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God's Hotel Audiobook

God's Hotel: A Doctor, a Hospital, and a Pilgrimage to the Heart of Medicine

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Publisher's Summary

San Francisco's Laguna Honda Hospital is the last almshouse in the country, a descendant of the Hôtel-Dieu (God's hotel) that cared for the sick in the Middle Ages. Ballet dancers and rock musicians, professors and thieves - "anyone who had fallen, or, often, leapt, onto hard times" and needed extended medical care - ended up here. So did Victoria Sweet, who came for two months and stayed for 20 years.

Laguna Honda, lower-tech but human-paced, gave Sweet the opportunity to practice a kind of attentive medicine that has almost vanished. Gradually, the place transformed the way she understood her work. Alongside the modern view of the body as a machine to be fixed, her extraordinary patients evoked an older idea of the body as a garden to be tended.

God's Hotel tells their story and the story of the hospital itself, which, as efficiency experts, politicians, and architects descended, determined to turn it into a modern "health care facility", revealed its own surprising truths about the essence, cost, and value of caring for body and soul.

©2012 Victoria Sweet (P)2013 Tantor

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (138 )
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  •  
    Jonelle Camp Hill, PA, United States 08-11-14
    Jonelle Camp Hill, PA, United States 08-11-14 Member Since 2008

    A librarian who loves to read, whether in print or in the air

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Absolutely fascinating memoir"

    Absolutely fascinating memoir and portrait of Victoria Sweet's work as a physician at San Francisco's Laguna Honda Hospital as it struggled to move toward a 21st century model of care for those who can least afford it. I'd live to have her as my physician. ..and I'd love to meet her someday. Highly recommended.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joel 06-09-15
    Joel 06-09-15 Member Since 2015
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    "An invaluable perspective"

    I love the reading of this book.
    I thought the content of this book was very insightful into our current healthcare system in America.
    i'm very impressed by her life as well. Her accomplishments, The purpose of her work, and the intentionality of her life.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jean-Anne Taormina 08-05-16 Member Since 2014
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    "Loved the content"

    Great book with interesting information and stories
    The way the author reads the book is how someone would read to a small child. What happened to the normal speaking voice. It was so grating to me at times I thought I would not be able to listen to the end

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DocDenver 06-27-16
    DocDenver 06-27-16
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    "One of my favorite books!"

    This book was recommended to me by another doctor, and I absolutely loved it. It kind of caught me by surprise, the narrator seems a bit slow and monotone at first, but the lilting, calm really works. It's got great medical stories, observations on administration in medicine, spirituality, franticness, peacefulness, and just about every other part of an intellectual doctor's journey. Very apropos to current changes in healthcare and some deep questions about what medicine means, and what really do we do for patients? It was fairly long, but had so many different parts that it was like watching a TV series with lots of different episodes. Really bummed when it was over. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Keiderling California 03-11-16
    J. Keiderling California 03-11-16 Member Since 2013
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    "Inspiring"

    Should be required reading for all people involved in medical professions.
    I wish I had read it while I was still practicing nursing. We all need to be taken care of and we need to take care of each other

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael 07-29-15
    Michael 07-29-15
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    "Almost really interesting"

    A good history of a place. With occasional bursts of interesting information Like the all too shallow and brief story thread of Middle Ages medicine. A good start. Incomplete finish

    Good enough but not equal to its promise it devolves into a play by play without much conexr or insight. Mucjh like what passes for journalism and communications these days
    So, for that a respectable modern book about an interesting time and place

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    H. Gbedawo Seattle, WA 03-15-15
    H. Gbedawo Seattle, WA 03-15-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Poignant and well written"

    One doctor's story as she transformed her medicine and herself - interesting case presentations and thoughtful insights on the differences between practicing medicine and delivering healthcare

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Paul 01-05-15
    Paul 01-05-15 Member Since 2001
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    "A great story when the goal of medicine was care"

    Very well done tonight I love the caring stories. It I s a shame when profit comes the motive in healthcare

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vera Stein 07-25-13
    Vera Stein 07-25-13
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    "Interesting for San Franciscans"

    I would think that this book would have a very limited audience because it is essentially about the demise and rebuilding of a San Francisco Institution known as Laguna Honda Hospital. The author shows her commitment to its success but readers who are not familiar with the political roller coaster this project underwent for many years couldn't care less about it. Dr. Sweet cared but how many others would?

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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