Book Club

Nurses Who Read Book Club is a joint event of Zeta Chapter with Chi-at-Large Chapter

The book club meets approximately 4 to 5 times per year. Nurses and nursing students are welcome to attend even if they have not completed reading the book selections.

Meets 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. 

Contact: Renee Kumpula, EdD, RN, PHN at: or


Event is Cancelled - Thursday, March 26, The Marsh Fireside Conference Room, 15000 Minnetonka Blvd., Minnetonka. You may arrive as early as 5 p.m. with your purchase of a snack, dinner, soup or salad, coffee or tea, etc. in the deli adjacent to the meeting room.

Before we were yours book cover

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

Paperback: 384 pages; Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reprint edition (May 21, 2019); Language: English; ISBN-10: 0425284700; ISBN-13: 978-0425284704


  • “A [story] of a family lost and found . . . A poignant, engrossing tale about sibling love and the toll of secrets.”—People
  • “One of the year’s best books . . . It is almost a cliché to say a book is ‘lovingly written’ but that phrase applies clearly to Lisa Wingate’s latest novel, Before We Were Yours. This story about children taken from their parents through kidnapping or subterfuge and then placed for adoption, for a price, clearly pours out of Wingate’s heart. . . . It is impossible not to get swept up in this near-perfect novel. It invades your heart from the very first pages and stays there long after the book is finished. Few novelists could strike the balance this story requires but Wingate does it with assurance. There are a lot of books that will catch your eye this summer, some from our best storytellers. Make sure this one is on your radar. It should not be missed.”—The Huffington Post

Past Selections

Book cover of What the eyes don't see

What the eyes don't see: A story of crisis, resistance, and hope in an American city by Mona Hanna-Attisha 

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: One World; Reprint edition (February 5, 2019)
  • ISBN-10: 0399590854
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399590856

"A stirring and personal account . . . For all her doggedness, Hanna-Attisha is a goofy, appealing, very human narrator… Hers is the book I'd recommend to those coming to the issue for the first time; the crisis becomes personalized through the stories of her patients and their parents."—Parul Sehgal, The New York Times

"Essential for all readers who care about children, health, and the environment. This should be required reading for public servants as an incisive cautionary tale, and for pediatricians and youth advocates as a story of heroism in the ranks of people who have the capacity to make a difference."—Library Journal (starred review)

Author Biography:
Mona Hanna-Attisha, MD, MPH, FAAP, is a physician, scientist, and activist who has been called to testify twice before the United States Congress, awarded the Freedom of Expression Courage Award by PEN America, and named one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World. 


Book cover of Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the EndBeing Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End

Dr Atul Gawande

Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Picador; Reprint edition (September 5, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1250076226
ISBN-13: 978-1250076229

  • Being Mortal, Atul Gawande's masterful exploration of aging, death, and the medical profession's mishandling of both, is his best and most personal book yet. (Boston Globe) 
  • Beautifully crafted . . . Being Mortal is a clear-eyed, informative exploration of what growing old means in the 21st century . . . a book I cannot recommend highly enough. This should be mandatory reading for every American. . . . it provides a useful roadmap of what we can and should be doing to make the last years of life meaningful. (
  • Masterful . . . Essential . . . For more than a decade, Atul Gawande has explored the fault lines of medicine . . . combining his years of experience as a surgeon with his gift for fluid, seemingly effortless storytelling . . . In Being Mortal, he turns his attention to his most important subject yet. (Chicago Tribune)

About the Author: Atul Gawande is the author of three bestselling books: Complications, a finalist for the National Book Award; Better, selected by as one of the ten best books of 2007; and The Checklist Manifesto. He is also a surgeon at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, a staff writer for The


Make your BedMake Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life...And Maybe the World
William McRaven

Hardcover: 144 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (April 4, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1455570249
ISBN-13: 978-1455570249
Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 7.2 inches

Review: "Should be read by every leader in America... [MAKE YOUR BED] is a book to inspire your children and grandchildren to become everything that they can. It is a book to discuss with your executive leadership team as a spur to meeting shared goals. Most of all, it is a book that will leave you with tears in your eyes."―Wall Street Journal
· "Full of captivating personal anecdotes from inside the national security vault...McRaven's lessons, like his commencement speech, extend far beyond his bed-making. He devotes the 10-chapter book to lessons about moving beyond failure, standing up to bullies and giving others hope."―Washington Post
· "McRaven...has taken the genesis of what he learned during SEAL training and his nearly four decades in Navy Special Operations into a thin, powerful book."―USA Today
· "Exquisitely simple...superb, smart, and succinct ideas."―Forbes

