Have I mentioned to you all before that I love to listen to audiobooks? Frustrated that I lacked the mental energy to read after work for a book club that I’m a part of, I took up listening to novels instead. Now, I ‘read’ more than ever before. I listen to books while I’m on the treadmill. I catch up on a few chapters on my drive home from work. Audiobooks are one of my latest and greatest new ‘lifestyle’ finds.
There are a few apps I use to listen to audio books. My favorite is Audible, from Amazon. While audiobooks are pricier than their print counterparts, Audible users can purchase a $15 monthly subscription to the app which confers one free book credit per month. Alternately, if you’re interested in maximizing your commute with audio books, you can check out Overdrive, an app linked to public library systems that allows users to ‘check out’ audiobooks free of charge. The downside? You may have to wait for more popular titles.
However you choose to listen to your next novel, memoir, or non-fiction work, there are several great audiobooks out there that are not only engaging but also cater to individuals with an interest in healthcare. Here are my current top picks:
1. Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult
Picoult’s latest novel is not one to disappoint. Ruth Jefferson, an experienced labor and delivery nurse, begins a routine checkup on a newborn only to be told that she’s being reassigned. The parents are white supremacists and don’t want Ruth who is African American to touch their child. The next day the baby goes into cardiac distress and Ruth is the only one in the room – should she intervene?
2. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
The perfect blend of a personal glimpse into family life and an analysis of scientific development, Rebecca Skloot shares a fascinating narrative of the life of Henrietta Lacks. Born into a poor, Southern family, Lacks is the source of the first immortal human cells grown in culture, HeLa cells. They were taken from Henrietta without her knowledge. Vital for developing the polio vaccine, uncovering secrets of cancer, and determining the effects of atomic bombs, this immortal cell line has been integral to modern science. Author Rebecca Skloot explores the woman, family and society behind these developments and how they unknowingly to their original owner play an essential role in science and medicine today.
The development of modern science and medicine wasn’t pretty. From body snatching in a quest for cadavers on which to practice to dissecting animals brought back from Australia by Captain Cook, this father of modern surgery lived in a macabre world. John Hunter’s research, however yielded revolutionary discoveries allowing him to help both the poorest and best-known figures of the era.
4. Medicine Men: Extreme Appalachian Doctoring by Carolyn Jourdan
A collection of stories from old-school rural physicians, Medicine Men shares patient encounters from hilarious to heartwarming. Every nurse practitioner who’s experienced their own form of medical mayhem will relate.
5. Still Alice by Lisa Genova
Alice Howland, a fifty-year-old psychology professor at Harvard enjoys personal and career success. She has worked hard to build this life with her life and three children. Tragically, she becomes increasingly disoriented and forgetful until a formal diagnosis forever changes her life. Lisa Genova’s fictitious portrayal of Alice’s cognitive decline gives an all-to-real glimpse into the life of individuals and families affected by Alzheimer’s disease.
What are your favorite healthcare-themed audiobooks?