I am doing homework today, really!  Also on-call for Backline, but in between calls or updating Facebook or writing notecards on bone tissue, I’m also relaxing a bit, since it’s Friday.

I like to share what I’m reading (or wish I was reading) from time to time…if only to help me keep track of all the amazing books out there that I started but didn’t have time to finish.  I’m one of those people who reads five books at a time, sometimes finishing them (often not), but at least skimming to get the main idea.  Last time I logged in to the online library system, I’d checked out almost 400 books over the past three years. Woot!

So, here’s what I’ve been reading for fun lately.


The Labor Progress Handbook: Early Interventions to Prevent and Treat Shoulder Dystocia, by Penny Simkin and Ruth Ancheta

Especially soaking in the new chapter on active management of the third stage of labor, as I see this more and more in births I attend–the pre-emptive use of Pitocin to prevent hemorrhage, even if there’s no sign of hemorrhage…

Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World, by Tracy Kidder

Just because…I read it when it first came out and loved it…sometimes I just need to read about someone else who’s already doing the work to keep my eyes on the prize.

Curandero: A Life in Mexican Folk Healing, by Eliseo Torres and Timothy Sawyer

Because I’ve always been fascinated by curanderismo, ever since reading Bless Me, Ultima…and because I’ll take any chance I can get to improve my Spanish.

Homebirth in the Hospital: Integrating Natural Childbirth with Modern Medicine, by Dr. Stacy Kerr

For my doula book club…

The Kings’s Midwife: A History and Mystery of Madame du Coudray, by Nina Rattner Gelbart

Stumbled across this on the internet and had to read about it!  Madame du Coudray was a French midwife, commissioned by Louis XV to teach midwifery around the country, wrote a textbook and created the first life-size mannequins for simulation and teaching.  Yup, that’s right, she hand-sewed anatomical models of the uterus and vagina, with life-size babies to match.  Can’t pass that up!

Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, by Siddartha Mukherjee

I saw this all last year every time I went into Powells…and finally decided to read it.  I haven’t been disappointed.  There’s a reason why it won a Pulitzer–because, despite the dismal topic, it’s a pleasure to read.  Now that I have a slightly better understanding of how cancer works from my cell bio class, I’ve really been enjoying this book.  Love the balance between history, science and personal narrative.  Definitely my kind of book.

And last but not least, El Centinel–a local Spanish newspaper…it’s not as good as El Hispanic News, but I couldn’t find a copy in our neighborhood, so for Spanish practice, this will do.


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