Eclectic, avid listener, favorite book is the one currently in ear.
I appreciated "Nothing to Envy" by Barbara Demick... the understanding it brought of the North Korean people and lifestyle meant a great deal to me... despite the poor narration and rough writing style. This book is much shorter and less convoluted as it follows just the story of Shin Dong-hyuk, who was born in detention Camp 14 in North Korea and knew no other life. It also has issues with writing style and narration... written in an irritating 3rd person and narrated by the author... however, I couldn't stop listening. The horrific mental and physical abuse he and his family suffered, his unbelievable escape and struggles adapting to freedom are heartbreaking. Mr. Harden's 3rd person style does allow him to explain the politics of the region and recent events. Very much worth my time to listen and learn.
This well research documentary is much larger than 5 days at Memorial, although the first half of the book takes place there. FYI- The prologue is irritating and can just be skipped. The story unfolds with interesting detail as Hurricane Katrina hits New Orleans and the power fails. You watch Memorial Hospital descend into chaos as systems and people fail to communicate. Then with the rescue in full swing on the 5th day the Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) patients on the 2nd and 7th floor die within a 3 hour period. Family members were forced to leave as they were euthanized. The 2nd half of the book looks at what happened and why, the court cases, what happened at other hospitals in New Orleans at the time and then forwards to recent problems in Haiti and Hurricane Sandy in New York to see if anything was learned. It is an eye opener and I couldn't stop listening.
It took me a while to get hooked into this book... perhaps because the many interesting accounts from all over the world seemed tangential and I had trouble figuring out what exactly I was suppose to be learning. After a bit, I was enjoying the wide ranging accounts so much... I didn't care about the message anymore.
The book presents numerous problems going on in the world... the intervention being made... what happened & why it succeeded, failed or made things worse. How does receiving effect the receiver? I honestly was surprised by the politics, marketing, psychology and complexities of funding, giving and making what you give count. Also how difficult it is to decide if what you have given is being used wisely. It is not always what you expect.
Many of the accounts show how just a "little bit of hope" changes lives, how one person can make a major difference in the life of others. It also explores the "giver" what happens when they give, the chemistry and psychology involved. Why we choose to give or not... and to whom. I loved the empowerment and joy obtained by a group of school children in Uganda who to donated $ to a charity in the US.
In the end, the stories are tied together and we are urged to help transform lives and create opportunity... but by then you have been free to draw your own conclusions. Mine didn't always match the authors, but the process was still stimulating. The narration is good, was well worth the credit and my time to read.