While not groundbreaking, this simple, short book may find an audience with readers looking for hope and a gentle push in a...

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STOP THINKING ABOUT IT!

WINNING THE EMOTIONAL BATTLE SURROUNDING FOOD & WEIGHT LOSS

A wife and mother of six, Williams shares her struggles with food and dieting, and delivers her perspective on the sensitive topic of weight loss.

After struggling with her body image for much of her life, Williams felt compelled to share her deceptively simple secret for losing weight and keeping it off: just stop thinking about food. To be more specific, Williams insists readers can “stop dieting, stop worrying, and start living” by distracting their hungry minds with nonfood related thoughts. “Don’t think about food unless you are planning dinner, buying groceries, preparing a meal, or eating,” she advises. In order to “stop thinking about it,” Williams recommends specific distractions—ranging from clever to ridiculous—to help you step away from tempting foods like burgers and fries. Some suggestions are sane, even productive: call a friend or finish your chores to forgo ice cream. Others are bizarre, although someone very well could chop wood or “swing on a swing” to ignore a craving. Are Williams’ concepts revolutionary? Not at all, which she readily admits. If anything, readers will find the chapter on paying attention to physical cues obvious, and the overview of how to develop healthy habits is shallow. But, even though Williams’ techniques are nothing new, her unfailingly supportive tone complements the easy-to-follow program, while charming illustrations and relatable anecdotes freshen up the decidedly gloomy prospect of self-improvement. In the end, readers will feel like they’ve just had a pleasant chat with an honest, knowledgeable friend, instead of a lecture by yet another self-described diet expert.

While not groundbreaking, this simple, short book may find an audience with readers looking for hope and a gentle push in a healthy direction.

Pub Date: March 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-606-45073-4

Page Count: 98

Publisher: BookWise Publishing

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2012

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Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and...

THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS

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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Authoritative and, most helpfully, accessible.

HEALING OUR VILLAGE

A SELF-CARE GUIDE TO DIABETES CONTROL

Self-help guide for diabetes sufferers, mostly in question-and-answer format, with an emphasis on helping racial and ethnic minority diabetics.

Coleman is a pharmacist with a doctorate in her specialty, Gavin a Ph.D. and M.D. Aside from acknowledgments and a foreword signed by Gavin alone, their voices and expertise are indistinguishable, offering lucid, simple solutions for diabetes patients. Gavin relates watching his great-grandmother endure debilitating pain as a result of diabetes while he visited her as a youngster. He remembers hearing adults mention that sugar killed her, and he wondered how something that tasted sweet could cause so much harm. As an adult, he realized that his great-grandmother's affliction could be controlled through treatment. The authors focus on Type 2 diabetes, the most common form in minority populations. An estimated 18.2 million Americans are diabetic, with perhaps 5 million unaware of their situation. About 11 percent of U.S. diabetics are African-American, and about 8 percent are Latino. The question-and-answer format begins with an overview section about diabetes, with an emphasis on risk factors. Section Two covers management of the disease, including nutrition, exercise, blood-testing, oral medications and insulin use. In addition, the authors continually recommend smoking cessation, as well as instructing patients on the readiness of self-treatment. Section Three explains the complications—high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart disease—that could arise if the condition remains untreated or treated ineffectively. The questions in all of the sections are worded simply, and the answers are usually free of medical jargon. Though the sudden shifts in tone and voice are occasionally jarring, the writing remains clear enough to distill the facts. The real downside here, though: patronizing, laughable illustrations that degrade the overall product.

Authoritative and, most helpfully, accessible.

Pub Date: Jan. 31, 2004

ISBN: 0-9746948-0-0

Page Count: -

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 27, 2010

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