Former Fresno doctor James Y. Hung’s latest book follows the journey of a 19-year-old who leaves Hong Kong to travel to Hawaii in 1965 with a dream to become a doctor.
In “F.O.B. in Paradise: A Memoir” (CreateSpace, $12.65), Hung documents the journey that brought him to Valley Medical Center from 1974-1979. He would return to practice in Fresno from 1980-2004.
Hung describes “F.O.B. in Paradise” as a “coming-of-age story set in the cafeterias and classrooms of medical school and later behind ER curtains and surgery suite doors against the backdrop of the Vietnam War and Nixon era.”
Hung writes about how he learned to stabilize major traumas, treat gunshot wounds and “truly horrific injuries” while working at Valley Medical Center. He was an intern, but there were so many patients he got a broad education while here.
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At least one patient with a bowel blockage created an embarrassing and comical memory for Hung, which he relates in the book.
Hung’s days at the local hospital also feature some fond memories, such as the birth of his first child at the facility.
“F.O.B. in Paradise: A Memoir” is available at Amazon.com.
Other books of local interest:
• “ The Singer in the Stream: A Story of American Dippers” (Yosemite Conservancy, $14.95): The new book by Katherine Hocker and Mary Wilson, featuring illustrations by Hocker, looks at the favorite bird of naturalist John Muir.
American dippers are small gray birds that live their whole lives near fast-moving mountain streams. They can be found in 21 national parks, including Yosemite.
The book is available at Amazon.com.
• “ Valley Fever: A Novel” (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $19.26): The first novel from Katherine Taylor is set among the vineyards of the Central Valley.
Ingrid Palamede has traveled the world but eventually returns to her parent’s ranch. Palamede has concerns about moving home because “Fresno smelled like dust and the start of rotting fruit.” But she soon discovers a love for the land.
Look for the book at Amazon.com.
• “ Fresno Growing Up: A City Comes of Age: 1945-1985” (Caven Street Books, $18.60): This first book from Stephen H. Provost examines the growth of Fresno in the post-war years.
“Instead of focusing on politics, it emphasizes the changing pop culture and overall character of the city, with sections covering sports, arts and entertainment and the general culture. It includes a fairly good-sized section on TV and radio,” Provost says.
• “Yes To Sex ... Just Not Yet!” (Son Publishing, $9.79): Sam Beckworth was the lead pastor of Faith Summit Church in Clovis. His book discusses a topic that most parents and teens are uncomfortable talking about.
Beckworth uses humor to present a message to young people while not compromising truth. The book is based on Beckworth and his wife encouraging young Christians to reach for God’s best through seminars, teaching and discipleship.
It’s available at barnesandnoble.com.
•“The Kid and Wild Bill (CreateSpace, $9.95):
In his seventh novel in four years, Hollister’s John Chadwell has written a futuristic western where the man known as Wild Bill Hickok is far from his natural element. Hickok wakes up in a laboratory in the year 2024, having been cloned by a 17-year-old boy desperate for help.
“I’ve read a couple about Hickok and came to realize that he was one of the few men who was bigger than life in his own lifetime. In the way newspapers reported his exploits and from comments by people who actually knew him, he was almost mythical,” Chadwell says. “He was deadly accurate with any firearm and his luck was phenomenal in that he survived so many gunfights and battles against men and nature.”
It can be purchased at Amazon.com.