A Time to Read: 2016 Booklist

Thursday, December 31, 2015

“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”― C.S. Lewis




2015 didn't offer much opportunity to leisurely bury my nose in a book (other than a textbook), but I am deciding from now, that I will devote a few hours to picking up one of the following non-fiction as to balance my life while building my vocabulary as I escape the many pressures of school. The following list can be found on  Pinterest and are all related to medicine in some way or another. I guess that removes any guilt of not studying. Right?


2016 Book List

1. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks: Rebecca Skloot 

If I'm not mistaken, I think it was my dad who briefed me on the HeLa cells after he had read about them somewhere. Initially I was interested, but then life happened and it somehow slipped my "To Read" list.  

Rebecca Skloot's non-fiction book based on Henrietta Lacks, looks at the life of a woman whose cells were (taken and used without her knowledge or consent) used in developing the Polio vaccine.  her family now suffers, receives no royalties from her contribution to medicine. 


2. Rosalind Franklin: The Dark Lady of DNA: Brenda Maddox

The Dark Lady of DNA highlights the life of Rosalind Franklin, "the scientist whose research James Watson and Francis Crick needed to elucidate the structure of DNA". 

3. My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey: Jill Bolte Tyler

The brain is a fascinating organ and to think that this Doctor was able to construct thoughts and ideas based on her experience with a stroke made me want to run to the nearest Barnes and Noble.

She has given TED Talks and created a website that offers warning signs of stroke and other resources as well. 

4. In the Land of Invisible Women:A Female Doctor's Journey in the Saudi Kingdom: Qanta Ahmed

As a female medical student, the title of this book spoke volumes to how I feel at times mainly because in medicine regardless of where you are in the world it seems the struggle for women doctors is a commonality. We are seen as girls with pretty faces and have to allow our knowledge to speak for us if we want to be respected by our male counterparts. I have learned that confidence can be mistaken for arrogance, but I remain confident regardless. 

The book has received bad reviews based on how it was written but overall the content was well received by readers. 

5. Nightingales: The Extraordinary Upbringing and Curious Life of Florence Nightingale: Gillian Gill

Who hasn't heard about Florence Nightingale at least once in their life, especially if they're interested in Nursing? I strongly believe that doctors and nurses as well as other health professionals should have a great working bond as it is vital to effective patient care. This is why I decided to take on this book for the new year. 

According to Zac Unger "the book manages to a achieve a rare historian's trifecta: Not only is it painstakingly thorough and free of intrusive modern agendas, but it is also compellingly written, brisk and engaging enough to be read like fiction."

6. Clara Barton: Professional Angel: Elizabeth Brown Pryor

If you have ever thought about the origins of the American Red Cross, then this book may be of interest to you as it looks at the life of the woman who secured Americans participation in it. 

7. Something for the Pain: Compassion and Burnout in the ER: Paul Austin

ER doctors are cut from a whole other cloth. I do not know how they manage to function in such a chaotic atmosphere-BUT THEY DO. Dr. Austin describes Something for the Pain as "a book about the job that almost wrecked his life." That alone should peak your interest if the title alone did not. 

8. Against Medical Advice: Hal Friedman & James Patterson

This book is a true story about Tourettes and I am looking forward to reading it. 

9. The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer: Siddhartha Mukherjie

This is a biography of cancer, from the first documented appearances of the disease to the recent advances. PBS has also done a series based on the Pulitzer Prize Winning book. 

Most of us have been touched in some shape or form by cancer and this is why this book made my list of 2016 "To Read" books. 

10. Mountains beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World: Tracy Kidder

Dr. Farmer must have been a gunner in medical school. This book looks at his busy life of healing the world. Imagine what a world it would be if medical students were to aspire to be half the person this man is.

11. My Own Country: A Doctor's Story of a Town and Its People in the Age of AIDS: Abraham Verges


12. Hot Lights, Cold Steel: Life, Death and Sleepless Nights in a Surgeon's First Years: Michael J. Collins



Have you decided to spend more time reading? What books made your list for the New Year? I'd be happy to hear your reading list and whether or not you have read or will decide to read any of the aforementioned books. 


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