Category Archives: Memoir
The Language of Kindness: A Nurse’s Story by Christie Watson
I have an admission to make. When I started to write this review for The Language of Kindness by Christie Watson I really struggled to put the words on paper. Whatever I write it will not do justice to a memoir about nursing. This book had me crying. Yes, there were also times when it made me smile and made me laugh. One thing it really did do as if I needed to was to really appreciate the profession that is nursing and the dedication that nurses put into their daily roles.
There are personal stories of patients contained within the book that many will be moved by. Watson has one problem when she starts her training to be a nurse and that is the sight of blood. It makes her want to faint. This is something she will have to overcome. Mistakes are made along the journey to become a nurse. She manages to overcome the hurdles in training and starts to make her mark in the intensive-care wards for children and then to progress further.
There are many stories that Watson tells and throughout the book it is her quiet and gentle prose that makes this memoir really shine. Watson also rages about what is happening with the NHS of today. When we think of nurses we think of them dispensing medical care and medicines to make us better, but reading this will give you a much greater understanding. It is more than that, it is about talking and being with those who need medical care. From just assisting a patient and helping them do the basics to singing to a new born baby who sadly then sadly dies. This is pure emotion. I have nothing but admiration and pride for the nurses who work so tirelessly in our NHS. So many stories that I could share here but that would detract from the incredible memoir. Nursing is an undervalued profession but many like me believe they are all angels.
Christie Watson also wrote a novel Tiny Sunbirds Far Away that won the 2011 Costa First Novel Award. Following this Watson left nursing after two decades and decided to become a full-time writer.
What I have written here about The Language of Kindness will never do it justice. This is a book that deserves all the accolades. Lyrical and moving this is a book that I highly recommend.
Thank you Sophie Lambert at Conville & Walsh or the review copy of The Language of Kindness by Christie Watson.
The Language of Kindness by Christie Watson is published by Chatto & Windus and was published on 3rd May 2018 and is available through Waterstones, Amazon and through your local independent bookshop.
Why Do Birds Suddenly Disappear by Lev Parikian
Men and birds, (the feathered type). What is it about why we become keen birders. I don’t just mean feeding our garden birds but actually going birding and trying to find birds in their natural habitat. Oh it does not end there, then we have lists and hi-tech bins and scopes that cost thousands not to mention cameras and then there is the lists. The birds you have seen in a calendar year. Lists for garden and your local patch and then you go chasing those very special rare birds that arrive on our shores during the Spring and Autumn. Welcome to the world of an avid birder. Yes, I have been there. Seen it and got the t-shirt. I want to introduce you to Lev Parikian. Lev is a very notable conductor and a birdwatcher. In Lev’s new book Why Do Birds Suddenly Disappear (Unbound) he takes us through his story of when he was young he loved going birding and seeing new birds (or not as it transpires) and then he stopped only when he was fifty did his loves of birding return. This is his story of a year of birds, family, music and a look back through his younger days.
My library is stuffed full of bird books and stories of that writers birding year, some are really good and entertaining and some just do not cut it at all with me for a number of reasons. But Lev Parikian’s book is just that most wonderful read it is a riot of laughs and nostalgia. Starting in January 2016 this is his story of a lapsed birdwatcher aiming to see 200 birds in a year, that is REALLY seeing 200 birds in a year not ones he thinks he is seeing. Yes, Lev I have been there too.
When Lev was twelve-years-old he loved birds and birdwatching but like any keen young birder there is that urge to think you have seen a bird that in the cold light of day was not the bird you thought it was. Claiming to see a bird when actually you did not. But then after a few years and growing up the birding stopped and other things in life took over, like his love of music which in life became much more than an interest. Then of course there is cricket and girls.
There is something uniquely different about the way Lev has gone about writing about his birding year. His absolute pleasure at discovering his love of the outdoors and his love of seeing and finding birds again really shines through. But there is still that target of wanting to see 200 birds in a full calendar year. Does Lev actually achieve his target?
Sometimes seeing something really very special is something that should be shared with someone close to you. You will experience that in this glorious read. Together with Lev we travel the length and breadth of this beautiful country seeking birds in their own natural habitat. From woods to estuary and the lowlands to the highlands and a barrel of laughs along the way.
What shines through for me is the love Lev has for his family and his music and that he has found the real beauty in nature again. It is a gift for each of us to enjoy and treasure. I just loved Why Birds Suddenly Disappear and it now takes pride of place along with the very best nature books in my library. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Thank you to Lev Parikian and Unbound for the review copy of Why Do Birds Suddenly Disappear.
Why Do Birds Suddenly Disappear is published by Unbound and was published on 17th May 2018 and is available through Waterstones, Amazon and through your local independent bookshop.
Are you following the Blog Tour?