After completing my internship in Chicago and returning home to determine my next career path, one thing was certain. Looking around my bedroom and re-organizing any stray paperwork or rearranging my drawers after emptying my suitcases, I found I had an abundance of books. Reading more had been on my mind, especially after seeing numerous 2016 reading lists. Gathering all of my recent purchases from the used bookstore and adding books I had acquired over the years but not yet read, I was determined to do something about this abundant book collection. After all, I spend plenty of time reading blogs, articles, and other news items to comment on and share on social media, so why not take the time to read a book? Each month, I’ve decided to share a collection of fashion, travel, and personal memoirs to inspire my readers to enjoy life beyond the computer screen and journey to a new world. For this past month, here are the paperback delights I indulged in:
Intern: A Doctor’s Initiation
Written with detail, honesty, and insight by Dr. Sandeep Jauhar, Intern follows Dr. Jauhar during his time in medical school and residency to a fellowship in cardiology. The first year of residency, internship, involves rotating medical school graduates through various hospital departments including the cancer ward and the intensive care unit so they can train to be real doctors. Although this year of residency has been depicted by numerous TV shows like ER and Grey’s Anatomy, Dr. Jauhar’s research, connection to personal experiences, and at times revealing shocking incidents like healthcare professionals being attacked or harassed by patients on a regular basis and the questions he has about the effectiveness of various treatments is what made this book stand out from the TV shows. Reading his own thoughts about whether or not to pursue medicine and his passion for journalism in conflict with medicine reminded me of my own doubts and questions as I’ve changed courses and considered new career options. While TV shows may have all of the drama, they lack one thing that will keep you invested in this book: Dr. Jauhar’s observations and growth personally and professionally as a doctor.
The Fashion Book
Several years ago I found The Fashion Book at the V&A during an internship in London. I’ve mostly used this as a reference guide, occasionally looking up designers or icons I might have run into in an issue of Vogue. However, what I found even more satisfying leafing through the pages of this compilation of fashion influencers was finding people like Georgina Von Etzdorf, a designer who partnered with art school contemporaries to use hand-printing and screen-printing in her clothing, and designer Joseph Abboud who merges American sportswear with North African textiles and colors. Although I discovered phenomenal designers, what I was even more in awe of is the work of photographers, milliners, textile designers, and illustrators. Perhaps I enjoy the milliners because I once trained to become one and appreciate it as a dying art and I may also enjoy fashion illustration after admiring the work of Paper Fashion. Whatever the case may be, this book showed me a world of fashion beyond designers and models. Fashion is more than a pretty dress or latest trend, it pushes boundaries and encourages us to see and think beyond the ordinary.
The Little Book of Changes: A Pocket I Ching
The Little Book of Changes interpreted by Peter Crisp isn’t a novel or reference guide, but it is a small gift and book that has changed how I view and experience life. Stemming from Confucianism and Taoism, the book isn’t meant to be read or leafed through from beginning to end, rather it’s meant to be consulted to help you understand your journey and how your actions and beliefs affect what’s next. Feeling excited, anxious, and sometimes lost about future possibilities in my personal and professional life I find consulting this book makes me realize that I am in charge of my destiny and I can change the course of it anytime through my decisions and point of view. A close friend and former co-worker gave me this book for a Christmas present, almost sensing that a change was on the horizon for me and I would need this guidance soon.
It seems my booklist this month has been one of spirituality and direction. I hope that as you’ve read about my choices that connect to me in so many ways personally and professionally, you’ll begin your own reading journey to help you determine your next path. I’m looking forward to February to read about love, dating, and travel around the world. Even though I wouldn’t mind a daring travel adventure and a date, perhaps all I will need to next month is a book to get me there!
What’s been on your reading list lately? What books do you recommend for a new journey and perspective?