Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Second Suns: Two Doctors and Their Amazing Quest to Restore Sight and Save Lives” as Want to Read:
Second Suns: Two Doctors and Their Amazing Quest to Restore Sight and Save Lives
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Second Suns: Two Doctors and Their Amazing Quest to Restore Sight and Save Lives

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  979 ratings  ·  180 reviews
From the co-author of Three Cups of Tea comes the inspiring story of two very different doctors—one from the United States, the other from Nepal—united in a common mission: to rid the world of preventable blindness.
In this transporting book, David Oliver Relin shines a light on the work of Geoffrey Tabin and Sanduk Ruit, gifted ophthalmologists who have dedicated their
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published June 18th 2013 by Random House (first published January 1st 2013)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.27  · 
Rating details
 ·  979 ratings  ·  180 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Second Suns: Two Doctors and Their Amazing Quest to Restore Sight and Save Lives
Apr 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

This book is nonfiction about two doctors who felt such a drive to help others by performing cataract surgery on those in impoverished areas (mainly Nepal). They perfected this type of surgery and changed lives. Some of these stories were so powerful and touching.

There was a lot of rambling when it came to their personal lives. I was a little perturbed by this at first, but these doctors grew on me. They led interesting lives and overall, it truly showed their dedication, but it was mo
Chocolate & Croissants
May 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this story from start to finish. Relin is a great author. I was rather saddened to learn to that amidst all the controversy that surrounded the veracity of Three Cups of Tea he had taken his life this past December. In Second Suns, Relin follows Tabin and Ruit throughout the Himalayas and Africa as they attempt to eradicate preventable blindness. The story of both of these men is an incredible story in itself. Ruit was born in a remote Nepalese village. As a bored little boy w ...more
Aug 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
"Second Suns" is the inspiring story of Dr. Sanduk Ruit of Nepal, and Dr. Geoff Tabin of the U.S., who formed the Himalaya Cataract Project with the goal of eliminating preventable blindness in Nepal, one of the poorest countries on earth. Cataracts are the leading cause of preventable blindness among the world's poor, and have been essentially cured in the western world for many years. The author, David Relin, spent over 4 years researching and writing "Second Suns", during which time he took 1 ...more
Bob Nichols
This is a good book describing the dedicated work of a Nepali eye doctor whose pioneering surgery restored sight to many Nepalis across the country. The pioneering part apparently involves a technique that is both quicker and less trauma-inducing to the patients, leading to their quicker recovery. The book also features an American eye doctor who, later, joined forces with the Nepali doctor (the author features both equally, in part because of their strongly contrasting personalities, but it was ...more
**This review is part of the Amazon Vine Program**

So, despite it being mentioned in this book that the work of the people in it has been featured on television programs and numerous articles, I'd never heard of any of them before this book. And that's really a shame, because what they are doing is so fantastic that it should be a constant topic of conversation everywhere. Hopefully, this book being published can change that.

The author, Relin, is a journalist who has worked on other books (most n
Amanda Kay
Mar 08, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2013
I needed a day to process this book before I could even begin to review. As a side note, I received this book directly from Random House as an advance reader copy.

Where can you start with a book that is so monumental it could quite possibly bring change Western thoughts on third world blindness? While the end of his life was plagued with questions of his work, Relin has done so much to publicize America's neglect of third world countries that Second Suns reads as a fitting testament to his legac
Jennifer Hughes
I feel so guilty giving this book two stars. This is an amazing story of doctors doing incredible things to change the world. I have the greatest admiration for the people who are helping to rid the world of preventable cataract blindness in the poorest countries. But I have been trying to read this for six weeks now and just can't get slog any further than the first third of the book. I apologize to my friend who asked me to read it. I just can't finish.

Is it just me? The author includes so ma
Oct 13, 2013 rated it liked it
Second Suns explores in depth the start of the Himalayan Cataract Project- how two highly talented ophthalmologists from different corners of the globe join forces to dedicate their skills and lives to restoring sight to some of the world’s most isolated, impoverished people through the Himalayan region.

