CPH Book Club

As a CPH professional, you have the opportunity to join the CPH Book Club. The Book Club not only provides you with a space to join lively discussion about relevant, well written pieces, but you also earn 5 credits per year. The book club is for active CPH only.

Participate

Create an account at goodreads.com > After creating your profile, navigate to Community > Click on Groups in the drop-down menu > Search for CPH Book Club > Request to Join > Enter Your CPH Number > Submit

The Organ Thieves: The Shocking Story of the First Heart Transplant in the Segregated South

By Chip Jones

In 1968, Bruce Tucker, a black man, went into Virginia’s top research hospital with a head injury, only to have his heart taken out of his body and put into the chest of a white businessman. Now, in The Organ Thieves, Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist Chip Jones exposes the horrifying inequality surrounding Tucker’s death and how he was used as a human guinea pig without his family’s permission or knowledge. The circumstances surrounding his death reflect the long legacy of mistreating African Americans that began more than a century before with cadaver harvesting and worse. It culminated in efforts to win the heart transplant race in the late 1960s.

Previous Book Club Picks:

What the Eyes Don’t See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City

By Mona Hanna-Attisha

Here is the inspiring story of how Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, alongside a team of researchers, parents, friends, and community leaders, discovered that the children of Flint, Michigan, were being exposed to lead in their tap water–and then battled her own government and a brutal backlash to expose that truth to the world. At the center of the story is Dr. Mona herself–an immigrant, doctor, scientist, and mother whose family’s activist roots inspired her pursuit of justice.

What the Eyes Don’t See is a riveting account of a shameful disaster that became a tale of hope, the story of a city on the ropes that came together to fight for justice, self-determination, and the right to build a better world for their–and all of our–children.

Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World

By Vivek Murthy

The New York Times Bestseller from Surgeon General, Vivek H. Murthy, MD. “We have a massive, deadly epidemic hidden in plain loneliness. It is as harmful to health as smoking and far more common. And as his gripping stories of the science and suffering make clear, we can do something about it. Together is fascinating, moving, and essential reading.”—Atul Gawande, author of Being Mortal “ Together made me rethink much of what I believe about physical health, public policy, and the human condition. By revealing America’s epidemic of loneliness—and then offering an array of remedies for the condition—Murthy has done a great service, and made Together the most important book you’ll read this year.”—Daniel H. Pink, #1 New York Times bestselling author of When and Drive The book we need NOW to avoid a social recession, Murthy’s prescient message is about the importance of human connection, the hidden impact of loneliness on our health, and the social power of community. Humans are social In this simple and obvious fact lies both the problem and the solution to the current crisis of loneliness. In his groundbreaking book, the 19th surgeon general of the United States Dr. Vivek Murthy makes a case for loneliness as a public health a root cause and contributor to many of the epidemics sweeping the world today from alcohol and drug addiction to violence to depression and anxiety. Loneliness, he argues, is affecting not only our health, but also how our children experience school, how we perform in the workplace, and the sense of division and polarization in our society. But, at the center of our loneliness is our innate desire to connect. We have evolved to participate in community, to forge lasting bonds with others, to help one another, and to share life experiences. We are, simply, better together. The lessons in  Together  have immediate relevance and application. These four key strategies will help us not only to weather this crisis, but also to heal our social world far into the future. During Murthy’s research for  Together , he found that there were few issues that elicited as much enthusiastic interest from both very conservative and very liberal members of Congress, from young and old people, or from urban and rural residents alike. Loneliness was something so many people have known themselves or have seen in the people around them. In the book, Murthy also shares his own deeply personal experiences with the subject—from struggling with loneliness in school, to the devastating loss of his uncle who succumbed to his own loneliness, as well as the important example of community and connection that his parents modeled. Simply, it’s a universal condition that affects all of us directly or through the people we love—now more than ever.

Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong-and the New Research That’s Rewriting the Story

By Angela Saini

For hundreds of years it was common sense: women were the inferior sex. Their bodies were weaker, their minds feebler, their role subservient. No less a scientist than Charles Darwin asserted that women were at a lower stage of evolution, and for decades, scientists—most of them male, of course—claimed to find evidence to support this.

Whether looking at intelligence or emotion, cognition, or behavior, science has continued to assert that men and women are fundamentally different. Biologists claim women are better suited to raising families or are, more gently, uniquely empathetic. Men, on the other hand, continue to be regarded as excelling at tasks that require logic, spatial reasoning, and motor skills. But a huge wave of new research reveals that women are as strong, strategic, and smart as anyone else.

