Erin Havel thought the American health care system was fine until insurance companies proved the system was broken. In 2004 she began treatment on an AVM (arteriovenous malformation), and in 2007 she was diagnosed with CML (chronic myelogenous leukemia). During this time she went through tremendous struggle with different health insurance companies, became an unexpected advocate for change in the health care system, and the author of The Malformation of Health Care. She is an activist for young adults living with cancer and other rarely understood medical conditions. Her blog and Facebook Group focus on current health care topics. She lives in Seattle, WA.
Here are the books by her bed with her comments about them:
The Cross in the Closet by Timothy Kurek — I usually try to avoid books that are receiving the most attention on talk shows. I think it is out of my pure internal defiance of “The Man.” However, this book grabbed me due to its timely topic. First off, I love autobiographies. I love intruding into an author’s life, immersing myself into a perfectly realistic parallel universe. There’s something unique about reading what is true. Maybe it stems from my curiosity about sociology and the psychology of why people do what they do. Either way, this book about a heterosexual fundamentalist Christian completely converting his life to walk in the footsteps of a gay man for a year was too interesting for me to miss. I’m a few chapters in. It’s on my Kindle application so it’s easy to pull up in the evening. I’m not sure it’s the best book to fall asleep to, thouh; I get riled up over religion being used to harm others.
Stillness Speaks by Eckhart Tolle — I have tried to read The Power of Now. I have that on my bookstand as well, but I just can’t seem to get through it. I don’t want to have to think that much at night before I go to sleep. Stillness Speaks is much more manageable for me. Although there are chapters, really the book is more quotes and small paragraphs with several breaks during each chapter. This makes Eckhart Tolle accessible for someone like me. I can read a quote, think on it, and put it down without feeling overwhelmed. That is what I have been doing with this hard cover book on my night stand for over a year.
Deadly Spin by Wendell Potter — I love this book. I had the honor to meet Mr. Potter at a young adult cancer conference earlier this year. The man spoke with such conviction and the wisdom that only comes from someone who has “been there,” I had to buy the book. It delves into how he was a well paid PR executive for a large health insurer and why he had to leave that job once he saw the devastation his work was having on individuals. I think what I love most about this book is the proof that compassion can rise up even where it is least expected. The complete transformation of someone who is simply doing a job, into someone who recognizes how that job is affecting others is eye opening, to say the least.
What autobiographies have you read lately?