Second Suns focuses on the perseverance and unconditional dedication of Sanduk Ruit and Geoff Tabin on helping those who suffer from preventable blindness. They operate on makeshift tables in rem
Dean Ripple
Mar 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Second Suns is a very personal book in two ways--the book intensely focuses on doctors Ruit and Tabin (as the title promises), and much of the book is an account of the author's experiences accompanying these doctors. The end product is idiosyncratic but compelling. The book is not a balanced view of the many organizations striving to end preventable blindness, but a deep look into the psyches and experiences of just a few. The book is full of rich, detailed descriptions of the places, people, a ...more
Feb 06, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, reviewed
The story presented in Second Suns is extraordinary and inspiring. Doctors Ruit and Tabin, profiled in the book, have restored sight to thousands of cataract patients in Nepal and around the world. Relin's account of their work and how they developed and exported their cost-effective surgical technique is fascinating. But... not quite 400+ pages fascinating. At least not to me. I would have enjoyed this book more if a greater percentage of those pages had been used to profile the patients. What ...more
Monica Dimick
Jul 07, 2013 rated it liked it
Message gets 5 stars, delivery 2. What these physicians are doing is amazing, but the problem with the book is not with their mission and philanthropy but with the EXCESSIVE detail of the physicians' personal lives. It took over 100 pages to get to the actual gist of how these physicians came together and what they wanted to do, and even then it was only spattered within long passages and chapters more about Tabin's climbing stories and Nepal's civil and political issues. I am sad that many will ...more
Jeffrey Rasley
Sep 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I love this book primarily because it tells the intertwining stories of Drs. Sanduk Ruit and Geoff Tabin, the two greatly talented, saintly, yet difficult men who created the Himalayan Cataract Project. Secondarily, I love it because Dr. Geoff is the brother of my college friend, Cliff Tabin, who makes several appearances in the book. And, because I am familiar with the Himalayan region which is the primary setting of the book. So, I was predisposed to like Second Suns for those personal reasons ...more
Lisa Brown
Aug 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The story of Sanduk Ruit, a Nepalese, and Geoffrey Tabin, an American, two very different and amazing men who worked together to help cure the world of preventable blindness. Both are gifted ophthalmologists, and as Relin takes you through their back stories, you see how these two men were molded and perfect to do what they do, and the miracles that got them to this point. They have dedicated their lives to restoring sight to some of the world’s most isolated, destitute people through the Himala ...more
Jul 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
I am awestruck by the incredible passion these two doctors - a world apart- have for treating the cataracts of the poor and less fortunate. It truly boggles my mind of all the good they have done and continue to do with their selfless service to mankind. I only wish I had a tenth of their passion, skill and energy.
May their efforts continue to bring sight back to as many people as possible.

I was saddened to hear the author, David Oliver Relin, gave up on life and put himself in front of a train.
An amazing story of two incredible men and their seemingly implausible quest. It's a story that needs to be told. And heard. It ought to be required reading for every medical professional. As good as, or even better than Tracy Kidder's Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World because this chronicles the lives of two such men. ...more
Nirmal Ghimire
Oct 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
...Gods do exist and Sanduk Ruit is one of them...
Mar 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
I listened to this book and found that the work these two doctors performed to help the blind in so many countries, amazing and inspiring.
Nelly Heiman
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is such an inspirational true story about selfless doctors curing blindness across Asia and Africa. Especially great if you love history too.
Dec 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
In a way, Second Suns can be a bit of a downer because it will leave you feeling pretty piss-poor about your own personal contribution to world betterment after you read about what its two heroes, Dr. Sanduk Ruit and Dr. Geoffrey Tabin, have been doing for the last 20 years. And I don't say heroes just in the sense that they are the protagonists of the book-- these guys are quite literal heroes in surgical scrubs who have restored vision and vitality to thousands (possibly hundreds of thousands ...more
Jul 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Story Description:

Random House|June 18, 2013|Hardcover|ISBN: 978-1-4000-6925-5

From the co-author of ‘Three Cups of Tea’ comes the inspiring story of two very different doctors – one from the United States, the other from Nepal – united in a common mission: to rid the world of preventable blindness.

In this transporting book, David Oliver Relin shines a light on the work of Geoffrey Tabin and Sanduk Ruit gifted ophthalmologists who have dedicated their lives to restoring sight to some of the worl
Jun 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
From the co-author of the Inspiring book Three Cups of Tea, David Relin shows us in his new book Second Suns that blindness can be prevented cheaply and easily.

