A retired nurse provides an explanatory tour of the human body and discusses its intricacy as evidence of God’s design.
The world of scientific explanations and the spiritually miraculous are rarely presented as compatible, but debut author Wilferd does exactly that. She announces her dual aims: to furnish an “easy-to-read and easy-to-understand” account of the body’s various parts and functions, and to show that “humans are the most complex and beautiful of all creation.” She impressively achieves her first goal, surveying the body’s biological structure with encyclopedic thoroughness. The author examines its cellular structure and DNA, the composition and work of blood and the circulatory system, the “musculoskeletal system,” and the body’s sundry parts and roles in keeping people alive. She also supplies a remarkably lucid account of the ways in which the body defends itself from sickness and disease, breathes, digests, and reproduces. Wilferd repeatedly observes that the body is amazingly efficient and gifted with an elaborate architecture, both “evidence of the miraculous Hand of God at work.” For example, a discussion of the nature of blood is followed by one about the “precious blood of Jesus,” and a wonderfully concise account of the lysosome comes immediately before a report about the genetic link between Mary and Jesus. The author permits herself some edifying digressions, too, about the health risks of smoking and circumcision and the danger of shaken baby syndrome. Wilferd’s presentation of the body is not just lucid, but also artfully synoptic—she reduces complex biological issues to their most basic parts without oversimplification or condescension. Her book could serve as a useful short reference guide or an introduction for newcomers to the subject. In addition, even if readers disagree with the author’s theological inferences, she still persuasively demonstrates the marvel that is the human body. But she can become dogmatically strident when it comes to the issue of conception: “No one who understands DNA can deny that life begins at conception.” Of course, lots of geneticists, right or wrong, do precisely that.
An astonishingly accessible biology introduction that should especially appeal to devout Christians.
Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.
Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").
Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)