I know we’re in October already, and I hope that’s a testament to just how much I procrastinate sometimes, because today I wanted to share a few of the books I read over summer. I’m only two months late! I’ll try not to spoil any of the books and just share a little overview, along with my thoughts on it, in case you were wanting to read any.
Also, as a side note, the reason I managed to read so much this summer was because I discovered that my library has an app that lets you read books on your phone/tablet and I’m wary about buying too many books as it is, so this was the perfect thing for me to read everything I wanted.
1. War Doctor by David Nott
I feel like this is such a classic among medical students, even though it only came out in early 2019. It follows a trauma surgeon working in various different countries, a lot of which were in war or under siege. I’ve always had a huge interest in the humanitarian side of medicine so I really enjoyed this, especially because it highlighted to me things that I would probably not have realised about working in such situations. Also having some medical knowledge meant that I actually understood his descriptions of procedures most of the time, but I wouldn’t say that it’s inaccessible to someone who doesn’t have that knowledge.
This book really left me feeling inspired and compelled to act.
2. The Lightless Sky by Gulwali Passarlay
This is the memoir of a twelve-year-old boy who journeys from Afghanistan to Europe in order to not be recruited by the Taliban and find a better life instead. This book weighed so heavy on me and it was one of those that you need to put down periodically so you can ruminate on what you’ve just read. Something I found particularly interesting what his description and experiences of the Calais Jungle, which I remember very clearly happening during 2015/16 but I never really understood the magnitude of what was going on for the people there. This really shone a light on to that for me.
3. The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri
The theme of difficult journeys continues from the last book on to this one, because this one follows a couple fleeing from Syria when where they live is destroyed by war. The way that it melded seamlessly from present day to past memories and back again flowed really well and it’s one of those novels where the reader is really kept in the dark until very pertinent, poignant moments. You think you have it all figured out and another detail is revealed that tells you about a huge aspect that you missed or didn’t even consider. This novel was written so beautifully, it really enhances the sadness of the story.
This and the previous book, I read consecutively, and they both left a lasting impression on me.
4. Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber
This was a classic psychological thriller type of novel that was a fun read for me. I used to enjoy this genre a lot a few years ago, but it’s been so long since I last read a book of this type. I think it was relatively interesting, and it did manage to hold my attention the whole way through, but the characters really got on my nerves at points and overall, it felt a bit forgettable compared to other standout books from this genre.
5. Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi
I’ve not shared much about my goals for third year, but one of the big ones is to be more social… which is ironic that I chose the year COVID has reared its head for this specific goal. I read this one specifically because a different book I really wanted to read was not available anywhere I could find, and from some of the reviews I read, this looked like it could be an interesting alternative.
It certainly wasn’t disappointing. I feel like even if all the concepts weren’t exactly new to me, they were presented in a new way that did help me to consolidate some good things to remember in order to benefit me with my goal. I liked it overall! However, I will say, it took me so long to read this because I was making pretty extensive notes alongside it, so it took me a good week to finish.
6. The Courage to be Disliked by Fumitake Koga and Ichiro Kishimi
This book is set out as a conversation between a philosopher and a young person with a lot of the typical fears and beliefs that a young person would have in this day and age, and wow, was it fascinating in both content and style.
It’s very clearly a self-help book, which is not the kind of thing I usually read (maybe besides the last one I mentioned on networking) but it just seemed interesting from its description so I thought I’d see how it is. The whole premise of the philosopher’s ideology is based on Alfred Adler’s psychology and this is explicitly stated in the book. Personally, I thought a lot of the concepts were definitely good ways of thinking and living your life, and I realised that some of those thought processes were already things that really resonate with me, but there was a lot of stuff that I didn’t really know how to feel about. It was definitely one to make you think, and I actually think it helped me to improve my critical thinking skills because after almost every chapter, I’d put it down and try to think about what I was reading.
That was a little insight into some of the books I read over summer, though it’s not the whole list. What have you read recently? Have you read any of the books I mentioned? What should I read next? Please feel free to share, I’d love to know!