Health & Medicine Book Reviews

THE JAGUAR MAN by Lara Naughton
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 12, 2016

"A painful, provocative, and poetically cathartic memoir of survival."
A writer and teacher chronicles her terrifying experience with kidnapping and rape and how she survived the ensuing trauma. Read full book review >
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: July 12, 2016

"A book in which the author's fascinating, well-researched ideas regarding holistic health may presage a paradigm shift in medicine."
Fully 90 percent of human cells are microbial. This astonishing fact means that we are not merely human but a superorganism whose "microbiome" plays a major role in health and disease. Read full book review >

CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: July 12, 2016

"A provocative yet grounded look at the U.S. food industry. Though the prospect of finding quality food products may prove increasingly challenging for most consumers, Olmsted provides encouraging tips to help navigate the many obstacles."
An investigation of the American food industry, providing examples of authentic and fraudulent products and how best to differentiate between the two. Read full book review >
UNLATCHED by Jennifer Grayson
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: July 5, 2016

"Persuasive arguments backed by scientific research that clearly demonstrate the benefits of breast-feeding for as long as possible."
A new analysis of the controversy surrounding women breast-feeding their children. Read full book review >
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 >
Kirkus Interview
Nancy Isenberg
author of WHITE TRASH
July 19, 2016

Poor Americans have existed from the time of the earliest British colonial settlement. They were alternately known as “waste people,” “offals,” “rubbish,” “lazy lubbers,” and “crackers.” By the 1850s, the downtrodden included so-called “clay eaters” and “sandhillers,” known for prematurely aged children distinguished by their yellowish skin, ragged clothing, and listless minds. Surveying political rhetoric and policy, popular literature and scientific theories over 400 years, in White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America, Nancy Isenberg upends assumptions about America’s supposedly class-free society––where liberty and hard work were meant to ensure real social mobility. Poor whites were central to the rise of the Republican Party in the early nineteenth century, and the Civil War itself was fought over class issues nearly as much as it was fought over slavery. “A riveting thesis supported by staggering research,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. View video >