ISU professor’s book speaks to victims of traumatic brain injuries and their loved ones

“Riding on the Sun: Surviving and Thriving with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)” by ISU Professor Emeritus Beverly Klug; Page Publishing ($13.95)

The tangled world of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and their effects is not readily understood by a sufferer’s family, friends and others. This book chronicles Beverly Klug’s personal journey of over 23 years, during which she had to learn not only how to survive but how to thrive following a TBI.

Klug was a professor in education when she was involved in a traffic accident. Throughout her recovery and the years following, she learned a great deal about human brains and the impacts of brain injuries on all areas of cognition. She learned how to adjust her workload and teaching to accommodate her disabilities. She had to be honest and open with her students about what had happened to her and reteach herself in areas affected by her injuries.

As with all TBIs, Klug’s home life was negatively impacted as she could not continue to take on the same load as before. While functioning normally on the outside, she was experiencing the terrible impacts of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) on the inside. Operating in a world that seemed as alien as another planet was an everyday challenge for several years.

Friends, families and professionals will benefit from this book as it provides a view of what it feels like on a daily basis to be part of and yet not part of a familiar landscape. The good news is that TBI survivors can develop resiliency while needing to readjust their ways of thinking, learning and doing. While they may not appear to be the same to those who knew them best prior to their TBIs, they can again learn how to thrive in their new lives with all their uncertainties.

“An Incidental Death in Monterey” by John J. O’Hagan (Boise); Zumaya Publishing ($14.99)

Father Juan Ibarra is a Franciscan friar in California. He also happens to be a physician. He has been sent to the territory to bring some relief to the native Californians, who are suffering terribly under the imposed rule of the Spanish Empire, particularly from introduced disease.

Father Juan is asked to perform a routine autopsy on a young Indian woman. To his dismay he discovers that she was murdered. As he and Major Eduardo Carrillo, the commander of the Monterey Presidio, investigate the death, it develops that the young woman was an unwilling concubine to the governor of California. Further, she had recently been threatened by the governor’s wife.

It turns out sexual infidelity is not the governor’s only failing. He has been dealing under the table with the captain of an American ship in the harbor, and the dead woman served as a courier in financial dealings between the governor and the Americans, all to the detriment of the king.

“An Incidental Death in Monterey” follows Father Ibarra’s investigation from an accidental drowning to a murder, with the governor as the prime suspect. Ultimately, it becomes a case of discovering, too late to prevent another tragedy, exactly what took place.

From the publishers.

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