About the Author: Admiral William H. McRaven (U.S. Navy Retired) served with great distinction in the Navy. In his thirty-seven years as a Navy SEAL, he commanded at every level. As a Four-Star Admiral, his final assignment was as Commander of all U.S. Special Operations Forces. He is now Chancellor of the University of Texas System.
Note: Please separate this link

See the Selections link for more information.


The Emperor of all MaladiesThe Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee

Paperback: 608 pages
Publisher: Scribner; Reprint edition (August 9, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1439170916
ISBN-13: 978-1439170915 Review: "In 2010, about six hundred thousand Americans, and more than 7 million humans around the world, will die of cancer." With this sobering statistic, physician and researcher Siddhartha Mukherjee begins his comprehensive and eloquent "biography" of one of the most virulent diseases of our time. An exhaustive account of cancer's origins, The Emperor of All Maladies illustrates how modern treatments--multi-pronged chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery, as well as preventative care--came into existence thanks to a century's worth of research, trials, and small, essential breakthroughs around the globe. While The Emperor of All Maladies is rich with the science and history behind the fight against cancer, it is also a meditation on illness, medical ethics, and the complex, intertwining lives of doctors and patients. Mukherjee's profound compassion--for cancer patients, their families, as well as the oncologists who, all too often, can offer little hope--makes this book a very human history of an elusive and complicated disease. --Lynette Mong

From Booklist: Apparently researching, treating, and teaching about cancer isn't enough of a challenge for Columbia University cancer specialist Mukherjee. He was also moved to write a biography of a disease whose name, for millennia, could not be uttered. The eminently readable result is a weighty tale of an enigma that has remained outside the grasp of both the people who endeavored to know it and those who would prefer never to have become acquainted with it. An unauthorized biography told through the voices of people who have lived, toiled, and, yes, died under cancer's inexorable watch. Mukherjee recounts cancer's first known literary reference—hence its birth, so to speak—in the teachings of the Egyptian physician Imhotep in the twenty-fifth century BCE, in which it is clear that Imhotep possessed no tools with which to treat what appears to be breast cancer. His cryptic note under "Therapy:" "There is none." Throughout cancer's subsequent years, many more physicians and scientists with names both familiar and obscure attempted and occasionally succeeded in deciphering or unlocking keys to many of the disease's mysteries. Alas, this is not a posthumous biography, but it is nonetheless a surprisingly accessible and encouraging narrative. --Donna Chavez --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


Siddhartha Mukherjee is a cancer physician and researcher. He is an assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University and a staff cancer physician at the CU/NYU Presbytarian Hospital. A former Rhodes scholar, he graduated from Stanford University, University of Oxford (where he received a PhD studying cancer-causing viruses) and from Harvard Medical School. His laboratory focuses on discovering new cancer drugs using innovative biological methods. Mukherjee trained in cancer medicine at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute of Harvard Medical School and was on the staff at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He has published articles and commentary in such journals as Nature, New England Journal of Medicine, Neuron and the Journal of Clinical Investigation and in publications such as the New York Times and the New Republic. His work was nominated for Best American Science Writing, 2000 (edited by James Gleick). He lives in Boston and New York with his wife, Sarah Sze, an artist, and with his daughter, Leela. 


The Last LectureThe Last Lecture
by Randy Pausch

Meets in 6-194 Weaver-Densford Hall, University of Minnesota, 5pm - 6:30pm. Parking in Washington Avenue Parking Ramp.


"The Last Lecture book review. Seems easy enough to do. But this book has haunted me, making the task of reviewing it slippery and elusive.

Cynicism is hip and it's trendy to be jaded. I'm not immune to it. I learned recently, however, that I'm also not immune to inspiration. There are things that don't make me roll my eyes. Events that give me perspective. I wouldn't call The Last Lecture a book. I would call it an event. So many people say that a book has changed their life. They never change. Me either. But this is something very different.

