This week, some non-fiction books!
“Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!”: Adventures of a Curious Character
Goodreads rating: 4.28
Richard Feynman, winner of the Nobel Prize in physics, was a man who lived on the edge. This is a collection of all his adventures and misadventures through the sciences, art and life in general.
This book is wonderful for a lot of reasons but one thing that sets it apart is the writing style. Feynman writes as though he’s right in front of you and telling you a story. It’s very conversational. It was a bit hard to get used to but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Feynman is incredibly passionate about everything he dabbles in and he shares his enthusiasm with you, the reader. This book is definitely worth picking up.
Kaffir Boy: An Autobiography
Goodreads rating: 4.14
This is an autobiography about life in the apartheid in South Africa. It weaves themes of racism, cultural heritage, fear, unfairness and poverty amongst others into one solid, compelling and honest narrative. It’s a story of how a boy with only a want to survive the day became a man who wanted to ignite a change and carve a new path for himself.
The beginning is a bit slow and I was initially daunted by the format of the book–it had tiny text but large margins so everything looks cramped together. BUT it was so worth it. After about thirty pages, Kaffir Boy picks up the pace and Mathabane’s candour is utterly heart-wrenching. As a bonus, this book is available in the library!
Goodreads rating: 4.43
Call it whatever you want–fate, destiny, curse–dying is inevitable. Yet we spend hours and billions of dollars developing cures and treatments for illnesses and in this way, medicine has found a way to triumph over nature. Well, almost. Death is inevitable and sometimes, medicine can get in the way of what it is to be human.
Being Mortal deals with death and how it’s handled in medicine. The job of any doctor is, of course, to treat or “cure” a patient but it’s also about respecting the human spirit. As people get older or as they decline more and more from a terminal illness, it’s tempting for doctors to prescribe a thousand drugs to fix those little discomforts. In doing so, they get caught up in only addressing the short-term problem rather than using a holistic approach. If you want to become a doctor, you should definitely read this book. If you have no intention of becoming a doctor, read it anyway. It’s that good.