You Can’t Drive Your Car to Your Own Funeral by Ann Marie Hancock

 

A real insight into caring for a loved one with compassion and the strength of God.

 

Ann Marie Hancock, the author of this book is a retired television personality, talk show host and model, but she is also a wife, mother, grandmother and daughter. In this, her third book she shares with her readers how she had a life changing experience in 1981, when she visited the Medjugorji in Yugoslavia.

Her experiences at Medjugorji led her to travelling the world, and carrying out healing services with a Benedictine Abbot.

Then in 2012 her strong, independent, and very private mother was diagnosed with cancer. Stoic and determined that it wouldn’t change her the ‘c’ word was not even spoken, let alone discussed. This was how she coped, if she didn’t say it, it didn’t exist. However, tragically not long after she started undergoing treatment, her husband died expectantly.

Everyone copes with grief in their own way, and now alone after many years of marriage, the author’s mother remained strong and controlling. In this honest and sometimes heart rending book the author, through her recollections of this terribly sad period of her life gives her reader a real insight into the strong character her mother was. Forthright, not suffering fools lightly, and certainly not being told what to do, or when to do it. I have a mother much of the same ilk and I am full of admiration for the way the author handled the multitude of events which occurred, and yet stayed loving and caring.

It was Ann Marie’s belief in God which was her strength, and this enabled this wound healer to face her greatest challenge yet. Because in caring for her mother and coming to terms with tragic events in her own life she embarked on a different journey, a journey of the spirit.

Through God and the teaching of the bible Ann Marie learnt to accept who she was, and come to the realisation that finding spiritual happiness is a life’s journey. That knowledge she imparts in this book, teaching the reader that the paths which they travel along in life are their own uniquely special journey. Along the route of life they will be tested, and will gain strength in accepting God’s will, even if they don’t understand it at the time. This epic spiritual journey is one which must be travelled alone. It is not about what others think you should do, or impressions you are given, your unique life events make you who you are, and the repercussions on your life evolve and change as you do. Depending on what life throws at you, these challenges empowers you to develop strengths, understanding, and happiness. It is easy in life to blame others when things don’t go as expected, get angry, put up a guard, however once you learn to listen to God, and take time to pray and talk to him, amazing things will be revealed, and you will realise that it is in your power to find true happiness, and inner peacefulness.

In conclusion, Ann Marie has in this beautiful story shared a hard, yet very special time of her life with her readers. Within its pages is a very clear insight into the strength needed emotionally to care for someone with a terminal illness.

About the Book:

You have reached a milestone in your life when the fire department is on standby as you blow out your birthday candles. If you have pondered going to heaven but without dying, this book is for you! As Father Ralph Pfau said, “You can’t be a good egg all your life. You either have to hatch or go bad.” Adventure into one courageous woman’s journey through later life as seen through her daughter’s eyes. Unique in every way, this woman operated completely without filter, remained in denial about her cancer diagnosis, and challenged the prognosis and thoughts of doctors, nurses, family, and friends. Written from the heart, Ann Marie Hancock shares her experiences in loving and caring for her mother through the heartaches and the joys and the times of laughter and sadness.

Available from Amazon https://www.amazon.com/You-Cant-Drive-Your-Funeral/dp/1641386436/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1553508004&sr=1-1

Barnes and Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/you-cant-drive-your-car-to-your-own-funeral-ann-marie-hancock/1129135430?ean=9781641386432

and Books A Million https://www.booksamillion.com/p/Cant-Drive-Your-Car-Own/Ann-Marie-Hancock/9781641386432?id=7500558173697

 

Surgeon’s Story: Inside OR-1 with One of America’s Top Pediatric Heart Surgeons by Mark Oristano

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr Kristine Guleserian is a paediatric heart surgeon, and this fascinating book gives the reader a glimpse into her life, career, cases, and what has made her the incredible person she is today.

Congenital heart disease affects approximately 35,000 new born babies in the US alone each year, although it may not reveal itself straight away, sometimes never.

The problem may be discovered at, or just after birth, however, as medical techniques advance problems can be detected whilst the baby is still in the womb, and, if necessary a medical team can be in place to perform surgery straight away.

Like many remarkable people, Dr G, as she is known throughout the book, is humble and does not seek fame, ‘she’s a surgeon, not a writer,’ the author quotes (despite her numerous medical articles), and so he has the honour of shadowing this amazing lady, and telling her story.