Carville’s Cure: Leprosy, Stigma, and the Fight for Justice

By Pam Fessler

The unknown story of the only leprosy colony in the continental United States, and the thousands of Americans who were exiled—hidden away with their “shameful” disease.

The Mississippi River between Baton Rouge and New Orleans curls around an old sugar plantation that long housed one of America’s most painful secrets. Locals knew it as Carville, the site of the only leprosy colony in the continental United States, where generations of afflicted Americans were isolated—often against their will and until their deaths.

The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity

By Nadine Burke Harris
Dr. Nadine Burke Harris was already known as a crusading physician delivering targeted care to vulnerable children. But it was Diego — a boy who had stopped growing after a sexual assault — who galvanized her journey to uncover the connections between toxic stress and lifelong illnesses.

The news of Burke Harris’s research is just how deeply our bodies can be imprinted by ACEs—adverse childhood experiences like abuse, neglect, parental addiction, mental illness, and divorce. Childhood adversity changes our biological systems, and lasts a lifetime.  For anyone who has faced a difficult childhood, or who cares about the millions of children who do, the scientific insight and innovative, acclaimed health interventions in The Deepest Well represent hope for preventing lifelong illness for those we love and for generations to come.

The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race

By Walter Isaacson

When Jennifer Doudna was in sixth grade, she came home one day to find that her dad had left a paperback titled The Double Helix on her bed. As she sped through the pages, she became enthralled by the intense drama behind the competition to discover the code of life. Even though her high school counselor told her girls didn’t become scientists, she decided she would.

Driven by a passion to understand how nature works and to turn discoveries into inventions, she would help to make what the book’s author, James Watson, told her was the most important biological advance since his co-discovery of the structure of DNA. She and her collaborators turned a curiosity of nature into an invention that will transform the human race: an easy-to-use tool that can edit DNA. Known as CRISPR, it opened a brave new world of medical miracles and moral questions.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

By Susan Cain

At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over working in teams. It is to introverts—Rosa Parks, Chopin, Dr. Seuss, Steve Wozniak—that we owe many of the great contributions to society.

In Quiet, Susan Cain argues that we dramatically undervalue introverts and shows how much we lose in doing so. She charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal throughout the twentieth century and explores how deeply it has come to permeate our culture. She also introduces us to successful introverts—from a witty, high-octane public speaker who recharges in solitude after his talks, to a record-breaking salesman who quietly taps into the power of questions. Passionately argued, superbly researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how they see themselves.

Now with Extra Libris material, including a reader’s guide and bonus content.

Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty by Patrick Radden Keefe

By Patrick Radden Keefe

The Sackler name adorns the walls of many storied institutions: Harvard, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Oxford, the Louvre. They are one of the richest families in the world, known for their lavish donations to the arts and sciences. The source of the family fortune was vague, however, until it emerged that the Sacklers were responsible for making and marketing OxyContin, a blockbuster painkiller that was a catalyst for the opioid crisis.

Empire of Pain is a masterpiece of narrative reporting and writing, exhaustively documented and ferociously compelling.

Water 4.0: The Past, Present, and Future of the World's Most Vital Resource

By David Sedlak

Turn on the faucet, and water pours out. Pull out the drain plug, and the dirty water disappears. Most of us give little thought to the hidden systems that bring us water and take it away when we’re done with it. But these underappreciated marvels of engineering face an array of challenges that cannot be solved without a fundamental change to our relationship with water, David Sedlak explains in this enlightening book. To make informed decisions about the future, we need to understand the three revolutions in urban water systems that have occurred over the past 2,500 years and the technologies that will remake the system. The author starts by describing Water 1.0, the early Roman aqueducts, fountains, and sewers that made dense urban living feasible. He then details the development of drinking water and sewage treatment systems—the second and third revolutions in urban water. He offers an insider’s look at current systems that rely on reservoirs, underground pipe networks, treatment plants, and storm sewers to provide water that is safe to drink, before addressing how these water systems will have to be reinvented. For everyone who cares about reliable, clean, abundant water, this book is essential reading.

An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back

By Elisabeth Rosenthal

At a moment of drastic political upheaval, An American Sickness is a shocking investigation into our dysfunctional healthcare system – and offers practical solutions to its myriad problems.

In these troubled times, perhaps no institution has unraveled more quickly and more completely than American medicine. In only a few decades, the medical system has been overrun by organizations seeking to exploit for profit the trust that vulnerable and sick Americans place in their healthcare. Our politicians have proven themselves either unwilling or incapable of reining in the increasingly outrageous costs faced by patients, and market-based solutions only seem to funnel larger and larger sums of our money into the hands of corporations. Impossibly high insurance premiums and inexplicably large bills have become facts of life; fatalism has set in. Very quickly Americans have been made to accept paying more for less. How did things get so bad so fast?

