On the bookshelf: October 2017

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 38-year old man suffers a massive heart attack, his second in 8 months, and complications follow. The author chronicles obstacles and miracles on the road to recovery, with commentary on his care, the importance of his wife’s support and the implications of a prolonged illness.  This memoir is well-written, with biting insights and a healthy sense of humour.

A 38-year old man suffers a massive heart attack, his second in 8 months, and complications follow. The author chronicles obstacles and miracles on the road to recovery, with commentary on his care, the importance of his wife’s support and the implications of a prolonged illness.  This memoir is well-written, with biting insights and a healthy sense of humour.

 In his book, the founding director of the Stress Reduction Clinic and Center for Mindfulness in Medicine shows us how coming to our senses will help us all become more compassionate, aware human beings, and contribute to the healing of the body politic as well as our own lives. (See also his book titled Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain and Illness).

In his book, the founding director of the Stress Reduction Clinic and Center for Mindfulness in Medicine shows us how coming to our senses will help us all become more compassionate, aware human beings, and contribute to the healing of the body politic as well as our own lives. (See also his book titled Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain and Illness).

 Gawande, a surgeon and former Rhodes scholar, illuminates "the moments in which medicine actually happens," and describes his profession as an "enterprise of constantly changing knowledge, uncertain information, fallible individuals, and at the same time lives on the line." He includes accounts of medical traumas and analysis of doctor anxiety and burnout with humor, sensitivity and critical intelligence.

Gawande, a surgeon and former Rhodes scholar, illuminates "the moments in which medicine actually happens," and describes his profession as an "enterprise of constantly changing knowledge, uncertain information, fallible individuals, and at the same time lives on the line." He includes accounts of medical traumas and analysis of doctor anxiety and burnout with humor, sensitivity and critical intelligence.

 A wonderfully told story about a young girl’s journey through cancer told by her father. Shane Meader says he wrote this book both as an outlet—“an expression of the many thoughts, emotions and understandings that have filled me to overflowing”. The book is very readable, including both scientific explanations alongside the raw emotions of a father who loves his daughter.

A wonderfully told story about a young girl’s journey through cancer told by her father. Shane Meader says he wrote this book both as an outlet—“an expression of the many thoughts, emotions and understandings that have filled me to overflowing”. The book is very readable, including both scientific explanations alongside the raw emotions of a father who loves his daughter.