I have always been passionate about reading. Between my book club and blogging world, I have been introduced to some great books since the beginning of this year. I will share a list of some of my favorites with you. Please keep in mind that I am not a professional book reviewer and that the last time I took an English/writing class was during my freshman year of college!
1. The Gluten-Free Edge by Peter Bronski and Melissa McLean Jory.
If you are an athlete with either Celiac or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, this is the book for you. It is full of practical advice and I made the mistake of reading it after training for my first marathon last spring, instead of before. Peter and Melissa are bloggers and truly understand what it is like to live with gluten-intolerance/Celiac Disease. There are great, easy recipes at the end of the book too.
2. Wild by Cheryl Strayed
This autobiography tells the story of a woman who hiked the Pacific Coastal Trail by herself in the 1990s. Her story makes having Celiac Disease seem not so bad! It’s a quick read but inspirational.
3. Mind over Medicine by Lissa Rankin, M.D.
This is a non-fiction piece by a former OB-GYN who has immersed herself in the spiritual side of medicine. She does a wonderful job of describing the placebo and nocebo effects, and the power of our minds in our bodies’ abilities to deal with and, in some cases, heal from chronic illnesses.
4. Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walters
I bought this at an airport kiosk during an unanticipated flight delay. The novel is based in a small Italian town near the Cinque Terre on the Mediterranean, spans several generations, and is extremely well-written. It reminded me a bit of some of Jonathan Franzen’s novels that I have read in past years.
5. Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
This beautifully-written book blew me away and opened my eyes to the modern-day oppression of women throughout the world. The authors tell the stories of women who have devoted their lives to helping other women escape sexual slavery and other oppressive environments, including Somaly Mam of Cambodia who has devoted her life to rescuing young girls from brothels. There is also a 2 part documentary about the book that is aired on PBS from time to time. Please read this book and share it with others to get the word out!
6. The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho
This simple fable tells the story of one boy’s quest to find his “personal legend” and in doing so, reminds us of the importance of living in the moment. I am thankful to have been introduced to this author and look forward to reading more of his novels.
7. Her Best Kept Secret by Gabrielle Glaser
Ms. Glaser gives a historical overview of alcoholism and women in the U.S. and explains why AA (and rehab programs based on the 12 steps) may not be the best fit for some women alcoholics. It was eye-opening and helped me to relate to some close friends who are struggling with similar issues.
8. Pet Goats and Pap Smears by Pamela Wible, M.D.
This book consists of a series of short stories by Dr. Wible, a family practice physician in Oregon who has created the first “patient designed” medical practice in the U.S. Dr. Wible reminded me that it is okay to cry with, hug, and show emotion to my patients and their families. It reminded me why I entered medicine in the first place (to be able to care for others and help people heal).
9. The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells by Andrew Sean Greer
Greta, the main character in this book, is able to travel between 3 time periods and live parallel lives. If you liked “The Time Traveler’s Wife” you will like this book too. I think I finished it in only 2 or 3 nights, which is pretty good for me these days.
10. The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
This short novel shares the reflections of a man who lost his best friend to suicide during early adulthood. If I try to describe it, I am not going to do it justice, so I suggest instead, that you read it and reflect, and then read it again.
Have you read any good books lately? If so, feel free to suggest away….some of the best suggestions I have gotten for books to read have been from total strangers!