Online Reading Challenge – June Wrap-Up

Hello Challenge Readers!

How did your reading go in June? Did you read something from this month’s theme of food and connection? There certainly were a lot of great (delicious!) books to choose from!

Our main title this month was the graphic novel Relish by Lucy Knisley. I’m not a big fan of graphic novels, but this one is loaded with charming illustrations, funny personal stories and cooking tips and recipes. Knisley retraces her culinary journey through her life, from her earliest memories of the kitchen of her “foodie” parents, to travels around the world where she discovers new foods, to her triumphs and stumbles in cooking as an adult. Relevant recipes are scattered throughout the book along with cooking tips and shortcuts.

While you can expect to find recipes and cooking adventures in food-oriented books as well as vivid descriptions of meals and dining experiences, what I find most intriguing about them goes beyond the food.  It’s the fellowship and celebration of cultural differences that these books share. There’s almost always food involved when people gather, especially celebrations  and family events. Food brings us together with shared memories and family history whether it’s food brought to America with immigrants (recently arrived or long ago), regional specialties or a nuclear family’s own traditions. The preparation of food can honor those who have passed away and it can be an integral part of a holiday (Christmas cookies anyone? Thanksgiving turkey?). It can also teach us about other cultures – visiting another country (or even another part of the US) can open our eyes to new flavors and cuisines and broaden our perspectives.

Did you find this to be true in the book you read for June? How did food factor into the story? What was the character’s experience with food? Did your characters celebrate traditional family meals, or did they explore different cultures through food?

Be sure to share your observations on this month’s Book Flight in the comments below!

Alpha Docs: The Making of a Cardiologist by Dan Munoz

alpha docsAlpha Docs: The Making of a Cardiologist follows Dan Muñoz through his training to become a cardiologist at Johns Hopkins Hospital. This medical nonfiction highlights Muñoz’s first year of his fellowship at Johns Hopkins, a year where he does a rotation through all of the fields of cardiology: preventive care, nuclear medicine, echocardiography, intensive care, heart failure and transplantation, and electrophysiology. He takes the time to explain the workings of each different cardiology field and tries to decide which area he will end up in after his fellowship is over.

Alpha Docs walks readers through complicated procedures, but in layman’s terms, so that they are easily understandable. Throughout this book, Muñoz talks about how this fellowship is allowing him to search, learn, and discover more about his place in medicine. I really enjoyed his breakdown of each profession and how within each rotation, the cardiologists do very different things, but that there is an overarching goal for all: to keep learning and training and practicing medicine to provide better healthcare for patients. This book really showed the different stages that certain doctors go through while trying to find their niche in the world, while also providing an in-depth look into such a highly sought after fellowship at Johns Hopkins.