through T.R. Reid’s “The Healing of America” because I foolishly began reading four books over the past few weeks and I’m only close to finishing one — “The Long Goodbye,” by Raymond Chandler. Yes, cheesy private detective fiction holds my attention longer than […] [Read More]

Fiction recommendations

I’m often embarassed by the paucity of fiction books on my shelves. I don’t know why I care. But while many I know suck down the latest Oprah book or books at the top of bestseller lists for weeks, like The Kite Runner and anything by Nicholas Sparks, I find out about a new Andrew Jackson biography […] [Read More]

France, Germany, and Japan

Before he takes us to France, T.R. Reid explores all of the things that might increase medical care costs for Americans as opposed to their counterparts in other countries. He disabuses us of two notions right away: that it’s doctors salaries and malpractice insurance. Doctors do get paid more in the U.S. than they do […] [Read More]

Ode to Keats

  This seems to be the year of John Keats: in July, his house was reopened to the public in Hampstead Heath, London, and this week, “Bright Star”, the new film about Keats’ brief love affair with Fanny Brawne, opens in theatres. Directed by Jane Campion, the movie got a lovely review in the New […] [Read More]
Categories: classics, History, Movies

Suburban discontent : “The Northern Clemency”

Philip Hensher’s “The Northern Clemency” is very much about England, set in a city “made by fire out of water.” The primeval description refers to Sheffield, South Yorkshire, circa 1974, when the city was the steel center of England and heaps of coal fed the gaping furnaces of the factories and muddied the rolling, purplish […] [Read More]
Categories: General