Silent Spring

By Rachel Carson

Silent Spring is an environmental science book. The book documents the adverse environmental effects caused by the indiscriminate use of pesticides. Carson accused the chemical industry of spreading disinformation, and public officials of accepting the industry’s marketing claims unquestioningly.

The book appeared in September 1962 and the outcry that followed its publication forced the banning of DDT and spurred revolutionary changes in the laws affecting our air, land, and water. Carson’s book was instrumental in launching the environmental movement.

Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World

By Tracy Kidder

At the center of Mountains Beyond Mountains stands Paul Farmer. Doctor, Harvard professor, renowned infectious-disease specialist, anthropologist, the recipient of a MacArthur “genius” grant, world-class Robin Hood, Farmer was brought up in a bus and on a boat, and in medical school found his life’s calling: to diagnose and cure infectious diseases and to bring the lifesaving tools of modern medicine to those who need them most.

On the Job: The Untold Story of America’s Work Centers and the New Fight for Wages, Dignity, and Health

By by Celeste Monforton and Jane M. Von Bergen

The inspiring story of worker centers that are cropping up across the country and leading the fight for today’s workers 

For over 60 million people, work in America has been a story of declining wages, insecurity, and unsafe conditions, especially amid the coronavirus epidemic. This new and troubling reality has galvanized media and policymakers, but all the while a different and little-known story of rebirth and struggle has percolated just below the surface.

Sandy Hook: An American Tragedy and the Battle for Truth

By Elizabeth Williamson

Based on hundreds of hours of research, interviews, and access to exclusive sources and materials, Sandy Hook is Elizabeth Williamson’s landmark investigation of the aftermath of a school shooting, the work of Sandy Hook parents who fought to defend themselves, and the truth of their children’s fate against the frenzied distortions of online deniers and conspiracy theorists. 

Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town

By Jon Krakauer

From bestselling author Jon Krakauer, a stark, powerful, meticulously reported narrative about a series of sexual assaults at the University of Montana ­— stories that illuminate the human drama behind the national plague of campus rape.

The Measure of Our Age

By M.T. Connolly

An expert on elder justice maps the challenges of aging, how things go wrong, and presents powerful tools we can use to forge better long lives for ourselves, our families, and our communities.

Get Well Soon: History’s Worst Plagues and the Heroes Who Fought Them

By Jennifer Wright

A witty, irreverent tour of history’s worst plagues—from the Antonine Plague, to leprosy, to polio—and a celebration of the heroes who fought them

In 1518, in a small town in Alsace, Frau Troffea began dancing and didn’t stop. She danced until she was carried away six days later, and soon thirty-four more villagers joined her. Then more. In a month more than 400 people had been stricken by the mysterious dancing plague. In late-seventeenth-century England an eccentric gentleman founded the No Nose Club in his gracious townhome—a social club for those who had lost their noses, and other body parts, to the plague of syphilis for which there was then no cure. And in turn-of-the-century New York, an Irish cook caused two lethal outbreaks of typhoid fever, a case that transformed her into the notorious Typhoid Mary.

Toms River: Story of Science and Salvation

By Dan Fagin

WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE – Winner of The New York Public Library’s Helen Bernstein Book Award – “A new classic of science reporting.”—The New York Times

The riveting true story of a small town ravaged by industrial pollution, Toms River melds hard-hitting investigative reporting, a fascinating scientific detective story, and an unforgettable cast of characters into a sweeping narrative in the tradition of A Civil Action, The Emperor of All Maladies, and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

One of New Jersey’s seemingly innumerable quiet seaside towns, Toms River became the unlikely setting for a decades-long drama that culminated in 2001 with one of the largest legal settlements in the annals of toxic dumping. A town that would rather have been known for its Little League World Series champions ended up making history for an entirely different reason: a notorious cluster of childhood cancers scientifically linked to local air and water pollution. For years, large chemical companies had been using Toms River as their private dumping ground, burying tens of thousands of leaky drums in open pits and discharging billions of gallons of acid-laced wastewater into the town’s namesake river.

Big Chicken: The Incredible Story of How Antibiotics Created Modern Agriculture and Changed the Way the World Eats

By by Maryn McKenna

In this eye-opening expose, acclaimed health journalist and National Geographic contributor Maryn McKenna documents how antibiotics transformed chicken from local delicacy to industrial commodity – and human health threat – uncovering the ways we can make America’s favorite meat safer again.

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