Rich in research findings, this frank how-it-was-with-me account is perfect for intellectually curious mothers-to-be.

9 MONTHS IN, 9 MONTHS OUT

A SCIENTIST'S TALE OF PREGNANCY AND PARENTHOOD

A scientist with an eye for human interest takes the mystery out of pregnancy and first-time motherhood.

LoBue (co-editor: Handbook of Emotional Development, 2019), a professor of psychology and director of the Child Study Center at Rutgers University who writes “The Baby Scientist” column for Psychology Today, brings her expertise in child development and knack for translating scientific research into everyday language to an account that blends personal experience with solid information. Her story, which is especially pertinent for career women aware of the ticking of their biological clocks, begins with an introduction in which she chronicles her experience as a 33-year-old specialist in child psychology contemplating pregnancy. “As an expert in child development,” she writes, “I am intimately aware of the risks of having your first child when you’re well into your 30s, starting with problems conceiving and ending with the frightening possibility of developmental problems for the child.” What follows is written in real time, and while this would seem like a personal journal, it is much more. Surrounding sonograms of the author’s developing fetus are simple charts, diagrams, and pictures explaining heredity, fetal development, and differences in gender preferences. LoBue shares her discomforts, including weight gain and loss of sleep, and she enlightens readers about the sleep habits and learning abilities of the unborn. In her account of the nine months after birth, she includes photographs of her infant son, and she clearly shows stages of development, perception changes, emotional responses, and the beginnings of language. The author does not hide problems with breastfeeding or concerns over bouts of crying, but on the whole, her message is one of reassurance. The scope broadens over the months to include a discussion of separation anxiety and the pros and cons of child care options for working mothers.

Rich in research findings, this frank how-it-was-with-me account is perfect for intellectually curious mothers-to-be.

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-19-086338-8

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

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A wonderful page-turner written with humility, immediacy, and great style. Nothing came cheap and easy to McCandless, nor...

INTO THE WILD

The excruciating story of a young man on a quest for knowledge and experience, a search that eventually cooked his goose, told with the flair of a seasoned investigative reporter by Outside magazine contributing editor Krakauer (Eiger Dreams, 1990). 

Chris McCandless loved the road, the unadorned life, the Tolstoyan call to asceticism. After graduating college, he took off on another of his long destinationless journeys, this time cutting all contact with his family and changing his name to Alex Supertramp. He was a gent of strong opinions, and he shared them with those he met: "You must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life''; "be nomadic.'' Ultimately, in 1992, his terms got him into mortal trouble when he ran up against something—the Alaskan wild—that didn't give a hoot about Supertramp's worldview; his decomposed corpse was found 16 weeks after he entered the bush. Many people felt McCandless was just a hubris-laden jerk with a death wish (he had discarded his map before going into the wild and brought no food but a bag of rice). Krakauer thought not. Admitting an interest that bordered on obsession, he dug deep into McCandless's life. He found a willful, reckless, moody boyhood; an ugly little secret that sundered the relationship between father and son; a moral absolutism that agitated the young man's soul and drove him to extremes; but he was no more a nutcase than other pilgrims. Writing in supple, electric prose, Krakauer tries to make sense of McCandless (while scrupulously avoiding off-the-rack psychoanalysis): his risky behavior and the rites associated with it, his asceticism, his love of wide open spaces, the flights of his soul.

A wonderful page-turner written with humility, immediacy, and great style. Nothing came cheap and easy to McCandless, nor will it to readers of Krakauer's narrative. (4 maps) (First printing of 35,000; author tour)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-679-42850-X

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Villard

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1995

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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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