Wednesday, May 8, 2013

reading notes, entry 3...

Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance by Atul Gawande.

A few reasons why I loved this book:

*It was well-written and informative.
*But even more importantly, it was insightful, passionate, and thoughtful...and it never felt heavy-handed.
*It reaffirmed my love of essays.
*It made me think about issues I'd never before considered.
*It reminded me that there are always more than one side to a story.
*While the essays all fit his overriding theme of what it takes to be a good doctor (his opinion is that there are three major qualities--diligence, doing right, and ingenuity--and the essays were divided into sections based on these qualities), there was a wonderful variety of topics covered, from the care of soldiers in war zones to doctors who participate in executions and from the continuing battle against polio to the state of childbirth in the United States, to name just a few.
*I was impressed with the author's honesty, and with his humility.

A couple things I am grateful for:

*I already own his collection Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science.
*I'm not a doctor.

*****
So May is "medical/psychological issues theme month." And yes, as always, we're (by we, I mean Chris and I, as happily for me, he decided to join me in this themed reading experiment) trying to keep the themes very broad...so issues such as dealing with trauma and the like are also included. I gathered up the books from my shelves that jumped out at me for this month:

I haven't even raided Rich's shelves yet. Of course, let's face it--I don't actually need to. It's already the 8th day of the month...and yeah, I've finished *one* book. I think I'm going to read A Cool Moonlight by Angela Johnson next. It's pretty short though, so is there anything in that pile that you'd strongly recommend for after that?

9 comments:

Jean said...

As someone who faced the possibility of it, I vote for Rabid. I may have to look for that one myself.

Jean said...

As someone who faced the possibility of it, I vote for Rabid. I may have to look for that one myself.

Eva said...

OMG, I want to dive in to that photo! So many wonderful sounding books! I think the only 2 I've read are Complications (woot for Gawande! so glad you loved Better!) and Stiff, so I can't help you on recommendations.

Debi said...

Jean,
Annie's actually reading that one now. :)

Eva,
Okay, the image of you diving into that pile of books totally made me smile. :) And I'll forgive you for not giving any recommendations since it was because of you that I read Gwande to start with. ;)

DesLily said...

got to love the fact that "we who hang out together on the computer" all have books up the ying yang! LOL.. it's a cool idea "themed months".. I think you need to add a month of Biographies/autobiographies!

DesLily said...

hmmm i left a comment a few days ago and it's gone!

Trish said...

OMG so many books!!! The only one that I recognize is Girl, Interrupted which I loved when I read it years ago.

OH WAIT! I spy Henrietta Lacks. Fascinating book!! I'd love to hear what you (and Rich) think of it.

Vasilly said...

I'm voting for Rabid since it's one my tbr list. It's now the 26th of May, so how's your theme reading going now? How did the Angela Johnson book turn out?

irisonbooks.com said...

Look at that picture of all the books! It makes me want to do themed reading and look through all the possibilites. I just love the picture of a pile of books that you might dive into rather like a child might do with a pile of autumn leaves?