Health & Medicine Book Reviews

CALLING THE SHOTS by Jennifer A. Reich
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: June 21, 2016

"Recent outbreaks of preventable diseases such as measles and whooping cough are focusing attention on this issue, making Reich's able contribution especially pertinent."
Despite warnings from the medical community and the outbreak of preventable diseases, some parents refuse to vaccinate their children. Here, a sociologist puts this group into a cultural context to examine their thinking. Read full book review >
WILL & I by Clay Byars
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 21, 2016

"A stark, honest book that reads like a writer's apprenticeship amid harrowing circumstances."
A tragic accident gives birth to a writer. Read full book review >

TRISTIMANIA by Jay Griffiths
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 14, 2016

"Fortunately for everyone who has been affected by bipolar disorder, Griffiths—and her notebooks—survived the journey."
A visceral account of the turmoil experienced within a manic-depressive breakdown. Read full book review >
I'M JUST A PERSON by Tig Notaro
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 14, 2016

"Forthright and private moments are revealed as a stand-up comedian uses her gift of creating laughter to overcome personal and physical disasters."
A stand-up comic and writer's year from hell. Read full book review >
FALLING by Elisha Cooper
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 14, 2016

"A profoundly moving memoir."
The children's book author shows masterful control in this memoir of a life careening beyond his control. Read full book review >

ORDINARILY WELL by Peter D. Kramer
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: June 7, 2016

"Written with the compassion, verve, and style that are the author's trademark, this book offers an invaluable overview on the state of treatment and the options available."
The 1993 publication of Kramer's Listening to Prozac set off a controversy about the use of mind-altering drugs in the treatment of mental illness that has still to be resolved, a situation the author finds deplorable. Read full book review >
CHANCERS by Susan Stellin
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 7, 2016

"An emotionally complex and intensely personal binary memoir of addiction and sustainable love."
The unconventional love story between an emerging author and the troubled man she discovers to be a hard-core drug addict. Read full book review >
THE HOSPITAL ALWAYS WINS by Issa Ibrahim
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 1, 2016

"This occasionally overwhelming torrent of words reveals both an irrepressible individual with a talent for survival and a mental health system in dire need of repair."
A heady brew of sex, drugs, painting, and music fills this memoir by a man who spent nearly two decades in a mental hospital. Read full book review >
SOBER STICK FIGURE by Amber Tozer
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 1, 2016

"The urgency and desperation of addiction told through crisp, biting sarcasm and self-deprecating humor."
A stand-up comedian reclaims her life after three decades of alcohol abuse. Read full book review >
A Spirit of Charity by Mike King
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 31, 2016

"A searing and sobering indictment of the public health care system that highlights the inequality of treatment."
In the spirit of investigative journalism, this assessment of public hospitals paints a grim picture of health care for the poor in America. Read full book review >
THE NEXT PANDEMIC by Ali S. Khan
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 24, 2016

"The details are sometimes disturbing, but Khan writes with verve, clarity, and a touch of humor."
Autobiography of a self-described disease detective whose adventures in public health dramatize the need to modify our approach to emerging infections and possible pandemics. Read full book review >
READING AND WRITING CANCER by Susan Gubar
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: May 17, 2016

"Bright, upbeat, and empathetic, Gubar argues convincingly that words have the power to heal."
For cancer sufferers, words can lift the spirit. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Swan Huntley
June 27, 2016

In Swan Huntley’s debut novel We Could Be Beautiful, Catherine West has spent her entire life surrounded by beautiful things. She owns an immaculate Manhattan apartment, she collects fine art, she buys exquisite handbags and clothing, and she constantly redecorates her home. And yet, despite all this, she still feels empty. One night, at an art opening, Catherine meets William Stockton, a handsome man who shares her impeccable taste and love of beauty. He is educated, elegant, and even has a personal connection—his parents and Catherine's parents were friends years ago. But as he and Catherine grow closer, she begins to encounter strange signs, and her mother, Elizabeth (now suffering from Alzheimer’s), seems to have only bad memories of William as a boy. In Elizabeth’s old diary she finds an unnerving letter from a former nanny that cryptically reads: “We cannot trust anyone . . . “ Is William lying about his past? “Huntley’s debut stands out not for its thrills but rather for her hawkish eye for social detail and razor-sharp wit,” our reviewer writes. “An intoxicating escape; as smart as it is fun.” View video >