My Stroke of Insight

From: Margaret  Mezzacapo

My Stroke of Insight

Author: Jill Bolte Taylor

I had read Ms. Taylor’s book several years ago from my viewpoint at the time as an EMT and member of the Fire Department, which I still am. But reading it now from the viewpoint of having had a stroke myself at a relatively young age, it takes on a whole new meaning and perspective. There were times when this book was almost uncomfortably close to home. Ms. Taylor chronicles everything spot-on. I’d recommend this to all audiences.

Picking Up

From: Margaret Mezzacapo
Picking Up

Author: Robin Nagle
Having always had an interest in how things work, I had a feeling I’d like this one, and I was right. Ms. Nagle, an anthropologist, became a New York City sanitation person in order to immerse herself in the culture of garbage, which is a lot more entertaining than it sounds. She dwells a little lengthily on the history of trash, but still I was very entertained and learned a lot.

Four Tenths of an Acre

From: Margaret Mezzacapo
Four Tenths of an Acre
Author: Laurie Lisle
This has a similar theme to Margaret Roach’s And I Shall Have Some Peace There: Trading in the Fast Lane for My Own Dirt Road (2011). A single woman “escapes” city life by fleeing to a country setting and becoming an obsessive gardener. Ms. Lisle becomes totally possessed, and IMHO uses the garden to avoid human interaction.

There are a few jarring notes/questions I had:

  • Without a job, how is she paying for all this? Unless she got one boatload of an inheritance!
  • She mentions her dog – and somehow chronicles sixteen years with her – yet always refers to her as “my dog” and not once gives her name. Then again, she only names one of her three husbands.

Overall, an entertaining read, though.