Kitchen Table Wisdom

Kitchen Table Wisdom

by Rachel Naomi Remen, MD

Janet Kolodner:This book changed my life. I read it soon after my husband was diagnosed with cancer. This author is a medical doctor who lives with debilitating illness herself, and she had noticed that there are some people (like herself) who make it through the tzuris in life with their sense of humor and humanity intact. What does it take for that to happen? She tells us that it requires noticing the blessings in your life. Wow!!

Way different than my up-to-then normal way of noticing and criticizing everything. Yes, I noticed the good, but I always criticized what wasn't quite perfect also. Through the author's own story and philosophy and the stories and vignettes in this book and her other one (My Grandfather's Wisdom, I think), she taught me to notice and count the blessings in my life. For the first time in my life, I think, I realized how blessed I was, despite the fact that my husband was dying of cancer. Amazing!!!

This is not necessarily a book to read in one sitting. Rather, it is a book to skim and then to go back to for inspiration when needed. By the way, the book doesn't preach. Instead, it tells stories from the author's medical practice. She is the first or one of the first medical doctors to have a practice devoted to helping people deal with their life-threatening or debilitating illnesses. She is not a psychiatrist; nor does she practice palliative medicine. She practices common sense (though she does give a name to what she does; I just don't remember it now). Her stories are full and real, and through them, I was able to see myself.
Rating: *****

Loren Poley:This book was written by a physician who tells short but meaningful stories about the patients who touched her and the lessons she learned from them. Although caregivers will truly enjoy these “stories that heal”, anyone who reads it will be inspired by Dr. Remen’s words and the wonderful life lessons that she quietly imparts. Truly, one of the best books I’ve ever read.
Rating: *****

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