Reading Lists

Action, Adventure, True Crime (RD 115)

Rescue 471 : a paramedic's stories

Canning, Peter

Random House Publishing 2000

Here the author has written a book that captures the rarely seen real world of emergency medicine. A seasoned paramedic who fights under enormous pressure to save lives, he trains new paramedics for the rigors of a nonstop, action-packed battle. From a four-month-old baby who has stopped breathing to a sixty-seven-year-old woman with a strange abdominal mass that threatens to explode, these are gripping true stories from the "ER on the streets." An exciting, often moving account, he tells a powerful story of camaraderie, selflessness, and courage as paramedics try to stand tall and human through both defeat and victory.

Paramedic : on the front lines of medicine

Canning, Peter

Ballantine Books 1998

They live for the action, for the saves, for the streets, for each other. In a first person narrative, this book tells the authentic American story of one man's experience as an EMT, and the dedication it takes to save lives. The author shocked his family and friends when he gave up a successful career as a speechwriter for the governor of Connecticut to become a paramedic. Making his way through a rigorous training period, overcoming his self-doubts and fear of making fatal mistakes, he went from a life of privilege to the life-and-death reality of the streets. Here he relives the seconds that can mean the difference between a patient's death and survival, as he struggles, sometimes in the face of a hostile crowd or the glare of TV cameras, to make the right call, dispense the right medication, or keep a patient's heart beating long enough to reach the hospital. This book takes us into the center of a mobile ER, and as the author tells his stories, of the lives he saved and lost, of the fear, the nightmares, and the constant, adrenaline-pumping thrill of action, we come away with a portrait of what it means to be a hero.

In cold blood : a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences

Capote, Truman

Vintage International 2012

An account of the senseless murder of a Kansas farm family and the search for the killers.

Little brother

Doctorow, Cory

Tor 2010

After being interrogated by the Department of Homeland Security after a major terrorist attack on San Francisco, Marcus is released into what is now a police state and uses his expertise in computer hacking to set things right.

Hornet flight

Follett, Ken

New American Library 2007

It is June 1941 and the war is not going well for England. Somehow, the Germans are anticipating the RAFUs flight paths, and shooting down British bombers with impunity. Filled with knife-edge suspense and rich, tantalizing characters, this is Ken Follett writing at the top of his form -- unforgettable storytelling from an unforgettable writer.

The devil in the white city : murder, magic, and madness at the fair that changed America

Larson, Erik

Vintage Books 2004

An account of the Chicago World's Fair of 1893 relates the stories of two men who shaped the history of the event--architect Daniel H. Burnham, who coordinated its construction, and serial killer Herman Mudgett.

The yellow birds : a novel

Powers, Kevin

Little, Brown and Co. 2012

In the midst of a bloody battle in the Iraq War, two soldiers, bound together since basic training, do everything to protect each other from both outside enemies and the internal struggles that come from constant danger. This novel written by a veteran of the war in Iraq, is the harrowing story of two young soldiers trying to stay alive. "The war tried to kill us in the spring." So begins this powerful account of friendship and loss. In Al Tafar, Iraq, twenty-one-year old Private Bartle and eighteen-year-old Private Murphy cling to life as their platoon launches a bloody battle for the city. Bound together since basic training when Bartle makes a promise to bring Murphy safely home, the two have been dropped into a war neither is prepared for. In the endless days that follow, the two young soldiers do everything to protect each other from the forces that press in on every side: the insurgents, physical fatigue, and the mental stress that comes from constant danger. As reality begins to blur into a hazy nightmare, Murphy becomes increasingly unmoored from the world around him and Bartle takes actions he could never have imagined. In addition the novel also offers insight into the effects of a hidden war on mothers and families at home.

Heart full of lies : a true story of desire and death

Rule, Ann

Pocket Books 2004

About the inexplicable and violent death of Hawaiian Airlines Pilot Chris Northon in a lonely campground in Wallowa County, Oregon.

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