Beyond Medicine: book recommendations from colleagues

Many doctors are avid readers. Others have read a great deal in the past but have fallen out of the habit, particularly in the context of the busy pressurised lives that so many of us lead. For some of us, we have discovered the joy of reading again more recently, as we work our way through the days of the COVID pandemic. The need to take ourselves to another time or another place has become more pressing than before. The phrase “escaping into a good book” comes to mind.

The author Malorie Blackman wrote that “Reading is an exercise in empathy: an exercise in walking in someone else’s shoes for a while”. This is very true, and there is also some evidence that that reading helps preserve cognition as we age, reduces stress and confers multiple other health benefits.

Ultimately though, most of us read for enjoyment rather than because it is good for us! This is a new section in the College website, where we hope to introduce colleagues, friends and any interested members of the public to books that others have read and enjoyed.

We hope to publish a book review every 1-2 months, written by Members and Fellows of the College. Some will have a more obvious connection to medicine than others. There will be a mixture of fiction and non-fiction. There are no “SMART” goals here other than to share with others some of the books that have intrigued, stimulated, educated, or simply entertained us in recent times.

If you would like to write a review for this site, we welcome contributions of around 600 words. Please get in touch with us if you have a book in mind and would like to do this or would like to give us any feedback. 

Happy reading!

Dr Patricia Cantley, FRCPE

Author: John F. Smyth
Review Author: Alexander McCall Smith
Author: Abraham Verghese
Review Author: Dr Gavin Francis
Author: Catherine Newman
Review Author: Professor Emma Vardy
Author: Polly Morland
Review Author: Dr Helen Salisbury
Author: Dr Kathryn Mannix
Review Author: Dr Charlotte Squires
Author: Prof Allister Vale and Dr John Scadding
Review Author: Dr Neil Dewhurst
Author: Charlie Mackesy
Review Author: Dr John Wilson
Author: Lionel Shriver
Review Author: Dr Clare Bostock
Author: Caroline Criado-Perez
Review Author: Dr Patricia Cantley