Worth a look for those who enjoy self-help books focused on healthy lifestyles.

WOMEN, FOOD, AND DESIRE

EMBRACE YOUR CRAVINGS, MAKE PEACE WITH FOOD, RECLAIM YOUR BODY

Holistic health counselor and co-star of the award-winning documentary Super Size Me, Jamieson (Vegan Cooking for Dummies, 2010, etc.) tackles the age-old question of what women really want.

The author explains food cravings with the intent of helping women understand and overcome their private relationships with food. “It’s human nature, after all,” she writes, “to yearn, to long, to want, to desire.” Jamieson deconstructs how a habit such as stashing a “secret” chocolate croissant in an office desk drawer often becomes part of an unconscious daily routine. She explores the brain/body connection, identifying helpful techniques such as yoga, Pilates, conscious breathing and visualization that can help women better relate to their bodies and help calm their minds. The author also advocates for the practice of detoxing as a route to spiritual enlightenment, as well as a means for healing. “All of this may sound a little bit woo-woo and corny,” she writes, “but it’s not.” Jamieson dips into the science of neurogastroenterology, describing how “trusting your gut” by maintaining a healthy microbiome is a crucial aspect of overall health, and she discusses the importance of healthy sleep patterns and the joys of napping. Jamieson’s additional health prescriptions include less time spent sitting, avoiding artificial light when possible and getting more sunshine. The author advises a change of mindset; rather than thinking that you have to exercise, let loose and play like when you were a child. Jamieson weaves her personal reflections together with case studies of clients working on such issues as eliminating unhealthy foods from their diets, off-kilter family relationships, body alienation and sexual pleasure. The author includes links to her website offering helpful tips, interviews and quizzes on a variety of topics, including meditation, detox strategies and recipes for healthful smoothies.

Worth a look for those who enjoy self-help books focused on healthy lifestyles.

Pub Date: Jan. 6, 2015

ISBN: 978-1476765044

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2014

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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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UNTAMED

More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and...

THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS

A dense, absorbing investigation into the medical community's exploitation of a dying woman and her family's struggle to salvage truth and dignity decades later.

In a well-paced, vibrant narrative, Popular Science contributor and Culture Dish blogger Skloot (Creative Writing/Univ. of Memphis) demonstrates that for every human cell put under a microscope, a complex life story is inexorably attached, to which doctors, researchers and laboratories have often been woefully insensitive and unaccountable. In 1951, Henrietta Lacks, an African-American mother of five, was diagnosed with what proved to be a fatal form of cervical cancer. At Johns Hopkins, the doctors harvested cells from her cervix without her permission and distributed them to labs around the globe, where they were multiplied and used for a diverse array of treatments. Known as HeLa cells, they became one of the world's most ubiquitous sources for medical research of everything from hormones, steroids and vitamins to gene mapping, in vitro fertilization, even the polio vaccine—all without the knowledge, must less consent, of the Lacks family. Skloot spent a decade interviewing every relative of Lacks she could find, excavating difficult memories and long-simmering outrage that had lay dormant since their loved one's sorrowful demise. Equal parts intimate biography and brutal clinical reportage, Skloot's graceful narrative adeptly navigates the wrenching Lack family recollections and the sobering, overarching realities of poverty and pre–civil-rights racism. The author's style is matched by a methodical scientific rigor and manifest expertise in the field.

Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and Petri dish politics.

Pub Date: Feb. 9, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4000-5217-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2010

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