The 35 best health and science books to read this summer

Hopefully you have time carved out for some rest and relaxation this summer, but whatever will you read? We here at STAT have you covered.

It’s the first day of summer! Hopefully you have time carved out for some rest and relaxation, but whatever will you read? We here at STAT have assembled a prime list of choices, with picks from notable figures, our readers, and our staff.

Hope you find a title that will be the perfect compliment to kicking back with a cold beverage.



“Ada Twist, Scientist”
By Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts
“Ada Twist, Scientist” tells the story of Ada, an indomitably curious girl. Her first words were “why,” “how,” and “when” — words that are essential to Ada’s, and to anyone’s, curiosity. Ada’s tenacity matches her inquisitiveness, and the story is a delightful read, and a reminder of what’s possible when we support children in pursuing their creativity — joy, discovery, and innovation. Watching my 2-year-old daughter Charlotte’s delight in listening to Ada’s story every time we read it is a reminder of why we need stories of girl scientists, including those still in elementary school like Ada!
— Chelsea Clinton, Clinton Foundation vice chair

“Adventures of a Female Medical Detective: In Pursuit of Smallpox and AIDS”
By Mary Guinan
These stories from the public health frontline capture what has and hasn’t changed for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s disease detectives in the decades since Mary Guinan arrived at the CDC as the only female officer in the Epidemic Intelligence Service. CDC’s 2017 EIS class is 70 percent female. Smallpox has been eradicated and AIDS is no longer the newest mystery disease, but the 24/7 commitment to protect people from threats at home and abroad remains.
— Dr. Anne Schuchat, acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

“Insomniac City: New York, Oliver, and Me”
By Bill Hayes
Hayes’s loving tribute to my hero Oliver Sacks and New York has been hailed as poetic, profound, direct, and exuberant. He starts with a quote from Sacks — “I don’t so much fear death as I do wasting life” — and I can’t wait to dive in.
— Dr. Atul Gawande, surgeon and author of “Being Mortal”

“To Repair the World: Paul Farmer Speaks to the Next Generation”
By Paul Farmer
This compilation of some of Paul Farmer’s most inspiring (and often funny) speeches reminds us that with sufficient vision, commitment, and tenacity we can

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