Smart Read

Book Reviews for Health and Human Interest


Why recommend books anymore?

Does anyone read? A friend of mine said frankly, “I don’t have time to read. I get my information from the Internet and TV.” Many people evidently feel that way, since the print circulation of newspapers and magazines has fallen dramatically in recent years, and many once robust publications have gone out of business.

Despite these trends

We thought it would be fun and informative to share recommended book reviews on this blog. Summer is a great time to think about bringing a book to the pool or beach and soaking up information while listening to water sounds in the background. We hope to review books that will positively impact your health, nutrition, and fitness.

What the Dog Saw, and Other Adventures, by Malcolm Gladwell

Every time I’m on vacation, I bring a book to read but never seemed to finish it. The vacation destination takes my mind off the book and I end up savoring every waking minute exploring the new area. Over the holidays, however, my habit changed. I started reading Malcolm Gladwell’s “What the Dog Saw” halfway into the flight…
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Our Kids, the American Dream in Crisis — Reflections on Dr. Robert D. Putnam’s Book

Several days ago, my husband and I went to a gathering at Georgetown University to meet a group of premed undergraduate students all from the Georgetown Scholarship Program (GSP), a program for low income students. I had read about these students in the summer in a Washington Post article. The reporter, Daureen Brown, told a…
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Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery by Dr. Henry Marsh, published by St. Martin’s Press, 2014

In the Acknowledgements section of this book, British neurosurgeon Dr. Henry Marsh starts with this sentiment: “I hope that my patients and colleagues will forgive me for writing this book.” Why would this be? As a physician, I found his many stories of serious illness, tragic consequences of surgery, and ethical dilemmas profound and not unlike many…
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Black Man in a White Coat: A Doctor’s Reflection on Race and Medicine. Damon Tweedy, M.D.

I was excited to read this personal account of race in the medical profession, and it did not disappoint. Dr.Tweedy, a Duke-trained psychiatrist, discusses his experiences from medical school through his training in a white-dominated system. He discusses both his class- and race-based insecurities, being less financially advantaged than his peers. He reviews the disparities…
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The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload by Dr. Daniel J. Levitin

Did you know that checking your email multiple times a day drains your brain of power and ability to make proper decisions? In fact, just knowing you have an email waiting for you lowers your IQ by 10 points. In this fascinating book full of scientific facts on the neural networks and processing in the brain, Dr.…
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Recently I had the opportunity

To tour the Evergreen House in Baltimore, which is the restored 19th century home of the Garrett Family, of B&O Railroad fame. If you get a chance to see this unique place, do visit!

The Garretts were significant patrons of artists, dancers, and actors, and their home is full of BOOKS! The books date back to the 1500s, fill at least 5 rooms floor to ceiling, and are used by scholars of rare books today. This display emphasized the significant role books had on everyday life for those who could read in the 1800s. Because there was no internet, TV, or other forms of communication, people spent a significant amount of their day thinking of and pondering the written word. Although life has changed significantly since that time, we hope that reading a few great books every year will improve your intellectual, as well as physical, well-being. Enjoy summer and enjoy reading!

Linda Yau, M.D.