Jacobs, Hollye (text) & Elizabeth Messina (photos). The Silver Lining: A Supportive and Insightful Guide to Breast Cancer. Atria. Mar. 2014. 288p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781476763507. $35; pap. ISBN 9781476743714. $29.99; ebk. ISBN 9781476743721. HEALTH
Palliative care nurse and social worker Jacobs often related bad news to patients and their families, but the shock of her own breast cancer diagnosis was still difficult to assimilate. In this offshoot of a blog she wrote with her husband, her path from lump discovery and diagnosis to double mastectomy and reconstruction to chemotherapy and radiation is accessibly detailed and cleverly communicated. Jacobs reveals the worst (constipation, diarrhea, and vomiting during chemo) while allowing for the best (a silver lining) at every turn. Boxed “Lifelines” simplify basic actions to take, while “Practical Matters” sections list terminology, therapies, questions to ask, and strategies to follow. The photos by Messina include a few expected bald heads and bare chests, but most are lovely evocations of life and all that we hold dear. Where this book distinguishes itself from other similar titles (e.g., Joyce Wadler’s My Breast, Geralyn Lucas’s Why I Wore Lipstick to My Mastectomy, Teresa J. Rhyne’s The Dog Lived (and So Will I), and Melanie Young’s Getting Things Off My Chest) is the author’s emphasis on pain management throughout the process and the excellent early chapter on how to talk to children (of all ages) about a parent’s illness. VERDICT With her humorous and approachable style, Jacobs has written an essential title for patients facing a cancer diagnosis. Highly recommended for all consumer health collections. [See Prepub Alert, 9/30/13.]
Choi, Roy with Tien Nguyen & Natasha Phan (text) & Bobby Fisher (photos). L.A. Son: My Life, My City, My Food. Anthony Bourdain: Ecco. 2013. 352p. photos. index. ISBN 9780062202635. $29.99. COOKING
The title of this work not so subtly hints that whatever is coming, it’s personal—and that the author is likely to be opinionated. Indeed, chef Choi shoots from the hip, folding recipes into his life to make a sort of autobiographical cookbook. Born in Korea, Choi grew up in Los Angeles, and he weaves stories of gambling and addiction together with reflections on culture, identity, and family, resulting in a memoir as bold as the flavors in his food. Recipes range widely (Korean fried chicken, beef cheek tacos, twice-cooked duck fat fries) and include Choi’s varied influences—a mélange of his classical training at the Culinary Institute of America and the more global flavors of his childhood. Most dishes should be accessible to even less-experienced cooks. The volume contains ample photographs and information on sourcing ingredients, cooking tools, and basic techniques. VERDICT Though this title isn’t for the faint of heart, Bourdain fans will eat up this gritty memoir-slash-cookbook.
The New York Times Book of Physics and Astronomy: More Than 100 Years of Covering the Expanding Universe. Sterling. 2013. 557p. ed. by Cornelia Dean. illus. index. ISBN 9781402793202. $24.95. SCI
Dean (science writer & former science editor, New York Times; Am I Making Myself Clear? A Scientist’s Guide to Talking to the Public) gives us a compilation of New York Times science articles from the past century-plus. The focus is basically on physics and astrophysics, the disciplines that most define the boundaries of 20th-century scientific research—from atoms to galaxies—that captured the newspaper’s, and then the public’s, attention. The articles, including news, features, and book reviews, mostly by nonscientists (some of whom were awarded the Pulitzer Prize for their work) were written for a general public awakening to the possibilities and portents, even the literal explosion, of scientific research. The Times sought to present science as accurately and understandably as possible. Dean’s selections are arranged chronologically within thematic groupings titled “The Nature of Matter,” “The Practical Atom,” and “The Fate of the Universe.” Cumulatively, they also reflect the social attitudes of the times: there is a paucity of women reporters and scientists, and there is in the early decades a lack of awareness of research outside the United States. VERDICT It is a treat to have a taste of those heady years of announcements and discoveries. Highly recommended for all science collections.
To log in to your account, click here. To view the new subscription options, Get Started With Book Verdict Pro Today.
Don't know if you have an account with us? It's easy to check and verify your email, or create a new account.
Visit Book Verdict for the full reviews.
Baraton, Alain. The Gardener of Versailles: My Life in the World’s Grandest Garden. Rizzoli. Mar. 2014. 304p. tr. from French by Christopher Brent Murray. ISBN 9780847842681. $26.95. GARDENING
Heistinger, Andrea. The Manual of Seed Saving: Harvesting, Storing, and Sowing Techniques for Vegetables, Herbs, and Fruits. Timber. 2013. 344p. tr. from German by Ian Miller. photos. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781604693829. $39.95. AGRI
Health & Medicine
Bradley, Elizabeth H. & Lauren A. Taylor. The American Health Care Paradox: Why Spending More Is Getting Us Less. Public Affairs. 2013. 288p. notes. index. ISBN 9781610392099. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781610392105. MED
Jelinek, George & Karen Law. Recovering from Multiple Sclerosis: Real Life Stories of Hope and Inspiration. Allen & Unwin. Dec. 2013. 218p. ISBN 9781743313817. pap. $24.95. HEALTH
Selvaratnam, Tanya. The Big Lie: Motherhood, Feminism, and the Reality of the Biological Clock. Prometheus. Jan. 2014. 300p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781616148454. pap. $19.95; ebk. ISBN 9781616148461. HEALTH
Yance, Donald R. Adaptogens in Medical Herbalism: Elite Herbs and Natural Compounds for Mastering Stress, Aging, and Chronic Disease. Healing Arts. 2013. 672p. ISBN 9781620551004. $50. HEALTH
Best Food Writing 2013. 14th ed. Da Capo. 2013. 400p. ed. by Holly Hughes. index. ISBN 9780738217161. pap. $15.99; ebk. ISBN 9780738217178. HOME ECON
Liebrandt, Paul & Andrew Friedman (text) & Evan Sung (photos). To the Bone. Clarkson Potter: Crown. Dec. 2013. 288p. photos. ISBN 9780770434168. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780770434175. COOKING
Robin, Vicki. Blessing the Hands That Feed Us: What Eating Closer to Home Can Teach Us About Food, Community, and Our Place on Earth. Viking. Jan. 2014. 352p. notes. index. ISBN 9780670025725. $26.95. HOME ECON
Wardy, Melissa Atkins. Redefining Girly: How Parents Can Fight the Stereotyping and Sexualizing of Girlhood, from Birth to Tween. Chicago Review. Jan. 2014. 256p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781613745526. pap. $16.95. CHILD REARING
Biehler, Dawn Day. Pests in the City: Flies, Bedbugs, Cockroaches, and Rats. Univ. of Washington. 2013. 336p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780295993010. $34.95. NAT HIST
Browne, John. Seven Elements That Changed the World: An Adventure of Ingenuity and Discovery. Pegasus. Mar. 2014. 288p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781605985404. $27.95. SCI
Clark, Stuart. Voyager: 101 Wonders Between Earth and the Edge of the Cosmos. Atlantic. 2013. 240p. photos. index. ISBN 9781848875432. $35. SCI
Connett, Paul. The Zero Waste Solution: Untrashing the Planet One Community at a Time. Chelsea Green. 2013. 400p. illus. notes. index. ISBN 9781603584890. $24.95. SCI
Eckstut, Joann & Arielle Eckstut. The Secret Language of Color: Science, Nature, History, Culture, Beauty of Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, and Violet. Black Dog & Leventhal. 2013. 240p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781579129491. $29.95. SCI
Milestones of Science and Technology: Making the Modern World. 2d ed. KWS. 2013. 270p. ed. by Peter Morris & others.photos by Philip Sayer. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780981773650. $74.95. SCI
Williams, Glyn. Naturalists at Sea: Scientific Travellers from Dampier to Darwin. Yale Univ. 2013. 336p. illus. maps. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780300180732. $38. SCI