A colorful, thorough cookbook that introduces a variety of recipes for those suffering from arthritis.

Beating Arthritis: Alternative Cooking

This alternative cookbook offers a variety of foods that aid in the alleviation of arthritis in the form of creative recipes that veer away from the conventional.

Baker Dan, author and chef, begins this cookbook with a detailed explanation of different nutrients and the ways in which they help control and alleviate pain from arthritis. Diagnosed with Palindromic Rheumatoid Arthritis, the author learned how to engage in alternative cooking, a process in which fewer ingredients are used to prepare meals that reduce inflammation and also satisfy the taste buds. The author posits a central theory: The effects of a food are primary, and gratification from eating is secondary. Eliminating foods that exacerbate inflammation is central to the recipes in this book, and each reader has the freedom to determine which foods to eliminate, whether that’s wheat-based ingredients, meats or certain spices. Organized into categories such as soups, salads, vegetarian dishes, quiches, fish and chicken, the author presents many tasty recipes that depart from traditional fare. For example, the popcorn salad combines popcorn and apples, while the squash soup recipe contains wild sardines. Perhaps the most compelling area of the cookbook is the vegetarian section, which contains exciting combinations, from polenta topped with avocado to seared yams and zucchini and carrots mixed with wild rice. Periodically accompanied by photos, the recipes are colorful and full of healthy nutrients while they’re also mostly light on calories and fats. Baker Dan cites reputable research in the beginning of the cookbook to support the idea that proper nutrition can replace anti-inflammatory medications that can come with a host of side effects such as memory loss, digestive trouble and insomnia. The author also lays out a three-step plan for each individual reader to discover his or her own food intolerances, which includes eliminating foods and then slowly reintroducing them to gauge physiological changes or reactions. Readers who wonder whether they suffer from gluten intolerance or negative reactions to certain foods may enjoy this particularly simple process.

A colorful, thorough cookbook that introduces a variety of recipes for those suffering from arthritis.

Pub Date: Nov. 21, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-9894380-1-8

Page Count: 130

Publisher: Baker Dan LLC

Review Posted Online: April 9, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2014

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


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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An absorbing, wide-ranging story of humans’ relationship with the water.


A study of swimming as sport, survival method, basis for community, and route to physical and mental well-being.

For Bay Area writer Tsui (American Chinatown: A People's History of Five Neighborhoods, 2009), swimming is in her blood. As she recounts, her parents met in a Hong Kong swimming pool, and she often visited the beach as a child and competed on a swim team in high school. Midway through the engaging narrative, the author explains how she rejoined the team at age 40, just as her 6-year-old was signing up for the first time. Chronicling her interviews with scientists and swimmers alike, Tsui notes the many health benefits of swimming, some of which are mental. Swimmers often achieve the “flow” state and get their best ideas while in the water. Her travels took her from the California coast, where she dove for abalone and swam from Alcatraz back to San Francisco, to Tokyo, where she heard about the “samurai swimming” martial arts tradition. In Iceland, she met Guðlaugur Friðþórsson, a local celebrity who, in 1984, survived six hours in a winter sea after his fishing vessel capsized, earning him the nickname “the human seal.” Although humans are generally adapted to life on land, the author discovered that some have extra advantages in the water. The Bajau people of Indonesia, for instance, can do 10-minute free dives while hunting because their spleens are 50% larger than average. For most, though, it’s simply a matter of practice. Tsui discussed swimming with Dara Torres, who became the oldest Olympic swimmer at age 41, and swam with Kim Chambers, one of the few people to complete the daunting Oceans Seven marathon swim challenge. Drawing on personal experience, history, biology, and social science, the author conveys the appeal of “an unflinching giving-over to an element” and makes a convincing case for broader access to swimming education (372,000 people still drown annually).

An absorbing, wide-ranging story of humans’ relationship with the water.

Pub Date: April 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-61620-786-1

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Algonquin

Review Posted Online: Jan. 5, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

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