Science & Technology Reviews | September 1, 2013

McMinn, Suzanne. Chickens in the Road: An Adventure in Ordinary Splendor. HarperOne: HarperCollins. Oct. 2013. 320p. photos. index. ISBN 9780062223708. $28.99. AGRI

Best known for her blog of the same name as well as a handful of romance novels (High-Stakes Homecoming), McMinn here provides a lively, whimsical account of her adventures in West Virginia farm living. Things don’t always go smoothly for her family of suburban transplants, but there are plenty of engaging characters (including some without fur or feathers) to meet along the way. The menagerie of animal friends on their 40-acre farm includes chickens, goats, cows, horses, ducks, and sheep. Fans of McMinn’s long-running blog will be glad to see that her memoir includes a selection of old-fashioned recipes as well as down-home craft projects (e.g., chocolate cream facial mask and apple spice simmering potpourri). The work has poignant moments, too, as McMinn outlines the trials and tribulations of adjusting to new routines without her old companions to join her; this ultimately paves the way for an epiphany or two. VERDICT A memoir of a suburban mother’s move to the country, this book is perfect for fans of McMinn’s blog.—Dan McClure, Pacific Northwest Coll. of Art Lib., Portland, OR

redstar Dalgliesh, Carolyn. The Sensory Child Gets Organized: Proven Systems for Rigid, Anxious, or Distracted Kids. Touchstone: S. & S. Sept. 2013. 304p. ISBN 9781451664287. pap. $15.99; ebk. ISBN 9781451664294. CHILD REARING

Dalgliesh has founded several businesses based on her experience as a professional organizer. The first section of this book is devoted to elucidating how a sensory child (e.g., one with sensory processing disorder, anxiety disorder, ADHD, autism, bipolar disorder, or obsessive compulsive disorder [OCD]) functions. Objective observation and understanding a child’s learning style are crucial to determining how to help that child thrive in all environments, Dalgliesh writes. In the second section, the author explains how storage systems for the bedroom and playroom can create harmony in the home; structure, routines, and visual aids can ease difficult times. Throughout the book are sample charts and worksheets intended to help parents find the best organizing solutions. Black-and-white photos of sample rooms are included as well. In the concluding section, Dalgliesh provides ideas for how parents can help their sensory child succeed in the world at large, such as by easing travel times, empowering the child’s teachers, and becoming the child’s advocate. The book concludes with a sizable further-reading section, products the author appreciates, and organizations to contact for further help. VERDICT Chock-full of practical suggestions, this is an invaluable resource for parents of children with ADHD, bipolar disorder, autism, OCD, or sensory processing issues.—Julia M. Reffner, Fairport, NY

redstar Holmes, Richard. Falling Upwards: How We Took to the Air. Pantheon. Oct. 2013. 416p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780307379665. $35; ebk. ISBN 9780307908704. SCI

The balloon’s pivotal role as the first form of flying technology has often been overlooked. Holmes (biographical studies, Univ. of East Anglia), the formerly self-described “romantic biographer” (e.g., Coleridge) who moved to the history of science with his previous book The Age of Wonder has brought romance to technological discovery in his latest work. The balloon, which played a minor role in The Age of Wonder, soars to new heights as the sole subject here. The author’s own love of aerostats and aerostation (Holmes’s favorite word for “ballooning”) shines through in the buoyancy of his text. His daring and dramatic stories of the history of balloon bravado, even when tragic, catch the spirit of wonder that these “hanging observation basket[s]” brought to 19th-century scientific dreamers, from Edgar Allan Poe to French photographer Nadar to English meteorologist James Glaisher. The balloon provided an aerial platform for spectacular acrobatic stunts, as well as for the first aerial photograph of Paris. Holmes also shows how, in addition to playing a vital role in two major wars, balloons have flown across the Atlantic and even sought to reach (unsuccessfully) the North Pole. VERDICT This title will be a fascinating read for anyone interested in flighty expeditionary history, and it’s likely to fly off many library shelves. [See Prepub Alert, 4/15/13.]—Lara Jacobs, Brooklyn

