Curated books for reference in anaesthesia and intensive care medicine, and other books about medicine, thinking or life that might be of interest to our readers, grouped into categories with some mini reviews. Check out our poetry corner, art collection and cinema for more. Suggestions are always welcome, please tweet @theanaesroom or comment to give us more!

Textbooks and reference books worth their weight in gold

Intensive care (Beginners):
The Beginner’s Guide to Intensive Care – Laha and Arora
The Little ICU book of Facts and Formulas – Marino
Oxford Handbook for Critical Care – Singer

Intensive care (advanced):
Oxford’s Desk Reference Critical Care – Waldmann, Soni and Rhodes
Oh’s intensive care manual – Bersten and Handy

Basic physiology for anaesthetists – Chambers, Huang and Matthews
Physics, pharmacology and physiology for anaesthetists – Cross and Plunkett
West’s respiratory physiology – West and Luks

Pharmacology for anaesthesia and intensive care – Peck and Hill
The Renal Drug Handbook – Ashley and Dunleavy

Basic physics and measurement in anaesthesia – Davis and Kenny
Physics in Anaesthesia – Middleton, Phillips, Thomas, Stacey

Essentials of anaesthetic equipment – Al-Shaikh and Stacey
Ward’s anaesthetic equipment – Davey and Diba

Anatomy for anaesthetists – Ellis
Quick Draw Anatomy for anaesthetists – Fox

Major reference books:
A-Z anaesthesia, intensive care and preoperative medicine – Yentis
Fundamentals of Anaesthesia – Smith, Lin and Pinnock

Analgesia, anaesthesia and pregnancy – Yentis and Malhotra

Neuroanaesthesia and neurocritical care:
Textbook of neuroanaesthesia and neurocritical care – Prabukhar and Ali
Core topics in neuroanaesthesia and neurocritical care – Matta, Menon and Smith

Neonatal and paediatric anaesthesia in a nutshell – Black and McEwan

Primary FRCA:
Masterpass 1 and 2 – McCombe and Wijayasiri
Doctor Podcast Scripts for the Primary FRCA – Leslie, Johnson, Goodwin

Final FRCA:
CRQs for the final FRCA – Akuji, Martin, Chambers and Thomas
Masterpass 1 and 2 for final FRCA – Combeer, Krisnachetty and Sethi
Doctor podcast scripts for the Final FRCA – Leslie, Johnson, Goodwin, Thomas

Books about (real or fictional) how patients and their families experience illness, categorised by condition

The Reason I Jump – Naoki Higashida
The Curious Incident of the dog in the night time – Mark Haddon

The Memory Keeper’s Daughter (also a film)

My stroke of insight – Jill Bolte Taylor (she is a neuroscientist)

Mental health:
Rx – Rachel Lindsay (this is a graphic novel!)
Marbles – Ellen Fornay (another excellent graphic novel)
The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
The centre cannot hold – Elyn Saks

Infectious disease:
The Plague – Albert Camus

Epileptic/ ‘L’Ascension du haut mal – David B (a great graphic novel)

Palliative care:
The Death of Ivan Ilyich – Tolstoy

Families dealing with illness:
The spirit catches you and you fall down – Anne Fadiman
The shock of the fall – Nathan Filer
So much for that – Lionel Shriver

From the ashes – Jesse Thistle

The emperor of maladies – Siddartha Mukerjee
C – John Diamond
Mortality – Christopher Hitchens

Postpartum depression:
Things that helped – Jessica Friedmann

Books about being a doctor, stories from different specialties from all over the world.

Pain medicine:
The Pain-Free mindset – Deepak Ravindran

Intensive Care medicine:
Seven signs of life – Aoife Abbey

Medicine in low resource settings:
A fortunate man – John Berger (Country medicine)
Mountains beyond mountains – Tracy Kidder
War doctor – David Nott (Trauma surgery in war zones)
Your heart is the size of your fist – Martina Scholtens (about refugee medicine)
Ask me why I hurt – Randy Christensen (about medicine for homeless children)

Being a medical student/ junior doctor:
This is going to hurt – Adam Kay
House of God – Samuel Shem

Being a female doctor:
This won’t hurt a bit – Michelle Au
A not entirely benign procedure – Perri Klass
Memoirs of a woman doctor – Nawal el Saadawi

Do no harm – Henry Marsh
Into the magic shop – James Doty

Palliative care:
Dear Life – Rachel Clarke

Doctors coping with illness:
When breath becomes air – Paul Kalanithi
In shock – Rana Awdish

The man who mistook his wife for a hat and Musicophilia – Oliver Sacks

Our necessary shadow – Tom Burns

Books about healthcare systems, decision making, epidemiology and society

Thinking, fast and slow – Daniel Kahnemann
Outliers – Malcolm Gladwell
Black box thinking – Matthew Syed

Communication skills:
How to win friends and influence people – Dale Carnegie
Talking to strangers – Malcolm Gladwell
Never split the difference – Chris Voss

Science and its problems:
Bad science and bad pharma – Ben Goldacre
Invisible women – Caroline Perez
Doing harm – Maya Dusenbery

Social commentary:
Poverty safari – Darren McGarvey
Cancer ward – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
To repair the world – Paul Farmer

The greatest benefit to mankind – a history of medicine – Roy Porter
The immortal life of Henrietta Lacks – Rebecca Skloot

The empathy exams (by a medical actor) – Leslie Jameson
Kitchen table wisdom – Rachel Remen

Self help:
The 7 habits of highly effective people – Stephen Covey

Suggestions for books to add to our bookshelf