Tag Archives: Celadon Books

The Genome Odyssey: Medical Mysteries and the Incredible Quest to Solve Them by Euan A. Ashley – My Review

Title: The Genome Odyssey: Medical Mysteries and the Incredible Quest to Solve Them

Author: Euan A. Ashley

Release Date: February 23rd 2021

Genre: Genetics

In The Genome Odyssey, Dr. Euan Ashley, Stanford professor of medicine and genetics, brings the breakthroughs of precision medicine to vivid life through the real diagnostic journeys of his patients and the tireless efforts of his fellow doctors and scientists as they hunt to prevent, predict, and beat disease.

Since the Human Genome Project was completed in 2003, the price of genome sequencing has dropped at a staggering rate. It’s as if the price of a Ferrari went from $350,000 to a mere forty cents. Through breakthroughs made by Dr. Ashley’s team at Stanford and other dedicated groups around the world, analyzing the human genome has decreased from a heroic multibillion dollar effort to a single clinical test costing less than $1,000.

For the first time we have within our grasp the ability to predict our genetic future, to diagnose and prevent disease before it begins, and to decode what it really means to be human.

In The Genome Odyssey, Dr. Ashley details the medicine behind genome sequencing with clarity and accessibility. More than that, with passion for his subject and compassion for his patients, he introduces readers to the dynamic group of researchers and doctor detectives who hunt for answers, and to the pioneering patients who open up their lives to the medical community during their search for diagnoses and cures.

He describes how he led the team that was the first to analyze and interpret a complete human genome, how they broke genome speed records to diagnose and treat a newborn baby girl whose heart stopped five times on the first day of her life, and how they found a boy with tumors growing inside his heart and traced the cause to a missing piece of his genome.

These patients inspire Dr. Ashley and his team as they work to expand the boundaries of our medical capabilities and to envision a future where genome sequencing is available for all, where medicine can be tailored to treat specific diseases and to decode pathogens like viruses at the genomic level, and where our medical system as we know it has been completely revolutionized.

I will start off by saying, this isn’t my normal kind of read. After reading the synopsis, I was intrigued and wanted to read more. It was interesting to read about all the advances in that field when it came to genome testing. Some parts were hard to follow because of medical phrases. 

As a whole, this is an interesting and informative read. I would recommend this to anyone curious about genome testing or wanting to read something different. I give this 3 stars.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*


Hollywood Park: A Memoir by Mikel Jollett – My Review

New Release

Title:

Hollywood Park: A Memoir

Author: Mikel Jollett

Release Date: May 26th 2020

Genre: Memoir, Survival

HOLLYWOOD PARK is a remarkable memoir of a tumultuous life. Mikel Jollett was born into one of the country’s most infamous cults, and subjected to a childhood filled with poverty, addiction, and emotional abuse. Yet, ultimately, his is a story of fierce love and family loyalty told in a raw, poetic voice that signals the emergence of a uniquely gifted writer.

We were never young. We were just too afraid of ourselves. No one told us who we were or what we were or where all our parents went. They would arrive like ghosts, visiting us for a morning, an afternoon. They would sit with us or walk around the grounds, to laugh or cry or toss us in the air while we screamed. Then they’d disappear again, for weeks, for months, for years, leaving us alone with our memories and dreams, our questions and confusion. …

So begins Hollywood Park, Mikel Jollett’s remarkable memoir. His story opens in an experimental commune in California, which later morphed into the Church of Synanon, one of the country’s most infamous and dangerous cults. Per the leader’s mandate, all children, including Jollett and his older brother, were separated from their parents when they were six months old, and handed over to the cult’s “School.” After spending years in what was essentially an orphanage, Mikel escaped the cult one morning with his mother and older brother. But in many ways, life outside Synanon was even harder and more erratic.

In his raw, poetic and powerful voice, Jollett portrays a childhood filled with abject poverty, trauma, emotional abuse, delinquency and the lure of drugs and alcohol. Raised by a clinically depressed mother, tormented by his angry older brother, subjected to the unpredictability of troubled step-fathers and longing for contact with his father, a former heroin addict and ex-con, Jollett slowly, often painfully, builds a life that leads him to Stanford University and, eventually, to finding his voice as a writer and musician.

Hollywood Park is told at first through the limited perspective of a child, and then broadens as Jollett begins to understand the world around him. Although Mikel Jollett’s story is filled with heartbreak, it is ultimately an unforgettable portrayal of love at its fiercest and most loyal.

Hollywood Park is the memoir of Mikel Jollett.

This book had me feeling a lot of different emotions. From sadness to anger to happiness. Most of all, it was inspiring. What Mikel went through was heart wrenching. From escaping a cult to living with unresolved trauma, it brought tears to my eyes. As I was reading, I realized I liked his dad way more than his mom. I couldn’t put my finger on why. I mean yes I wasn’t a fan of how she treated him and his brother. Towards the end of the book, I had my answer. Mikel grew up in a different time. Different views and political opinions. All were influences forced upon him. You follow Mikel on his journey through life. The ups and downs and the hard lessons he had to learn along the way. This memoir is very well written. I honestly hadn’t heard of Mikel’s band but I plan on checking out their music. I applaud Mikel for writing this book. It took courage and I know it wasn’t easy but he did it and it could help someone else dealing with some of the things he went through. I give this 4 stars.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*