When Healing Becomes a Crime

When Healing Becomes a Crime: The Amazing Story of the Hoxsey Cancer Clinics and the Return of Alternative Therapies by Kenny Ausubel

This was a book that was assigned reading for an Alternative Health class on cancer. Although there are some keywords in the title of the book that intrigue me, I probably would not have picked this book off the shelf at the bookstore. How wrong I would have been.

Cancer is an ages old disease that can strike anyone at anytime. There is now some evidence to suggest that cancer was known in the prehistoric era. For thousands of years, people have been using natural medicines as cures for all types of ailments including cancer. It has not been until the advent of modern medicine in the early 1800s that healers and healing has moved away from nature as a remedy.

This is the story of Harry Hoxsey and his Cancer Clinics. Hoxsey was using natural medicine and alternative therapies to treat people with cancer with some modest success. The problems with all this treatment was not that it did not work, it was that the American Medical Association (AMA) was pissed because they did not get their share. Therefore, typical big business arrogance shut the other person down with legal loopholes and skullduggery. A nasty slander campaign was launched by the then chief of the AMA, Dr. Morris Fishbein against Hoxsey and his cancer cure.

The result was that Hoxsey was drummed out of the US and into Mexico and American patients of Hoxsey were left to fend for themselves. Alternative medicine took a huge step backwards because of the arrogance of the AMA and its chief. How many people with cancer could have been treated and saved with Hoxsey’s remedy will never be known. However, the main issue is that there is a natural remedy that can assist people with cancer.

Today, alternative medicine is gaining support from a variety of sources. Western-trained medical doctors are starting to accept that alternative therapies may have some benefits. Interest in herbal medicine has skyrocketed in the last ten years. Eastern methodologies are now becoming more mainstream.

If you are at all interested in the history of medicine in the US and alternative medicine then I would strongly recommend this book. I had a hard time putting it down.


Happy Reading




Lincoln Myth

The Lincoln Myth by Steve Berry

Another masterfully written historical thriller from Steve Berry.

This was an interesting read. Bringing together the Mormon Church and Abraham Lincoln into one story worked surprisingly well for Berry.

Add the backstory for Vitt and the future for Malone and Vitt added a nice subtle twist to an already twisted relationship between the two. Will Malone and Vitt renew their budding relationship after this adventure? Only Berry really knows that answer to that question.

Will a new relationship start between Neale and soon to be ex-POTUS? Again only Berry knows with any certainty.

I was happy to read that no World Heritage sites were damaged this time around yet some American monuments need some restoration.

This novel was well worth the reading time. Rather enjoyable.


Happy Reading,



The Judas Strain

The Judas Strain by James Rollins

Another great Rollins novel.

I was pulled right into the story right away and was constantly wondering what is going to happen next.

Although I more or less predicted the outcome of the novel, I was eager to reach the end to see if I was correct.

This time around, Sigma team members had more to contend with than usual. Pierce’s parent were involved and Sigma lost a valued member or did they?

I am eager to get to the next novel in the series.


Happy Reading,



Iceberg by Clive Cussler

I am determined to read all the books published by three authors: Clive Cussler, Terry Brooks and James Patterson. I feel that these three have significantly contributed to literature in their own unique ways.

Iceberg was an interesting read that starts going in one direction and then branches off into another direction making it more intriguing. The story is the typical good versus bad structure with many subplots floating just beneath the main plot.

Not the greatest of Cussler’s stories but not too bad.


Happy Reading,


Mastering Scientific and Medical Writing

Mastering Scientific and Medical Writing. (2014) Rogers, S.M. Basel, Switzerland: Springer

This is a how-to guide to writing scientific and medical writing. It addresses the concept of what is “good and bad” scientific writing. I know that I can point to many examples of both types of scientific writing

Chapter 3 discussed orthography and punctuation while Chapter 4 deals with grammar and tenses. Any native English speaker will have a rather good grasp of both of these topics. This book is not written for native English speakers but rather to non-native English speakers who need to communicate through writing.

Can native English speakers benefit from the information in this book? By all means. How many native English speakers can tell you the difference between a hyphen and an en dash and an em dash?

Scientific writing is going through a slow revolution between the forces of passive and active voice. Anybody working on a word processing document will understand what I am talking about.

There are many exercises for the reader to go through to improve their understanding and usage of that particular chapter function.

