Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Currently Reading: Ice Bound

My mother bought me Ice Bound ages ago and somehow the book has traveled from my life in Kelowna, Revelstoke, Whistler, Mission, Prince Rupert (twice!), Ireland, back to Canada, and then back to Ireland without ever being lost or read--which to me seems like an 'untouched possession' record of some kind. I know that it has made all those journeys because I found, tucked inside the front cover, a handbill for the blood donor clinic in Kelowna from 2007. Maybe I just needed a break from reading about cold exotic places, or maybe I was irked by the thought of reading about a female doctor while I was still desperately trying to get into medical school. Either way it traveled with me for a long time before being cracked open. 

I started reading it a few nights ago and wow, am I ever glad it didn't end up sold at the "great auction of all my personal belongings" in the spring of 2009. 

As the cover states it is about a emergency physician from the US who travels to Antarctica to 'winter-over' as the medical staff at the American base. While she is there, she (somehow, haven't gotten that far yet) finds out she has breast cancer but has no way of leaving until winter is over, 8 months later, and planes can land at the base again. As a result she ends up having to diagnose and treat herself with the limited resources there on the base. The photos inside are intense, including one of her biopsying her own breast.

So far it is very well written and paced nicely. Of course a part of me can identify with the tingles of excitement that she gets with the prospect and then departure to such an extreme location. The packing and preparation scenes certainly rang true with my previous life of Northern adventures, and it made me smile at the reminiscence of having no bloody clue whatsoever of what I was getting myself into.

And like most books I've been reading lately, this one has me hooked which means my hours of sleep are infringed upon as the only place I can find a way to make the day longer. 

Worth it though. I highly recommend checking it out.  


Unknown said...

I have read that book a few times and I never tire of it. Her story is amazing.

Cartoon Characters said...

I remember hearing about it in the news....can't believe that much time has passed already - that she has already written a book.

I will have to put it on my list!

Unknown said...

One of the things I found most interesting was her rapport with the maintenance staff at the base. One would assume that she would have picked the scientists to assist her with the procedures. Her writing about choosing who to train to assist with the biopsies and treatment is very compelling.

E. Greene said...

Wow, what an intense storyline. I had a similar experience with a book (flow: the psychology of optimal experience). It has been toted from Ohio to Vienna to Italy and now here. One of my friends saw it sitting on the shelf in my house and asked to borrow it. Maybe I'll decide to read it after SHE reads it!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the recommendation! I'll definitely add this one to my list of books to read by summer. :)

Grumpy, M.D. said...

I'm still somewhere in the middle of "The Source" by Michener. My Granny gave it to me in 1982. Maybe someday I'll finish it.