Beacon Quick Picks

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Christopher Buckley; Boomsday,Atul Gawande; Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance; Available Now

Compiling 12 of his essays on the safety of medical procedures, Gawande, a staff writer for The New Yorker, expands on the intriguing ideas of his 2002 collection, Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science. However, the main difference between the two is readily apparent: unlike Complications, which focuses on medical miracles, Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance discusses the barriers that prevent thorough and sterile medical care. Gawande sees serious flaws in the current medical system, but rather than criticizing, he highlights the innovative procedures being instituted at hospitals around the world. Better is a thought-provoking read that can even be understood by those far from the field of medicine.

Christopher Buckley; Boomsday; Available Now

In this book that blurs the line between fiction and prediction, Buckley tells of a society on the verge of economic collapse as the “baby boomer” generation enters retirement. In another predicative instance of our impending future, the novel’s protagonist, Cassandra, blogs her way to fame by calling for an “economic Bastille Day.” All seriousness aside, Boomsday is hilariously satirical. In retaliation, Cassandra’s followers destroy numerous golf courses to prevent the retirement of the boomers. It’s easy to take Boomsday in stride as nothing more than fun fiction, but if you give Buckley’s tale a second thought, it may be more of a forewarning than a fairy tale.

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