10 Health Book Recommendations from Health Care Experts

Reading not only improves vocabulary and brain connectivity, it can also have physical health benefits like reducing stress, preventing cognitive decline, and lowering blood pressure. We recently talked with three local health care leaders about their reading habits and recommended books.

Spencer Seals Vice president of construction, real estate, and facilities planning, Cook Children’s Medical Center

One of my favorite traditions is my wife buys me an Advent calendar that provides a daily short story, which gives me a 10- to 20-minute story from all over the world. Finding time to read is difficult. I have to schedule my personal time with reading time; otherwise, it doesn’t happen. I do listen to books to and from work, but my preference is to sit down with a physical book.

The Obstacle Is the Way by Ryan Holiday: Great book that focuses on stoicism as a means to overcoming adversity and making you stronger in the process. Easy to read and packed with ideas to better your life.


Immunity to Change by Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey: Inspiring book about change and the potential of looking and doing things differently. This book helps you make a master change in your life and your organization.


Crossing the Unknown Sea by Robert Whyte: This was given to me at a pivotal time in my career and helped me not only identify a path but affirmed it is okay to not have the clearest picture of your future; you can still move forward with confidence.


Michael Sanborn President and CEO of Baylor Scott & White All Saints Medical Center – Fort Worth

My reading style is a mix of both traditional books and audiobooks. I prefer hardcover books for heavier topics where I may want to make notes or highlight passages. I listen to audiobooks (on 1.4x speed) of lighter topics and general information. I enjoy authors who write excellent historical summaries that read like fiction. For me, that accomplishes two things — education and entertainment.

Good to Great by Jim Collins: My all-time favorite management and leadership book. A literal blueprint for greatness, and we have applied much of this book to the work that we do at BS&W All Saints.


Nine Lies About Work by Marcus Buckingham: Outlines how to create a strong work culture.  Most of the recommendations can initially seem counterintuitive, which is why they are valuable.


Atomic Habits by James Clear: An excellent “self-improvement” book that analyzes habits, why we have them, and how to make small changes to achieve impressive results.


Fort Worth: Outpost, Cowtown, Boomtown by Harold Rich: As a Dallas transplant five years ago, this recently published history of our town — the good and not so good — from the late 1800s into the 20th century is quite interesting (and seems comprehensive).


Bobby Grigsby CPA, MBA, retired Carter BloodCare executive

When I was working, I often listened to books on tape while traveling by car and read ebooks when I traveled by air. Since retiring, my more recent reading involves historical fiction, and Ken Follett is one of my favorite authors. I have really enjoyed connecting my travels with settings from books I’ve read, and some have even inspired some of our trips.

In Search of Excellence by Tom Peters: Having served as a CEO, COO, and CFO during my working years, this well-known book was a valuable resource and learning tool for me.


Pillars of the Earth and World Without End (Kingsbridge Series) by Ken Follett: These two books tell a multigenerational tale about the construction of a major cathedral in England. In a previous role, I always took advantage of visiting the beautiful cathedrals in England, and I always thought of these books.


The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafron: The book is an ode to the art of reading, but it is also a fitting example of the power of a well-told story. It is the tale of a young boy, who through the magic of a single book, finds a purpose greater than himself and a hero in a man he has never even met.