I can promise the reader that they will find this book absolutely fascinating and heart-wrenching, as they follow the medical journeys of some of her young patients, discover the problems they faced, and how they were overcome, by Dr G and her amazing team.

One case in particular, I read with a mixture of dread, fear, anticipation and joy, the life journey of little Rylynn, which started pre-birth in the womb of her mother Andrea. Bonding through the story with her parents, having been the mother of a 13 week premature daughter who was born only weighing .635 of a gram, and is now 29 years old. I found it incredibly easy to slip back through the years to the time when I slept on a bed next to hers, and life echoed to the beeps of various monitors…

However Dr G doesn’t just make the dreams and prayers of her patients and their families come true, she also has that amazing capacity, which people in her profession have, of going the extra mile. A shining example of this is in the story of 13 year old Andrew Madden a patient who has a special none medical bond with her, and who attracts the attention of the media by being the 100th heart transplant at the Children’s Medical Center.

Getting personal, she recalls her childhood for the author, and we learn that her calling came at a very early age and was influenced by family and childhood incidents. With a passion for learning, and a loved Greek classics, sports, languages and music, this enquiring and knowledge hungry mind meant that she naturally enjoyed studying. This would prove an essential quality in the years to come, as she graduates from Harvard, and spends many years perfecting her knowledge in her chosen profession. To this day she maintains that you can never afford to stop learning.

Indeed as we look at her work, it is enlightening to see her life through the eyes of the patients, their relatives, her teams, and the students who are lucky enough to learn from her.

Whether you have an interest in pediatric heart problems, love the opportunity to peek into someone else’s life, or are considering a career in the medical profession, this book makes compelling reading. The volume of information and human interest content will have you riveted to every single page.

 

About the Author: Mark is a 35-year veteran sportscaster whose assignments have included work on the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Oilers radio networks. Mark was one of the broadcasters for Super Bowl XXX between the Cowboys and the Pittsburgh Steelers. He’s also worked for NFL Films, the Dallas Cowboys P.R. department, and numerous radio and TV stations.

His first book, A SPORTSCASTER’S GUIDE TO WATCHING FOOTBALL, was published in 2009.

This spring, Mark’s new book, SURGEON’S STORY, will publish. It’s the story of Kristine Guleserian, a pediatric heart surgeon at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, a story filled with drama, and a special kind of caring all too absent from modern medicine.

Mark’s on-air colleagues have included Verne Lundquist, now the CBS voice of college football, who hired Mark at WFAA-TV, Dallas in 1973; Oprah Winfrey, with whom Mark co-anchored in Nashville at WLAC-TV in 1974-75; Ron Franklin, now with ESPN, who shared the Oiler radio booth with Mark from 1978-1981.

Mark was born in New York City in 1952, and moved to Texas in 1970 to attend Texas Christian University, gaining a BFA in Mass Communication in 1974.

He left broadcasting in 2002, and is currently a much sought-after portrait photographer in Dallas, as well as a successful actor. His daughter Stacey lives in L.A., and continues the family football tradition as a cast member on FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS on NBC-TV.

About the Book: SURGEON’S STORY is your passport into OR-1, the cardiac surgical suite at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas. You’ll be there as Dr. Kristine Guleserian, noted pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon, fixes the tiny hearts of the tiniest children. Follow the young boy who gets a new heart and then, three weeks later, joins Dr. Guleserian on the mound at Fenway Park to throw out the first pitch at a World Series game. Discover the years of training Dr. G went through to become the highly respected surgeon she is today. See how her warmth, humor, intelligence and dedication provide a shining example of what is good about the American health care system. To get a closer look than this, you’d have to scrub in.

