2015 Reading List for Nurse Practitioners

Last night my Nashville ladies book club reconvened for 2015. We always take a break from reading in December instead going to see the latest book-turned-movie in the theater. No one has time to read in December it seems. It was fun to reconnect after the holidays, the sounds of our chatter and laughter filled my house as we enjoyed a simple meal of grilled cheese, tomato soup, and of course, some sort of caramel chocolate goodness for dessert.

In similar fashion, I took a break in December from the ThriveAP Book Club. I hate to admit it, but I have not even cracked open The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat: And Other Clinical Tales. This morning, however I did go so far as to download the book on my Kindle. This afternoon’s plan? To start reading while pounding away on the treadmill. Did I mention that I love double-tasking?

My book clubs keep me on track with my reading goals for the year. It’s good practice to always be reading something. I try to keep my list well-rounded, a fiction novel here, a non-fiction read there, and the occasional self-help title as needed. With the ThriveAP Book Club I throw science and medicine-related novels into the mix, of course.

So, I’ve put together a short list of books I plan to read in 2015 that relate, on some level, to life as a nurse practitioner. Here are my picks for the coming months.


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1. Stiff: The Curious Life of Human Cadavers

Did you know there is a “body farm” in Tennessee? When I first moved to the state I thought this fact was some sort of tall tale told to newbies. But, no, it’s true. The University of Tennessee’s “body farm” is a research facility that studies human decomposition. Mary Roach’s Stiff looks at the life of human cadavers such as those ending up on the famed body farm. She explores what happens to our bodies after we leave them.

2. A Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing 

A Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing caught my eye on the New York Times best seller list. It involves a brain surgeon (medical), the City of Seattle (where I am from), and a can’t-put-it-down endorsement from book reviewers (worth it). So, it seems like the perfect fiction pick for this nurse practitioner on a rainy day.

3. Being Mortal

Surgeon Atul Gawande’s highly acclaimed Being Mortal tackles the challenge of addressing the delicate balance between quality of life and prolonging it with modern science. As nurse practitioners, we are all too familiar with the intricacies of this issue. Families don’t want to let loved ones die, healthcare providers commit, often at fault, to extending life to it’s bitter end. Gawande brings further understanding and insight to the problem.

4. The Fault In Our Stars

Everyone has been talking about the tear-jerker A Fault in Our Stars but I still haven’t taken the plunge into the emotional read. 2015 is the year. The novel tells the heartbreaking story of Hazel, a teen with terminal cancer who falls in love at a cancer support group. Got tissues?

5. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

I like to read an occasional classic and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is at the top of my throwback list. Set in a psychiatric ward, the 1960’s novel chronicles the life of mental patient Randle Patrick McMurphy and his power struggle with authoritarian Big Nurse.

6. The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer

From a Persian Queen whose Greek slave may have cut off her cancerous breast to modern day chemotherapy, physician Siddhartha Mukherjee looks at cancer through the ages. Pulitzer Prize winning novel The Emperor of All Maladies gives a historical and biological perspective to one of the twentieth century’s greatest health battles.


If you haven’t been keeping up with the ThriveAP Book Club, I also encourage you to check out The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rececca Skloot and Brian on Fire by Susannah Cahalan as well. They are two of my favorite prior book club picks. You won’t be able to put them down- trust me!

What’s on your 2015 reading list?


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