SPQR

“Triumphantly, he announced their deaths to the cheering crowd in a famous one-word euphemism: vixere, ‘they have lived’ – that is, ‘they’re dead’.”

91UOL+G08CL
Mary Beard is a Professor of Classics at the University of Cambridge.

Almost three months later, I have finally finished this expansive account of Ancient Roman history. SPQR – the Romans’ own abbreviation for their state: Senatus PopulusQue Romanus – is neither a nostalgic glorification of Western imperialism nor another reworked reduction of how Rome fell. Instead, Beard chronicles with wicked wit their most dignified and depraved moments, piecing together an exceptionally engaging mosaic of how Rome grew from an insignificant village to the first global superpower.

While this did take me much longer than the typical book to read, SPQR is most certainly not a stale or stuffy textbook. Simplification simply does not exist in Beard’s lexicon, and as compelling as her writing is, it takes some time to digest. Besides, exam season is a terrible distractor; at one point, I was stress-reading eight books at once. 🙃

“His supporters dubbed him pater patriae, or ‘father of the fatherland’, one of the most splendid and satisfying titles you could have in a highly patriarchal society.”

Ever since Roman Week in Year 3 (we wore togas and wrote on homemade wax tablets instead of our usual workbooks), I have been engrossed in Graeco-Roman mythology. Sure, Percy Jackson made it cool, but I assure you I was thoroughly fixated years before The Lightning Thief.

Yet despite this persistent interest, I never gave much thought to the folk behind the folklore. So when I found SPQR in a bookstore – a critically endangered species in Hong Kong – I jumped at the chance to buy it.

As a culture that prided itself most on its military prowess, it would have been far too easy for any work on Ancient Rome to get lost in all the conflicts, conquests and controversies. Beard did dissect these in vivid detail, but she also painted us just as detailed a depiction of the ‘home front’ (what a delightful pun): “How long did Romans expect to live? At what age did people get married? What rights did women have? Where did the money come from to support the lavish lifestyles of the rich? And what about the slaves?” She was careful, too, not to overlook the poor, of whom – and not just from Ancient Rome – historical evidence is always sparse.

“This time, the senators met in the temple of the goddess Concord, or Harmony, a sure sign that affairs of state were anything but harmonious.”

This being said, towards the latter half of the book, Beard slipped into progressively more presumptuous prose. This was most rampant in the chapter Fourteen Emperors, which frankly read as self-assuredly as the Edward Gibbon whom Beard made the subject of her satire.

I am, however, inclined to give Beard the benefit of the doubt; after all, SPQR was written for the popular reader, not the academic scholar – or even the ancient civilisations enthusiast. So perhaps she felt she was doing us a favour by skipping the sometimes dull elucidations of exactly where her conclusions were drawn from. Her Further Reading section is rather extensive – spanning some 26 pages.

Nevertheless, I would suggest SPQR only as a starting point. A sweeping starting point, yes, but a starting point nonetheless. No single book can ever be a comprehensive account of Ancient Roman history – or any civilisation’s history – anyway, covering ‘just’ the first millennium or no.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Little Book of Lykke

IMG_5256
Clementine and vanilla botanical candle from Kaminari. Prints from Artifact Uprising.

“If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a month, get married. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help others.” – Chinese proverb

Rather than a shortcut to personal happiness, and despite its Danish title, The Little Book of Lykke is an international introduction to why some communities are happier than others. Investigating six keystones highlighted by a United Nations report, Lykke takes you across all six inhabited continents on a “treasure hunt” for what makes people happy. In surprisingly succinct sentences, it carefully considers cultural attitudes, national policies, local efforts, and individual case studies. Sure, some explanations may be oversimplified, but as a starting point, the analyses were more than sufficient to set Lykke firmly apart from the more wishy-washy-flower-child happiness self-help guides.

That said, some practical suggestions for individual implementation are given. They were helpfully grouped into boxes of Happiness Tips, which translated positive principles scientists, psychologists and anthropologists have observed around the world into small, day-to-day tasks. But the intention of these is to not only help yourself become happier, but also to make others happier too (which in turn will make you happier as well).

And of course, the binding and format of this book are lovely – if books can be hygge, then Wiking’s (currently) two-part series is the epitome of it. The Fair Isle illustrations and matte cream covers are cute touches, and aptly bring a smile to my face. Not to mention Wiking’s compulsive (and very topical) pun-making.

