As the end of the year draws near and you start planning for 2020, make some time to build a reading list. Reading provides a myriad of benefits beyond just increasing your knowledge; it can also help you develop your critical thinking skills, improve your memory, help you sleep better, and more.

Because there are so many reasons why reading is beneficial, we want to help you build a list that’ll make 2020 an entertaining and educational year for you. We reached out to our faculty in the School of Health Professions to see what’s on their reading list for 2020. Check out their recommendations below, and follow along with us on GoodReads to keep track of your progress.

Our Top 5 Recommendations

Bellevue: Three Centuries of Medicine and Mayhem at America’s Most Storied Hospital by David Oshinsky

The United States’ oldest hospital, Bellevue has a long history, stretching back to its origins in the 1700s as an almshouse. Today, the public hospital is known for its wild past as much as its faithfulness in providing care to anyone who needs it. Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Oshinsky tells the story of Bellevue up to the present day, tracing the hospital’s path through dark periods of history and the development of modern medicine in the U.S.

An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back by Elizabeth Rosenthal

The American medical system is broken. Hospitals are suing patients for unpaid bills. Insurance companies are copping out of payments. And patients are repeatedly left in the dark, unsure how exactly the opaque system is supposed to be on their side. In this investigation, Rosenthal shows how the medical system has evolved to prioritize profit over care and exploits the trust of patients. But beyond that, Rosenthal offers potential solutions to the problems she identifies.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Skloot traces the story of Henrietta Lacks and her cells, which were taken without her knowledge and have since been used for such medical advances as the development of the polio vaccine, the study of cancer and viruses—and are still being used today more than 60 years after her death. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks dives into complicated questions around bioethics and medical history’s racism, while bringing readers up close to a woman whose physical existence has radically changed medicine.

The Gift of Pain by Paul W. Brand and Philip Yancey

What would life be like without pain? Brand draws from his 50-year career working with leprosy patients to make the case for pain as a gift. Pain exists for a reason—to show us that something is wrong. Without it, we’re not just painless, but we lack crucial warnings about what’s going on in and around us.

Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl

Holocaust survivor and neurologist, Viktor E. Frankl is known for his incisive analysis of human resilience. In Nazi concentration camps, he found meaning in suffering by applying his theory of logotherapy to his experience. Convicted that humanity’s primary driver is not pleasure, but meaning, he writes that because suffering is unavoidable, the way through suffering is to find meaning and purpose. This book makes his case, while also sharing his harrowing experience of the Holocaust.

More Recommendations from Faculty

If you’ve already read the suggestions above or want a bigger list to take with you into the new year, below are more titles submitted by faculty for you to explore.

As you get going with your list, don’t forget that you can follow along with us on GoodReads in 2020 to keep track of the books on your reading list, track your progress, and reference our recommendations all in one place.

Happy reading!

The top five recommendations and their descriptions were created by Meredith Sell, a contributing author. 

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