User Profile

Allyson M W Dyar

Allyson13@bookrastinating.com

Joined 1 year, 7 months ago

Twitter user since 2008 -- Boomer Geekette. Medical History Buff. Proud Cat Mom. Book Reviewer for Netgalley mostly medical & science. Member editorial board podcast Bedside Rounds

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Allyson M W Dyar's books

Review of 'And Finally' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

I had previously read “Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery” by Dr Marsh and enjoyed it. So when “And Finally: Matters of Life and Death” showed up on NetGalley’s list of Biographies & Memoirs available for review, I naturally requested a copy. When the book I want to read isn’t immediately available, I put in a request and am always surprised when my request is granted.

As I read the book, I was reminded of Frank Sinatra’s signature swan song, “My Way,” (“And now, the end is near; And so I face the final curtain”)
as the lyrics seem to mirror the theme of the book: facing terminal prostate cancer and reflecting on a life mostly well-lived.

Dr Marsh takes the readers through his cancer diagnosis and treatment, and despite him being a renowned surgeon, he still came across as just another patient undergoing treatment but …

Review of 'Trauma Chronicles' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book as I hadn’t read any of his previous works, however, as I dove into the story, I slowly realized how much of a complete jerk Dr Westaby was. And this was the first time I’d read a nonfiction book where I really didn’t like the lead character.

Dr Westaby explains that his impulsiveness and single-mindedness came from a frontal lobe injury he had suffered playing rugby. This, of course, suggests the unfortunate situation that Phineas Gage found himself in after tamping iron pierced his brain and completely changed his personality.

But the more I read this book, I realized that the story isn’t about Dr Westaby as much as it is about the creation of specialty trauma hospitals in England. I was already familiar with some of the history of shock trauma and R Adams Cowley efforts to centralize trauma treatment …

Review of 'Scared Stiff' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

Former ER nurse Mattie Winston is now a Deputy Coroner, investigating the murder of a part-time model; her body scattered amongst Halloween decorations.

Along with detective Steve Hurley, they uncover the murderer along with their growing feelings towards each other.

The story is sprinkled with some realistic situations that coroner's find themselves in (beware if you are a squeamish reader) but it is sprinkled with great humor.

I look forward to reading more of Mattie's adventures.

Review of 'Control' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

Say the word “eugenics,” and most people’s minds immediately drift towards World War II and the atrocities that the Nazi’s brought to bear on those they had deemed “undesirable.” And you might think that the idea of eugenics has been tucked away in our distance past and forgotten.

Not so fast. In fact, I just read an article from the Journal of the American Medical Association published October 07, 2022 that specifically discussed the “stigma and exclusion of individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) within medicine, social services, public health, and society have a long history that persists to this day. The practices of eugenics and institutionalization were state-sanctioned and used within the US throughout much of the 20th century to remove persons with IDD from the population through forced sterilization and placement in institutions. These movements received widespread support at the time, including from leading medical and public …

Review of 'Street Cat Blues' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

This book is told mostly from the point of view of tabby cat Aubrey who was recently adopted from cat rescue group. He has settled nicely into his new home, even making friends with the neighborhood cats.

Unfortunately, one of the kinder humans, an older gentleman is killed. With his previous owner killed as well, Aubrey decides to investigate the murder himself.

Aubrey is a cat and unlike Joe Grey, he can't talk directly to humans. But he can communicate quite clearly with other kitties and that allows us readers into their cat world.

This is a gritty story with a bit of snark from the cats, so I hesitate to call this a cozy. Perhaps a cozy with an edge. Still, I think that any cozy reader who loves cats will enjoy the book.

Recommended for cozy readers especially if you love kitties. I enjoyed it so much that …

Simon Brett: A nice class of corpse (1988, Dell) 5 stars

Mrs Pargeter is a widow with a shadowy past who, with a little help from …

Review of 'A nice class of corpse' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

A widow, Mrs Melita Pargeter has obviously decided that she wanted to settle down at the Devereux Hotel that caters to upscale older patrons.

What she didn't expect was to awaken the next morning to a murder. Naturally curious and armed with a lot of knowledge left to her by the mysterious Mr Pargeter, Melita sets off to discover who the murderer is.

I've read other books by Simon Brett and enjoyed this; A Nice Class of Corpse was no exception. Wonderfully written, with a wee bit of snark, it's a great cozy mystery that had me guessing up until the great reveal. I'm definitely going to read the rest of the series assuming I can get them at a good price.

Review of 'Death down the Aisle' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

One of Eleanor's new best friend Constance is getting married to one of the most eligible society bachelors and Constance has asked Eleanor to be one of her bridesmaids.

Still new to even being part of society, Eleanor agrees -- even to the dress that classes with her bright red hair only to have Constance's fiancé arrested standing over the body of a woman he was previously engaged to.

Eleanor is persuaded to take on the task of proving Lord Peregrine Davencourt not guilty of the horrible crime while once again working with the object of her affections, Detective Hugh Seldon.

Another delightful book in an equally delightful series. Can't wait for the next one!

Siddhartha Mukherjee: Song of the Cell (Hardcover, Scribner) 5 stars

From the author of The Emperor of All Maladies, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, and …

Review of 'Song of the Cell' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

There is one book that I measure all medical history books against and that is Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee, which details Dr Mukherjee’s experience as a oncologist against the background of the history of cancer. It won various awards, including a Pulitzer Prize (you can’t get too much better than that!)

Now, I am reading his fourth book, The Song of the Cell: An Exploration of Medicine and the New Human and I am just as enthralled with it as I was with his first book on cancer. Dr Mukherjee takes us through the discovery and description of the cell. I was familiar with most of the history, but I still found his lyrical descriptions to be captivating.

The whole book isn’t just a historical retrospective as he also discusses his (and his colleagues) experiments into cell physiology.

Dr Mukherjee is amazing storyteller. He takes complex subjects …

Review of 'The Sound of Murder' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

Ruby Ecco is a plus-sized musical actress traveling with a troupe performing The Sound of Music.

Unfortunately, the Mother Superior is killed and having overheard the victim arguing with the theatre owner, Ruby feels obliged to discover who did the deed.

I really wanted to like this mystery having grown up near Broadway and attended a number of musicals. However, I really didn't find the characters compelling though I thought the mystery itself was well done.

There are several more books in the series (all reasonably priced), but I don't think I'll be reading them in the near future.

Review of 'Death at a Diner' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

If there's a murder anywhere in Bradley, North Carolina, octogenarian Myrtle and her side-kick Miles aren't far behind.

This time, it's the dead body of the new resident (and annoying) Palmer whom our intrepid duo find while waiting for Bo's Diner to open. It also happens that Palmer had ideas to buy the diner and turn it into a bistro. Not exactly Bradley.

I can highly recommend this and the other books in the series. The characters are memorable and the murder well done.

Highly recommended.