A History of the Present Illness, and other books you might enjoy reading this summer

A History of the Present IllnessSummer is a great time to read for pleasure.  We hope you will be able to find a few hours to relax with the perfect book, and  we have some titles for your consideration:

Last month, The Libraries and the Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics announced the selection of the next One Community/One Book title.  It is A History of the Present Illness, by Louise Aronson, M.D., M.F.A.  We are excited about this book!  A History of the Present Illness is a first novel for Aronson, a geriatrician and member of the faculty at the University of California at San Francisco School of Medicine, who is also a graduate of the Woodrow Wilson School of Writing.

According to one reviewer the book is “an intelligent and pleasurable collection rich enough for re-reading, study, and discussion.  Aronson… combines extensive medical experience with her considerable storyteller’s gifts.” Literature, Medicine and the Arts Database

Copies of A History of the Present Illness are available in The Libraries (call number PS 3601.R67 A769h 2013) , and at the UT Health Science Center Bookstore for $18, 25% off the retail price.

One Community/One Book is made possible in part with a grant from Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.


When we asked members of the library staff to share their ideas for good summer reads, large expanses of water emerged as a  common theme.  Here are two cool blue books to consider:

The Ocean at the End of the LaneKelley Minars, Web Librarian in the Briscoe Library, enjoyed The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman: “This book is funny, scary, and bewitching in turns. The author takes his own childhood mythologies and weaves them into a moving story in this short but engaging read.”




The Cat's TableJonquil Feldman, Director of Briscoe Library and Outreach Services, recommends The Cat’s Table by Michael Ondaatje.  “The author of The English Patient speaks in the first person as he describes the story of an eleven-year-old boy in 1954, traveling on a 3-week voyage from Ceylon to England. The boy, Mynah, befriends two other boys and they run unsupervised all over the ship, going from one reckless adventure to the next. Their meals are eaten with a group of colorful adult characters at the “cat’s table”, located far from the Captain’s table. The book appealed to me because the boy is suspended for a few unfettered weeks between his orderly and safe childhood in Ceylon and the unknown challenges he will face when he begins a new life in England. I found this book to be thought provoking, poetic and also very entertaining.”


Good Omens: Gaiman and PratchettFinally, Rajia Tobia, Executive Director of Libraries, suggests Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch, by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. “This book is probably more suited for a read around Halloween, so read it now and then again in October. Every time and no matter how many times I read Good Omens, it makes me laugh out loud, especially if you have been to England or are from England. It is about the end of the world which will end on Saturday, next Saturday to be exact, and how a fussy angel and a fast-living fallen angel sort of mess up the best laid plans for Armageddon.”