Sample Saturday – Wellcome Book Prize selections

Sample Saturday is when I wade through the eleventy billion samples I have downloaded on my Kindle. I’m slowly chipping away and deciding whether it’s buy or bye.

This week, all three books have been shortlisted in the past for the Wellcome Book Prize.

It’s All in Your Head by Suzanne O’Sullivan

Summary: Stories from the frontline of psychosomatic illness.

I’m thinking: Yes (I’m a total sucker for neurology-lite).

The Iceberg by Marion Coutts

Summary: In 2008, Marion Coutts’ husband was diagnosed with a brain tumour. Coutts describes the eighteen months leading up to Tom’s death.

The news is given verbally. We learn something. We are mortal. You might say you know this but you don’t. The news falls neatly between one moment and another. You would not think there was a gap for such a thing.

I’m thinking: Yes (I’m not done with grief memoirs yet).

The Hour Between Dog and Wolf by John Coates

Summary: Wall Street trader turned neuroscientist explores the biology of boom and bust, showing how risk-taking transforms body chemistry (spoiler: there’s a feedback loop between testosterone and success that dramatically lowers the fear of risk in men).

I’m thinking: No – too much focus on finances as the element of risk.

7 responses

  1. These all sound readable. I also enjoy ‘neurology-lite’. I am definitely going to pick up that last one, as behavioral economics and finance is one of my pet faves. I have never thought of actually trying samples of books! Great post.

  2. The Iceberg is stunning; one of the best bereavement memoirs I’ve ever read. It had personal resonance for my family situation, too.

    O’Sullivan’s style isn’t that great (though she improved by her second book), but the stories are absolutely fascinating. This won the Wellcome but has been controversial with readers because it seems to dismiss conditions like fibromyalgia as, well, ‘all in your head’.

    The Coates I hadn’t even heard of! Like you, I think I’ll pass.

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