Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Books on My Nightstand

A year ago I wrote about the books on my nightstand. Here's an update of what I'm currently reading:

The Deadly Dinner Party by Jonathan Edlow - a great collection of medical mysteries written by my colleague in the BIDMC emergency department. You'll find hard to solve cases with diagnoses such as botulism, typhoid, and bath water infected with tropical organisms from piraƱa. House meets Sherlock Holmes.

The Lady and the Monk by Pico Iyer - The story of world traveler Pico Iyer's year in Kyoto and his immersion into Japanese culture. As a fan of Japan, I can certainly relate to the rich experiences he describes in his travels. Some folks have suggested that my disciplined life, black attire, and continual pursuit of a simpler existence gives me a monk-like character.

The China Study by T. Colin Campbell - A great overview of the relationship between nutrition and health, including the consequences of eating an animal-based diet.

Food for Life by Neal Barnard - I've been chatting with a few policymakers about the importance of nutrition and recently exchange emails with Dr. Barnard. In the book, he suggests his own food groups (grains, vegetables, fruits, and legumes), then discusses the positive impact of a vegan diet on health.

Blue Book of Bike Repair by Calvin Jones - Having recently replaced my hybrid mountain bike drive train , I found this book by the Park Tool Company to be an invaluable guide to modern bicycle components and repair.

Mushrooms Demystified by David Aurora - This book is the mycologists bible and is what I use for the hundreds of mushroom consults I do every year. I recently worked with the ICU team at BIDMC on an Amanita ingestion and this book was a great guide for me.

Dogs and Demons by Alex Kerr - Alex is a great observer of Japanese culture and he explains how the Japanese economy is built on public works projects that are destroying the natural beauty of the country.

Anthology of Japanese Literature by Donald Keene - Donald Keene is the finest editor of Japanese traditional literature for English Language readers. This book contains selections of just about every genre of Japanese literature from No plays to novels.

A self published book of sonnets - 30 years ago when I was 17 I wrote sonnets in memory while cycling up and down the California coast one summer. My 16 year old daughter is writing sonnets in her AP English class, so I pulled my collection from my archives. Here's a sample (I was 17 at the time, so be kind)

An Ageless Plea

If old age brings the wisdom new lives seek,
Then why am I here writing all alone?
With well earned trophies of triumphs to speak,
An withered hands that built your cornerstone.
For pity I won't grovel or request,
Remember - what I've done you'll later do.
And if you somehow think your youth is best,
Remember - what I am will soon be you.
Through years of angst and conflict I have run,
Though now in worthless solace I'm confined.
Replaced as some machine whose task is done,
An obsolescent prisoner of time.
I stare through frozen windows in self doubt,
Wondering if it's colder in or out.

The books I wrote a little later in college were actually published and you'll find them on Amazon.

Other than my own works, I can highly recommend these books as great reads.


Anonymous said...

John, the link to Amazon only gets us to your computer publications! Were other works published? And have you heard that Harvard Book Store now has a robot "Paige Gutenborg" in the store which can publish anyone's books as a paperback, as well as single copies of older out-of-print texts. So if it's not in Amazon...

Bryan Krusniak said...

Here is one to add to your list. Total Recall by Gordon Bell and Jim Gemmell. It is a nice compilation of how using technology can improve our personal and institutional memory.... and make big impacts on our overall quality of life. Nothing earth shattering in it, but riding some of the trains of thought, especially the sections on learning and health, is enjoyable. Thanks for sharing.

Alesha R. Adamson said...

I <3 ur sonnet
(modern k-l33+ for your ageless plea)