Medical Memoirs (and More!)

It’s true…about 80% of what I read is fiction, but I do love the occasional well-written memoir or non-fiction title, and I’ve had some good ones lately!


The Shift: One Nurse, Twelve Hours, Four Patients’ Lives by Theresa Brown, RN is exactly what the subtitle suggests: a chronicling of one shift on the oncology floor where Brown works. This is such an insightful book, as to what happens “behind the scenes” while patients lay in their rooms, wondering where their medication is, why paperwork takes so long, and what decisions are being made about their care. I learned a lot, and definitely have even more respect than before for nurses!

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi is a heartbreaking, beautifully written, deeply moving memoir. Kalanithi was THAT doctor – a brilliant neurosurgeon, a student of philosophy and literature, and a family man – when he was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer at the age of 36. Though you know from the beginning that Paul will not survive, this chronicles his life before his diagnosis, and after – when the clock begins ticking downwards. Though short, this is full of emotion and impact, and I highly, highly recommend it to anyone.

The Whole30 by Melissa Hartwig is yet another “be healthy!” non-fiction title, but written in a no-nonsense tone, filled with good stories, examples, and practical advice – and when I followed the diet, I DID see results! If you are in the market for a diet that might work for you, give it a read!

I also just reread Liberty Falling by Nevada Barr – continuing my quest to reread all of the Anna Pigeon series!


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