Each month, we ask people from across the Brigham to answer a question for our “Look Who’s Talking” feature. This issue, we’re asking what’s on your summer reading list. If you would like to add your voice to the conversation, please submit a comment at the bottom of the page.

Carolyn Bernstein

“I have just started Where the Shadows Lie by Pia Skogemann. It is a Jungian analysis of Lord of the Rings (LOTR). This work speaks to every part of human experience: love, trauma, greed, envy, longing, betrayal, friendship and that final journey to the undying lands. All of us travel our own path from the safety of the shire throughout whatever quest we follow. I’m looking forward to reading this book both to deepen my understanding of LOTR and for the insights above and beyond.”
– Carolyn Bernstein, MD, FAHS, Neurologist, Department of Neurology


Anita Rao“I am currently reading a book called Educated by Tara Westover, which is fascinating. It’s a true story about a girl whose parents do not put her in school and isolate her from society. She writes about her quest to educate herself and develop her own identity as a young adult. It has made me reflect on my educational journey and the value my parents instilled within me.”
– Anita Rao, MD, Resident, Internal Medicine


Juan Diego Paredes“I recommend The Laws of Human Nature by Robert Greene because it stimulates a great deal of introspection. Robert sheds light, from a layman’s perspective, on powerful human behaviors that influence relationships of all kinds while supplementing his observations with historical accounts of figures who best illustrate a mastery over these behaviors.”
– Juan Diego Paredes, Project Coordinator, Ambulatory Services



Tina Gelsomino“I have a friend who says, ‘So many books, so little time.’ Here’s what I recommend for summer reading:

  • Bad Blood by John Carreyrou (It was so good I listened to the podcast as well.)
  • What if This Were Enough? by Heather Havrilesky (This is a compilation of essays.)
  • Dear America: Notes from an Undocumented Citizen by Jose Antonio Vargas
  • Becoming Nicole: The Inspiring Story of Transgender Actor-Activist Nicole Maines and Her Extraordinary Family by Amy Ellis Nutt
    Good beach reads are anything by Louise Penny, Tania French or Donna Tartt (I think Secret History is her best book).”
    – Tina Gelsomino, MSW, LCSW, RCC, Director, Center for Diversity & Inclusion at Brigham Health

Nickolette Overton“I would recommend Inheritance by Dani Shapiro to anyone interested in the way we define ourselves through our family and heritage, and how genetics can upend that identity.”
– Nicolette Overton, Research Assistant II, Department of Nursing Administration



Liban Aden headshot“Right now, I’m reading Range by David Epstein. It’s a book that debunks the thinking that you must specialize in something very early in age to become one of the greats. I coach youth soccer and kids now don’t have time to play any other sports because every sport is year-round. It’s a really fascinating book that argues generalists turn out with a better chance at success than specialists in sport, art, science, anything.”
– Liban Aden, Operations Supervisor, Center for Neurologic Diseases


Zainab Jaji“I just finished reading Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou. It is a page-turning expose on the rise and fall of the health care startup Theranos and its founder, Elizabeth Holmes. This book revealed a lot of ethical issues within Theranos and enlightened me about the Silicon Valley culture.”
– Zainab Jaji, MD, Resident, Internal Medicine



Kelly Peters“I recommend Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World by General Stanley McChrystal. General McChrystal shares his experience restructuring the Joint Special Operations Taskforce leadership by breaking down the silos of the conventional military system and creating a network of teams built on transparency and decentralized decision-making. This book shares captivating stories while discussing how each is applicable to creating a more dynamic style of teamwork and leadership in any organization, including hospitals and health care systems. (Bonus: The Brigham is featured in this book!)”
–  Kelly Peters, Senior Quality Program Manager, Department of Quality and Safety


Sunny Happen headshot“I’ve been bouncing around this summer with my choices. Along with Tina above, I just finished Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen by Jose Antonio Vargas. Jose was a speaker at our Partners Diversity and Inclusion conferences, and he writes just as he speaks. He uses a very comfortable conversational style, but it is filled with facts I didn’t realize about the 11 million undocumented immigrants in America. Great and easy read that I would recommend. I just started Jodi Picoult’s Small Great Things about race, justice and prejudice in America and have The Mind of the Leader: How to Lead Yourself, Your People, and Your Organization for Extraordinary Results by Rasmus Hougaard and Jacqueline Carter waiting to go next. You’ll have to find me in a couple of weeks to get the reviews!”
– Sunil Eappen, MD, MBA, Senior Vice President, Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer



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