Next time you take a trip to Barnes & Noble, or the next time you support your local bookstore, wander into the health section. Of course grabbing the new John Grisham or Twilight novel is exciting, but perhaps your next reading assignment can be thoughtful as much as enjoyable.

So bring out the coffee and curl up to these top 5 global health books.

1. Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World by Tracy Kidder

This book follows Farmer as a Harvard-trained physician traveling the world to create Partners in Health. A philanthropist who endorses the mantra “the only real nation is humanity,” the reader is taken on a journey from Haiti through Russia.

2. The Invisible Cure: Africa, the West, and the Fight Against AIDS by Helen Epstein

An autobiographical treatise by Epstein on the ways AIDS has ravaged Uganda and the African continent. Epstein, as a scientist, analyzes her experiences without apology in order to provide a context for the exciting scientific discoveries that unfortunately have not found equal footing in Africa.

3. Infections and Inequalities: The Modern Plagues by Paul Farmer

This is a treatise by Farmer concerning the unequal diagnoses of diseases such as AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria abroad. “Cost effective” methods of healthcare have lead to poor communication between patients and doctors, and Farmer seeks to combat such healthcare.

4. Rx for Survival: Why Me Must Rise to the Global Health Challenge by Philip Hilts

A companion to the PBS series “Rx for Survival: A Global Health Challenge,” Hilts brings a journalist’s touch to this investigation of the global locations where old diseases are constantly threatening to re-emerge.

5. Race Against Time: Searching for Hope in AIDS-Ravaged Africa by Stephen Lewis

In this book, Lewis poses pragmatic solutions for meeting the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals by fighting the AIDS pandemic first and foremost.

– Taylor Diamond

Sources: Good Reads, Global Health Hub

Photo: UDaily