So should you read this book? If you want a one-stop checklist of steps to lifelong happiness, maybe not. The Little Book of Lykke is much more than that. But if you want a solid launch pad for your own investigations replete with social experiments and studies to refer to, then Lykke would be a good place to start.

Side note: I had first read the opening proverb on the corridor walls to a mall bathroom in Hong Kong, and I remember thinking it was the most profound advice I had ever heard. (Although hopefully your marriage remains happy for more than a month!) I was pleasantly surprised to find it in a book by such a quintessentially Danish author.

Rating: 4/5

Being Mortal

Part review, part reflection. Maybe the withering aeroplane air was making my eyes watery. Maybe I wasn’t functioning properly with only two hours of sleep. For whatever reason, as I read this book on my flight to New York, I found it so profoundly moving at times, I even shed a few tears.

I am not unfamiliar with mortality and death; my eldest cousin passed away a few years ago, my father was hospitalised during the SARS epidemic, my great-great-aunt is in a nursing home and no longer remembers who I am, my mother had cancer, I wrote my IB Extended Essay on active and passive euthanasia. Yet I had never given serious thought to the social, cultural and economic crisis ageing has become.

In his fourth book, Gawande unpicks the crucial ingredients of a life, though limited by a body breaking down, that is still fulfilling. He also unpicks when it becomes wise to start letting go, and what letting go really means. He touches on euthanasia and assisted suicide, and how their implications run deeper than simply offering one more choice – they shape entire cultures’ perceptions of, reactions to and proposed solutions for the ageing population. And he does all this with a compelling, compassionate voice.

When put into written words, our attitudes towards dying and the dying are almost absurd. Our modern culture increasingly prioritises the children’s need for peace of mind over the ageing’s need for a dignified, autonomous life. And this prioritisation is viewed as the loving course of action. It is paternalism – a word the said children’s generation cringes at – reversed. The history of nursing homes likewise stems from logic that retrospectively sounds foolish: why don’t we shuttle the old and infirm into these hospital ward variants until they recover? Hence, “nursing” homes. The fact is, we never recover. The only certainty in life, after all, is death. So why do we so stubbornly pursue ever more aggressive invasive procedures and sterile, depressing ‘homes’ for the dying? This is the pressing question Gawande attempts to answer.

On a more personal note, like the AIDS patients in the Carstensen Hong Kong-American experiments, when my mother was diagnosed with cancer, her perspective was overhauled. By the time I was finishing primary school, I knew where my parents keep their share certificates, the passwords for all their financial documents, how to pay the electricity and water bills online, and the minutiae of their wills. Just in case I die in a freak accident, she would always say. I never had much interest in these conversations, not because I wanted to avoid thinking about death, but because her fixation had turned it into another mundane source of nagging. And an 11-year-old could only have so much interest in life insurance claims.

But Gawande pushed me to empathise with her fixation, which I shamefully admit I had never attempted to do. Being Mortal is an important book, not only for the generation that is currently ageing, but also (and perhaps more so) for the generation after. We are the ones who wield the power to shape how we will age in the future generations to come.

Rating: 4/5

I Can’t Be the Only One

There are contemporary books so lauded or so popular, they are cultural pillars in our collective consciousness (at least, my generation’s): Harry Potter, Twilight, and to lesser extents, The Hunger Games and Percy Jackson. And because these series have transcended into such phenomena, there is luxurious room for justified disappointment, apathy and even loathing.

There are also books, though not Herculean triumphs like the aforementioned, that are popular enough to have seemingly achieved omnipresence across social media platforms and in prime window displays in bricks-and-mortar stores (yes, those still exist). Many of these are adored enough to have scored an average 4.0+ on Goodreads. To the uninitiated bibliophile, that may not sound impressive, but with a community numbering more than 55 million members and books often receiving more than 100,000 ratings each, such a high average is actually no easy feat. For the typical book, it would mean almost 50,000 deeming it perfect enough to merit the elusive five stars. From my personal experience, the rating system really is quite reliable, and I do agree with the vast majority of the 4.0+ ratings for the books I have read.

Anyway, I digress. The point of this post is, I have been increasingly frequently boggled by certain books, which either received rave reviews or were otherwise simply commercially successful enough to have sold-out sequels etc. Here is a list of those books, and why I did not enjoy them.

1. Freakonomics (averaging 3.9 stars)

I wrote a full review for this ‘groundbreaking’ introduction to economics a little while back. Steven D. Levitt certainly thinks of himself as some ‘woke’ academic with (gasp) controversial answers to some big questions. But too often, the crucial intermediate steps between his bold hypotheses and conclusions were missing. Some statistics were quoted from unreliable sources. His deductions were no more than superficial appeals to intuitive logic. And the black-and-white explanations were too simplistic to be convincing or even evaluable.

The titles for most chapters were overworked and sensationalist. His tone was unpalatably dismissive, stamped with an all-too-familiar oh look at you less educated souls, how cute! strain of superiority. Yes, I was uncharacteristically generous when I gave this three stars. But be assured that it was for wholly unrelated reasons to the educational value of this book. If you want to learn some economics, look somewhere else instead.

2. Heartless (4.1 stars)

Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles was deserving of praise. The retellings stood on inventive premises that worked, had compelling and complicated characterisations both familiar and fresh, and were different enough from previous reworkings to make them feel like completely new stories. Heartless (a ‘prequel’ to Alice in Wonderland) was not this.

The protagonist, Cath, was insufferable – the archetypal fortunate-in-all respects girl blessed with wealth, a good family, attractiveness, and purported ‘intelligence’, who was woefully stuck in an oh-so-original ‘unfortunate’ circumstance (catching the eye of the king). If the problem were just the premise, I would have been willing to set it aside. But she could not seem to do anything but whine. Whine and precipitate the very disaster she was warned about repeatedly throughout the novel. Oh, and inexplicably turn mad and start chopping heads off left, right and centre.

I mean, I get it. [Highlight to show spoiler] Her lover died. (Her fault.) But it was all so sudden. The final few chapters felt like Meyer was desperately rushing to turn Cath into the villain we all know so well from the original stories, knowing that she was already running out of steam. Not to mention how clichéd it all was. True, clichés are clichés for a reason – they can still be powerful when spun well. This was not spun well.

3. The Wrath and the Dawn (4.2 stars)

I also wrote a full review for this duology, the first four paragraphs of which discuss the sheer ludicrousness of the plot and characterisations (or lack thereof). But if you cannot be bothered to scan a few more hundred words, the gaping flaws were as follows:

  • Girl’s best friend is murdered by the caliph.
  • Said girl has few charms to recommend her (at least, none uniquely able to catch the caliph’s attention when 70+ just as beautiful and much more talented girls have failed) but decides to seduce and murder the caliph.
  • Girl thinks she’s all that but it’s a Hong Kong summer-ful of hot air. 90% of her qualities are tell-not-show.
  • Caliph is seduced. Don’t ask me.
  • On day two, girl becomes all butterflies and lust for her best friend’s murderer because he’s frickin’ hot.
  • Some corny lines.
  • More corny lines.
  • She finally finds out why he has been murdering a girl every dawn and stuff actually goes down but it’s already the last few chapters.

I really have no clue why the two books were considered to be amongst the best fantasy novels published in their respective years. Nor why readers swooned from the ridiculous patchwork of clichés that was the central ‘romance’. I did end up giving the second book four stars, precisely for the same reasons most readers enjoyed it less – the eye-rolling romance became less important, towns were razed, a war declared, basically some actual action happened.

4. The Sword of Summer (4.3 stars)

I know, I know, this is a Middle Grade book, so I was not the intended audience. While I staunchly believe books written for younger audiences should never automatically be held to lower critical standards (read The Little Prince, Harry Potter, even picture books like The Giving Tree and The Paper Bag Princess), another spin-off series is just one too many. There are only so many times you can rehash the exact same concept, and for Riordan, third time was sadly not the charm.

With The Sword of Summer, you can tell he was trying too hard. His wit was a little thinner, his characters flatter, his twists more formulaic. Magnus Chase might as well have been Percy Jackson 2.0 – take Percy Jackson’s voice and personality traits, truss them up into a younger blond, and you have our latest demigod hero. I was so uninterested I gave up after the first quarter. Maybe it’s time to get back to some actual creativity.

