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.

“How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character” by Paul Tough

Why do some children escape a difficult childhood and become successful adults? Why do others end up in prison or stuck in a cycle of poverty? This fascinating book summarizes stories of children growing up in diverse socioeconomic situations, explores research on factors leading to success and failure academically and in life. As a follow up to my…
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David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell

Previous Malcolm Gladwell books, Outliers, Blink and The Tipping Point, have used psychosocial research to explain little known phenomenon that are often the opposite of what one would expect. His most recent publication, David and Goliath, also focuses on surprising findings from research on the nature of advantages and disadvantages and how so called underdogs can and do succeed. Well written and…
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The Checklist Manifesto, A Book Review

The Checklist Manifesto Dr. Atul Gawande Published by Metropolitan Books, 2009 As evidenced by the title, The Checklist Manifesto makes a solid case for using a simple concept, the checklist, to improve patient and healthcare outcomes. Dr. Gawande, a frequent contributor to The New Yorker, serves as an attending endocrine surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. He opens…
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“Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” by Susan Cain

I thoroughly enjoyed “Quiet:The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” by Susan Cain, about the 1/3 of our population who consider themselves introverts. It spoke to me because it described me so well. There is a ‘quiz’ on page 13, on which I scored 16 out of 20 for introvertedness. It…
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How Doctors Think by Jerome Groopman, M.D.

How Doctors Think By Jerome Groopman, M.D. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company, 2007 This book, How Doctors Think, inspired me to improve my skills as a practicing physician. This fascinating read, written by Dr. Groopman, who is a frequent medical writer and a prominent hematologist/oncologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Boston, details the cognitive processes that…
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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.