A valuable reference tool that will likely be most appreciated by aging baby boomers.

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OPTIMAL AGING

A GUIDE TO YOUR FIRST 100 YEARS

A comprehensive guide to the complex world of modern medicines and nutritional supplements.

In his second book on nutrition and healthy lifestyles, Winter (Pharmacology and Toxicology/Univ. of Buffalo; True Nutrition True Fitness, 1991) takes sharp aim at big pharma and the dietary supplement industry. The elderly are overmedicated, he argues, despite well-documented side effects that can be lethal to already fragile patients. Additionally, he says, too many seniors buy into fabricated promises of “natural” supplements, which are only minimally regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. With meticulous detail, the author discusses the benefits and dangers of some of the most popular drugs marketed today—specifically antipsychotic, anti-depression and anti-anxiety medications—before moving on to analyze a multitude of supplements, including many familiar vitamins. He debunks claims that these supplements can prevent cancer, slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, increase bone density, or generally get one through old age with a spring in one’s step. So what should seniors do? Mostly, Winter says, it comes down to balance and moderation: be informed, and be skeptical. If you have an elderly relative, know what drugs they’re taking and understand their risks. Obtain your nutritional requirements from your diet, he says, not from a bottle of vitamins, and maintain a regular schedule of exercise to raise your heart rate and build muscle strength. There’s a wealth of information in these pages and also many cautions; after all, this is a field in which recommendations regarding treatment or nutritional advice can change with the release of a new research paper. Winter references copious studies and incorporates a good dose of technical material, but his final product is surprisingly readable, conversational, and compassionate. He consistently remains an ardent advocate for the individual, whether he’s discussing the need for opiates for pain relief or poignantly calling for the right to die with dignity: “I look forward to the day when physician-assisted dying will be available to all who desire it,” he says.

A valuable reference tool that will likely be most appreciated by aging baby boomers. 

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Dog Ear Publisher

Review Posted Online: Jan. 23, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2015

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An engrossing memoir as well as a lively treatise on what extraordinary grace under extraordinary pressure looks like.

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BECOMING

The former first lady opens up about her early life, her journey to the White House, and the eight history-making years that followed.

It’s not surprising that Obama grew up a rambunctious kid with a stubborn streak and an “I’ll show you” attitude. After all, it takes a special kind of moxie to survive being the first African-American FLOTUS—and not only survive, but thrive. For eight years, we witnessed the adversity the first family had to face, and now we get to read what it was really like growing up in a working-class family on Chicago’s South Side and ending up at the world’s most famous address. As the author amply shows, her can-do attitude was daunted at times by racism, leaving her wondering if she was good enough. Nevertheless, she persisted, graduating from Chicago’s first magnet high school, Princeton, and Harvard Law School, and pursuing careers in law and the nonprofit world. With her characteristic candor and dry wit, she recounts the story of her fateful meeting with her future husband. Once they were officially a couple, her feelings for him turned into a “toppling blast of lust, gratitude, fulfillment, wonder.” But for someone with a “natural resistance to chaos,” being the wife of an ambitious politician was no small feat, and becoming a mother along the way added another layer of complexity. Throw a presidential campaign into the mix, and even the most assured woman could begin to crack under the pressure. Later, adjusting to life in the White House was a formidable challenge for the self-described “control freak”—not to mention the difficulty of sparing their daughters the ugly side of politics and preserving their privacy as much as possible. Through it all, Obama remained determined to serve with grace and help others through initiatives like the White House garden and her campaign to fight childhood obesity. And even though she deems herself “not a political person,” she shares frank thoughts about the 2016 election.

An engrossing memoir as well as a lively treatise on what extraordinary grace under extraordinary pressure looks like.

Pub Date: Nov. 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6313-8

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 30, 2018

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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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  • New York Times Bestseller

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UNTAMED

More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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