Few things are indescribable. The Last Lecture is really, really, really hard to describe, and I'm pretty good with words. Just typing this out brings the book back to me and I'm sitting here with goosebumps trying not to let my eyes tear up. I have never been this affected by a book. I doubt I ever will be again, unless one of his children decides to write a book about their dad. Actually, I hope I am never more affected a book: I'm not sure I could survive it." - Josh Hanagarne


DreamlandDreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic by Sam Quinones

Thursday, January 25, 6-194, Weaver Densford Hall

Guests and DNP students are welcome to join this important discussion of how nurses may contribute to understanding the opioid crisis and finding equitable solutions right here in Minnesota. 

Review of the book: The rise of OxyContin addiction and subsequent heroin use has been much in the news lately as we try to make sense of what is happening in suburban and small town America. Sam Quinones' Dreamland takes a multifaceted approach to the subject, profiling people from all walks of life, ranging from citizens of impoverished Mexican ranchos to young affluent white athletes, all cogs in the wheel of the latest drug epidemic. Unlike the crack cocaine phenomenon of the 1980s, today's widespread opiate addiction has roots in the prescription pads of certified physicians and the marketing machine of Big Pharma. When the addict, forced by availability and economics, transitions to heroin he is met by a new breed of entrepreneurial drug dealers who are only too happy to take calls and make deliveries. The changing landscape of small town America, along with science, opportunity, shame, and of course greed, all play a role here and to see the puzzle come together, one comprehensible piece at a time, is as fascinating as it is unsettling.-- Seira Wilson. Note: Sam Quinones is a journalist, former LA Times reporter, author and storyteller.


The Nazi And The PsychiatristThe Nazi and the Psychiatrist 
by Jack El-hai

304 pages, Publisher: PublicAffairss 2014, ISBN-10: 1610394631


"Journalist El-Hai's haunting historical account raises questions about the human capacity to cause harm.... In this thoroughly engaging story of the jocular master war criminal and the driven, self-aware psychiatrist, El-Hai finds no simple binary."—Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Jack El-Hai's biography of Army psychiatrist Douglas Kelley provides a riveting look at the top Nazis awaiting trial — and reveals the dangerous power of intimacy with evil."—Minneapolis Star Tribune


Sand Castle GirlsSand Castle Girls 
by Chris Bojalion

320 pages; Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (April 16, 2013); ISBN-10: 0307743918, -13: 978-0307743916


"Telescopic . . . Because of Bohjalian's writing style, which never rings a false note as it moves from present-day New York to the tragedy of World War I, his characters are as real as our own relatives. The well-researched history that forms the background informs, intrigues and enchants—even as recollections of horror mount . . . [A] story of love, world history and the human condition." —Brandy Hilboldt Allport, The Florida Times-Union


Evicted Evicted

From Harvard sociologist, Matthew Desmond, [this is] a landmark work of scholarship and reporting that will forever change the way we look at poverty in America.

In this brilliant, heartbreaking book, Matthew Desmond takes us into the poorest neighborhoods of Milwaukee to tell the story of eight families on the edge…Even in the most desolate areas of American cities, evictions used to be rare. But today, most poor renting families are spending more than half of their income on housing, and eviction has become ordinary, especially for single mothers. In vivid, intimate prose, Desmond provides a ground-level view of one of the most urgent issues facing America today. As we see families forced into shelters, squalid apartments, or more dangerous neighborhoods, we bear witness to the human cost of America's vast inequality—and to people's determination and intelligence in the face of hardship.

Based on years of embedded fieldwork and painstakingly gathered data, this masterful book transforms our understanding of extreme poverty and economic exploitation while providing fresh ideas for solving a devastating, uniquely American problem. Its unforgettable scenes of hope and loss remind us of the centrality of home, without which nothing else is possible.

Associated SON Magazine article


Being MortalBeing Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End
by Dr. Atul Gawande


"Being Mortal, Atul Gawande's masterful exploration of aging, death, and the medical profession's mishandling of both, is his best and most personal book yet." (Boston Globe)

". . . For more than a decade, Atul Gawande has explored the fault lines of medicine . . . combining his years of experience as a surgeon with his gift for fluid, seemingly effortless storytelling . . . In Being Mortal, he turns his attention to his most important subject yet." (Chicago Tribune)


by Dr. Atul Gawande


"Books by physicians tend to be either advice for the layperson, memoirs of poignant or funny encounters with patients, or discourses on disease as the interface between life and death. Atul Gawande's new book has elements of all these, but it's also something more startling and radical. The modesty of its title, Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance, doesn't even hint at how controversial some parts of the book are.

