On the bookshelf: January 2018

Drawn to true stories of challenge and triumph, especially if they are set in a medical milieu? Care about improving the health care system? Love good writing that makes you stop and think about your own life? In this series, I'll share some of my favourite and most thought-provoking books on health, healing, and the system around it all. If you are lucky enough to have a local independent bookseller, please consider sourcing these books directly.

 A tender narrative of the author’s parents’ deaths. This memoir examines the complicated world of procedure and technology-driven healthcare. The author raises profound ethical and personal issues we encounter as we care for those facing death & dying.

A tender narrative of the author’s parents’ deaths. This memoir examines the complicated world of procedure and technology-driven healthcare. The author raises profound ethical and personal issues we encounter as we care for those facing death & dying.

 This book captures the blogs and postings of Dave deBronkart as he journeys through his experiences with cancer and his unanticipated recovery. One of his most profound discoveries is about the importance of engaged patients and things one can do to be fully informed and to advocate for oneself.

This book captures the blogs and postings of Dave deBronkart as he journeys through his experiences with cancer and his unanticipated recovery. One of his most profound discoveries is about the importance of engaged patients and things one can do to be fully informed and to advocate for oneself.

 This book tells the story of Josie, an 18-month old who died as a result of a medical error in a teaching hospital. Sorrel King believes her intuition, had it been listened-to, might have intervened to save Josie, and she writes about the positive change that might make medical care safer for both patients and providers.

This book tells the story of Josie, an 18-month old who died as a result of a medical error in a teaching hospital. Sorrel King believes her intuition, had it been listened-to, might have intervened to save Josie, and she writes about the positive change that might make medical care safer for both patients and providers.

 Pulitzer Prize winner Gail Caldwell crafts a story of two friends who shared everything—until one of them was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. This is a beautiful book about coming of age in the middle of life.

Pulitzer Prize winner Gail Caldwell crafts a story of two friends who shared everything—until one of them was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. This is a beautiful book about coming of age in the middle of life.

 This is a remarkable collection of true stories from the tradition of ‘kitchen table wisdom’ – the human tradition of shared experience that shows us life in all its power and mystery. Remen believes in the power of stories and says, “Facts bring us to knowledge but stories bring us to wisdom.”

This is a remarkable collection of true stories from the tradition of ‘kitchen table wisdom’ – the human tradition of shared experience that shows us life in all its power and mystery. Remen believes in the power of stories and says, “Facts bring us to knowledge but stories bring us to wisdom.”

 This book chronicles what happens to a dedicated, conscientious, and caring family physician who has a brain stem stroke and fights to regain a life for himself. He reflects on both his experiences as a patient, in acute care and in rehabilitation, and his practices as a physician.

This book chronicles what happens to a dedicated, conscientious, and caring family physician who has a brain stem stroke and fights to regain a life for himself. He reflects on both his experiences as a patient, in acute care and in rehabilitation, and his practices as a physician.