I had picked this up as a nod to halloween but I can't seem to finish it as life keeps hitting me in the face. Despite it's creepy summary, I recommend it! It's as interesting and complicated as the people inside.
Psychiatrist Stephen Seager was no stranger to locked psych wards when he accepted a job at California's Gorman State hospital, known locally as "Gomorrah," but nothing could have prepared him for what he encountered when he stepped through its gates, a triple sally port behind the twenty-foot walls topped with shining coils of razor wire. Gorman State is one of the nation's largest forensic mental hospitals, dedicated to treating the criminally insane.
Unit C, where Seager was assigned, was reserved for the "bad actors," the mass murderers, serial killers, and the real-life Hannibal Lecters of the world. Against a backdrop of surreal beauty-a verdant campus-like setting where peacocks strolled the grounds-is a place of remarkable violence, a place where a small staff of clinicians are expected to manage a volatile population of prison-hardened ex-cons, where lone therapists lead sharing circles with sociopaths, where an illicit underground economy flourishes, and where patients and physicians often measure their lives according to how fast they can run.
To cross through the gates of Gomorrah is to enter a looking-glass world, where the trappings of the normal calendar year exist-Halloween dances and Christmas parties (complete with visits from Santa), springtime softball teams and basketball leagues, but marked with paroxysms of brutality (Santa goes berserk), and peopled by figures from our nightmares. Behind the Gates of Gomorrah affords an eye-opening look inside a facility to which few people have ever had access. Honest, rueful, and at times darkly funny, Seager's gripping account of his rookie year blends memoir with a narrative science, explaining both the aberrant mind and his own, at times incomprehensible, determination to remain in a job with a perilously steep learning curve
I had been tossing around the idea of doing a display around "Girls with Grit" because let's face it, women are fierce creatures! Hear us roar! When I stumbled upon this beauty on Novelist I HAD to put her in with the ranks of Ariana Huffington, Sophia Amurosa, and Sheryl Sandberg.
This books is so well written and really makes you feel as though your treading through the Amazon forest with her researching the animals. Her small album of real-life pictures really add to the story. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps and hold on because this is one wild ride!
A quick examination of her roots, and one may never have guessed that Mireya Mayor would become the woman she is today. Yet, against all odds, this self-professed former "girly girl" daughter of overprotective Cuban immigrants blossomed from NFL cheerleader to Fulbright Scholar to field scientist and ultimately, quintessential adventurer. Now, with more than a decade's worth of thrilling exploits under her belt, Mayor recounts her life in a riveting, awe-inspiring new book.
In a series of short chapters, she relives each exhilarating event with uncanny charm and self-deprecating humor. Readers have the rare opportunity to follow the renowned primatologist around the globe as she unlocks the mysteries of the natural world and endeavors to save some of the planet's rarest creatures. Says Mayor: "I love the adventure, the exploration, the scientific discovery and the documentation. But really what drives me is the thought that future generations—my own children and their children—can one day learn to appreciate them like I do."
Throughout this unforgettable volume, she describes in stunning detail how she survived a plane crash...slept in jungles teeming with poisonous snakes...dove with hungry great white sharks...rappelled down a 14,000-foot sinkhole in search of frogs...draws blood from critically endangered lemurs...was charged by an angry silver-backed gorilla...was chased by elephants...and the list goes. Suffice it to say, Mireya Mayor has seen more in her 30-odd years than most of us will see in a lifetime. Her plucky spirit, brilliance in the face of calamity, and sheer will to succeed make this a classic mission book, and a thoroughly breathtaking read.
I can't wait to see what you lovelies have lined this week!