Nonfiction November – Be the Expert

This week’s Nonfiction November topic gives us lots of choice!

NonfictionNovember-e1506979820517Three ways to join in this week! You can either share three or more books on a single topic that you have read and can recommend (be the expert), you can put the call out for good nonfiction on a specific topic that you have been dying to read (ask the expert), or you can create your own list of books on a topic that you’d like to read (become the expert).

I have decided to Be the Expert in medicine, more specifically “books by doctors doing their thing awesomely”.  I’m a medical interpreter and work in hospitals, so it’s a topic that’s close to my heart.  After I made the list I realized all the authors are women – extra bonus!  The titles link to my full reviews.

15998346 What Doctors Feel: How Emotions Affect the Practice of Medicine by Danielle Ofri, MD

Each chapter covers an emotion doctors deal with on a near-daily basis, from empathy and fear to sadness and shame.  Good practices are shared and less than ideal situations analyzed in solid, assured prose that is still honest about the author’s misgivings and failings. The feelings behind what your doctor is thinking.

29955558Committed: The Battle Over Involuntary Psychiatric Care by Dinah Miller, MD and Annette Hanson, MD

Involuntary care is a a minefield of ethical conundrums and this book covers as many points of view as possible, from pro-involuntary treatment groups to anti-anything-psychiatry groups like Scientology. Thorough, well-considered, and fascinating.

19967171Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner by Judy Melinek, MD and T.J. Mitchell

The training and most memorable cases of a medical examiner.  While the jacket copy teases the stories around terrorist attacks my favorites were more commonplace – injuries that only show up after a day has passed, how to figure out which stab wound came first, pinning down someone’s age thanks to a single rib bone. Riveting and perfect for anyone who perks up when Law and Order heads to the morgue.

I’m always on the lookout for more medical nonfiction – what’s your favorite?

21 thoughts on “Nonfiction November – Be the Expert

  1. This is one of my favorite topics. Some I’ve loved recently: My Own Country by Abraham Verghese, Being Mortal by Atul Gawande, and Alan Alda’s If I Understood You…. has a lot about medical communication.

  2. Oh these look really good! I always loved Lisa Genova’s books that have a medical slant to them, but I haven’t read a lot of non-fiction books about medical issues. I’ll have to add some of these to my reading list.

    1. How have Lisa Genova’s books passed me by?! And knowing that they’re written by a neuroscientist will quell the nitpicky part of my brain. Thanks for the rec!

  3. Oh, my gosh, Kazen! I am a clinical chaplain and work in a hospital; these are all right up my alley! I have only read Working Stiff from your list; the other two are going on my list! Thanks so much!

    1. Yea for fellow medically-adjacent/allied health professional types! I picked up the audiobook of Extreme Measures after seeing your review and I’m loving it. I just finished the chapter on cultural differences and being someone who deals with those daily I wanted to be like, “Yes! Thank you! Totally this!” I’ll write full (and hopefully more eloquent) review once I’m finished – thanks so much for the rec!

      PS: Feel free to check out the medicine tag on the right sidebar here – lots of books you may be interested in. 🙂

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  5. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi is one of the best medical memoirs I’ve ever read. I’d also put Borrowed Time by Paul Monette on that list, too. Second the recommendation for Being Mortal. This is an interest of mine, too.

    1. I don’t know how Borrowed Time has escaped being on my radar; it looks great. Being Mortal is on my “definitely someday” list – I’m reading a lot about death this month (eep) so I may wait a bit before tackling it. Thanks for the wonderful recommendations!

  6. I read a lot of nonfiction about science and medicine, but I’ve not gotten to any of these. Thanks for the recommendations! I just recently read a good medical memoir called Counting Backwards, by an anesthesiologist, that I think you might like as well 🙂

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