Friday, 3 April 2009

What I've been reading

Image of the book cover
Life of Pi
by Yann Martel

narrated by Jeff Woodman
"After a colourful and loving upbringing in gorgeously-hued India, the Muslim-Christian-Hindu Pi Patel sets off with his family for a fresh start in Canada. His voyage is rudely interrupted when his boat sinks halfway across the Pacific, and he takes to a lifeboat with a spotted hyena, an orangutan, a zebra with a broken leg and a tiger called Richard Parker."
I absolutely loved this book. It's quite well-known - I'm pretty sure it has been in the best-seller lists for a while - and some reviews have advised readers to plough through the first half because 'it will get better.' I found the first part just as good, describing Pi Patel's upbringing in India, his dalliance with religion, his school and home life, and details about the animals in his father's zoo. Of course, the tale of life in the boat with the tiger was great too, and I was very pleased with the ending. This is rare, an audio book that I may listen to a second time.

Image of the book cover
Counselling Skills for Dietitians
by Judy Gable

"Dietitians need to use advanced communication skills as well as technical expertise in order to assess clients’ needs, identify their problems and help them to manage their diet and lifestyle. The ability to develop a helping relationship is fundamental to achieving a mutually satisfactory dietetic interview. Counselling skills, defined as advanced communication skills used intentionally in a helping relationship, are therefore essential for good dietetic practice at all levels of the profession."
I read a little bit of this at the start of the course, and was thoroughly daunted. Coming back to it now, it's much more relevant than I thought, although it's aimed at practising dietitians because it suggests you think about your clinic, patients you have seen, your colleagues and so on. While it's obviously important that we know all there is to know about nutrition, metabolism and various clinical conditions, I haven't changed my mind about communication and the ability to listen more than talk being the most important aspect of a dietitians skills. And for me, one of the most challenging.

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