Changing the conversation about health

Books that changed our lives: College of Medicine course attendees share their favourite inspirational reads

Unthinkable as it might seem now to congregate in large groups, the last few times the College of Medicine held its Foundation Courses on Integrated Medicine, we asked our attendees for some reading tips.

And we gleaned almost a hundred suggestions – on everything from classic literature to wellness books and teaching manuals.

Here we’ve picked ten, from across a wide spectrum of interest, plus added a (lengthy!) list of other recommendations below. These are titles in no way endorsed by the College of Medicine itself, simply ideas for books enjoyed by people who’ve attended our past courses.

Please do share your own favourites on social media remembering to tag the College of Medicine in any posts @collegeofmed, and using the hashtag #booksthatchangedourlives

This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay

THE LOW-DOWN: A must-read for anyone contemplating a career in medicine, Adam Kay is a junior doctor turned television writer, and his candid tales from the NHS frontline make for insightful – and often alarming reading.

Gut: the inside story of our body’s most under-rated organ by Julie Enders

THE LOW-DOWN: A New York Times bestseller, scientist Giulia Enders reveals the secrets of your digestive system – including new research on the connection between your gut and your brain.

How to Talk so Kids will Listen and Listen so Kids will Talk by Adele Faber

THE LOW-DOWN: Parenting experts Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish try and unpick the problems that often affect family life in this number one practical guide. Offers step-by-step techniques to help establish meaningful relationships between parents and children.

Being Mortal: Illness, Medicine and What Matters in the
End by Atul Gawande

THE LOW-DOWN: A book about the modern experience of mortality – about what it’s like to get old and die, how medicine has changed this and how it hasn’t, where our ideas about death have gone wrong. With his trademark mix of perceptiveness and sensitivity, Atul Gawande outlines a story that crosses the globe, as he examines his experiences as a surgeon and those of his patients and family, and learns to accept the limits of what he can do.

Essential Guide to Herbal Safety by Simon Mills and Kerry Bone

THE LOW-DOWN: This book covers the principles and issues of safety relating to herbal medicine, and examines the relevant safety data for over 70 commonly used or contentious herbs. With contributions from leading international experts, the book covers issues of quality, interactions, adverse reactions, toxicity, allergy, contact sensitivity and idiosyncratic reactions.

Mindfulness (A Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a
Frantic World) by Mark Williams and Danny Penman

THE LOW-DOWN: A forerunner in the mindfulness movement that helped bring the term to the mainstream, this book became a word-of-mouth bestseller and then a global phenomenon. It reveals a set of simple yet powerful practices that you can incorporate into daily life to break the cycle of anxiety, stress unhappiness and exhaustion. It promotes the kind of happiness that gets into your bones and allows you to meet the worst that life throws at you with new courage.

New Medicine: Complete Family Health Guide by David Peters

THE LOW-DOWN: New Medicine offers a series of essays by distinguished health practitioners covering key issues in integrated medicine, including how to combine herbal and conventional medicines safely, when to treat ailments yourself and when to seek expert help, and how to choose therapies to suit your disposition and needs.

Hypnotherapy: methods, techniques and philosophies of Freddy Jacquin by Freddy Jacquin

THE LOW-DOWN: Freddy Jacquin is the Founder of the UK Hypnotherapy Training College. This book ‘Hypnotherapy’ describes his methods, techniques that he has personally developed and his own beliefs and philosophies on how and why hypnosis works. His goal in writing this book is to enable anyone to learn how to hypnotise and to use that skill to help themselves and others.

The Human Effect in Medicine: Theory, Research and
Practice by Michael Dixon

THE LOW-DOWN: How is modern medicine failing? Why is a more human approach required? This book challenges the dogma of modern technological medicine that ignores both the therapeutic effect of the doctors and the self-healing powers of the patient. It reviews the vast weight of evidence on the effectiveness of this ‘human effect’, and uses the evidence to describe how to use the human effect in everyday practice.

Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories That Heal by Rachel Naomi Remen

THE LOW-DOWN: Rachel Naomi Remen has a unique perspective on healing rooted in her background as a physician a professor of medicine a therapist and a long-term survivor of chronic illness. A moving and down-to-earth collection of true stories this prominent physician shows us life in all its power and mystery and reminds us that the things we cannot measure may be the things that ultimately sustain and enrich our lives.

