Thursday, October 10, 2013

Plague Ship

Dr. David Ballineau and his girlfriend, Carolyn Ross are on a Caribbean cruise with David's daughter. Every one is enjoying themselves. That is until the passengers start to become really ill. The situation becomes extremely serious when it is discovered that a case of the high contagious bird flu has appeared on board the ship. It is up to David and Carolyn to try and find a cure before all the passengers will require body bags to be removed from the ship.

Ever have one of those moments when you pick up a book and you are left speechless. Not because the book was bad but because the book rocked! It was so good that you you are left speechless on how to do the book and author justice by describing your feelings into words. This is how I felt after reading this book.

I wanted to read this book after spoting it on the internet. After I got the book I picked it up to read it and almost could not put it down. The only reason I did was because I had to make dinner. So if you start this book up wait until the weekend or you just might miss work. LOL. I could not stop reading this book. It is like crack. It is addicting. So run and pick up a copy of Plague Ship for yourself, you will not regret it.

My Favorite Movies by Dr. Goldberg

Most people have to think for awhile before naming their favorite movie. Not me. Hands down, it was The Godfather, a sweeping saga of America in the late 1940s that centers around an Italian crime family and gives us our first real close-up of the Mafia in America, not only on a criminal level, but on a deeply personal level as well. It was a story told by Mario Puzo who knew his way around the Mafia like no other writer. And the actors in the film were simply the best of that era. Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, and Diane Keaton, to name a few. Of course it was fiction. But more than a few events were based on actual happenings, i.e., the brutal pressure used to get a famous singer an important role in the movie From Here to Eternity, which resurrected his Hollywood career. The movie was the best of the best, film-making elevated to a true art form.

But I have other favorites as well, which should be listed by the categories they fall under, such as Love, Historical, Horror, War, Mystery, and any combination thereof. For Love – Historical, nothing even comes close to Gone With the Wind, a magical film of what once was but will never be again. And my oh my, the beautiful, cunning Scarlett O’Hara and the dashing rogue Rhett Butler, along with the enchanting background music, "Tara’s Theme." Absolutely unforgettable. For straightforward Love films, three come to mind. Love Story is a tragic love story that will tear your heart apart, and Love is a Many Splendored Thing will stay in your mind for a very long time, particularly the scene of Jennifer Jones climbing a hill overlooking Hong Kong and seeing a dream-like image of her now dead journalist-lover, William Holden. And then there’s the incredibly moving An Affair to Remember which bundles up love, style, and a tragedy. Some men will say the latter is a "chick film," but it’s not. It’s a story of love and heartbreak, and no gender has an absolute claim on that.

When it comes to Horror films, surely The Silence of the Lambs has to rank at the very top. The scene with Hannibal Lecter salivating over the memory of a meal consisting of his victim’s fried liver, garnished with fava beans, is priceless. Anthony Hopkins plays a psychopath role to a tee. Not far behind is The Shining and the scene of Jack Nicholson announcing, with an evil glint in his eye, "Honey, I’m home!" He, of course, is planning shortly to bash her head in. And one cannot leave this category without mentioning Jaws, Steve Spielberg’s classic about a large killer shark menacing the waters off of a New Jersey town. When we hear of a shark attack today, who doesn’t think of the terrifying shark in Jaws?

War-related movies are among my very favorites to watch and rewatch. Nothing surpasses From Here to Eternity, a wonderfully told saga about the military in Hawaii just prior to Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor. It entwines a spellbinding mixture of love, devotion, discipline, and brutality, with a splendid cast including Burt Lancaster, Deborah Kerr, Montgomery Clift, Ernest Borgnine, and Frank Sinatra. Check out the memorable scene of a wave washing over Lancaster and Kerr as they embrace passionately on the beach. It’s perfect. For actual combat footage, Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan is unmatched.

