I have two new books to recommend.
First, Thomas Rice has written Far from the Land: An Irish Memoir, set in rural Ireland in the 1950s. It is wonderful and evocative. A reviewer notes: "We come away with a renewed respect—and pride if you have any Irish bloodlines or identity—for rural Irish culture and the people who carry it forward with quiet dignity against the tide of their colonial history."
Thomas is donating the next six months of royalties to Partners in Health, in support of its relief efforts in Haiti. It is available on Amazon, here.
Second, Wendy Chapin Ford's book is called To Get Back Home: A Mysterious Disease: A Fight for Life. Here's a summary: Her life seemed perfect until she was stricken with Acute Demyelinating Encephalomyelitis and rendered comatose within days, and then, after a tense weeks-long battle for survival, quadriplegic. She was treated at BIDMC, and her doctors found themselves confounded, and she slipped further and further away. Initially, she was not expected to live, or, ultimately, to walk again or recover her prior intellectual abilities. Doctors have referred to hers as a miracle case, and the mysteries persist to this day.
You can order Wendy's book here.