Book Review: The Silk Roads: A New History of the World by Peter Frankopan

This book follows the cities and countries which fall on the infamous ancient Silk Road to explain the rise and fall of some of the world’s greatest empires, as well as how ideas and languages have travelled across the world.

As a result of its global scope and coverage, this book provides a firm grounding in international affairs and an understanding of today: Why are country relations as they are? Why do languages have commonalities? Why are economic inequalities as they are?

Book Review: Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

“It is only a slight exaggeration to say that happiness is the experience of spending time with people you love and who love you.”

This is a very comprehensive book that takes you through different models of thinking and perception. It will help you to understand basic psychological theory and how to tap into your own intuition to use it effectively in daily life, such as for making decisions.

Book Review: This is London: Life and Death in the World City by Ben Judah

What side of London do you never get to hear about in general media? This book is a literary masterpiece, as journalist Ben Judah takes the reader on a tour around London, meeting the people who make the city live and move and who are usually ignored (literally – bus drivers, the homeless, shop keepers, amongst others).

Even residents of London will learn about a side of London they may have not previously encountered. Judah enlightens us with the immigrant side of London including those rich, poor, and everyone in between. This book is highly recommended for anyone who wants to understand London beyond the tourist attractions.

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Book Review: Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande

This book explored on a deeply philosophical level, what really matters at the end of life? How can we have a good death? By cleverly combining the science of medicine with the philosophy of life, Gawande explores how modern medicine has changed over time. He shares his personal story from his own family and personal life, as well as examples from his patients. This book confronts difficult conversations around death and human mortality up front.

Book Review: Do No Harm by Henry Marsh

This book is written by Henry Marsh who shares his unconventional journey into neurosurgery after studying medicine as a second degree. The title of the book is reminiscent of the first hippocratic oath, which is an oath often taken by medical physicians: “first do no harm”.

The book is littered with candid examples of his patients and his reflections, through his time in medical school to becoming a neurosurgeon. The book tries to address how to deal with the consequences if everything goes wrong, but this time in a life and death situation. It crosses the fields of philosophy, ethics, and medicine.

Guest Book Review: Linda Colley, The Gun, the Ship and the Pen (2021) @BuckysReviews

The Gun, the Ship and the Pen is an ambitious and far-reaching work of global history that places these foundational documents at the centre of its analysis.

Colley writes in an easy style that has the seasoned, lyrical quality of an experienced writer. Indeed, it is a surprisingly smooth read for what might otherwise be a very dense subject.

Book Review: Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

I am normally a bit sceptical of ancient philosophy books. However, I was pleasantly surprised with this one. This short and sweet book is full of practical wisdom and little reminders for when things feel too much, such you should “consider anything that is humanly possible and appropriate to lie within your reach”.

Book Review: Political Order and Political Decay by Francis Fukuyama

This book explores how the state, its law, and its democracy, have developed over a series of historical events, and how in current times, the state of democracy has started to decay in today’s most developed democracies. This book is very much a classic in political theory and science and, especially with its focus on history, it is likely to be timeless. I would recommend this book to anyone studying or interested in political science, political theory, economics, and world history.

Three non-fiction books by doctors

These are my top three non-fiction books by doctors. Interestingly, all three of these authors changed their paths from one area to medicine, offering them a different perspective to the field. They all confront questions about human mortality and what matters at the end of life, as well as offering an appreciation of the field of medicine at a time when humanity has depended so much on it.

Book Review: Bullsh*t Jobs by David Graeber

This book is not a list of every type of pointless job. Instead, it provides a breakdown of why society has pointless jobs, how we got to this stage, and what we can do about it. It is deeply honest and revealing, sharing unspoken truths about the human condition, ultimately asking how we can reach human freedom.