10 books to read this summer
Every summer, we publish a list of books recommended by specialist physicians and residents. Here are this year’s picks.
Have something to add? Leave a comment and continue the discussion!
The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett (2020)
“It’s a story about the difference one person can make. Never underestimate kindness.” – Janet Walker, MD, FRCSC, General Surgery, Nova Scotia
Lost Immunity: A Thriller (2021)
“Latest Canadian bestseller by Dr. Daniel Kalla, a well-loved Vancouver emergency doc. Written before the COVID pandemic started, he captures the medical and political elements of dealing with an outbreak that are eerily salient to us all now, while delivering a page-turning thriller that entertains,” says Anna Nazif, MD, FRCPC, psychiatrist at Vancouver General and Burnaby General hospitals. Adds Elizabeth M. Wallace, MD, FRCPC, psychiatrist in Calgary, “The intriguing plot is set in post-COVID times about another epidemic, and the complicated relationships between public health, the public, vaccine makers and anti-vaxxers.”
The Bluest Eye (1970)
“This book is written from the perspective of a young African-American girl during the Great Depression in Ohio, and demonstrates pervasive and hurtful racism through the eyes of a child.” – Tara D’Ignazio, MD, PGY-4 in Adult Cardiology, Université de Montréal
Indian Horse (2017)
“A touching and poignant story. In this time of reconciliation between Indigenous Peoples and Canadians, the drama of orphanages for Indigenous youth; this is a very good read.” – Claude Brière, MD, FRCPC, gastroenterologist in Trois-Rivières, Que.
Indigenous Toronto: Stories that Carry This Place (2021)
Denise Bolduc, Mnawaate Gordon-Corbiere, Rebeka Tabobondung, Brian Wright-McLeod, John Lorinc (Editors)
“For those practising and learning in Toronto, a great way to learn about the histories of the land and the people who were here first. Particularly loved reading ‘The Two Lives of Dr. O’ about a Kanien’keha physician who graduated from the University of Toronto in 1867.” – Kat Butler, MD, MSc(A), PGY-3 in Anesthesia, University of Toronto
We Are All Perfectly Fine: A Memoir of Love, Medicine and Healing (2021)
“Jillian’s book is a poignant reminder that we as physicians need to care for ourselves so that we can care for others.” – Susan D. Moffatt-Bruce, MD, FRCSC, PhD, MBA, FACS, chief executive officer, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World (2019)
“The book examines the benefits that generalists bring to a world obsessed with specialization. The author takes a broad view and examines sports, science, art and literature to examine the value of generalists in a modern, complex world.” – Brinda Balachandra, MD, FRCPC, anatomical pathologist at Royal Alexandra Hospital, Edmonton
Story, Not Study: 30 Brief Lessons to Inspire Health Researcher as Writers (2021)
Lorelei Lingard, Christopher Watling
“Accessible. A book that all academic researchers should read to improve the quality of our work and interest to our readers.” – Ricardo Viana, MD, FRCPC, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Parkwood Institute, London, Ont.
Five Perspectives on Teaching: Mapping a Plurality of the Good (2nd edition, 2017)
Daniel D. Pratt, Dave Smulders and Associates
“For those teaching medical students and residents, this book presents a framework for thinking more broadly about teaching. It is very eye-opening as it moves well beyond the relatively narrow traditional medical perspective on what it means to be a ‘teacher.’ In doing so, it highlights many ways that we can each become better teachers.” – Stephen Pinney, MD, FRCSC, orthopedic surgeon at Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, USA
Nous, c’est qui? Une Histoire des hommes et des femmes du Québec (2015)
“I picked up this book while browsing at the French bookstore between pandemic closures and I enjoy the style and context. Like most of us, I learned history in grade school and missed out on really understanding our roots. I find it especially helpful as we embark on more reflective and actionable work in equity, diversity and inclusion. Great to know a bit more about where each of us comes from and the forces that shaped who we are today. Bonne lecture!” – Guylaine Lefebvre, MD, FRCSC, FACOG, executive director, Membership Engagement and Programs, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada