Preview: Playing House with Diagnosis // Back to Gilead with The Testaments

Preview by Mary Kat

I have two new books that I’m feeling all the hype for and wanted to share with y’all. I don’t always jump on the literary bandwagon or get lost in the hype — usually I can resist. I’ve even been known to wait patiently for my turn on library lists of >100 people on hold. But in both these cases, my hype outweighed my patience.

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood came out today, and I had mine on pre-order from Amazon. Some folks actually received their pre-order several days ago (so weird right?), but mine arrived today as promised. I’ve been a big fan of Margaret Atwood for a long time, and I read The Handmaid’s Tale back in high school. I actually re-read it again last year because of the excitement around the Hulu TV series. I don’t watch the TV show anymore because it’s too violent for me, but I love all the attention the show has given to Margaret Atwood, deservedly. She’s a powerful writer — very creative, poetic, feminist, and prolific. And I can’t wait to see what original spins she’ll have it store for this follow-up in Gilead.

Margaret Atwood’s style is very unique — she has a beautiful writing voice, but her storytelling is a league of its own. She has an ability to create universes and stories unlike any I’ve ever read before. The MaddAddam trilogy is a great example of this: insanely creative, bizarre, and futuristic. She often describes her style as “speculative fiction” to express a sort of elevated or literary science fiction category. All that to say, I’m very excited to check this one out, and I wanted to get The Testaments as soon as possible to avoid spoilers.

The second book is likely more niche, but I am super excited about it all the same. Diagnosis: Solving the Most Baffling Medical Mysteries by Lisa Sanders, MD is a collection of the best cases from the New York Times Diagnosis column. In that column, readers play House and try to solve the diagnosis of a complicated and mysterious patient presentation. It’s a thrill and challenge among doctors to solve this type of case, and it’s even better when I can try to solve it from the comfort of reading on my couch.

I love everything about this idea — I loved House because he’s the endlessly witty and clever Sherlock Holmes of medicine (mind you, I watched this before I went to medical school, so inaccuracies were nothing to me then). And I love medical school now because I love to help patients and solve the puzzles of their health and disease. I often fantasize about helping a patient by making a career find of a difficult, surprising, or rare diagnosis. So this book is made for me: solving puzzles of the most difficult real-life cases — what could be better than that? I’ve only just started Diagnosis, so I don’t know yet how it will read for folks outside the medical community. But I will try to keep that in mind as I read and let you know soon!

I entered a competition on GoodReads for a free copy of Diagnosis, but then couldn’t resist and went ahead and bought it. Of course, ironically, I won the competition on GoodReads (my first win) and now have two copies! Double the excitement for double the copies, I suppose!

Let me know if you are excited about either of these! I would love to hear your thoughts!

5 thoughts on “Preview: Playing House with Diagnosis // Back to Gilead with The Testaments

    • CrazyCatLadyReads says:

      I’m about 25% through The Testaments now, and so far, it hasn’t required reading The Handmaid’s Tale. Like it would help having some thematic knowledge from THT, but it’s set 15 years later so not absolutely required backstory. Thank you for your kind words, appreciate it and glad you liked it!


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