Learning Through Fiction | Ethiopia in “Black Dove, White Raven” [+Infographic]

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I’ve decided to start a new sort-of series (that will obviously be completely irregular) about things I learn from books. Fictional books! I love learning new things, and that’s not only limited to topics in my chosen profession. One of the reasons I love reading is that it opens my eyes to so many things I never knew, or points of view I had not considered. 

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Black Dove, White Raven by Elizabeth Wein – this was the book I just could not wait to buy. After Code Name Verity smashed my heart to smithereens and ground it underfoot, I had to have more (well, the book was really good). Continue reading

Everything, Everything | SCID, Snark and Sweetness

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I have a habit of requesting fictional books that address real-life diseases. I can’t help it. But I requested Everything, Everything because of that (“a girl who’s allergic to everything”) and because it sounded kind of awesome. And the COVER. Guys.

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“I’ve read many more books than you.”

What a first sentence! I liked Madeline immediately. She obviously liked books, and she’s mouthy. She has a tumblr and she reviews her books. Books remain an integral part of the whole story! Booknerd alert: I basically love her. Sometimes she re-reads her favourite books from back to front, and she writes things in the front of her books, like this: Continue reading

Jonas Salk, A Life | Thinking About Biographies

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6f6a9089fd7b52816ba9baf6e1b1c61dIf you’ve spent any amount of time on the internet, you will have seen this image (alongside) about Jonas Salk refusing to patent his Polio vaccine. For the longest time that was one of the only real thing I knew about Jonas Salk – that, and the column of differences between the “Salk” and “Sabine” vaccines that we had to study during MS1.

In Charlotte DeCroes Jacobs’ complete biography of Jonas Salk, she exposes more than this uni-dimensional view of the man who made one of the twentieth century’s most important contributions to healthcare. Continue reading

Top Ten #Booknerd Characters

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Top Ten Tuesdays are on a roll these days, with topics I adore. In line with the diversity theme, what’s the best moment in reading? Discovering a character you can relate to. For me, this is often when I find a character that loves books/words/geekiness just like I do.

These are my favourite fictional bookworms, in order of when I first met them (because I just can’t rank them!).

1. Jo MarchLittle Women by Louisa May Alcott (free on iTunes!)

I don’t think I ever finished reading the full-length version, but I did read the abridged version as a little girl and definitely identified with Jo. I, too, used to love writing plays that my siblings and cousins had to act out.

2. Hermione GrangerHarry Potter by J.K. Rowling

Does she even need any introduction? Hermione was the first character that showed me that being a bookworm could be admirable, rather than embarrassing.

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A Sequel That Isn’t A Sequel | Another Day

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Two years ago almost to the day, I read David Levithan’s Every Day, with a protagonist who wakes up in a different body every day. I loved it so much that I read large sections to my non-reader boyfriend. Every Day became a frame of reference for me and changed the way I looked at the world around me.

If you have read it, you’ll know that it ends on a MASSIVE cliffhanger. We all want to know what happens to A after he does… the thing! (No spoilers allowed.)

But you should know right off the bat that Another Day won’t tell you what happens to A after Every Day. In fact, Levithan is pretty insistent that Another Day is NOT a sequel, but instead a “companion novel.” The same events occur in this book than in the first; except from Rihannon’s point of view. I can totally see this novel being combined with the first, back to back, and readers will have to decide which to read first (because you can absolutely read them in whichever order). Continue reading

Top Ten Diverse Books

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This is going to be my favourite Top Ten Tuesday! Right in line with the We Need Diverse Books campaign, here is a list of my favourite books that celebrate diversity (example: features minority/religious minority, socioeconomic diversity, disabled MC,  neurotypical character, LGBTQ etc etc.).

It’s kind of sad how few books are truly diverse. When I was going through my books, I noticed that although a lot of books had diverse characters, many of them were fairly flat and seemed to be little more than tokens. I mean, it’s kind of like movies having the token female scientist and then thinking they’re sorted for diversity. Uhm, no. Not that this is at all a groundbreaking realisation, so moving on to the books: Continue reading

Top Ten Reads of 2015 So Far

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Hurrah for a Top Ten Tuesday – and one where I’m not working, to boot. I had no idea what to expect of my reading this year. On the one hand: no more formal studying! On the other hand: real-life doctoring with long calls and boring admin. But it has gone well – in fact, as of 18 June I was done with my 2015 reading goals (namely to read 30 books). Not, you know, like that is going to STOP me or anything.

I’ve read some great books these six months! And… some awful ones too. But we won’t dwell on those. Here are the top 10 I’ve read so far. Continue reading