Diamond Heart: Book One: Elements of the Real in Man A.H. Almaas
The Pearl beyond Price A.H. Almaas
Tools of the Trade by Adam Kay
Far from the Tree Andrew Solomon Dying To Be Me: My Journey from Cancer, to Near Death,
to True Healing by Anita Moorjani
Fire of Love: Teaching the Essence of Yoga by Aadil Palkivala
Prodigal Summer Barbara Kingsolver
A Time To Heal Beata Bishop
Think Big: Unleashing Your Potential for Excellence Ben Carson
The Body Keeps the Score Bessel van der Kolk
The Gifts of Imperfection Brene Brown
The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of
Consciousness, Matter & Miracles Bruce H. Lipton

Molecules of Emotion: Why You Feel the Way You Feel Candace Pert
The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and the Horse Charlie Mackesy
7 Ways to Build Resilience Chris Johnstone
Natural Born Heroes Christopher McDougall
The Book of Joy Dalai Lama
How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age Dale Carnegie Training
The Spark in the Machine Daniel Keown
Complete Guide to Integrative Medicine: Combining the
Best of Natural and Conventional Care David Peters

Integrative medicine David Rakel
The Intelligence Trap David Robson
Anti Cancer a New Way of Life David Servan-Schreiber
Healing Without Freud or Prozac David Servan-Schreiber
Headache in the Pelvis David Wise PhD
The genie in your genes Dawson Church
Mindset Dr Carol Dweck
Back in Control Dr David Hanscom M.D.
Spark Dr John J. Ratey
The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment Eckhart Tolle
In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts Gabor Mate
When the Body says No Gabor Mate
Magic in practice Garner Thomson
Why we get Fat Gary Taubes
Chronic pain your key to recovery Georgie Oldfield
Gut Giulia Enders
If This Be Magic Guy Lyon Playfair
Harmony: A New Way of Looking at Our World H.R.H. Prince of Wales
The stress of life Haus Seyle
Siddhartha Herman Hesse
The Master and His Emissary Iain McGilchrist
Medical Nemesis: The Expropriation of Health Ivan Illich A Million Little Pieces: A shocking exploration of addiction James Frey
The Shepherd’s Life: A Tale of the Lake District James Rebanks
The Celestine Prophecy James Redfield
My Stroke OF Insight Jill Bolte Taylor
Cure: A Journey Into the Science of Mind over Body Jo Marchant
Lost Connections: Why You’re Depressed and How to Find
Hope Johann Hari

A fortunate Man John Berger
Healing Back Pain John E. Sarno MD
The Mind Body Prescription John E. Sarno MD
Full Catastrophe Living, Revised Edition: How to cope with
stress, pain and illness using mindfulness meditation Jon Kabat-Zinn
12 rules of Life Jordan Petterson
Yoga Para Nervosos: Aprenda A Administar Seu Estre (Em
Portugues do Brasil) – “Yoga for Nervous People” Jose Hermogenes
The Experience of Insight: Simple and Direct Guide to
Buddhist Meditation Joseph Goldstein
Eastern Body Western Mind Judith Anodea
The Country Doctor, short story Kafka
An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness Kay Redfield Jamison Radical Remission: Surviving Cancer Against All Odds Kelly A., PhD Turner
Anticancer Living: The Six Step Solution to Transform Your
Health Lorenzo Cohen
You Can Heal Your Life Louise L. Hay
An Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments with Truth M.K. Gandhi
The Magical Art of Tidying Marie Kondo
Notes on a Nervous Planet Matt Haig
Reasons to Stay Alive Matt Haig
Why we Sleep Matthew Walker
A Life Worth Breathing Max Strom
Feel Happy Now Michael Neill
Super Coach Michael Neill
The Untethered Soul Michael Singer
A Hedonist Manifesto: The Power to Exist (Insurrections:
Critical Studies in Religion, Politics, and Culture) Michel Onfray
Tuesdays with Morrie Mitch Albom
Eat Right: Traditional food wisdom to sustain us today Nick Barnard
In Search of the Miraculous P. D. Ouspensky
A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided
Life Parker J. Palmer
The Compassionate Mind Paul Gilbert
When Breath becomes Air Paul Kalanithi
Trauma-proofing your Kids Peter Levine
The Chimp Paradox: The Mind Management Programme
to Help You Achieve Success, Confidence and Happiness Prof Steve Peters
The Secret Rhonda Byrne
Resilient Rick Hanson Hardwiring Happiness: The Practical Science of Reshaping
Your Brain—and Your Life Rick Hanson

Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry
into Values Robert Pirsig

A Whole Life Robert Seethaler
When the Past Is Always Present: Emotional
Traumatization, Causes, and Cures (Psychosocial Stress
Series) Ronald A Ruden

First: We make the Beast Beautiful Sarah Wilson
The Tibetan Book Of Living And Dying: A Spiritual Classic
from One of the Foremost Interpreters of Tibetan
Buddhism to the West Sogyal Rinpoche

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Stephen R. Covey
Die Wise Steven Jenkinson
Freakonomics Steven Levitt
All that Remains: A Life in Death Sue Black
Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway: How to Turn Your Fear
and Indecision into Confidence and Action Susan Jeffers

It’s All in Your Head: Stories from the Frontline of
Psychosomatic Illness Suzanne O’Sullivan

Art of Joyful Living Swami Rama
The China Study t. colin campbell
Breakfast is a dangerous Meal Terence Kealy
Warriors Settlers And Nomads Terence Watts
The origins of human diseases Thomas McKeown
The role of medicine Thomas McKeown
Teach us to sit still Tim Parks
Awaken the Giant Within Tony Robbins
Sapiens Yuval Noah Harari
The American Herbal Products Association Botanical
Safety Handbook Zoe Gardner