Summer Reading List 2015

Summer Reading List 2015

And the band played on : politics, people, and the aids epidemic / Randy Shilts. 616.9792 SHI

“Shilts wrote his story with such compelling urgency that it wraps the reader up like a whodunit you don't want to put down. One shares his disgust at the doctors who cared more about their own self-promotion than about their patients; the right-wing politicians who treated the victims of a devastating and deadly disease as if they were sinners who had earned the wrath of God; the gay men who didn't care how many people they infected as long as they could enjoy the promiscuous atmosphere of the bath houses, and most incredibly, the for-profit blood banks, which refused to admit their product was carrying a deadly virus and fought against blood testing for three years while the number of people who died from transfusions of infected blood grew by the thousands. “

Bad medicine : doctors doing harm since Hippocrates / David Wootton. 610.9 WOO 2006
“Just how much good has medicine done over the years? And how much damage does it continue to do? The history of medicine begins with Hippocrates in the fifth century BC. Yet until the invention of antibiotics in the 1930s doctors, in general, did their patients more harm than good. In this fascinating new look at the history of medicine, David Wootton argues that for more than 2300 years doctors have relied on their patients' misplaced faith in their ability to cure.”

Being mortal : illness, medicine and what matters in the end / Atul Gawande.  610.696 GAW 2014
“New York Times Number One bestseller Longlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize 2014 In Being Mortal, Gawande examines his experiences as a surgeon, as he confronts the realities of aging and dying in his patients and in his family, as well as the limits of what he can do. And he emerges with story that crosses the globe and history, exploring questions that range from the curious to the profound: What happens to people's teeth as they get old? Did human beings really commit senecide, the sacrifice of the elderly? Why do the aged so dread nursing homes and hospitals? How should someone give another person the dreadful news that they will die? This is a story told only as Atul Gawande can - penetrating people's lives and also the systems that have evolved to govern our mortality. Those systems, he observes, routinely fail to serve - or even acknowledge - people's needs and priorities beyond mere survival. And the consequences are devastating lives, families, and even whole economies.”

Call the midwife : a true story of the East End in the 1950s / Jennifer Worth.  610.9 WOR 2002
“The book provides a fascinating snapshot of social history, documenting the East End in the days when there was a real sense of community, when times were tough but there was plenty of good humour and neighbourly support to help the inhabitants through the harsh economic climate. The book also enables readers to follow Jennifer's personal story, as she discovers the amazing resilience of a population still bearing the scars of war, and the vibrant community of nuns with whom she lives and who teach her the skills of midwifery. In stories that are funny, disturbing and moving in equal measure, we meet prostitutes and abortionists, bigamists and mischievous nuns, and see Jennifer earn the confidence of people whose lives are often stranger than fiction

Dying for a chat : the communication breakdown between doctors and patients  / Ranjana Srivastava. 610.696 SRI 2013
“Medical oncologist Ranjana Srivatava contends that the best medicine begins with a good chat, to guide the decision making of both doctors and patients.”

Emergency : real stories from Australia's emergency department doctors / edited by Simon Judkins. 610.696 EME 2015
“Every day across Australia, specialist emergency physicians do extraordinary things to save lives. The emergency room demands a lot of its practitioners; they have to be able to turn their hand quickly to whatever medical emergency they encounter. The stakes are high. This is where lives get saved. This is where people die. This is where everyone is tested to their limits, staff burn out, and patients are given news that will change their lives forever.  Amongst the daily chaos of the ED, talented doctors have a huge responsibility. They battle the high-emotion and constant patient backlog to make clear, considered, life-or-death decisions every single day. These are their stories from the front-line.”

Emperor of all maladies : a biography of cancer / Siddhartha Mukherjee.  616.994
“As cancer becomes an ever more universal experience, the need to understand it and its treatment, has never been more compelling.  The author reveals how far we have come in solving one of science’s great mysteries and offers a fascinating glimpse of our future progress.”

The House of God / Samuel Shem.  610.696 SHE 1985
“Samuel Shem has done what few in American medicine have dared to do—create an unvarnished, unglorified, and amazingly forthright portrait revealing the depth of caring, pain, pathos, and tragedy felt by all who spend their lives treating patients and stand at the crossroads between science and humanity.”

The Immortal life of Henrietta Lacks / Rebecca Skloot.  610.9 SKL 2010
”Skoot’s book is wonderful – deeply felt, gracefully written, sharply reported.  It is a story about science but, much more, about life.” Susan Orlean, author of The Orchid Thief

Man who mistook his wife for a hat / Oliver Sacks.  616.8 SAC 1986
"The Man who mistook his wife for a hat is populated by a cast as strange as that of the most fantastic fiction.  The subject of this strange and wonderful books what happens when things go wrong with parts of the brain most of us don’t know exist … Dr Sacks shows the awesome powers of our mind and just how delicately balanced they have to be.” Sunday Times

Mount misery / Samuel Shem.  610.696 SHE 1997
“What The House of God did for doctoring the body, Mount Misery does for doctoring the mind. A practicing psychiatrist, Samuel Shem brings vivid authenticity and extraordinary storytelling gifts to this long-awaited sequel, to create a novel that is laugh-out-loud hilarious, terrifying, and provocative. Filled with biting irony and a wonderful sense of the absurd, Mount Misery tells you everything you'll never learn in therapy. And it's a hell of a lot funnier.”

The Spare room / Helen Garner.  155.937 GAR 2008
“In her first novel in fifteen years, Helen Garner writes about the joys and limits of female friendship under the transforming pressure of illness. "The clear-eyed grace of her prose" in this darkly funny and unsparing novel has been hailed by Peter Carey as "the work of a great writer." Garlanded with awards, dazzling reviewers around the globe, "The Spare Room" is destined to be a modern literary classic.”

The Spirit catches you and you fall down : a Hmong child, her American doctors, and the collision of two cultures / Anne Fadiman.  362.84 FAD 1997
“Anne Fadiman celebrates the complexity and the individuality of the human interactions that make up the practice of medicine while simultaneously pointing out directions for change and breaking readers’ hearts with the tragedies of cultural displacement, medical limitations, and futile good intentions.”

The Spirit of the place / Samuel Shem.  610.696 SHE 2012
"A deeply moving and profounding intelligent exploration of the complexities and rewards of family, profession and place. The story of a young physician returning to his small town becomes a tale with universal meaning. This book continues to resonate in the mind and heart long after it is read." --Jerome Groopman, M.D., author of How Doctors Think

Tell me I’m here / Anne Deveson.  616.898 DEV 1998
“This is the compelling story of a charming young teenager who turns into a tearful tormented young man.  It is also the heart-rending story of a mother facing the realisation that her child is going mad.”

Tell me the truth : conversations with my patients about life and death / Ranjana Srivastava 610.696 SRI 2010
“Ranjana Srivastava recounts aspects of her medical training, oncology specialisation, her own health problems and interactions with other patients, doctors and nurses. She provides honest insights into a medical system that is in urgent need of improvement. She describes the lack of compassion, misinformation, false hope and over-treatment that occurs all too often. This is balanced by her analysis of her own failings and lessons for how we can do better. A captivating read, and recommended reading for health professionals and patients alike.” M. Hofperson

Tinderbox : how the West sparked the AIDS epidemic and how the world can finally overcome it  / Craig Timberg and Daniel Halperin 616.9792 TIM 2012
"Tinderbox brilliantly outlines the success, failures, and missed opportunities in the battle of HIV prevention over the last 30 years.” Elly Katabira