Genetics are the keys to understanding many illnesses. Many of those born before the early '70s may not have had more than the basic Mendelian understanding of genes. But in 2010, those who want to keep up with medical advances and literature are going to have to dig in and learn more than the basics about genetics. Sitting down with a Genetics 101 text would be the cumbersome (and dry) way to catch up with science; but reading a narrative by the man who directed the Genome Project and seeing genetics through his eyes will both entertain and educate.
If that isn't enough to convince you to check out Francis Collins' newest release, The Language of Life: DNA and the Revolution in Personalised Medicine, then perhaps a review by a more eloquent writer will do the trick. Check out Peter Forbes' review of the book in the Guardian.co.uk's books section.