5. Deathless (4.1 stars)

Valente’s lemony prose first captivated me in her Fairyland series (reviews here, here and here), with its sumptuous verbal illustrations weaving allusive treasure troves for literature lovers and seasoned readers. Deathless boasts the same meandering descriptions, but in this case, the leaden-footed build-up was an unfortunate detriment instead. The narration was too verbose, bordering on pretentiously philosophical, and I was constantly tempted to skip entire chapters.

It suited Fairyland, where there was a deliberate absence of urgency or any overarching tasks, so the reader was able to feel like she had all the time in the world to be enamoured by the wondrous, witty marvels of Valente’s unique, well, fairyland. I am sure her extensive knowledge of Russian folklore was incredibly impressive. I am sure she transformed well-loved stories (as she did with Fairyland) into a poignant, heart-wrenching, witty, intricate mural of war and love – if you ever manage to slog through it first. But no amount of genius or incandescent language can make up for the total lack of direction. If this novel were 100 pages shorter, perhaps I would have been able to finish it.

So?

So there you have it, why I cannot comprehend, for the life of me, why these books receive such inflated hype. Are there any popular books that you just could not enjoy? Comment them below, I would love to hear!

Freakonomics

Last semester, I was confused into thinking that I needed an elective to fulfil my course requirements. I chose Macroeconomics 101 because of two reasons: (1) The only other courses that fitted my schedule were Social Work and Chinese Religions, neither of which interested me in the least, and (2) Economics has a reputation as a subject any self-respecting intellectual must have some acquaintance with. And I wanted to be a self-respecting intellectual. Thankfully, towards the end of the add-drop period, I found out that I did not, in fact, need to take an elective and I could have my Thursday afternoons off instead.

But the desire to be a self-respecting intellectual continued to nag the edges of my consciousness. It grew especially loud whenever my debating partner essentially had to ironman1 economics motions, even though I was the extension speaker2. So I put Freakonomics on my to-read list, thinking its generally positive reception from laymen readers and the How to Fossilise Your Hamster-tone would make it a useful starting point.

However, contrary to my high expectations, I finished Freakonomics this afternoon with very mixed feelings. While I can understand why it has been lauded as ‘refreshing’ and ‘unconventional’, ‘groundbreaking’ is a bit excessive. On the book’s Goodreads page, the top question asks why the average rating could possibly be below four. The user goes on to call the book ‘pure genius’ and dismiss readers who gave it low ratings as ‘people [who] do not understand the basics of economics’. Needless to say, I disagree. In fact, I suspect the low raters to be more familiar with economics, or at least subjects requiring similar critical and analytical skills. Too often, I struggled to find the crucial intermediate steps between Levitt’s bold hypotheses and conclusions. Some statistics were quoted from unreliable sources (the outdated baby car seat study from Chapter 5 being a notable example). And the explanations were generally too simplistic to be convincing or evaluable.

In Chapter 1, the title question was overworked and misleading – akin to a sensationalist headline more suited to the Daily Mail. If the only commonality between the two entirely different professions is cheating, then really, a more appropriate question would have been: “what do most people have in common?” After all, even the authors themselves agree that it is something everyone does, to varying degrees and frequencies. And the title of Chapter 3 implies that poor drug dealers is somehow deeply shocking. Surely, the average informed reader knows that the vast majority of dealers earn barely enough to survive, let alone live among the top 1%? But I digress.

Levitt’s presumptuous tone is most apparent in the final two chapters; although he admitted that his data cannot conclusively answer how much parents matter, he was still unpalatably dismissive. In pointing out, say, museum visits by ‘obsessive’ parents as having no correlation to their children’s early test results (and hence no impact on the children’s dispositions – a ridiculous leap in their logic), the authors were missing the point. I doubt parents organise these supplementary cultural outings to boost their children’s arithmetic or reading comprehension. And an appreciation of the history and wonders of our world can hardly be quantified in an elementary school exam. Similarly, regular spanking may not have a discernible influence on early test scores, but that does not automatically negate the potential effects on the child’s emotional well-being and perspective on violence.

