Among the criticisms leveled at me recently, the most amusing was the implication that my practice style and politics can be immediately grasped by reviewing the Childbirth Practices Reading List I have posted on this blog: "Her sidebar reading list tells the whole story. Rural Doc is clearly trying to split the difference between sound practice and crunchy dogma."
I just finished Chrisopher Mason's book on the Sotheby's-Christie's price-fixing scandal of the early 2000s. I love art and the art world, and although clearly I don't buy anything at these high-priced auction houses, I still enjoy the scandal and backstabbing of a rattling good white-collar crime.
Currently in progress on the Kindle is a fluffy book of profiles by Simon Doonan. He sought out nutty women, real eccentrics and independent thinkers, and compiled them under one banner of Wacky Chicks. This is who I want to be when I grow up.
I'm developing an interest in all things Chinese lately--well, make that most things Chinese--including Chinese export ceramics. This is a vintage reference book on the subject.
I come from a family of collectors and I'm hopelessly afflicted with the collecting bug myself. I'm interested in other people's collections and find auction catalogs devoted to the sale of individual collector's things provides insight into this eccentric practice. This is an auction catalog of items from the author Truman Capote's many collections. It is wonderfully illustrated and the commentary is illustrative of the man's mind. For example: "Lot 1140: A miscellaneous group of eight glass table articles....Capote had a well-known collection of paperweights, but he also collected glass door knobs and finials because they reminded him of paperweights." Why do I find this explanation of the man's collecting impulses so touching? I don't know, but I do.
When not struggling with the intricacies of being a rural doctor, I can be found hard at work redecorating my house. I'm motivated to do so because of my partner's recent diagnosis of melanoma, which led to a great desire to create a restful, fun, secure home for us to be in while we slug through the uncertainty of this illness. Jonathan Adler is a designer and potter who promotes fun interiors as a path to good mental health. As a doctor, I'm skeptical. As a woman, I think he's right on.
Another inspiring design book is House of Belief, in which Kelee Katillac details the homes of people who have gone outside the box to create truly individual environments. She includes stories of cancer survivors who paint wall murals in the bathroom and mixed-media mosaics in the kitchen--awesome, life-affirming, and fab.
As you can see, the serious and "crunchy" titles listed on my sidebar represent only a sliver of my reading interests. I think we fall victim to the American mania for sound bites and bumper-sticker politics when we extrapolate a person's character and politics from a single list of books. If you must generalize from my reading interests, I would prefer to be known as a wacky chick, upbeat decorator, or nutty collector than someone who splits the difference between sound medical practice and crunchy dogma. Whatever that means.