2010 List

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The Silmarillion– J.R.R. Tolkien (1977-Fiction).
Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel (1978)

“Many are the strange chances of the world…and help oft shall come from the hands of the weak when the Wise falter.”

-J.R.R. Tolkien, The Silmarillion

An American Tragedy- Theodore Dreiser (1925-Fiction)
Time Magazine’s 100 Best English Language Novels published since 1923

“But life—life—how was one to do without that—the beauty of the days—of the sun and rain—of work, love, energy, desire.”

-Theodore Dreiser, An American Tragedy

Running With Scissors– Augusten Burroughs (2002-Nonfiction)

“Unwittingly, I had earned a Ph.D. in survival.”

-Augusten Burroughs, Running With Scissors

Atonement– Ian McEwan (2001-Fiction)
Man Booker Prize Shortlist (2001), James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction Nominee (2001), National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction (2002), Time Magazine’s 100 Best English Language Novels published since 1923

“For this was the point, surely: he would be a better doctor for having read literature. What deep readings his modified sensibility might make of human suffering, of the self-destructive folly or sheer bad luck that drive men toward ill health! Birth, death, and frailty in between. Rise and fall—this was the doctor’s business, and it was literature’s too.”

-Ian McEwan, Atonement

The Hobbit– J.R.R. Tolkien (1937-Fiction)

“While there’s life there’s hope!”

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

What I Learned in Medical School: Personal Stories of Young Doctors– Compilation (Edited by Kevin Takakuwa, Nick Rubashkin, and Karen Herzig) (2006-Nonfiction)

“I hope I can continue to help, because even though I cannot save the world, I still have a lifetime to try.”

-Paul M. Lantos

Catch-22– Joseph Heller (1961-Fiction)
National Book Award Finalist for Fiction (1962)

“You put so much stock in winning wars…The real trick lies in losing wars, in knowing which wars can be lost.”

-Joseph Heller, Catch-22

Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance Atul Gawande (2007-Nonfiction)

“The paradox at the heart of medical care is that it works so well, and yet never well enough.”

-Atul Gawande, Better

Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science– Atul Gawande (2002-Nonfiction)
National Book Award Finalist for Nonfiction (2002)

“No matter what measures are taken, doctors will sometimes falter, and it isn’t reasonable to ask that we achieve perfection. What is reasonable is to ask that we never cease to aim for it.”

-Atul Gawande, Complications

The God of Small Things– Arundhati Roy (1997-Fiction)
Man Booker Prize for Fiction (1997)

“It is curious how sometimes the memory of death lives on for so much longer than the memory of the life that it purloined.”

-Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things

Three Cups of Tea– Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin (2006-Nonfiction)
Dayton Literary Peace Prize for Nonfiction Runner-up (2007)

“We Americans think you have to accomplish everything quickly. We’re the country of thirty-minute power lunches and two-minute football drills. Our leaders thought their ‘shock and awe’ campaign could end the war in Iraq before it even started. Haji Ali taught me to share three cups of tea, to slow down and make building relationships as important as building projects.”

-Greg Mortenson, Three Cups of Tea

Anna Karenina– Leo Tolstoy (1873-Fiction)

“This whole world of ours is only a speck of mildew sprung up on a tiny planet; yet we think we can have something great—thoughts, actions! They are all but grains of sand!”

-Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

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