Last week I posted about books for travelers, and I realised I never wrote about my forays into bookstores while traveling. Most Semester at Sea students decide to collect ONE THING in each country. One girl decided to buy a copy of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice in every country, preferably in a local language. Another chose Alice in Wonderland. I thought this was cool, except that a) I don’t have an all-time favourite book and b) I prefer books that I can read. So I decided to buy a book in every country, either about that country or by an author in that country. In English.
I am changing things just a little for today’s Top Ten Tuesday. The topic is Top Ten Books that feature TRAVELLING in some way. I’m choosing books that I think travelers would like. Whether you are traveling, have actively traveled, or dream about traveling, these books are all set in foreign countries and are great to read (whether you’ve been to the countries or not). And since they transport the reader to another world, I’m thinking it’s not too much of a cheat .
One of the first things I noticed when I started traveling was international differences in public restrooms. In New York City I was met with the conundrum of a city that has everything except restrooms. In China I saw squat toilets for the first time – and refused to use them. Working in a hospital with filthy restrooms has given me a strong bladder. Then, when we hit our first official port for Semester at Sea (Japan) I saw the smartest loos alive.
What a pleasure, then, to read The Big Necessity: The Unmentionable World of Human Waste and Why It Matters while traveling. (The cover caught my eye – isn’t it wonderful?) Rose George literally goes everywhere with this book. She plunges into the depths of sewer systems in New York and London. She exposes the dirt and grit of the water we consume. And then she travels to the corners of the earth to see how other countries compare. Continue reading
Today for Top Ten Tuesday FREEBIE I discuss ten books that I believe everyone hoping to study medicine, nursing, physiotherapy (and so on) should read. Last year I wrote a post about nine things students should do before deciding to study medicine. I also made a list of books for fans of medicine. This new list adds to that. Most of these books may also appeal to the non-medical reader.
I was ten years old when I learned my first bit of medical history: the first heart transplant, which was performed in South Africa by Dr Christiaan Barnard. We were not told that his little brother played a role in this world-changing surgery as well.
A year later, Dr C. Barnard died unexpectedly. I was just eleven, and could not possibly understand everything that came to light in the media frenzy, but I did learn that he had been a ladies’ man and a difficult character. Again, I never heard anything about his little brother.
In light of this it is probably not surprising that Marius Barnard felt the need to chronicle his own life – and perhaps not surprising that a thread of bitterness was woven into the narrative. Continue reading
Last week with Top Ten Tuesdays we discussed the best light and fun books. Recall that it was really difficult for me. I did find some really nice suggestions on some blogs (there are light books out that that don’t feature love and bunnies! Who woulda thunk it?), but today we discuss books addressing tough subjects, and naturally this is more up my alley. I have learned that I need to learn to be a little more upbeat or risk scaring people away, but there is space in the world for serious matters. Here are my suggestions:
A week back in the country and settling in is harder than expected. I haven’t even read a book, because exams are all-consuming. I suppose the South African Medicines Formulary is technically a book. Anyways, this week’s TTT is about books that are light and fun. I realised while writing this that I am not a light and fun person, apparently. I think I’m an intense-book-snob or something. Here are my (very rare) recommendations for light and fun books – that is, ones that won’t break your back or your heart. They do serve a purpose. In fact, I feel like reading one right now. But I can’t.
I am home! I have important exams coming up, so will get back into the swing of blogging (and talking more about Semester at Sea) E-VEN-TUALLY… for now, it’s time for a Top Ten Tuesday. I loved looking for (and in most cases, finding) bookshops in all the countries – and books were my splurge-items in all the countries. I don’t often buy books, since they’re so expensive, but here are topics and words that usually convince me to either read or buy a book.
Guys! Happy New Year! I know that for most of us reading tends to slow down a bit over the festive season – and that’s okay, because if we are so blessed to spend it with loved ones then we should. The new year brings new resolutions, and it may not be such a bad idea to make some of those bookish. It’s good to read fun books, but it’s also good to commit to reading books that you struggle to get to. Continue reading