A persuasive, informative, and well-structured guide to deciphering health care advice.

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HEALTH TIPS, MYTHS, AND TRICKS

A PHYSICIAN'S ADVICE

In this manual, a physician delivers facts and research to puncture scams, myths, and trends that have more to do with consumerism than wellness.

Tavel (Hell in the Heavens, 2013) embarks on a journey through some of the most common and widely discussed “cures,” tips, and tricks in the world of health care, weight loss, fitness, and nutrition to help readers distinguish between fact and fiction. Organized by subject matter, the book’s chapters make it easy for audiences to refer to the work as a resource for a variety of topics without having to sit down and read it straight through. Tavel presents three lucid sections: Tips, Myths, and Tricks. The Tips part examines such issues as the benefits of eating breakfast every morning. The Myths portion discusses health regimens that may have little effect on a person’s wellness, including a gluten-free diet. The Tricks section deals with such trends as using professional actors and athletes to endorse controversial drugs like Cymbalta and Crestor and various health products and “systems” (for example, alkaline ionizers for water). One of the most compelling chapters discusses detoxifiers—the common practice of using juice systems, liquid diets, and special products that promise to flush the body of “poisons.” Tavel explains the body’s natural processes of toxin flushing, encouraging readers not to embrace plans endorsed by “experts” and doctors that are little more than crash diets. Overall, the book is extremely successful in busting myths that heavily drain readers’ wallets and spark false hopes concerning weight loss and disease prevention. The volume directly takes issue with alternative medicines and chiropractic remedies that pit patients against physicians. Tavel emphasizes that many consumers fall victim to alternative medicines, shunning traditional science, because of the placebo effect and false correlations between these treatments and the natural subsiding of ailments. The author makes a strong case for mainstream medicine in a conversational and methodical way.

A persuasive, informative, and well-structured guide to deciphering health care advice.  

Pub Date: July 21, 2017

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 241

Publisher: Brighton Publishing LLC

Review Posted Online: Nov. 3, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2017

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Not an easy read but an essential one.

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HOW TO BE AN ANTIRACIST

Title notwithstanding, this latest from the National Book Award–winning author is no guidebook to getting woke.

In fact, the word “woke” appears nowhere within its pages. Rather, it is a combination memoir and extension of Atlantic columnist Kendi’s towering Stamped From the Beginning (2016) that leads readers through a taxonomy of racist thought to anti-racist action. Never wavering from the thesis introduced in his previous book, that “racism is a powerful collection of racist policies that lead to racial inequity and are substantiated by racist ideas,” the author posits a seemingly simple binary: “Antiracism is a powerful collection of antiracist policies that lead to racial equity and are substantiated by antiracist ideas.” The author, founding director of American University’s Antiracist Research and Policy Center, chronicles how he grew from a childhood steeped in black liberation Christianity to his doctoral studies, identifying and dispelling the layers of racist thought under which he had operated. “Internalized racism,” he writes, “is the real Black on Black Crime.” Kendi methodically examines racism through numerous lenses: power, biology, ethnicity, body, culture, and so forth, all the way to the intersectional constructs of gender racism and queer racism (the only section of the book that feels rushed). Each chapter examines one facet of racism, the authorial camera alternately zooming in on an episode from Kendi’s life that exemplifies it—e.g., as a teen, he wore light-colored contact lenses, wanting “to be Black but…not…to look Black”—and then panning to the history that informs it (the antebellum hierarchy that valued light skin over dark). The author then reframes those received ideas with inexorable logic: “Either racist policy or Black inferiority explains why White people are wealthier, healthier, and more powerful than Black people today.” If Kendi is justifiably hard on America, he’s just as hard on himself. When he began college, “anti-Black racist ideas covered my freshman eyes like my orange contacts.” This unsparing honesty helps readers, both white and people of color, navigate this difficult intellectual territory.

Not an easy read but an essential one.

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-50928-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: One World/Random House

Review Posted Online: April 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2019

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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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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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