There’s a piece of street art in my home town that says “The more I think about it, the bigger it gets”. I was reminded of it during a recent visit to Keele University when a conversation with colleagues turned to recreational reading. I always have a book on the go and I’ve written before about the importance of good reading for good academic writing, but the conversation at Keele made me realise how much my recreational reading overlaps with my professional interests, particularly my interest in care. And it’s not deliberate, it’s just that once you start thinking about care, you see it everywhere. The more you think about it, the bigger it gets.
Not everything I’ve read, however, has been good. I’ve read many books that, while undoubtedly cathartic for the author to write, should never have been published for general consumption. So I wanted to celebrate the good books. The books that are both beautifully written and true to the experiences of carers (both family & professional). The books that expand your mind and tear at your heart. The books that I regularly recommend to friends, strangers, students, and colleagues.
I hope to continue to add to this list over time, as I read new books and remember old ones, but I’d also welcome your suggestions. What’s the best thing you’ve read that explores the concept of care?
Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink
Home is Burning by Dan Marshall
Shtum by Jem Lester
The Girls from Corona del Mar by Rufi Thorpe
Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
Bettyville by George Hodgman
The Spare Room by Helen Garner
The Unspeakable by Meghan Daum