Circe by Madeline Miller (♦♦♦♦)

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Granddaughter of Oceanus, daughter of Titan Helios and sea nymph Perseid, Circe was different from the start. While her siblings discovered their unique gifts very early on and gained their independence—either by claiming their inheritance, like Perses and Aëstes, or by marriage to a wealthy demigod, like Pasiphäe—, Circe remained among her family in the halls of the gods. Her love for young fisherman Glaucus changed everything. Circe used a potion to transform Glaucus into a worthy suitor. Glaucus, seeing his station changed, fell in love with one Circe’s cousins, a sea nymph named Scylla. Out of jealousy, Circe put a potion on Scylla’s bath and, unintendedly, transformed her into a monster. Circe’s confession forced Helios to go to see Zeus, for witchcraft is something that gods fear can tip the balance of power. Zeus declared an eternal banishment for Circe from the halls of the gods to the island of Aiaia.

Exile was not easy but, as Circe learned, it had its advantages; being away f…

Proof of Heaven by Eben Alexander, M.D. (♦♦♦½)


Doctor in medicine Eben Alexander woke up one morning with flu-like symptoms. As hours passed, his situation rapidly deteriorated, and by the time emergency personnel brought him to the ER he was unconscious and having grand-mal seizures. As doctors began to work on him, it became evident he was suffering from a bacterial infection (of some sort) that was attacking the brain. Doctor Alexander’s illness turned out to be E. Coli meningitis, a case so rare in adults and so lethal that his chances of surviving were less than 10 percent.

Doctor Alexander fell in a coma for six days while his chances of surviving, let alone a full recovery, diminished to zero. On the seventh day, amidst talks of discontinuing his treatment and “letting nature take its course”, he woke up from coma and within two months he was without apparent negative sequels.

The real value of Doctor Alexander’s experience doesn’t lie in the fact that he beat impossible odds, though he did. Aside from his miraculous recovery is the fact that he experienced a near-death-experience (NDE) so profound that affected his view of the world and of his scientific thinking.

I liked this book. It is a true story of a miraculous medical recovery against all odds (literally). I understand that an experience like coma changes one person profoundly; I also believe in miracles and have had psychic experiences of my own so I am no stranger to the topic, but what Doctor Alexander’s recounts he lived while in coma sounds so unique, far-fetched even, that I had trouble picturing someone undergoing all that. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not denying he underwent that, I’m just saying that I have trouble grasping it.

Doctor Alexander at the end of the book tries to unify quantum mechanics with consciousness and his understanding of it since his life-altering experience; I thought that was a recipe for “weird”. In spite of it, his account and recovery are nothing short of remarkable. At the end of the book he provides the statement of the doctor who took care of him while in coma attesting to it.

Comments

  1. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

    Elizabeth
    Silver's Reviews

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Likewise. I enjoyed your blog very much.
      Regards.

      Delete
  2. I do like the sound of this one. Have you linked it in to Books You Loved yet? Hope you are having a good week.

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    Replies
    1. I'm planning to stop by in a few minutes to leave a few links to some of my favorite ones. Thanks, Carole.
      Regards.

      Delete

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