Health & Medicine Book Reviews

BLACK MAN IN A WHITE COAT by Damon Tweedy
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 8, 2015

"In this unsparingly honest chronicle, Tweedy cohesively illuminates the experiences of black doctors and black patients and reiterates the need for improved understanding of racial differences within global medical communities."
An arresting memoir that personalizes the enduring racial divide in contemporary American medicine. Read full book review >
THE DIET MYTH by Tim Spector
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Sept. 8, 2015

"A concise, entertaining book that demystifies the benefits of balanced microbes through healthier eating."
Spector (Genetic Epidemiology/King's Coll. London; Identically Different: Why We Can Change Our Genes, 2013) asserts that essential digestive microbes are major determinants of body composition. Read full book review >

BRAIN STORMS by Jon Palfreman
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Sept. 15, 2015

"In this illuminating book, Palfreman reminds patients that exercise and a positive attitude help, and he urges them to participate in clinical trials and take to task drug companies reluctant to initiate huge trials for what they dismiss as a non-life-threatening disease. Just ask Michael J. Fox."
Prospects for better treatments for Parkinson's disease are the hope that lies at the end of this well-researched history and overview of the current state of research. Read full book review >
THE SHIFT by Theresa Brown
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 22, 2015

"An empathetic and absorbing narrative as riveting as a TV drama."
A registered nurse recounts a typical shift. Read full book review >
LAST NIGHT IN THE OR by Bud Shaw
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 29, 2015

"A bracing, unusual personal narrative that should appeal to aspiring physicians as well as to those considering the 'big questions' around high-risk surgery."
A memoir of a high-achieving surgeon. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 29, 2015

"A heartwarming account of risk-taking, iconoclastic doctors who achieved extraordinary cardiovascular breakthroughs and of the patients who trusted them."
A scientific memoir/biography of the significant achievements of heart doctors through the years. Read full book review >
SODA POLITICS by Marion Nestle
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Oct. 2, 2015

"A hard-hitting, exceedingly well-documented call for action."
Nestle (Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health/New York Univ.; Why Calories Count: From Science to Politics, 2012, etc.) calls for a campaign to regulate and tax the multibillion-dollar soda industry modeled on the successful anti-smoking campaign.Read full book review >
THE REPROACH OF HUNGER by David Rieff
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Oct. 6, 2015

"A basically pessimistic assessment certain to be disputed by those working to solve the problem."
A densely written critical analysis of the current approach to ending world hunger, calling into question the optimism of such technocrat philanthropists as Bill Gates. Read full book review >
DRINKING IN AMERICA by Susan Cheever
FOOD & COOKING
Released: Oct. 13, 2015

"An intelligently argued study of our country's 'passionate connection to drinking.'"
A distinguished biographer and cultural historian offers a fascinating look at the place and function of alcohol throughout American history. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Oct. 13, 2015

"An inspiring story in which the author demonstrates unequivocally that public health policy can not only save lives; it can change the way we view the landscape of food."
A New York City-based saga showing how "saving lives in America today means fighting to protect people from the pervasive marketing of cigarettes, junk food, and other unhealthy products." Read full book review >
ADVENTURES IN HUMAN BEING by Gavin Francis
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Oct. 13, 2015

"Henry Marsh's Do No Harm remains this year's medical memoir to beat, but Francis acquits himself well."
Doctors with literary ambitions write memoirs, tell stories about patients, or educate us. Scottish physician Francis (Empire Antarctica: Ice, Silence & Emperor Penguins, 2013, etc.) successfully combines all three.Read full book review >
THE LAWS OF MEDICINE by Siddhartha Mukherjee
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Oct. 13, 2015

"A splendid exploration of how medicine might be transformed."
Oncologist and Pulitzer Prize winner Mukherjee (Medicine/Columbia Univ.; The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, 2010) skillfully dives into the hidden side of medicine in this elaboration of the author's 18-minute TED talk.Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Vanessa Diffenbaugh
September 1, 2015

Vanessa Diffenbaugh is the New York Timesbestselling author of The Language of Flowers; her new novel, We Never Asked for Wings, is about young love, hard choices, and hope against all odds. For 14 years, Letty Espinosa has worked three jobs around San Francisco to make ends meet while her mother raised her children—Alex, now 15, and Luna, six—in their tiny apartment on a forgotten spit of wetlands near the bay. But now Letty’s parents are returning to Mexico, and Letty must step up and become a mother for the first time in her life. “Diffenbaugh’s latest confirms her gift for creating shrewd, sympathetic charmers,” our reviewer writes. View video >