Tuesday, October 14, 2008


I have a huge list of books I want to read, and (like everyone) precious little time to read for pleasure (plus, I fall asleep if I try to read in bed at night). So, I've developed a philosophy that says "If I can put a book down, I will." Life's too short and my reading time too limited to spend on books that don't really grab my attentions.

This means I don't finish a lot of the books I start. I'm cool with that. But every once in a while I pick up a book that completely grabs me, and I discover I'm able to make all kinds of time to read it. The Omnivore's Dilemma was like that. I'm in the middle of another captivating book right now, titled Complications.

It's by a surgeon named Atul Gawande, and it's amazing. I've got very little tolerance for blood and guts, but even his descriptions of the mechanisms involved with vomiting are amazing. He's part poet-philosopher, part medical doctor (and is also a 2006 MacArthur Fellow). I loved his description of what makes a good surgeon, which I think applies to any sort of professional excellence.

I started the book just a few days ago, and I'm already 1/2 way through it. That's some kind of record for me. I can't recommend the book highly enough.

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