Science & Technology Reviews, March 1, 2012

Silver, Julie, M.D. You Can Heal Yourself: A Guide to Physical and Emotional Recovery After Injury or Illness. Griffin: St. Martin’s. 2012. c.256p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780312605803. pap. $14.99. HEALTH

Illness or injury can be a life-altering event. Silver (physical medicine & rehabilitation, Harvard Medical Sch.) guides patients through a useful, evenhanded process of empowerment to make their recovery easier and, one would hope, more successful. Her main thesis: know thyself. Handy checklists provide helpful guidance for self-assessment, and charts of signs and symptoms help to prevent setbacks. Stories from her patients illustrate her main points. Silver stresses staying connected to friends, getting as much exercise as possible, and being aware of sleep deprivation and associated pain. Most of all, she encourages patients to take their time, be patient, and let the healing process work with due speed. The book includes a list of organizations that provide help to patients in recovery and a bibliography of related reading materials. VERDICT This reviewer‚ who, as she writes, is wearing a neck brace while recovering from recent surgery‚ can attest to the validity of Silver’s approach: her suggestions work! Highly recommended for all readers recovering from illness or injury.‚ Olga B. Wise, Austin, TX

Yow, John. The Armchair Birder Goes Coastal: The Secret Lives of Birds of the Southeastern Shore. Univ. of North Carolina. May 2012. c.256p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780807835616. $26. SCI

The glamorous birds of the American Southeast have attracted naturalists from the time of John James Audubon, Mark Catesby, and Edward O. Wilson. Yow (The Armchair Birder) continues in this tradition, focusing on birds of the beach, marsh, and bay. He deals with 29 species, such as pelicans, herons, sandpipers, gulls, and skimmers. In spite of its breezy title, the book delves rather deeply into classical natural history literature as well as trips accompanying contemporary field biologists. The birds’ habits, behavior, feeding, and courtship are all examined. Yow also discusses the origins and meanings of bird names. He quotes authors like Rachel Carson, Scott Weidensaul, and Peter Matthiessen to augment his own rich experiences. The 15 illustrations detract from Yow’s entertaining book‚ the images range from awful to merely satisfactory. It’s a shame in light of the region’s rich illustrative tradition of bird art and photography, e.g., the splendid images of John Henry Dick, Frederick Kent Truslow, and Allan D. Cruickshank, that well present these showy birds. VERDICT A good read, this title is appropriate for generalists interested in natural history, the wildlife of the southeastern U.S. shore, and birders.‚ Henry T. Armistead, formerly with Free Lib. of Philadelphia

Weinberger, David. Too Big To Know: Rethinking Knowledge Now That the Facts Aren’t the Facts, Experts Are Everywhere, and the Smartest Person in the Room Is the Room. Basic Bks: Perseus. 2012. c.256p. index. ISBN 9780465021420. $25.99. TECH

The Internet has changed how society gains information. Today’s weather forecast, political commentary on U.S. relations with the Middle East, and tips for using the latest software can all be obtained in seconds through a search engine. Weinberger (senior researcher, Berkman Ctr. for the Internet & Society, Harvard Univ.; Everything Is Miscellaneous: The Power of the New Digital Disorder) asks whether the increased availability of information has changed what most people know and whether it is changing knowledge itself. He explores the benefits and drawbacks of our thoroughly connected culture, using several examples to illustrate how the knowledge paradigm is changing‚ once information was sought from experts, and now it is gleaned from networks. Although Weinberger does provide some insightful answers, this book may be even more valuable as a catalyst for further discussion. VERDICT A thought-provoking work that is both reassuring and daunting, this will appeal to all readers but will be of special interest to anyone studying information technology. Recommended.‚ William Baer, Georgia Inst. of Technology Lib., Atlanta

The following titles are reviewed in the March 1 print issue. Visit our Reviews Center (Beta) for the full reviews.

Health & Medicine

Atlas, Scott, M.D. In Excellent Health: Setting the Record Straight on America’s Health Care. Hoover Institution. 2012. c.336p. illus. index. ISBN 9780817914448. $29.95. MED

Bliss, Nishanga. Real Food All Year: Eating Seasonal Whole Foods for Optimal Health and All-Day Energy. New Harbinger. Apr. 2012. c.200p. bibliog. ISBN 9781608821556. pap. $17.95. HEALTH

Gillinov, Marc, M.D., & Steven Nissen, M.D. Heart 411: The Only Guide to Heart Health You’ll Ever Need. Three Rivers: Crown. 2012. c.560p. ISBN 9780307719904. pap. $19.99. HEALTH

Gorman, Hogan. Hot Cripple: An Incurable Smart-Ass Takes on the Health Care System and Lives To Tell the Tale. Perigee: Berkley. Mar. 2012. c.272p. ISBN 9780399537288. pap. $16. HEALTH

Murphy, Magnus & Pauline McDonagh Hull. Choosing Cesarean: The Natural Birth Plan. Prometheus. 2012. c.375p. ISBN 9781616145118. pap. $21. HEALTH

Home Economics

Daulter, Anni with Heather Fontenot (text) & Tnah & Mario Di Donato (photogs.). Naturally Fun Parties for Kids: Creating Handmade, Earth-Friendly Celebrations for All Seasons and Occasions. Sellers. Mar. 2012. 128p. photogs. ISBN 9781416206569. pap. $18.95. HOME ECON

Nabhan, Gary Paul (text) & Paul Mirocha (illus.). Desert Terroir: Exploring the Unique Flavors and Sundry Places of the Borderlands. Univ. of Texas. Mar. 2012. c.144p. illus. ISBN 9780292725898. $24.95. COOKING


Rosenhouse, Jason. Among the Creationists: Dispatches from the Anti-Evolutionist Front Line. Oxford Univ. Apr. 2012. c.256p. photogs. bibliog. ISBN 9780199744633. $29.95. SCI

A World of Insects: The Harvard University Press Reader. Harvard Univ. Mar. 2012. c.420p. ed. by Ring Cardé & Vincent Resh. illus. index. ISBN 9780674046191. $19.95. SCI


Blum, Andrew. Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet. Ecco: HarperCollins. May 2012. c.304p. index. ISBN 9780061994937. $26.99. TECH