The easy-to-follow charts and uplifting tone will make this book an invaluable resource for many readers struggling with the...



Suiter’s guide introduces readers to the author’s flexible, effective plan for long-term, healthy weight loss.

Early in his debut work, Suiter cites some hard truths about obesity and dieting: Approximately two-thirds of adult Americans are overweight; roughly 35 percent are obese; and about 80 percent of dieters regain their lost weight. The most effective way to lose weight and keep it off, Suiter argues, doesn’t involve drastic, immediate sea changes. It involves small, consistent changes to diet and exercise—changes that become habits, not chores—staying optimistic and forgiving yourself when you misstep. Suiter’s plan is a mix-and-match combination of diet and exercise, allowing readers to move through his seven-level calorie intake plan (based on the National Institute of Health’s recommendations) and five-level exercise plan at their own paces. Unlike many diets, this one allows people to eat what they want (within reason) rather than deny themselves cheeseburgers and chocolate-cake slices. “Again, this program is about a journey and the big picture,” explains Suiter. “It’s not about obsessing over every bite.” Suiter’s warm, welcoming tone wins over the reader (despite repetitiveness in a chapter or two). He openly acknowledges his own weight-loss struggles, writing, “Everyone cheats on diets…I built this aspect into the program because our bodies are not designed for 100 percent perfection.” The book addresses the emotional as well as the biological factors behind weight gain, encouraging readers to think positively about their weight-loss experiences and surround themselves with support, not punishment, while minimizing factors that trigger cravings (like stress and alcohol). He also strives to make his plan inclusive for everyone, regardless of physical abilities: Exercise isn’t mandatory since some people have “very demanding schedules,” while others are not physically able to exercise.

The easy-to-follow charts and uplifting tone will make this book an invaluable resource for many readers struggling with the scale.

Pub Date: Feb. 25, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4942-2860-6

Page Count: 146

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: May 16, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 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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