Summer has officially arrived, which means it’s time to kick back, take the scrub cap off, and enjoy the sunshine. If you’re in need of a good pool-side read, we’ve got you covered. MedPage Today asked contributors and members of our team for their favorite book suggestions. Here’s what they came up with.
Let us know in the comments what you’ll be reading this summer.
Win Every Argument by Mehdi Hasan
The last book I read that I really enjoyed was “Win Every Argument” by Mehdi Hasan. Whether it’s winning over a large audience or a single patient, how we construct and support our reasoning can make or break it. I never did “debate club,” but now I feel like I know all their tactics.
— Jeremy Faust, MD
The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko
For me, this is required reading because it can help prevent doctors from falling into the trap of keeping up with the Dr. Joneses as well as demonstrate how doctors can improve their financial well-being by building the simple, data-driven habits of the “average” American millionaire.
— Jordan Frey, MD
Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson
An outstanding, intimate, and in-depth portrait of a man who connected his remarkable observations to art and science.
— Russell Copelan, MD
Medical Apartheid by Harriet A. Washington
This should be required reading for anyone going into medicine and every healthcare worker. The author, Harriet A. Washington, does a brilliant job of describing medical experimentation on Black Americans. It is a vast and deep legacy fueled by white supremacy, hatred, and apathy, which remain rampant in medicine today.
— Amanda Calhoun, MD, MPH
What the Dead Know by Barbara Butcher
It’s about a New York City medicolegal death investigator. “What the Dead Know” offers an unflinching look at the lives and deaths investigated by medicolegal death investigator Barbara Butcher in New York City. Her stories capture the integrity and empathy necessary for a professional career dedicated to understanding death, with a greater purpose: to support the living.
— Judy Melinek, MD
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
“Sapiens” is a captivating must-read for the summer, offering a comprehensive overview of the human species and its remarkable journey through history. By exploring the depths of our shared past, Harari skillfully unveils the driving forces behind human behavior, delving into the profound concept of tribalism and shedding light on its influence on our societies, past and present. This book not only expands our understanding of ourselves as a species but also prompts reflection on the complexities of our collective identity and the challenges we face in a world marked by tribal divisions.
— Adam Brown, MD, MBA
These Precious Days by Ann Patchett
Who doesn’t admire Ann Patchett’s award-winning novels? But “These Precious Days,” Patchett’s latest collection of essays, presents such heartfelt, pandemic-honed truths about life, death, and what’s truly important that it has become my new favorite. The topics range from the author’s “three fathers” to lessons learned from Snoopy to why she never wanted children. The cover features a gorgeous portrait of a dog painted by a dying woman whom Patchett not only befriended but housed during Sooki Raphael’s final months fighting pancreatic cancer. That journey, laced with wonder and love, is the book’s parting gift.
— Claire Panosian Dunavan, MD
Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art by James Nestor
Through the author’s personal journey with his own breathing habits, this book expertly weaves together the physiology, medicine, and even religious and cultural practices of breathing. This book isn’t overly technical and is accessible for a wide audience. I can’t recommend it enough as it has literally changed how I breathe!
— Logan Cho
Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
An incredibly beautiful journey, Verghese’s writing is immersive and captivating with a bit of healthcare thrown in. My daughter read it and insisted I give it a try, and she was immensely satisfied when she found me crying as I reached the end.
— Fred Pelzman, MD
How to Be Perfect by Michael Schur
This very accessible book written by Hollywood writer Michael Schur takes on the very big question of how to be good in a world where being good is not straightforward. Schur approaches the nature of morality with humor and considers the subject from a practical matter. When you finish this book, you will be much better informed on the meaning of moral actions, and as a benefit, you will finally know the answer to the question about what to do with your shopping cart after you unload your groceries.
— Joel Zivot, MD, MA, JM