Each month, Look Who’s Talking features voices from across BWH answering the same question. This month, BWHers share books that are on their list to read this summer. If you would like to add your voice to the conversation, please submit a comment at the bottom of the page.

“My summer reading list is filled with health policy nerdiness! ‘Dreamland’ by Sam Quinones is a gripping and unrelenting history of the opioid epidemic in the U.S. It traces the fascinating and intertwined history of prescription opioids and heroin. Not light reading for the summer, but essential and a page-turner. I’m also planning to read ‘An American Sickness’ by Elisabeth Rosenthal, one of the most talented health care journalists in the country. She has written an in-depth exploration of how health care has become so expensive and how we can advance the national conversation around addressing one of the most pressing policy issues of our lifetime.”

Michael Barnett, MD,MS, Division of General Internal Medicine and Primary Care

“So far, I have finished reading “Furiously Happy’ by Jenny Lawson and ‘When Breath Becomes Air’ by Paul Kalanithi. Currently, I am in the middle of reading ‘You Deserve a Drink’ by Mamrie Hart, and the next two books on my list are ‘Brain on Fire’ by Susannah Cahalan and ‘Another Day in the Death of America: A Chronicle of Ten Short Lives’ by Gary Younge. Last but not least, I plan on rereading Harry Potter once I’ve finished my list!”

Bridget O’Donnell, Administrative Assistant, Department of Emergency Medicine & Toxicology

“I just finished ‘The Moth Presents: All These Wonders’, edited by Catherine Burns. This great before-bedtime book contains story transcriptions from The Moth Radio Hour, a weekly radio broadcast produced by Atlantic Public Media that features unscripted, unusually deep and often funny tales told by regular people. I also just cracked open ‘Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life’ by Richard Rohr, a heavy philosophical read on reframing how we think about living well during our earlier stages of life, and during our more mature years. For light entertainment, I’m a few chapters into ‘A Dog’s Purpose: A Novel for Humans’, by W. Bruce Cameron.  As many of my colleagues know, I’ve got a big heart for dogs (especially my beloved Australian Labradoodle, Gracie!), so this book brings a smile to my face. And lastly, I am working my way through ‘The Healthcare Leader’s Guide to Action, Awareness, and Perception’, by Carson Dye and Brett Lee; though a little dry, it’s an important career book.

David McCready, MBA, MHA, Senior Vice President, Surgical, Procedural and Imaging Services, Facilities and Operations

“I am currently reading ‘Sapiens’ from Yuval Harari. This is an amazing history book showing a different perspective about the evolution of homo sapiens. It explains how humans moved from the middle of the food chain to the top and how three revolutions (cognitive, agricultural and scientific) were critical for this transition. It also has provocative concepts about mundane themes such as money.  Harari describes money as an illusion. Dollar bills have no value other than in our mental imagination. So how are people willing to exchange a piece of paper (dollar bill) for a hamburger, a bicycle or a shirt? He argues that it has to do with the trust of people in a collective imagination, in which money has value and all humans trust this piece of paper. He also points out that investment in science is a major driver of the economy.”

Leo Riella, MD, PhD, Division of Renal Medicine

“I love to read mystery/thriller and crime fiction all year long, but for me, there’s something particularly enjoyable about reading them in the summer sun and on travels. I just finished reading ‘Career of Evil,’ the third in Robert Galbraith’s (aka J.K. Rowling’s) Cormoran Strike series. Currently I’m reading ‘Into the Water,’ the second book by author Paula Hawkins. And next up will be ‘The Trespasser,’ the latest book from Irish author Tana French. When I’m not reading one of these more suspenseful novels, I’ll be enjoying the humor of the late Carrie Fisher in ‘The Princess Diarist’ and Boston’s own Mindy Kaling in ‘Why Not Me.’”

Steph Synoracki, Communications Specialist, Department of Communications and Public Affairs

“First on my summer reading list is ‘The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway.’ It is a timeless story of endurance, personal strength, and commitment told with a poetic love of the sea and nature. For a more fun summer vacation book, I’m planning on reading ‘Rogue Lawyer,’ by John Grisham. I’ve read a million of his books and always find them fun, like going to a good thriller movie. Next on my list is a recommendation from a close friend: ‘River of Doubt’ by Candice Milliard. Promising to be peppered with both good and bad decisions, this adventure story is about Theodore Roosevelt’s journey down the Amazon after his two terms as President. Finally, ‘Isaac’s Storm’ by Erik Larson is a historical work about a mega-storm and looks to be very entrancing.”

Ron Walls, MD, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Brigham Health

“This summer, I plan on reading ‘Beethoven: The Man Revealed’ by John Suchet, a really fascinating biography on Ludwig Von Beethoven. I am also planning to delve into ‘Good Bye to All That: An Autobiography’ by Robert Graves, a first-hand account of a British soldier’s life of trench warfare during WWI in France. Lastly, ‘Head Cases: Stories of Brain Injury and its Aftermath’ by Michael Paul Mason contains stories of brain injury survivors as they struggle to map and make sense of the new worlds they inhabit.”

Vincent Vacca, MSN, CCRN, SCRN, ENLS, Clinical Nurse Educator, Neuroscience Intensive Care

“My summer reading list consists of a variety of reads: ‘The Gift of Rain’ by Tan Twan Eng, ‘Norse Mythology’ by Neil Gaiman, ‘Being Mortal’ by Atul Gawande, and ‘The Ministry of Utmost Happiness’ by Arundhati Roy.”

Mark MacMillan, Grants Administrator, Center for Excellence in Vascular Biology