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Springtime book roundup

Side by side images, from left, of authors Tamar Haspel, Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor and Meghan O’Rourke.

The "What’s Health Got to Do with It?" team shared our favorite health care books of spring, just in time to pick one up to read in the sunshine.

"To Boldly Grow: Finding Joy, Adventure, and Dinner in Your Own Backyard"

Heather Schatz, the show’s senior producer, writes:

“I grew up in the food industry and contribute to Edible Northeast Florida. I’ve become a lot more interested in trying to grow some of my own groceries in the last few years, as a result of the pandemic, a desire to eat less processed and more organic foods for health-related reasons, and to help the environment (yes, I am a total tree-hugger!).

So naturally, "To Boldly Grow: Finding Joy, Adventure, and Dinner in Your Own Backyard" by Tamar Haspel caught my eye immediately. Since I started gardening again, I have done well with my flowers, herbs and citrus, but still have a way to go with other fruits and vegetables. To that end, I will take any advice I can get and loved that the author shared her journey from ‘cluelessness to competence,’ making the book very relatable.”

"To Boldly Grow: Finding Joy, Adventure, and Dinner in Your Own Backyard"

Dr. Sirven’s favorite book of the year, so far, is "Whole Brain Living—The Anatomy of Choice and the Four characters that Drive Our Life" by Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor.

He writes:

“I am a huge fan of Dr. Taylor, especially after she wrote her New York Times best-selling memoir "Stroke of Insight" in which she details what she learned from having a stroke. In this follow-up book, she masterfully combines a recipe for mastering your brain using easy-to-understand neuroscience language. The result is part self-help and part neuroanatomy lesson. To paraphrase the movie Jerry McGuire, she had me at ‘Brain.’”

"The Invisible Kingdom: Reimagining Chronic Illness"

Associate Producer Katherine Hobbs, our associate producer, found comfort and familiarity in Meghan O’Rourke’s "The Invisible Kingdom: Reimagining Chronic Illness."

Katherine writes:

“Like Meghan, I have complex chronic illnesses that mystified doctors for years. One of the most frustrating parts of my journey to getting answers was the loneliness. It felt like no one understood what I was going through and, similarly to Meghan, I found solace in writing about my experiences. Reading Meghan’s account of her experiences with the sometimes cold and sterile medical system felt familiar–like reading another version of my own journals.

"The Invisible Kingdom" gives a warm voice to issues of inequity that chronically ill patients often face. I’m so grateful for Meghan’s ability to unpack the stigmatization and over-pathologization of Western medicine while holding space for optimism that our medical system can do better for those who rely on it the most.”

Florida Roundup Associate Producer Katherine Hobbs can be reached at or on Twitter at @KatherineGHobbs.
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