This story is one begging to be told and should open up the eyes of the world about what the poorest of this world go through every day.
These two doctors one a Nepalese doctor named Sanduk Ruit who grew up in the midst of what he is now working to prevent, and Geoff Tabin a mountain climber in his spare time,.
These doctors take us into th
May 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
I read this as part of my libraries pre-published review program. I would have given this book five stars but at times I thought the book was a little drawn out and repetitive. With that said, this is a well written book and so inspirational. Drs. Tabin and Ruit come from two totally different backgrounds, US and Nepal, yet connect and are driven to rid the world of preventible blindness. They work under extreme conditions, in the poorest countries high in the Himalayan Mountains. Dr. Ruit has d ...more
Graham Mcmillan
Jun 25, 2013 rated it liked it
I started this book expecting it to be a touching and inspiring story of two men's struggle towards a monumental goal - eradicating preventable blindness in the third world. And it was. The story itself is awesome - evidence that sincere and talented people can make an enormous difference to the world - in this case saving thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of third world people from a miserable life of blindness due to untreated cataracts. And I would encourage readers to learn about and ...more
Katrinadohn Dohn
Jul 05, 2013 rated it liked it
The story told in this book is extraordinary and highly inspiring. What these two doctors have done to change the lives of people in the Himalayas, and other parts of the world, is truly awe-inspring. Their work is a powerful model of how, not only having a dream and a skill can change lives, but how the exponential power of training others multiplies the impact of one's work. What kept the book from getting a higher rating was certainly not the story it told. It was the writing itself, as the s ...more
Mar 14, 2013 rated it really liked it

Second Suns by David Relin is an exceptionally inspirational book and one I would not hesitate to all readers and discussion groups, especially to those who do not typically read memoirs, it truly is that good of a book. Relin not only takes the reader deep into Nepal and the traditions and peoples of Nepal, but also introduces the reader to two exceptional Opthalmogists, Dr. Geoffrey Tabin and Dr. Sanduk Ruit, whose works on the Himalayan Cataract Project is nothing short of inspirational. I am
Jul 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
this book was so inspiring the sacrifices made by these two incredible doctors to restore sight of poor people , simply wonderful. Well written, sadly author is deceased., such a tragedy.

it is a special tale for me as my mom was blind as a young girl, and went on to have us 6 kids doing everything for us, cooking, cleaning, gardening large gardens on the farm, she never complained in her 93 years, singing take me out to the ball game the day she passed. so blindness is something I
know, and.
Dave Hoff
Oct 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommended by another avid reader, my first glance said, not for me. I would skim it. Cataract operations & climbing Mts. A few pages in & I was hooked. A Nepalese and a Mountaineer Ophthalmologists performing 1,000s of cataract removals under the most primitive conditions, both men gifted in using advanced instruments and in teaching others how. The author, living and working with the eye Drs. did a great job of writing an outstanding book.
Mar 15, 2013 marked it as to-read
I am thrilled to be offered an ARC of Second Suns, especially since I worked in the field of ophthalmology for 18 years. Thanks, Random House!
Feb 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A triumph! The motivation that these doctors have to do good works reinforces my notion that people who strive to make positive change still exist. This story masterfully crosses borders and challenges to tell a tale of goals and humble accomplishment and the drive to use the skills you were given to enrich the global community! It inspires me to answer a call to service and find places that I may do good works. When faced with the seemingly insurmountable task of helping much of the world's tre ...more
What a great book for the 1st book of 2021! I admire both of these doctors who have restored sight to so many people all around the world through their Himalayan Cataract Project. The settings are in Nepal and Bhutan and Rwanda as well as Salt Lake City. I didn’t know until I had finished it that the author also wrote Three Cups of Tea which has been widely discredited. In fact, this book was published posthumously because the author committed suicide after all the controversy surrounding Three ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Belinda the Unbeatable
  • Hot Rod Hamster: Monster Truck Mania!
  • Happy Birthday Hamster
  • Rooster Wore Skinny Jeans
  • The Mystery of the Lion's Tail (Greetings from Somewhere #5)
  • White Out (Badlands Thriller, #1)
  • Pugtato Finds a Thing
  • Germany: A Literary Anthology: Beyond the Enchanted Forest (Interlink Cultural Guides)
  • The Littlest Dinosaur
  • Trace Elements (Commissario Guido Brunetti #29)
  • The Son and Heir: A Memoir
  • Hour of the Assassin
  • Fifty Words for Rain
  • How to Spell Chanukah: and other holiday dilemmas
  • A Conspiracy of Bones (Temperance Brennan, #19)
  • Sigh, Gone: A Misfit's Memoir of Great Books, Punk Rock, and the Fight to Fit In
  • The Class of 1846: From West Point to Appomattox: Stonewall Jackson, George McClellan, and Their Brothers
See similar books…
See top shelves…

Related Articles

Juneteenth, observed on June 19th each year, is an American holiday commemorating the day in 1865 when the last enslaved people in Galveston,...
137 likes · 19 comments