Health & Medicine Book Reviews

A Spirit of Charity by Mike King
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 31, 2016

"A searing and sobering indictment of the public health care system that highlights the inequality of treatment."
In the spirit of investigative journalism, this assessment of public hospitals paints a grim picture of health care for the poor in America. Read full book review >
SOBER STICK FIGURE by Amber Tozer
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 1, 2016

"The urgency and desperation of addiction told through crisp, biting sarcasm and self-deprecating humor."
A stand-up comedian reclaims her life after three decades of alcohol abuse. 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 >
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 >

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 >
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 >
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 >
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 >
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 >
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 >
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 >
Kirkus Interview
Fernanda Santos
author of THE FIRE LINE
May 17, 2016

When a bolt of lightning ignited a hilltop in the sleepy town of Yarnell, Arizona, in June 2013, setting off a blaze that would grow into one of the deadliest fires in American history, the 20 men who made up the Granite Mountain Hotshots sprang into action. New York Times writer Fernanda Santos’ debut book The Fire Line is the story of the fire and the Hotshots’ attempts to extinguish it. An elite crew trained to combat the most challenging wildfires, the Hotshots were a ragtag family, crisscrossing the American West and wherever else the fires took them. There's Eric Marsh, their devoted and demanding superintendent who turned his own personal demons into lessons he used to mold, train and guide his crew; Jesse Steed, their captain, a former Marine, a beast on the fire line and a family man who wasn’t afraid to say “I love you” to the firemen he led; Andrew Ashcraft, a team leader still in his 20s who struggled to balance his love for his beautiful wife and four children and his passion for fighting wildfires. We see this band of brothers at work, at play and at home, until a fire that burned in their own backyards leads to a national tragedy. View video >