Reader recommendation: God's Hotel
Monitor readers share their favorite book picks.
I am currently reading God's Hotel: A Doctor, a Hospital, and a Pilgrimage to the Heart of Medicine, by Victoria Sweet, MD. Dr. Sweet signed up for a two-month stay as an admitting physician at San Francisco's Laguna Honda Hospital (the last almshouse in the US) and wound up staying for 20 years. The book is a warm, generous, and thoughtful treatise on the need for medicine to look at its patients more attentively, not as "a machine to be fixed," but rather on an older idea of "the body as a garden to be tended." "God's Hotel" is a wonderful book about the treatment of the patient as a complete person, body, and soul.