Reading List

“28: Stories of Aids in Africa.” by Stephanie Nolen.

Took a disease whose toll is often difficult to grasp and made it personal through 28 stories. Some books are described as being too good to put down. This one was often too much to pick up.

“Americanah” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

“They themselves mocked Africa, trading stories of absurdity, of stupidity, and they felt safe to mock, because it was a mockery born of longing, and of the heartbroken desire to see a place made whole again.”

“Five Get Into Trouble” By Enid Blyton.

A children’s book, read at the age of 7, remembered most for the real-life context in which I read it, while unable to leave my house for two weeks, during the only attempted military coup in Kenyan history.

“On Beauty” by Zadie Smith.

In the British author’s own description, uses “messy characters” to reveal novel differences between UK and US cultures. What is the culture of a mixed-race person anyway?

“An Actor Prepares” by Konstantin Stanislavski

Compellingly makes the case that great acting is not accidental, or inevitably inspired by talent from birth, but a craft, to be diligently perfected over a lifetime . . .

“How Doctors Think” by Jerome Groopman.

“Certainly the primary imperative of a physician is to be skilled in medical science, but if he or she does not probe a patient’s soul, then the doctor’s care is given without caring, and part of the sacred mission of healing is missing.”

“The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons” by Sam Kean.

We use surgical instruments named after them, use reflex tests that they developed, understand the brain better because of their work, but who were these groundbreaking neurosurgeons? Sam Kean reveals surprisingly flawed human beings with eccentric sparks of inspiration, capturing the paradox of studying the brain, using our brains . . .

“Daring Greatly” by Brene Brown.

An often needed reminder of the strength of vulnerability . . .

“Theatre of the Oppressed” by Augusto Boal.

The idea that there are thousands of people, often without a voice, who could not imagine a different future until they encountered this type of theatre remains truly compelling . . .

“The Onion Book of Known Knowledge.”

Cleared up all my deepest existential questions in one Sunday afternoon.
  1. Reading Famous Five was the beginning of my love of reading!


  2. Hilarious! The memories!!


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