Solid advice with motivational oomph to get you up and running.

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THE FIRST 20 MINUTES

THE MYTH-BUSTING SCIENCE THAT SHOWS HOW WE CAN WALK FARTHER, RUN FASTER, AND LIVE LONGER

A fitness columnist for the New York Times dispenses documented exercise science for a healthier life.

In this healthful refresher course, Reynolds acknowledges the ubiquity of redundant and contradictory fitness material available to those seeking advice. In an effort to condense and clarify, she begins with expected wisdom, offering unsurprising declarations on the serious health consequences for those Americans who lead a sedentary lifestyle. These consequences are preventable, however, and Reynolds presents some surprising ways to change things up. She’s at her strongest (and most intriguing) in chapters debunking and devaluing some much-touted rituals like massage therapy, extended workouts, warm-up routines, carb-loading, water intake, fat burning, weight loss and nutritional supplements. Imparting advice supported by physicians, academics, group control studies and scientific research, Reynolds gives the type of practical information can be useful for both seasoned gym-goers and those just beginning to equate exercise with disease prevention and longevity. The author’s confident narrative demeanor is a good fit for the delivery of her material as it breathes new life into the well-worn fundamentals of core fitness training, injury prevention, wholesome dieting and how exercise can promote graceful aging. She concludes each chapter with condensed, bottom-line specifics that will prove immensely helpful to readers short on time and attention. Whether directed at a marathoner or a once-a-week sprinter, Reynolds’ important message rings true: “The body wants to move,” she writes. “Go with it.”

Solid advice with motivational oomph to get you up and running.

Pub Date: April 26, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-59463-093-4

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Hudson Street/Penguin

Review Posted Online: Feb. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2012

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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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Authoritative and, most helpfully, accessible.

HEALING OUR VILLAGE

A SELF-CARE GUIDE TO DIABETES CONTROL

Self-help guide for diabetes sufferers, mostly in question-and-answer format, with an emphasis on helping racial and ethnic minority diabetics.

Coleman is a pharmacist with a doctorate in her specialty, Gavin a Ph.D. and M.D. Aside from acknowledgments and a foreword signed by Gavin alone, their voices and expertise are indistinguishable, offering lucid, simple solutions for diabetes patients. Gavin relates watching his great-grandmother endure debilitating pain as a result of diabetes while he visited her as a youngster. He remembers hearing adults mention that sugar killed her, and he wondered how something that tasted sweet could cause so much harm. As an adult, he realized that his great-grandmother's affliction could be controlled through treatment. The authors focus on Type 2 diabetes, the most common form in minority populations. An estimated 18.2 million Americans are diabetic, with perhaps 5 million unaware of their situation. About 11 percent of U.S. diabetics are African-American, and about 8 percent are Latino. The question-and-answer format begins with an overview section about diabetes, with an emphasis on risk factors. Section Two covers management of the disease, including nutrition, exercise, blood-testing, oral medications and insulin use. In addition, the authors continually recommend smoking cessation, as well as instructing patients on the readiness of self-treatment. Section Three explains the complications—high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart disease—that could arise if the condition remains untreated or treated ineffectively. The questions in all of the sections are worded simply, and the answers are usually free of medical jargon. Though the sudden shifts in tone and voice are occasionally jarring, the writing remains clear enough to distill the facts. The real downside here, though: patronizing, laughable illustrations that degrade the overall product.

Authoritative and, most helpfully, accessible.

Pub Date: Jan. 31, 2004

ISBN: 0-9746948-0-0

Page Count: -

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 27, 2010

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