What is Our Board Reading?

Posted 18 August 2022

Dan Bausch, MD, MPH&TM, FASTMH
Murambi: The Book of Bones by Boubacar Boris Diop
Murambi: The Book of Bones, a novel by the Senegalese writer Boubacar Boris Diop, is one of the best books I have ever read. Diop was part of a group of African writers invited to visit Rwanda in the aftermath of the genocide to “remember” what happened through written works. He somehow manages to convey all the horror and suffering, but still arrives at an uncontrived reaffirmation of the value of life and human goodness. An absolutely beautiful work.

Julie Jacobson, MD, DTM&H, FASTMH
Past President
Soulcation: Design a Life You Don’t Need a Vacation From: A Guide to End Burnout, Unwind Anxiety, and Become Wildly Free in a Culture Addicted to Busy by Mel Miles
So, I am not reading anything right now but an EDCTP grant application.  I have a friend who just recently wrote a book that I want to read called Soulcation: Design a Life You Don’t Need a Vacation From: A Guide to End Burnout, Unwind Anxiety, and Become Wildly Free in a Culture Addicted to Busy.  It is on my list when I am not so busy…

Kent Kester, MD, FASTMH

Trajan: Rome’s Last Emperor
by Nicholas Jackson.
It is a great dissertation on one of Rome’s greatest emperors for whom there are few comprehensive studies of his reign.

Christine Petersen, DVM, PhD, FASTMH              
Scientific Program Chair

The Horse
by Geraldine Brooks
It follows narratives from multiple different characters that are interwoven into one central story about Thoroughbred racing, equine anatomy, black jockeys and trainers before the Civil War and equestrian art. It is very well written and despite my veterinary bent, has much more about equity and inclusion than horses.


Philip Rosenthal, MD, FASTMH
Editor-in-Chief, AJTMH
The Ministry for the Future by Kim Stanley Robinson
• The Ministry for the Future, Kim Stanley Robinson – Billed as climate change science fiction, but this is more a dystopian look at the climate-deranged near future, but with some optimistic twists thrown in.
• Braiding Sweetgrass, Robin Wall Kimmerer – A lyrical treatise on the connections between humans and our planet, informed greatly by the author’s links to Native American culture. A beautiful book; worrying, but with some optimism.
• Apeirogon, Colum McCann – A lyrical, nearly poetical novel based on two real people: a Palestinian and an Israeli working for peace after shared losses.

Johanna Daily, MD, MS
Board member

A Gentleman in Moscow
by Amor Towles
I listen to books when working out or walking, as a reward. I usually only read non-fiction, but Dan Milner recommended this book and the writing is witty and plot line unique. I am late to the game on this as it was published in 2016 and am looking forward to reading more of this author's works.

A. Desiree LaBeaud, MD, MS, FASTMH
Board member
Generation Dread by Britt Wray
The subheading says it all, “Finding purpose in an age of climate crisis”! The first step for all of us in this climate crisis is to identify and connect with the entire spectrum of our emotional responses to the crisis and then learn to live with them – the good, the bad and the ugly. This book is a guide to delve into all of the internal work that can then be put to good use in the external world through climate action and activism.


Miriam Laufer, MD, MPH, FASTMH
Board member
The Latecomer by Jean Hanff Korelitz
The book that I could not put down this summer was The Latecomer by Jean Hanff Korelitz.  While it seems like a classic family drama, the uniquely modern twists and turns keep the book fresh. I fell in love with how the author portrayed the characters; endearing and infuriating all at once and, like my family, strong-willed and occasionally unyielding.


Bartholomew N. Ondigo, PhD
Board member
Building a Successful Career in Scientific Research: A Guide for PhD Students and Postdocs by Phil Dee
The book is an entertaining read, focusing on tips and quick wins to help upcoming trainees to move their career forward. Dee gives advice on real-life suggestions for maintaining morale, handling relationships in science and designing good posters. I hope to benefit from the advice shared in the book.


Bhupendra Tripathi, MD
Board member
How to Prevent the Next Pandemic by Bill Gates
This book provides a wonderful description regarding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and provides insights into opportunities that can be leveraged to prevent future pandemics. It speaks about the importance of real-time surveillance and timely sharing of disease data for a larger good. It connects the dots between government and private players to ensure robust research and development to develop diagnostics, drugs and vaccines to reach the needy in time. The best part of the book is about the creation of a GERM (Global Epidemic Response and Mobilization) team that will be responsible for early detection and management of future pandemics. It also provides links to various organizations that have done a marvelous job in reducing the negative impact of the current pandemic. An excellent read for the public health fraternity.
Karen A. Goraleski
Of Sound Mind – How Our Brains Constructs a Meaningful Sonic World by Nina Kraus
I’m fascinated by the human body and how it works. This book is about sound and the brain. We always think of sight as critical, but this book points out the richness of hearing and how it shapes our world. What goes on in our brain when we speak another language, or hear music, or have a concussion? Authored by a trained neuroscientist who understands communications – a gold star from me!