Some secular book recommendations –
I previously recommended Dr. Jerome Groopman’s “How Doctor’s Think” and found his book “The Measure of Our Days: A Spiritual Exploration of Illness” equally worth reading. This is a heart-wrenching book that deals with illness, death, recovery, and finding meaning in life’s closing moments. Very moving.
Dr. Atul Gawande’s “Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance” is remarkably thoughtful and reflective. The focus is on what doctors can do to improve their performance, but the lessons apply equally to many others areas in life. The final chapter of the book was especially enjoyable. What do you do to keep medicine, or whatever job you do (I'm not a doctor either) from becoming a stale, mindless activity? What can a person do to feel like they are making a positive contribution? One of Gawande’s suggestions for becoming a “positive deviant” (a term I had not encountered before) is to write, as sharing ideas with others forces one to reflect. I knew blogging had redeeming value : )