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June 16th, 2017

A prescription for nonfiction.



By Brokaw Account Director, Leah Dwyer

I’m not ashamed of it—my summer reading list is filled with YA dystopian fiction, murder mysteries, and pretty much everything recommended by Reese Witherspoon (@rwbookclub). And while those will be great for the beach vacation I’ll eventually take, there’s another genre where I’ve been able to find thrilling action, colorful narrative, and thought-provoking perspectives that challenge me personally and professionally and hopefully won’t make you stop reading this: nonfiction books written by doctors.

See, I work with a lot of healthcare clients, so I’m always reading articles, whitepapers, etc. about the constantly-evolving landscape. They can be dry, technical, and complicated. But I don’t think it’s a coincidence that some of my favorite reading material in this space has been written by those who practice medicine every day. So many of the qualities that make a great doctor also make a great storyteller—the healthy sense of self, the attention to detail, the ability to see the connection between many different pieces of information. And I’ve found that a lot of their most useful teachings often aren’t medical at all and easily cross over into the general marketing world.

So I’m putting my summer reading list on steroids (or at least creatine) with the following titles:

The Checklist Manifesto

Atul Gawande is a surgeon, a staff writer for The New York Times, and a professor at Harvard. He’s written three best-selling books (including this one.) Here, he tells stories not only from his own experience in healthcare, but from industries like banking, construction, and aviation—to show how a simple tool can bring the focus needed for success.

The Gene - An Intimate History

I was totally fascinated by Siddhartha Mukherjee’s The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, a look at the history and the future of the disease that’s informed by his personal experience as a cancer researcher. And reading it equipped me with a deeper understanding of the disease that made me a better resource for our clients and creative teams. Can’t wait to see how he takes on the science of genetics.

Under the Never Sky

This surprisingly deep dive into the inner politics of drug development is…oh who am I kidding, this is a young adult book about an underground colony in a dystopian future where people spend most of their time in a virtual reality universe and the atmosphere can literally fry you. Still, lots to learn here.

What’s the most surprising thing on your summer reading list? Share it with us: @brokawinc

Have an enlightening weekend, everybody.
– Your bookworming friends at Brokaw.