Or in Chapter 6, where Levitt happily determined that names carry no weight at all. Look, Loser is now a high-ranking detective! And Winner, his brother, is a convicted criminal. This proves my point! Would it have been too far-fetched to entertain the possibility that a name like ‘Loser’ could have instilled a defiant determination to succeed? Sure, giving a child a ‘high-end’ name will not catapult him into the educated and upper classes. But Levitt’s black-and-white claim was feebly supported, at best. Likewise, he argued that the most important factor in the sudden drop in crime was the legalisation of abortion. Yet he also recognised that at least three other factors were largely responsible too. How was he so sure that abortion was the biggest contributor? His deductions (beyond superficial appeals to intuitive logic) were never made clear. Besides, the abortion argument was based on many assumptions (for one, that most poor, uneducated pregnant women would always choose abortions), which were not identified or substantiated either. Levitt would have to do much more to give his argument a solid foundation.

Alas, it seems I am no closer to becoming a self-respecting intellectual. Nevertheless, I concede that Freakonomics was engaging and easy to grasp (hence my generous rating). I especially liked the epilogue, Two Paths to Harvard, which I think wrapped up the book in a thoughtful and thought-provoking way. I would, however, highly encourage reading it critically, and more as a stimulus than a thorough manual on how things work.

Rating: 3/5


1In Parliamentary debating, teams compete in pairs. Usually, each member speaks once. If a debater drops out, the remaining debater can make both speeches for the team. He/she is now an ironman. Of course, in the instances mentioned above, Ty (my partner) did not actually ironman. But since he came up with all our points and told me what to say, he essentially did.

2In each team, one person is usually the first/extension speaker and the other the second speaker/whip (unless something drastic happens and they switch roles). The first/extension speaker always gives the bulk of the case (the most important arguments).

The Good Immigrant

When J.K. Rowling deems a book “an important, timely read”, you read it. The Good Immigrant is a beautifully articulate collection of anecdotes and reflections by minority ethnic writers and entertainers in the United Kingdom. Varying in tone from laugh-out-loud hilarious (Nish Kumar is an incredible man) to weary and raw, each piece loudly discredits the increasingly popular assumption that liberal democracies are sheltered within a post-racial, ‘colour-blind’ world. And having been published just three months ago in the year of Leave, Trump and post-imperial nostalgia, this book is a “timely read” indeed.

Even as I was drafting the opening paragraph, I found myself desperately scrambling to find the perfect, most impactful words to convince whoever may read this that a book so overtly focusing on racism is worth their time. That it is not some storm-in-a-teacup (this is a British book, after all) exposé of a cosmopolitan country. And that no, it is certainly not a means of catharsis for ‘race-baiting’ BAME writers blaming white people for all of their problems. My fear of being written off as another petty Asian girl is, in itself, already a strong indicator of just how relevant The Good Immigrant is. Of course, I did feel welcomed (or at least, nonchalantly accepted) during most of my stay in England. Despite having been assaulted in broad daylight on the High Street by a man who subsequently tried to do the same to my Korean and Malaysian friends, most of the people I met did not deliberately make me feel uncomfortable about my ethnicity. But in no way does this suggest that the dialogue on race should be obsolete. Rather, given the current political climate, it is just as, if not more, important than ever before.

Just from my personal experiences, even in a school that proudly declares itself ‘forward-thinking’, ‘liberal’ and ‘international’, a natural Afro was deemed too unprofessional to be part of the uniform code. I was told that whilst Hong Kong girls may be ‘academically talented’, it makes us ‘less emotionally expressive’ (and hence less likely to succeed in interviews for medical schools). Am I making an issue out of nothing? Isn’t being stereotyped as academically talented still a positive stereotype? Isn’t that an asset for people like me? The answer, in short, is no. Positive racism is a ridiculous myth. Like the label ‘model minority’, it is an insult to the systemic prejudice that millions must struggle against. Asians are the ‘model minority’ only because we are quiet and we keep our heads down. Which simply reinforces the idea that our voices deserve to be supporting roles at best. And as Viki Cheung shrewdly pointed out, “in the same mouthful as saying, ‘East Asians are the model minority because they’re quiet and hardworking’, [you imply that] black people are apparently loud and lazy”.1 More evidence that it is absurd to think we benefit from deeply ingrained biases? “Despite being among the highest achievers in [British] schools, Chinese male graduates … can expect to earn 25 per cent less than white male graduates”.2

Besides, actual attitudes towards East Asians are far more complex than just ‘they are all good at mathematics’ or ‘they are sensible and self-reliant’. Often, the UK’s image of an East Asian immigrant combines conflicting views. “In an educational study published by Routledge in 2005, … teachers attributed success to inherently ‘Chinese’ qualities while simultaneously hinting that these qualities were ‘enclosed’, ‘denying children individuality’ and in opposition to Western cultural ideas”.3 So the assumptive premise that we are only subjected to ‘positive’ stereotypes is already false. Not to mention the Tiger Mum and dog-eating caricatures that we still face.

