“Reading list” sounded really boring for a title. Unless you are me and you love reading. Well, except for Jane Eyre from the summer reading list back in high school – it took a lot of Swiss cake rolls to get through that one.

So I changed this title to something catchier.  (see above – in title)  It’s just my opinion and limited life experience, but these are my recent favorite reads.

I had stopped reading for a while. I felt as if I didn’t have time what with all that there was on my to do list.  Also felt that I shouldn’t be doing something I enjoyed when the to do list wasn’t complete. Seriousness and work. No play. (psst… in case you haven’t noticed – and I just recently realized this – your to do list is NEVER complete.)

A year ago I did a Clifton Strengths Finder assessment.  My number one result was “Input” followed closely by some “Context” and “Learner.” My love of reading makes sense in light of these strengths. The recommendation from Gallup (who produces the Clifton Strength Finder) regarding these strengths?

Input: “Schedule time to read books and articles that stimulate you.”

Context: “Read historical novels, non-fiction, or biographies. You will discover many insights that will help you understand the present. You will think more clearly.”

Learner: “Honor your desire to learn.”

Okay, got it – start reading again. I did, and I am quite happy about it! I thought I’d share a list of my recent favs (almost everything) with you. And as time allows, I plan on doing individual posts for certain books.  Not a summary, just some thoughts, my notes, and a place for folks to have an online comments discussion if they want to.

So without further delay … Seven books I think every physician would benefit from reading:

  1. The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz – Soooo much good stuff in here! Game changer. We are “high performance individuals.” Really, read this.
  2. Good To Great by Jim Collins – Not just for business C-suite types. Very applicable to logistic components of the practice of medicine. Quite inspirational.
  3. The Social Animal by David Brooks – Given to me by my chair(wo)man from fellowship. It will upend the way you think about yourself and your patients.
  4. Whatever It Takes by Paul Tough – Another gift from my chair(wo)man. All about context.
  5. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi – Because you have to. I cannot form the words to explain. I feel I would fail terribly if I tried. The emotions that wash over just typing this….
  6. The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown – Wow wow wow. It’s like she wrote it for us trying-to-be-perfect-but-broken physicians. Relatively short book, but my note taking during the many “mind-blown” moments made the read last forever (in a good way)!
  7. Chasing the Scream by Johann Hari – One person’s treatise on the root of addiction, and it is not what you think. Even if you don’t agree with the conclusions, it is worth the discussion.

I hope you enjoy some of these as much as I did. Happy Reading!


(P.S. No one paid me to promote these books or Clifton Strengths Finder)