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The following titles are reviewed in this month's print issue.
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Robbins, John & Ocean Robbins. Voices of the Food Revolution: You Can Heal Your Body and Your World with Food! Conari. 2013. 288p. ISBN 9781573246248. pap. $18.95. AGRI


Caplan, Louis R. Navigating the Complexities of Stroke. Oxford Univ. (Neurology Now). Sept. 2013. 256p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780199945719. pap. $19.95. MED

Crawford, Dorothy H. Virus Hunt: The Search for the Origin of HIV. Oxford Univ. 2013. 224p. notes. bibliog. ISBN 9780199641147. $27.95. MED

redstar Fink, Sheri. Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital. Crown. Sept. 2013. 432p. notes. index. ISBN 9780307718969. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780307718983. MED

Kotsopoulos, Peggy. Kitchen Cures: Revolutionize Your Health with Foods That Heal. Pintail: Penguin. 2013. 368p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780143188841. pap. $25. HEALTH

Lee, Thomas H. Eugene Braunwald and the Rise of Modern Medicine. Harvard Univ. Sept. 2013. 384p. illus. notes. ISBN 9780674724976. $35. MED

Rhodes, John. The End of Plagues: The Global Battle Against Infectious Disease. Palgrave Macmillan. (MacSci). Sept. 2013. 256p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781137278524. $27. MED


Andrews, Colman. The Taste of America. Phaidon. Oct. 2013. 288p. illus. index. ISBN 9780714865829. $29.95. COOKERY

Barr, Luke. Provence, 1970: M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, James Beard, and the Reinvention of American Taste. Clarkson Potter: Crown Pub. Group. Oct. 2013. 288p. ISBN 9780307718341. $26. COOKERY

Behr, Edward. 50 Foods: The Essentials of Good Taste. Penguin Pr: Penguin Group (USA). Nov. 2013. 432p. ISBN 9781594204517. $35. COOKERY

Jett, Tish. Forever Chic: Frenchwomen’s Secrets for Timeless Beauty, Style, and Substance. Rizzoli. Oct. 2013. 224p. ISBN 9780847841493. $29.95; ebk. ISBN 9780847841455. PERSONAL GROOMING

McWilliams, James. The Pecan: A History of America’s Native Nut. Univ. of Texas. Oct. 2013. 192p. ISBN 9780292749160. $20; ebk. ISBN 9780292753914. COOKERY

Shprintzen, Adam D. The Vegetarian Crusade: The Rise of an American Reform Movement, 1817–1921. Univ. of North Carolina. Oct. 2013. 336p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781469608914. $39.95; ebk. ISBN 9781469608921. COOKERY

Willan, Anne with Amy Friedman. One Soufflé at a Time: A Memoir of Food and France. St. Martin’s. Sept. 2013. 320p. ISBN 9780312642174. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466837027. COOKERY


Cook, Langdon. The Mushroom Hunters: On the Trail of an Underground America. Ballantine. Sept. 2013. 320p. ISBN 9780345536259. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780345536266. NAT HIST

Freemantle, Michael. Gas! Gas! Quick, Boys! How Chemistry Changed the First World War. Spellmount. 2013. 240p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780752466019. $29.95. SCI

King, Richard J. The Devil’s Cormorant: A Natural History. Univ. of New Hampshire: Univ. Pr. of New England. Oct. 2013. 360p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781611682250. $29.95; ebk. ISBN 9781611684742. NAT HIST

redstar Peterson, Dale (text) & Karl Ammann (photos). Giraffe Reflections. Univ. of California. Sept. 2013. 232p. photos. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780520266858. $39.95. NAT HIST

Weisman, Alan. Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth? Little, Brown. Sept. 2013. 336p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780316097758. $28. NAT HIST