Book Review of Let Sleeping Pharmacists Lie by Janelle Soong

This book brings humor to the pharmacy! I unequivocally rate Let Sleeping Pharmacists Lie: tales from pharmacy school and the patients you just don’t forget by Janelle Soong as 5 out of 5 stars. I find this book to be appropriate for all adults and interested young adults.

Yellow book cover for Let Sleeping Pharmacists Lie by Janelle Soong

So many times people think of pharmacists as pill counters behind the counter, perhaps on the take from the insurance company or more likely the pharmaceutical companies. There are some people who have their scripts filled at the local pharmacy never understanding that the pharmacist behind the counter went to medical school just like their doctor. In fact, the pharmacist may save you from complications or even save your life because they are more likely to see potential drug interactions you may face. They see your entire prescription history on screen whereas each doctor you visit relies upon your perfect recall or sees only a portion of your health history. Also, the pharmacist is the one you get to ask all the questions that you thought of once you left the doctor’s office and had a chance to think. This book helps one to more fully appreciate their pharmacist.

The anecdotes of this book repeatedly teach the lessons of how integral the pharmacists are to our healthcare system, while avoiding a lecturing tone. Stories from med school or a story of the woman asking about hair color choices, but really wanting to talk about a possible case of Thrush, are what moves this tale through the education without the lecture. The fact that the anecdotes are told in the first person, allows the non-judgmental tone of the author to come through. At the same time, the author is able to converse with the reader with background information or additional explanation, but it’s in a conversational tone. The same information could be shared a number of ways, but without such a  friendly tone and then most people would not make it through much of the information.

This book is excellent because while it focuses on the pharmacist interacting with the public, it also delves into other aspects. For example, not many think of pharmacists as being the ones who develop new medicines. Comparing drug manufacturing to baking cupcakes is easily understood. The concept that one must have a perfect cupcake every time, according to very specific criteria is clear. This seems obvious to us, but the author takes it a step further in the analogy that there can’t be any lumpy batter or over/under filling the cups. We all want the perfect cupcake, just like we want our medication to be exactly the same Every. Single. Time. 

I would recommend this book to anyone thinking about entering the field of medicine. We so often hear about people wanting to be doctors or nurses, but seldom hear about pharmacy. High school kids and especially college kids would benefit from this book as they are choosing their career. Adults will be amused by the stories and have a greater understanding of just what the their pharmacist does. There is nothing inappropriate in this book to make one limit the audience, and I am happy to recommend it to anyone interested in current medicine.

The author, Ms Janelle Soong has been very responsive to me. Janelle Soong graduated from King’s College London in 2020 with First Class Honours in Pharmacy (MPharm). She is an aspiring pharmacist, puppy parent and cake fiend. Let Sleeping Pharmacists Lie is her first book.

Contact Janelle Soong







  1. A lovely review!
    Pharmacists are truly underrated legends; had my pharmacist not told me to see a doctor a few years ago, I would have put myself at risk 💖

Leave a Reply