Today, it’s the first substitute category for the RWC 2017 Reading Challenge.

How do substitute categories work? Let’s say you can’t find a book with a purple cover. You can swap in one of these substitutes instead.

Substitute Category #1: A Book Written By A Doctor

The strictest definition of this category would include only books by medical doctors. But you should realize by now that this challenge isn’t about strict interpretations.

Veterinarians, psychiatrists, anyone with a doctoral degree (even if it’s honorary).

I’m going to provide authors and examples both from my personal library and some that I haven’t read.

Oliver Sacks  (Amazon page)

Dr. Sacks is a neurologist and writes a lot about brain phenomena. I have a couple of his books for use as writing references (“Migraine,” “Hallucinations”) but his best-known work is probably “The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat: And Other Clinical Tales.”

Khaled Hosseini  (Amazon page)

Hosseini was born in Afghanistan before moving to Paris and then the United States. He has a medical degree and worked as an internist for eight years. I own all three of Hosseini’s n, though I’ve only read two (“The Kite Runner,” “A Thousand Splendid Suns”). His most recent book is “And the Mountains Echoed.” His writing is beautiful but deals with a lot of harsh realities that can be heavy to read.

Michael Crichton (Amazon page)

Here’s a fascinating man. Most people associate him with his books, but he was also a filmmaker and… a physician with an MD from Harvard. He was also a total computer nerd. His best-known novel is “Jurassic Park,” but he was responsible for countless other movies, including Twister. ER is also his creative genius.

Tess Gerritson (Amazon page)

You may not recognize her name, but you may know her work. Gerritson was on maternity leave from her work as a physician when she began writing fiction. She writes the homicide detective series “Rizzoli & Isles,” which TNT turned into a series.

Arthur Conan Doyle (Amazon page)

During his years as a medical student, he met several other authors, including James Barrie and Robert Louis Stevenson. He was already writing before graduating and struggled between his writing and his practice. He’s most famous, of course, for his Sherlock Holmes stories but he wrote over 60 works in all.

What other writers moonlight as doctors? Leave a comment below with your thoughts about these or any I may have missed.

If you have suggestions for books that fit in future categories, let me know. I’ll include your name (and a link, if you like) when I share those suggestions.