Christmas gift for a healthcare communicator? Books we love!

Many of us M&F Healthers will be spending a big chunk of Christmas curled up in front of the fire with a good book.

Looking for inspiration for a loved one with a passion for healthcare? Here’s our ultimate literary Christmas gift guide.

For anybody who caught the exhibition at the Wellcome Collection, States of Mind: Experiences at the Edge of Consciousness, An Anthology is a browsing joy. With an introduction by Mark Haddon, this book makes you think about science versus the soul, being versus not being, as well as sleep, language and memory. All through the lens of literature, science, philosophy and art with sources as diverse as The Wizard of Oz and Emily Dickinson, we love it.

At first glance, Being Mortal: Illness, Medicine and What Matters in the End is perhaps not the cheeriest of Christmas reads. But maybe the time and space of the holidays is tailor made for philosophical contemplation? This is the most famous book by Atul Gawande, surgeon, Harvard Professor and acclaimed science writer. Here he takes on ‘the modern experience of mortality’.

By Laura Dawes, Fighting Fit, The Wartime Battle for Britain’s Health, is the story of how public health was affected and protected during the Second World War. She explains how lessons learned during wartime time paved the way for the formation of the NHS and the welfare state. A really interesting read with some lovely human stories along the way.

When Your Life In My Hands came out earlier this year it caused a bit of a stir and we are only just getting round to reading it now, so shame on us. Written by Rachel Clarke (a familiar face when the junior doctor contract battle was ongoing) this gives a no-holds barred account of life as a junior doctor and the challenges faced by the NHS.

Same subject, few more giggles, This Is Going To Hurt, is by Adam Kay, comedian and former junior doctor. We are only on the first chapter and we’re chortling already. But we know it gets sad so we are bracing ourselves. And there’s an open letter to the Secretary of State for Health at the end for good measure.

Working in nutrition we find food endlessly fascinating! We even engineered our office move around food, we miss Borough Market but we love our new neighbour Leather Lane! For a bit of food history we are checking out Terrors of the Table: The Curious History of Nutrition. It tells the story of the science of nutrition, looks into the history of malnutrition study, and explores historical food fads. We will be sharing our recommendation with our nutritionist friends who will say not much has changed on the fad front!

Flesh and Blood by Stephen McGann, who was the narrator in our First World War podcast ‘A Bit Of A Scratch’ has been on our reading list since it came out this Autumn. We can’t wait to read this history of the famous McGann clan, as told through their experiences with medical malady. Particularly fascinating, the story of his ancestor on The Titanic, a tale of frostbite, and survival and trauma, it’s moving stuff.

Lastly, the parents amongst us are mega excited to have brand spanking new copies of What Makes Me A Me? by Ben Faulks (better known as Mr Bloom from CBeebies and our creative collaborator). Gorgeously illustrated by David Tazzyman it’s perfect for pre-schoolers as it talks about energy, and emotions, and helps them learn the value of difference, and of being themselves. Can’t argue with that.

Happy Christmas readers.