Summer Reading Thoughts

I love to read and can’t imagine my life without books….the more, the better!  About this time nearly  every year, I’m asked for suggestions for vacation reading, and this year was no exception.

Here’s a reading list I recently put together for a friend.  I’d love your thoughts.

If I were stranded on a desert island, Heart in the Right Place by Carolyn Jourdan is great and I’d want to have it with me.  It’s about a country doctor and his patients and family.   I read this at least once a year;  parts I cry over from laughing so hard, parts I cry over because it’s sad.  Anything Carolyn writes or co-authors is good.  She’s also written Medicine Men: Extreme Appalachian Doctoring which is a series of short stories featuring the adventures of rural physicians.  Carolyn has also written a couple of mysteries, which I enjoyed, as well as a couple of books about bears (co-authored by Kim DeLozier).

For those who enjoy autobiographies or history,  Condoleezza Rice:  A Memoir of My Extraordinary, Ordinary Family and Me was enjoyable.  I didn’t realize until nearly the end that it’s really written for middle-schoolers.  Another book she’s written is No Higher Honor.  Good reading!

Along those same lines, Barbara Bush: A Memoir is quite good.  Ten Minutes from Normal by Karen Hughes is a great memoir of the Bush White House years.   Heart: An American Medical Odyssey  by Dick Cheney and Jonathan Reiner, M.D. was interesting.

Although I have not read all of Dr. Ben Carson’s books, all of the books I’ve read by him are wonderful.  I recently read One Nation, which gives me great hope for the future of the United States.

The Pact  by Drs. Sampson Davis, George Jenkins  and Rameck Hunt tells the story of 2 physicians and 1 dentist who have every reason to fail – but didn’t.  Very inspirational.

Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo is a book  that I read for devotional reading.  I couldn’t put it down!  Proof of Heaven by Eben Alexander, M.D. is another good book that I really enjoyed.

Carol Cassella’s Oxygen is a novel that I enjoyed, although I must admit to reading it so long ago that I don’t recall too much about it.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot was a “can’t put down book”.  At the risk of being disrespectful, I read it while my mother was literally on her deathbed, and the book was very distracting (in a good way) for me.

Perhaps because my great-aunt was a nanny to the Rockefellers in the early 1900’s, I enjoyed The Man in the Rockefeller Suit by Mark Seal.  It contains an element of mystery, as well as a romantic bend.

Me and Mrs. Kennedy by Clint Hill was fascinating;  he was her Secret Service agent.  The Butler by Wil Haygood was good, and years ago (when I was in college) , I read Upstairs at the White House by J.B. West.  It’s recently be re-released.

The Astronaut Wives Club Club by Lily Koppel was a selection that my book group read;  we all enjoyed it, and could all remember where we were when we heard Armstrong’s famous words….”Once small step for man….”  It might be a bit on the girly side, so a caveat to men.

The Hunger Games  by Suzanne Collins was another book group selection.  We didn’t realize that it was really written for middle-schoolers, although I think it’s a bit too heavy for that age.  We also read the following 2 books in that series, Catching Fire and Mockingjay, neither of which we enjoyed as much as the first book.

A man in my Sunday School class, Tom Deaderick, has recently written Flightsuit.  It’s set in East Tennessee, and science-fiction, which is not something I usually read. I only bought and read the book because of the author, but I found it interesting.  I’m looking forward to more of Tom’s books.

Dr. Steven Berk,  a physician who used to live in my hometown, was kidnapped.  He tells of that happening in Anatomy of a Kidnapping.  Fascinating, but I made sure I read it during the day time!

My book club read To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee recently.  I truly wish I had read it earlier.  The book’s enjoyment was enhanced because we had a speaker who had grown up down the street from Miss Lee.

If you’re at all interested in Tennessee history, and especially the ousting of Gov. Ray Blanton, I recommend  Coup by Keel Hunt.  Truly a page turner for me!

Finally, One Second After, by William Forstchen, is about an EMP hitting the United States; the book takes place near where I live.  I really couldn’t put this book down, even though it’s not a book I’d normally have an interest in.  I believe he’s working on a sequel, and I’m looking forward to that.

Happy reading!

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