Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Title: That Old Cape Magic

Author: Richard Russo

Year: 2009

With its smooth prose, wit, and tragi-comic portrayal of marriage and family life, this book was a fast and truly enjoyable read that ranks among my favorites for the year; I wished the story could've kept going after the final page.

Monday, December 28, 2009


Title: The Hound of the Baskervilles

Author: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Year: 1901

A quick and absorbing novel, this one only took me a day to complete, and I even predicted a portion of the outcome; read it!


Title: I Know This Much Is True

Author: Wally Lamb

Year: 1998

This 900-pager took me a month to complete, mostly because I only read a few chapters at a time; it's a great book but truly a comprehensive family saga, so I'd recommend reading it all within a week instead of over a larger span of time in order to keep all the details fresh.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Title: The Old Man and the Sea

Author: Ernest Hemingway

Year: 1952

Short but packed with meaning, this book deserves a read even if you're (like myself) not typically a Hemingway fan.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Title: Picturing Personhood
Author: Joseph Dumit
Year: 2003

This book provides an interesting look at how brain scans function as signifiers of social meaning when used outside of the lab, within popular culture; while I am interested in visual rhetoric and how images are used to persuade, I feel like much of the intrigue got lost in Dumit's over-use of technical jargon and extensive excerpts from his interviews with brain scan specialists.


Title: Narrative Medicine

Author: Rita Charon

Year: 2006

A readable and engaging introduction to the developing field of narrative medicine, this book takes a humanistic approach to health care, arguing that we "emplot" our own lives and therefore create our own realities; if personal identities are formed out of our personal stories, then doctors and nurses can foster better relationships with patients, based on mutual respect and equality, by listening to patients' stories and thereby recognizing the individual rather than the illness.

(P.S. This may be the best scholarly non-fiction book I've ever read).