Self is behind her Goodreads reading challenge: she set herself a challenge of reading 30 books in 2017. So far, she’s read 22.
Of the books she’s read so far in 2017, her favorites are:
- Waterloo, the History of Four Days, Three Armies, and Three Battles, by Bernard Cornwall (read in August)
- Barbarian Days, by New Yorker writer and avid ex-surfer William Finnegan (started mid-June, finished mid-July)
- This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance! by Jonathan Evison (read this in the first half of June)
- The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey, by Rinker Buck (read this in May, in — of all places — Paris)
- Montcalm and Wolfe: The Decline and Fall of the French Empire in North America, by Francis Parkman (started mid-February, finished a month later)
The book she is currently reading, Do No Harm, by English neurosurgeon Henry Marsh, is pretty fascinating and may well move into her list of favorites by the time she’s finished. It’s her first medical memoir in a long time. She used to read nothing but: Atul Gawande, Jeremy Toobin, Oliver Sacks, Irwin Yalom, Abraham Verghese, Jerome Groopman. Her interest in this field started in 1991, when her only sister passed away suddenly in a New York hospital on the Upper East Side, Lenox Hill.
Marsh is very, very good at describing not just the technical aspects of brain surgery, but the emotional aspects as well:
“Anxiety might be contagious, but confidence is also contagious, and as I walked to the hospital car park I felt buoyed up by my patients’ trust.” — pp. 22 – 23