Then there are certain movies that cannot be easily categories. An excellent example of this is the very moving film, The Help, which I saw recently. It’s an amazingly accurate depiction of black maids working in white households in the deep South during the ‘60s. I can say that it is as real as real can be because I was born and raised in Charleston, South Carolina so I guess that makes me an expert on the subject. The performances by the black actresses, Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer, are so good and so perfect that it swept me back in time and place to a world that is long gone. And Skeeter, played by Emma Stone, was every bit their equal. Simply a superb, moving film. And then there’s the King’s Speech, a wonderful story with incredibly good acting. There is an interesting side note to the film. The Queen Mother requested that the writer of this drama not release the story about her husband, King George VI, and his desperate attempt to overcome his stuttering until the Queen Mother herself was dead. The writer obliged. Style always tells, doesn’t it?

When it comes to Mysteries, the big screen had trouble reaching the pinnacle of movie making. Hitchcock’s North by Northwest and Humphrey Bogart in The Maltese Falcon are exceptions and are at the top of this category. Dial M for Murder and Rear Window are quite good, but not in the ranks of the outstanding. If you want to see excellent Mysteries, go to your local public television station and watch the wonderful mystery series from our British friends. These include the Sherlock Holmes series with Jeremy Brett, Inspector Morse, Inspector Lewis, Endeavour, and the Adam Dalgliesh mysteries built around P.D. James’ best-selling novels. These shows will grab and hold all Mystery lovers. And one more kudo to television. Although not a movie, the HBO series, A Band of Brothers, which relives the heroics of the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division during World War II, is absolutely mesmerizing. It’s a vivid, factual account of some of our very bravest. Don’t miss it.

Let me sign off with one more favorite – the movies’ most memorable couple. No contest. The seductive Scarlett O’Hara and the stranger from Charleston, Rhett Butler.


Leonard Goldberg is the internationally bestselling author of the Joanna Blalock series of medical thrillers. His novels, acclaimed by critics as well as fellow authors, have been translated into a dozen languages and sold more than a million copies worldwide. Leonard Goldberg is himself a consulting physician affiliated with the UCLA Medical Center, where he holds an appointment as Clinical Professor of Medicine. A highly sought-after expert witness in medical malpractice trials, he is board certified in internal medicine, hematology and rheumatology, and has published over a hundred scientific studies in peer-reviewed journals.

Leonard Goldberg’s writing career began with a clinical interest in blood disorders. While involved in a research project at UCLA, he encountered a most unusual blood type. The patient’s red blood cells were O-Rh null, indicating they were totally deficient in A, B and Rh factors and could be administered to virtually anyone without fear of a transfusion reaction. In essence, the patient was the proverbial “universal” blood donor. This finding spurred the idea for a story in which an individual was born without a tissue type, making that person’s organs transplantable into anyone without worry of rejection. His first novel, TRANSPLANT, revolved around a young woman who is discovered to be a universal organ donor and is hounded by a wealthy, powerful man in desperate need of a new kidney. The book quickly went through multiple printings and was optioned by a major Hollywood studio.

On the strength of the critical and popular reception of TRANSPLANT, Leonard Goldberg was off to the races as an author of medical thrillers. He began writing a series of new books, with a continuing main character named Joanna Blalock. The “Joanna Blalock” series features a forensic pathologist at a prestigious university medical center who has a Holmesian knack for solving murders. The books, published in the U.S. by Dutton and Signet, include DEADLY MEDICINE, A DEADLY PRACTICE, DEADLY CARE, DEADLY HARVEST, DEADLY EXPOSURE, LETHAL MEASURES, FATAL CARE, BRAINWAVES and FEVER CELL.
Leonard Goldberg’s novels have been selections of the Book of the Month Club, French and Czech book clubs, and The Mystery Guild. They have been featured as People magazine’s “Page-Turner of the Week”, as well as at the International Book Fair in Budapest. The series has been optioned on several occasions for development as a motion picture or television project.

More details about Goldberg and his previous novels can be found online at

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