"The paradox at the heart of medical care is that it works so well, and yet never well enough," Gawande asserts. A surgeon who teaches at Harvard Medical School, Gawande insists that in his profession, "good enough" is not good enough. After all, doctors, nurses and hospitals deal with questions of the quality of life, and often with matters of life or death. They must cultivate "a science of performance," a constant striving to improve the way they use the techniques, instruments, medicines and facilities available to them." - Charles Matthews, a reviewer and writer based in Northern California.


365 Days365 Days 
by Ron Glasser

292 pages; Publisher: George Braziller (December 8, 2003); ISBN-10: 0807615277; -13: 978-0807615270


"I have read scores of books about the Vietnam war and witnessed countless movies. I have found no one who can capture, with such poignant clarity, the horror of the war and the nobility of those who fought it quite like Dr. Ronald Glasser. Through a series of deeply affecting vignettes, Dr. Glasser reveals the experiences of men who struggle with the personal and private moral conflict that only those who have taken a life can understand. These men did not, as later accused, lose a war; rather, their loss was their own youth and innocence."..."The book is a haunting tribute that evokes images that are raw and bleeding...and yet bestows a sense of peace and understanding. I reread this book every year. It is a book about courage...the courage of the warriors who populate its pages...and the courage of the man who wrote their stories at a time when a Nation was not prepared to know a truth their sons could not convey."


Broken Bodies Shattered MindsBroken Bodies, Shattered Minds 
by Ron Glasser

280 pages; Publisher: History Publishing Company, LLC; 1 edition (June 15, 2011); ISBN-10: 1933909471; -13: 978-1933909479


Library Journal Review: Pediatrician Glasser, whose best-selling 1971 memoir, 365 Days, recounted his experiences as an army physician during the Vietnam era, updates his earlier observations with this disturbing exploration of the medical aspects of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, where explosives are the enemies' weapons of choice. Survivors of these improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and suicide bombs may suffer massive injuries, amputations, and brain damage, requiring years, if not lifetimes, of expensive treatment. Other explosive injuries to the brain are subtle and difficult to detect without advanced imaging equipment. Glasser argues convincingly that the effects of surviving repeated shock waves contribute to soldiers' and veterans' high rates of prescription drug addiction, suicide, and debilitating post-traumatic stress syndrome...General readers will find themselves engrossed in his accounts of the spirit, creativity, and heroism of our soldiers and the medics, nurses, and physicians who care for them.


We Know How This EndsWe Know How This Ends 
by Cathy Wurzer and Dr. Bruce Kramer


"Security and immortality are both superstitions; the best we can do is make an adventure of our lives. In this exquisite book, Bruce H. Kramer finds adventure the most unlikely of places: the death sentence that is ALS. We Know How This Ends is a moving tale that teaches us more about living well than any self-help book ever can."—Dan Buettner, New York Times bestselling author of The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who've Lived the Longest 

"The revelatory journey that Bruce H. Kramer and Cathy Wurzer take us on is full of insight, wisdom, sorrow—and joy. This beautiful book should be required reading for all patients, caregivers, and clinicians to better understand that there can be growth and peace and exuberant life even while dying."—Jon Hallberg, M.D., University of Minnesota


Collaborative CaringCollaborative Caring: Stories and Reflections on Teamwork in Health Care
by Suzanne Gordon, David Feldman, and Michael Leonard


"Collaborative Caring makes a unique contribution in the scope and breadth of teamwork it considers. It is an important book."―Audrey Lyndon, PhD, RNC, FAAN, University of California San Francisco

"Collaborative Caring tells the human side of health care through a clever collection of frank essays and personal accounts on teamwork. While it candidly acknowledges the personal, cultural, and political tribulations faced by health care teams every day, it also inspires perseverance and fortitude by arming readers with stories that can be retold to drive meaningful teamwork in their own workplace."―John Chuo, MD, MS, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and University of Pennsylvania.





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