Available from Amazon in Kindle format https://www.amazon.com/Surgeons-Story-1-Americas-Pediatric-ebook/dp/B06XRDKMFS/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1490970855&sr=1-1&keywords=Surgeon%27s+Story%3A+Inside+OR-1+with+One+of+America%E2%80%99s+Top+Pediatric+Heart+Surgeons

and Barnes & Noble in Paperback http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/surgeons-story-mark-oristano/1126022247?ean=9781935953777

NOOK Book http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/surgeons-story-mark-oristano/1126022247?ean=2940154081280

and Hardcover http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/surgeons-story-mark-oristano/1126022247?ean=9781935953784

 

Making The Elephant Man: A Producer’s Memoir by Jonathan Sanger

Who cannot remember watching the award winning film called The Elephant Man, and, if they are truthful, the horrific fascination, and strong emotions it evoked? This is quite simply an incredible film which chronicles the life and experiences of John (Joseph) Merrick, cruelly labelled ‘The Elephant Man’ because of deformities which started to materialise at about 5 years of age, and which he had to live with throughout his short life.

Written by the producer, Jonathon Sanger, this book tells the story of how this film, the first he ever produced, came to be.

From the moment he first read the script Jonathon immediately felt strongly that it was a story which had to be told on screen. With the backing of Mel Brooks who helped finance the film through his new company Brooksfilms, The Elephant Man got the green light and the search for production staff and actors began.

Jonathon’s enthusiasm for this story was infectious, and with the creative and artistic talents of David Lynch as Director, it is fascinating to discover how the film was shot and how they came to cast so many famous actors, and talented artists.

Anyone who has seen it cannot fail to be moved by it. Unusually, for the time it was filmed in black and white, which dramatically adds to the atmosphere. I can imagine anyone interested in the film industry will be fascinated to reading how, through diligent searching and an eye for detail, Jonathon and David managed to find the cobbled streets, and hospital buildings, needed as sets, and learn how with special clever photography they ensured the perfect ambience needed to recreate Victorian London at that time.

Jonathon has, throughout this book been extremely frank about the relationships between production staff, cast members, actors, and crew, in the making and filming of The Elephant Man which is refreshing, and this honesty gives the reader and any would-be member of the industry a glimpse into what life in this line of work is really like.

The impact of this film continues however, past its premier, in that not only has it received many awards, but it has also affected how people perceive disability, and has helped organisations which work with people suffering from disabilities.

Since this, his first production, Jonathon Sanger has produced and directed many films, and also given other film professionals the chance to direct their own films through the Chanticleer Film company.

The testament to this film, and why this book was written has been summed up by the man himself, as he says in the preface, when asked what his most challenging accomplishment had been as a film producer, “it was my first film as ‘producer, The Elephant Man, that set the bar high enough that I felt I could accomplish anything.” After reading this statement, who could resist such an amazing story?

Reviewed by Susan Keefe

About the Author: Jonathan Sanger, an Academy Award-winning producer, film, theater and television producer and director, media advisor, and entertainment financial consultant, has lead initiatives in every sector of the entertainment industry. His writing has appeared in magazines, newspapers, encyclopedias and filmmaking handbooks. He lives and works in Los Angeles and New York City.

About the Book: The true story of John Merrick has captured the imagination of generations of audiences, critics, actors, and filmmakers.

In 1988 I received a screenplay about a hideously disfigured man-John Merrick, the Elephant Man-who refused to fall victim to despair and instead exemplified human dignity. The story was so gripping, so moving, the moment I finished the screenplay I began to read it again. I had to produce it. John Merrick’s story needed to be told.

The story of how I got this movie made-the whole, unvarnished, hair-pulling, stomach-churning, adventure-is itself a study in the triumph of dignity over fear. This is the story of my journey to share my love and admiration for John Merrick with the rest of world. It is a story within a story, with scheduling conflicts, location issues, special effects nightmares and many risky decisions. Assembling a team that included executive producer, Mel Brooks, new director, David Lynch, and actors John Hurt and Anthony Hopkins, I stared adversity in the eye and found a way to persevere and overcome my fears. I hope you enjoy this story, my story, of the making of this inspiring Oscar-nominated, award-winning film.

Available from:

Amazon in Paperback https://www.amazon.com/Making-Elephant-Man-Producers-Memoir/dp/1476666628/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1484393622&sr=8-1&keywords=making+the+elephant+man

and Kindle format https://www.amazon.com/Making-Elephant-Man-Producers-Memoir-ebook/dp/B01N94T2N0/ref=mt_kindle?_encoding=UTF8&me=

Barnes and Noble in Paperback http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/making-the-elephant-man-jonathan-sanger/1123796281?ean=9781476666624

and as a NOOK Book http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/making-the-elephant-man-jonathan-sanger/1123796281?ean=9781476627311