Booth, Michael & Jennifer Brown. Eating Dangerously: Why the Government Can’t Keep Your Food Safe…and How You Can. Rowman & Littlefield. 2014. 194p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781442222663. pap. $24.95; ebk. ISBN 9781442222670. HEALTH
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that one in six Americans gets sick from food-borne illnesses each year. Of these, 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die. Coauthors Booth and Brown, investigative reporters for The Denver Post, explain why these numbers are so high and provide advice that will help readers to avoid contributing to these alarming statistics. The authors begin by describing the scope and magnitude of ailments in the United States in a section that reads like a 60 Minutes exposé: vivid descriptions of people falling ill, a global food market with inconsistent international standards, and inadequate, sometimes nonexistent, government inspections. What follows this account is common-sense advice for consumers. This segment explains how to choose, handle, and prepare food safely and how to identify the riskiest ingredients (as well as reduce their potential harm). Then the authors examine the intersection between food technology and safety, providing an excellent analysis of arguments and evidence for and against genetically modified products; and discuss the relationship between food safety and local and/or organic fare. Also included is an overview of various food-borne illnesses, including information on transmission, symptoms, treatment, and complications. The book concludes with a handy summary of tips for staying protected. VERDICT Both alarming and empowering, this very useful title will help consumers understand and minimize their risk of falling ill.
Emanuel, Ezekiel J. Reinventing American Health Care: How the Affordable Care Act Will Improve Our Terribly Complex, Blatantly Unjust, Outrageously Expensive, Grossly Inefficient, Error Prone System. PublicAffairs. 2014. 384p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781610393454. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781610393461. MED
New York Times columnist Emanuel (medical ethics, health policy, Univ. of Pennsylvania), a White House special adviser on health care reform, ably assesses the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA; commonly called Obamacare) on the American health care system in this timely volume. Emanuel carefully explains and illustrates serious problems with the current set up, the history of failed attempts at improvement, and the details of the ACA itself. In his estimation, controlling health care costs is good economics and will accelerate the economy rather than slow it down. Although the author acknowledges that the ACA is politically divisive, he makes a convincing case for its potential. Emanuel concedes that he is an optimist, but nevertheless admits that no piece of legislation is perfect and devotes a chapter of the book to possible implementation problems. He also points out that the health care system is dynamic and will require ongoing amendments and maintenance. VERDICT Readers with an interest in current political and social issues will appreciate Emanuel’s frank policy discussions. Because all Americans are affected by the ACA the chapters detailing the content and personal implications of the act will be of value and interest to everyone.
Gilbert, Richard. Shepherd: A Memoir. Michigan State Univ. May 2014. 338p. ISBN 9781611861174. pap. $24.95; ebk. ISBN 9781609174071. ANIMAL HUSBANDRY
In this memoir, Gilbert (writing, Otterbein Univ.) recounts the story of his dream of becoming a family farmer. The author’s father had a similar wish that never quite became reality and Gilbert is determined to honor the man by succeeding in his place. The narrative is both a celebration of rural life and a cautionary tale, as the author tells of draining his family’s savings and kids’ college accounts, dealing with duplicitous neighbors and dishonest breeders, and nearly ruining his health in his efforts to establish a money-making sheep farm. Along the way he provides a portrait of the loveliness and brutality of Appalachian Ohio, as he learns that decisions based on sentimentality have very little place in the daily slog of running a farm. Yet Gilbert perseveres, achieving some success while gaining a clearer understanding of the forces that drive him and that drove his father. VERDICT Highly recommended for those considering a move toward an agrarian lifestyle. This book is also for fans of Joel Salatin (Fields of Farmers) and anyone interested in small farming, raising animals, or artisanal food production.
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James, Matt (text) & Marianne Majerus (photos). The Urban Gardener. Mitchell Beazley: Octopus. May 2014. 224p. index. ISBN 9781845337964. $24.99. GARDENING
Health & Medicine
Lavie, Carl J. & Kristin Loberg. The Obesity Paradox: When Thinner Means Sicker and Heavier Means Healthier. Hudson Street. Apr. 2014. 304p. notes. index. ISBN 9781594632440. $25.95; ebk. ISBN 9780698148512. HEALTH
McKenna, John. Good Food: Can You Trust What You Are Eating? Gill & MacMillan. 2014. 212p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780717154258. pap. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9780717154265. HEALTH
Schaub, Eve O. Year of No Sugar: A Memoir. Sourcebooks. Apr. 2014. 320p. ISBN 9781402295874. pap. $14.99. HEALTH
Wolfer, Alexis. The Recipe for Radiance: Discover Beauty’s Best-Kept Secrets in Your Kitchen. Running Pr. May 2014. 256p. photos. index. ISBN 9780762450404. pap. $23; ebk. ISBN 9780762451869. HEALTH
Aczel, Amir. Why Science Does Not Disprove God. Morrow. Apr. 2014. 304p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780062230591. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062230614. SCI
Costa, James T. Wallace, Darwin, and the Origin of Species. Harvard Univ. Jun. 2014. 338p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780674729698. $39.95. SCI
Dudley, Robert. The Drunken Monkey: Why We Drink and Abuse Alcohol. Univ. of California. May 2014. 187p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780520275690. $34.95; ebk. ISBN 9780520958173. SCI
Fuller, Errol. Lost Animals: Extinction and the Photographic Record. Princeton Univ. 2014. 256p. photos. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780691161372. $29.95. NAT HIST
Goulson, Dave. A Sting in the Tale: My Adventures with Bumblebees. Picador. May 2014. 288p. index. ISBN 9781250048370. $25; ebk. ISBN 9781250048387. NAT HIST
Schwarcz, Joe. Is That a Fact? Frauds, Quacks, and the Real Science of Everyday Life. ECW. May 2014. 280p. ISBN 9781770411906. pap. $17.95; ebk. ISBN 9781770905283. SCI