Archive for February, 2011

And the Oscar Goes to…

The Academy Awards, possibly the most popular cultural prize in America, takes place on Sunday night. Since they’ve added five extra nominees to the Best Picture category, it seems like the race has been even  more interesting (there’s always a debate between “art” and “popularity”).  Whether you throw a big shindig and mock the red carpet fashion, or wait until Monday morning to find out the winners, you might enjoy reading more about the whole process. Here are some books and websites to satisfy your curiosity:

Books on Oscar:

80 Years of the Oscar: The Official History of the Academy Awards by Robert A. Osborne

The Big Show: High Times and Dirty Dealings Backstage at the Academy Awards by Steve Pond

Behind the Oscars: The Secret History of the Academy Awards by Anthony Holden, Anthony

The Complete Book of Oscar Fashion: Variety’s – 75 years of  Glamour on the Red Carpet by Reeve Chace

Oscar Fever: The History and Politics of the Academy Awards by Emanuel Levy


2011 Nominated Films:

The Black Swan

The Fighter~


The Kids Are All Right

The King’s Speech

127 Hours

The Social Network

Toy Story 3

True Grit

Winter’s Bone

D is for Doctor

One of the novels I’m reading currently was written by a physician, which started me thinking about other physicians who write. A couple of them (Khaled Hosseini, Josh Bazell) have written some of my favorite books. That got me to wondering – what is it about physicians that make them good writers? Or does this just happen to be a coincidence?

Regardless, here’s a list of writers who just happen to be doctors (I haven’t included psychiatrists or psychologists – just physicians), along with a selection of their works. Some of them write about medicine, but quite a few have taken a different tack. Starred entries are highly recommended!


Josh Bazell


Ethan Canin


Anton Chekhov


Deepak Chopra


Don Coldsmith


Michael Crichton


Robin Cook


Arthur Conan Doyle


Atul Gawande


Tess Gerritsen


Jerome Groopman


Khaled Hosseini


John Keats


Sherwin Nuland


Oliver Sacks


Jill Bolte Taylor


Abraham Verghese


William Carlos Williams


Did I forget your favorite? Leave a comment.

Happy Black History Month!

Each February we take time to honor the contributions made by African Americans in the various aspects of our society. Whether they’ve helped to break legal barriers (Thurgood Marshall), make history as a recording artist (Ray Charles), or run their own business empire (Oprah Winfrey), they’ve helped to make our country what it is today.

They’ve also made their presence felt in literature. Here is a list of five contemporary African-American authors who have definitely made a connection with readers. If you haven’t already read one of their books, check one out today.


Connie Briscoe is the author of several works, and also happens to be deaf. Her works focus on romance, but usually have something more momentous to say. Try:

Stephen L. Carter has a background in academia and law (he even served as a clerk for Thurgood Marshall!), subjects you can definitely see have influenced his writing. Try:

J. California Cooper is a playwright who’s also becoming known for her short stories. She feels comfortable with contemporary and historical issues. Try:

Rita Dove served as the Poet Laureate of the U.S. from 1993 – 1995 and won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1987 (only the second African-American to do so). Try:

Thomas Sowell is an economist and social commentator, and is currently a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. Try: