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What ODs are reading during the summer of COVID


Editorial Advisory Board members offer book suggestions to fellow ODs

We are about halfway through the summer of 2020 in the midst of the pandemic that everyone had hoped would be over by now.

A good way to take one’s mind off the crazy that is now in everyday life is jumping into a good book.

We surveyed our Editorial Advisory Board members to find out what they’re reading now.

ODs: Here's what your patients tweeted about you in July, 2020

We asked what they are reading now, if they recommend the book, and what else they plan to read this summer.

You’ll notice a theme for a certain new book….

We hope you find inspiration from your colleagues for a new book.

Happy reading

Click here for a slideshow of OD summer reads

A. Paul Chous, OD, MA, FAAO

Tacoma, WA

I am currently reading Three Women by Lisa Taddeo. The writing is immersive and beautiful, though the lives revealed are sometimes depressing, revealing the irony of loneliness in a world replete with everything humans thought we wanted and needed.

My next book is a novel called Tijuana Straits by Kem Nunn.

Stuart Richer, OD, PhD, FAAO


I am reading Ultimate Aikido, Secrets of Self-Defense and Inner Power by Yoshmitsu Yamada. I like it because there are lots of pictures. Freedom and self defense are more important than promises of safety and health.

My next reads are the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Kathy Mastrota, OD, FAAO

New York City

I am reading Party of Two by Jasmine Guillory. It’s a cute romance—not my usual genre; however, I needed something easy and not-COVID-social-distancing.

It’s a fast, easy read with concepts of:

• Giving back to the community

• Polar opposite compromises

• Career and personal life balances

• Strong, independent female characters

• A noble politician

• Chocolate cake

Next up is Chocolat, a thrift store find this weekend, by Joanne Harris. It tells the story of Vianne Rocher, a young single mother and entrepreneur, who arrives in the French village of Lansquenet-sous-Tannes to open a chocolate shop.

Hmmmm…do you see a trend here?

Michael Brown, OD, FAAO

Huntsville, AL

I am readingThe Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson!

Reading about the Blitz of 1940-41 during the pandemic has been enlightening. I bet if the Brits had thought there was strong evidence indicating wearing a mask or face covering would even moderately reduce the chances of the Luftwaffe terrorizing the skies, they would have all bucked the hell up, stiffened their upper lips, and bloody well worn the masks just as they endured the tedium of blackouts.

Also on my reading list is Too Much and Never Enough by Mary L. Trump, PhD. (Because I just can’t help myself!)

Andrew Morgenstern, OD, FAAO

Bethesda, MD

I am reading and grading glaucoma papers and articles to develop the American Optometric Association (AOA) Evidence Based Clinical Practice Guideline.

When the CPG is complete, I would strongly recommend that everyone not only read it but utilize it in clinical practice.

This guideline will be the most up to date truly evidence based CPG available.

The only other thing I plan to read are old MAD magazine issues and restaurant menus from my favorite takeout places.

Melissa Barnett, OD, FAAO, FSLS

Sacramento, CA

I am reading Creative Trespassing by Tania Katan. I definitely recommend the book as a reminder how enjoyable your work and life can be.

I am open to suggestions for other good books to read.

Joe Shovlin, OD, FAAO

Scranton, PA

I am reading The Wright Brothers by David McCullough. It’s an amazing recounting of history as only he can do.

Next up is probably another McCollough book, The Johnston Flood…more history.

Marc Bloomenstein, OD, FAAO


Anything by Michael Connelly or Erik Larson!!! Larson has a new book out, The Spendid and the Vile!

This is a great time to start a series..like Bosch!

Chris Wroten, OD

Hammond, LA

I am reading The Frozen Hours by Jeff Shaara. I just started, but so far it’s a compelling work of non-fiction that reads like a good fiction novel…an entertaining, educational, and historically accurate retelling of America’s “forgotten war.”

My next book is a classic…How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.

Leo Semes, OD, FAAO

Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

I am reading Range by David Epstein.

I would recommend It. It sheds an interesting focus on how one can achieve success without being one dimensional.

My wife just finished The Spendid and the Vileand enjoyed it like other works from Erik Larson. The Devil in the White City was captivating.

Diana Canto-Sims, OD


My summer reads are on the topics of business, self-help, and life and business.

First is Traction by Gino Wickman.

I recommend it because we implemented this entrepreneurial operating system in our practice 5 years ago, and our practice runs like a well-oiled machine ever since. With systems in place, we are profitable and growing, and every now and then we create tweaks to make business better or adapt to new technology.

Next is Playing Big by Tara Mohr. I recommend it because it gave me practical advice to implement and get out of my own way. It also made me realize life is too short to put my dreams in the back burner. People will criticize you anyway. You do you..for you.

And finally, I am also reading The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. This book is now part of our work culture. When you don’t make assumptions and don’t take things personally in life (and at work), life is so much better.

Ben Casella, OD, FAAO

Chief Optometric Editor

Augusta, GA

I am reading The Inferno (the Ciardi translation). I highly recommend it. It is amazing what counted as sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll in 1320. Dante is also a genius of subtleties, symbolism, and putting people he doesn’t care for in real life into the Inferno.

I have been rereading this for a while and have nothing else on the “burner” (get it?) for right now.

Related: Optometry’s Apollo 13 moment during COVID-19

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