Anyway, back to the book. Every one of the 21 writers offered poignant, poetic and unclichéd windows into their lives as first- and second-generation immigrants in the UK. Though racism is by no means a fun or lighthearted topic, at no point was the book a slow or sterile read. I devoured half of it in a single sitting, and only paused because it was 4 a.m. and my parents were understandably annoyed at the prospect of me showering and waking them up in the early morning (I have this thing where I absolutely must shower before I go to bed, and at that point I had not had my daily shower yet). Although I admit that I am very privileged to live in a city where I am the ethnic majority, my two years in England still made many of the authors’ sentiments incredibly relatable.

And even beyond my brief stint abroad, the fact that the universal experience is largely defined by the white experience nonetheless made the book a pertinent articulation of my identity as part of the global majority. In Darren Chetty’s chapter, he noted how he had “spent almost two decades teaching children … in English primary schools that serve multiracial, multicultural, multifaith communities”, during which “whenever children [were] asked to write a story in school, children of colour [would] write a story featuring characters with ‘traditional’ English names who speak English as a first language”.4 And that was exactly what I had done throughout my childhood as an aspiring writer, despite having been born and raised 9,600km away from England – something that I did not even realise until I watched Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s TED talk a year ago.

So regardless of whether you are currently an immigrant, or whether you live in a predominantly white nation, or whether you are part of a minority group at all, I cannot recommend this book enough. I implore you to keep an open mind, be challenged and to simply enjoy the ride of a great read.

Rating: 5/5


1Beyond ‘Good’ Immigrants by Wei Ming Kam.

2Ibid. Data from Yaojun Li, Fiona Devine, Anthony Heath, ‘Equality Group Inequalities in Education, Earnings and Employment’, Equality and Human Rights Commission, (2008), Executive summary, iii.

3Ibid.

4‘You can’t say that! Stories have to be about White people’ by Darren Chetty.

Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance

Atul Gawande demonstrates his intuitive eye for captivating storytelling – the ability to spin a primarily scientific endeavour into an affecting narrative. Each description is sprinkled with the personal (perhaps unnecessary, from a medical viewpoint) details characteristic of a gripping novel, persuading even the least medically inclined readers that yes, it is pertinent, it is relatable, and it is certainly deserving of their attention. Above all, he has an extraordinary talent for making people care.

Better, his second book, is noticeably less personal that his first. Of course, Gawande still makes sure to thoughtfully contemplate, to paint the picture from his perspective. In fact, the most memorably section is the Afterword, which offers five concise suggestions for, very fittingly, becoming a better doctor or medical student. These suggestions were all drawn from his personal experiences. What do I mean by ‘less personal’ then? In Complications, like in Oliver Sacks’ renowned publications (see The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat), many of the chapters focused on one or two cases that he was responsible for. The subsequent discussions were all anchored to these cases. In Better, however, many of the ‘cases’ were operations on a national, sometimes international, scale. Gawande travelled across states and continents to better understand these proceedings with unwavering determination, but the spotlight was no longer just illuminating his individual performance.

In my opinion, this made Better an even better read. It repeatedly reminded me that even if every doctor, nurse, pharmacist, technician, intern, government official relentlessly tried their very best to do better, the overall medical system is as at fault as these individuals in any room for improvement. The system in question can be a single hospital, a local healthcare plan, government policies or international NGOs. Furthermore, the victories are in the most mundane details – steady supplies of basic materials (a scalpel, a simple plastic tube), fundamental sanitary practices (washing hands)… Consistently establishing these as the routine can save significantly more lives than radical discoveries, but receives much less funding and attention than laboratory research.

To conclude, I highly recommend Better to anyone vaguely interested in the medical industry. It will pose questions, answer them, and make you want to ask even more. And it might even overturn how you think of medicine itself.

Rating: 4.5/5