Thursday, March 27, 2014

4 Books

Just four, eh?

I'm a book person. I know that the world is shifting towards electronic formats, but nothing will ever be quite the same for me as holding an old book in my hands, running my finger along the letters on the page.


1. To Kill A Mockingbird. I'm reading this one with the kids right now, being reminded with every sentence why I adore this book so very much. Atticus is the epitome of integrity, honor and justice. He made me want to be a lawyer. He made me want to be a better person. He made me open my eyes to the injustices of the world and he made me want to find a way to remedy them. I found a copy of the book published in 1962, just a couple years after it was first written. The binding is shot. Pages are crinkled and ripped. Some are falling out and need to be tucked back inside every time I open it. I imagine that someone, perhaps many someones, read this very copy years before and left their mark on it to share with us now.



2. The Glass Castle. This book. This damn book. I don't even have it in my possession anymore, I had to get rid of it. It was the book that made me confront the fact that I had postpartum depression, the book that forced it all to the surface, the book that made me admit something was very wrong. When we were at Costco over the weekend scanning the book section, it was there still. This book. I picked it up, mused about how someday I would love to have a piece of me out there over ten years after it was written. This book changed my life.


3. The Social Transformation of American Medicine. I know, I know. My nerd is showing. I've read this book a few times, the first when it required for my bioethics minor in college. It's a fascinating historical record of how and why our system got to be as vastly dysfunctional as it is today, and I'd hinge a guess that if an updated version were ever to be released, the book would double in size just because of how much things have changed in the past 15-20 years. When you understand how we got into this mess, it is easier to see that there are indeed ways out of it, most of which require disrupting the entire medical economy built by bizarre incentives. I recommend this one to everyone I know pursuing a career in the medical field in any capacity, and to anyone who craves a deeper understanding of our bizarre system.


4. The Out of Sync Child. I struggled, oh how I struggled to understand my daughter when she was little. She was perpetually uncomfortable. Always fidgeting, always withdrawing and pulling away. There were so many things that were a source of constant frustration, and I just couldn't understand why any of it had to be this way. Then, one day, I came across this book at the suggestion of a friend. I felt like I was reading something written by someone walking in my shoes, by someone who understood what it was like to parent a child like her. I learned that she wasn't alone, hardly. I learned that there was a reason she was this way, that there were ways to help her cope with a world that was often too overwhelming for her. This book told me simultaneously that I knew my child better than anyone in the universe and that I'd only just barely scratched the surface. This book made me a better parent, without question.

1 comment:

  1. Nice blog about these books and what learned from them.

    To Kill A Mockingbird: "He made me open my eyes to the injustices of the world and he made me want to find a way to remedy them."
    The Glass Castle: "This book changed my life."
    The Social Transformation of American Medicine: "It's a fascinating historical record of how and why our system got to be as vastly dysfunctional as it is today."
    The Out of Sync Child: "This book told me simultaneously that I knew my child better than anyone in the universe and that I'd only just barely scratched the surface. This book made me a better parent, without question."

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