Mastering Scientific and Medical Writing brings all the required components of good writing skills together. Follow the instructions, apply lots of practice and find success in your writing skills.


Happy Reading,



Beginners Guide to Critical Thinking and Writing in Health and Social Care

A Beginners Guide to Critical Thinking and Writing in Health and Social Care. (2011) Aveyard, H., Sharp, P., and Woolliams, M. Maidenhead, Berkshire, England: Open University Press

I cannot count the number of times that I have read contradictory health stories published at nearly the same time.

I remember one report told me that drinking red wine was good for my heart while a few days later another report suggested that red wine was bad for my health. Okay, which is the truth? Which report should I follow to maintain or improve my health?

Stymied by this apparent contradiction, I conducted my own research into the matter of red wine consumption. My conclusions are that red wine, in moderation, is indeed great for heart health. So what was all the confusion about?

More often than not, writing the heading of the article in a way that is supposed to grab your attention and get you to delve deeper into the story often seems to cause more harm than reading interest.

Not long after the red wine articles came out, people who know that I am interested in such topics asked me if red wine was bad for them. I asked them where they got this idea from and they mentioned that particular article. I corrected them by presenting the facts of red wine consumption to them where they then asked why the two different articles then.

When I came upon this book, it obviously grabbed my attention in a big way. The authors present the facts of how critical thinking and writing are so important in health and social care.

By introducing why critical thinking is important, the authors get the reader to start to analyze why critical thinking is vital in health writing. You are dealing with people’s lives; sometimes these people do not have as much education or experience to know what is right from wrong.

In order to become more informative and educated about health issues, people need to read more critically and to locate the best source(s) of evidence to support opinions.

Of course, we can hold conversation with people around us about the newfound knowledge but what about reaching the millions of other people not close enough to hear your opinion. Here is where great writing skills come into play.

Sharpening our critical thinking skills has many benefits to the health and social care fields. Being able to decipher what some report is trying to tell us can pose problems.

I have read many health reports where I was completely lost within the first paragraph and these are about topics that I have a lot of knowledge in. I understand that the authors were concerned about providing detailed information to colleagues around the world; that is the purpose of these reports.

Yet many non-professional people are interested in these topics as well so why not write for the bigger, worldwide audience. Authors do not have to sacrifice critical thinking in order to get the message out to more people.

However, they do have to write in a way that common people can get the message and benefit from that message.

The future of critical thinking and writing is ephemeral. I am sure all of us would appreciate well thought out and written works that convey succinct and pertinent information.

This was a great book as it opened my already opened eyes to an immense problem in the healthcare field. I hope that more healthcare writers read this book and get some better ideas of how to present their information.


Happy Reading,



Uncommon Grounds

Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee and How It Transformed Our World. Mark Pendergrast.

I found this book interesting and informative. As a coffee shop owner, I thought I should get some information about coffee in history. Many questions arose when I started reading this book such as how coffee has become so important in our everyday lives, and what direction coffee may be going towards in the future. Pendergrast does a great job in discussing all these topics and more.

Overall, I fund the bite-sized chunks of information easy to follow. There are some recurring themes throughout the story and these themes help develop and move the story of coffee forward. I fund the information about major corporations and their desires to maximize profits over taste somewhat alarming yet not surprised by their antics.

The plight of the coffee growers throughout the world is shocking yet Pendergrast shows this disparity through Western eyes. To the grower I wonder if they really think about the price disparity between the grower and the consumer.

If you are interested in coffee, then I would recommend this book.


Happy Reading,



Emma Watson

Emma Watson: The Biography by David Nolan

I was expecting a biography of this famous and talented young woman. Instead, I got a bundling of previously released newspaper articles with excerpts from interviews and all other kinds of journalism pressed between the covers of this book.

I do not think David Nolan actually talked to Emma Watson. At least this is what felt throughout the book. What I was looking for was something new about Emma Watson and her post-Harry Potter life. Okay, there were some chapters dealing with life after HP but again Nolan simply presented what others had already interviewed/talked with Watson about.

I am appalled that the publisher would even print this piece of unoriginal hogwash and pass it off as something new and original. Talk about filching money out of book readers’ pockets.

I have not read anything by David Nolan previously and after this experience, I will never read anything written by him. I could do a google search and get the same information free that the publishers of this book charge me money for.

Do not waste your money buying this book.


Happy Reading,