As the end of the year draws near and you start making plans for 2020, take some time out of your schedule 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, and help you sleep better.

Because there are so many reasons why reading is beneficial, we want to help you build a list that’ll be helpful, educational, and possibly even entertaining for you. We reached out to the faculty, admissions and student services team, administration, and students in the School of Pharmacy to see what’s on their reading list for 2020. Whether you’re a full-time pharmacist, in the middle of your pharmacy education, or still considering applying to or enrolling in pharmacy school, you’ll find at least one interesting option on this listwe promise.

5 Books for All Pharmacists

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 New Pharmacist: 46 Doses of Advice by Erin L. Albert
Once you’ve earned your degree and landed your first pharmacist job, what’s next? Is this all there is? Dr. Erin L. Albert, a professor of pharmacy practice at Butler University, wrote this book of advice for early career pharmacists to address the questions she receives most commonly from her former students. Along with words of wisdom on networking and work-life balance, Albert also offers insights on pharmacist career development and continuing education.

Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic by Sam Quinones
A dual narrative of the heroin trade and the pharmaceutical painkiller business, Dreamland tells the story of addiction and drug culture that’s all too pervasive in the United States. Delving into the people and complexities involved, Quinones writes about the opiate epidemic on both the broad, overarching scale and the smaller, specific, local scale that brings the problems to life.

Ten Drugs: How Plants, Powders, and Pills Have Shaped the History of Medicine by Thomas Hager
Starting with opium, Hager tells the stories of 10 drugs that have played major roles in medicine and indelibly shaped modern healthcare and culture. The result is an interesting history of medicine and its impact on society, both through the eradication of smallpox through vaccination, the first antibiotic, and the first antipsychotic drug which radically altered mental health treatment.

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.

Recommendation from the Admissions and Student Services Team

The admissions and student services team is here to support and guide you. Their recommendation reflects a book that provides you with the tools to succeed and make it through the pharmacy school process.

Recommendation from Administration

Pharmacy administration wants to see a well-rounded individual. They know you are going to succeed as a pharmacist, but what other topics are you interested in? Check out this interesting read recommended by pharmacy administration:

Recommendations from Faculty

Faculty members and professors help you develop in many different ways across the field of pharmacy. Our faculty recommended some great reads about the opiate epidemic and medications and books for pharmacy students.

“There are two books aimed at future pharmacists about pharmacy,” said Dr. Traynor, Professor and Chair of Pharmacy Practice, while recommending the two pharmacist-in-training-books below. “For those that like history and stories, I really enjoyed Heroes of Pharmacy.”

Finally, there were some recommendations on leadership, including the book The Fred Factor.

“These are in the motivating and mindset category of books,” Dr. Traynor added. “I think Leadership and Self-Deception is also a great read.”

Recommendations from Students

Audiobooks can be a great way to get some new books to read while on the go, especially if you’re already reading a lot for school. Like student Mike Wright said, “Most of my reading is audible in the car.”

As you get going with building your own reading list for 2020, don’t forget that you can follow along with us on GoodReads 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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