Science & Technology Reviews | October 15, 2013

Hampson, Tim. World Beer. DK. 2013. 300p. photos. index. ISBN 9781465414380. $40. BEVERAGES

This is the kind of book to drink a beer over. That is, it’s a book you imagine finding on a low-slung living room coffee table, which lends itself more to relaxing and browsing through than to dedicated study. The photography is top-notch, particularly the hundreds of bottle labels reproduced in high quality throughout. Following a cursory introduction by Sam Calagione (of Dogfish Head Brewery fame) and a few pages on beer history, culture, tasting, and styles, the bulk of this volume is devoted to brewery highlights divided into world regions, as well as to notable examples from countries less known for their brewing output. Hampson’s (editor, The Beer Book) highlights—ranging in length from a paragraph to two pages—are refreshingly nonrepetitive, which is a feat given the 800-plus breweries covered. For the major sites selected, representative beers are listed with flavor profiles and brief food pairing suggestions. Unfortunately, no criteria are given for why the chosen breweries are featured, so readers won’t necessarily know what they’re missing. VERDICT Recommended to budding craft beer enthusiasts seeking a broader, though not necessarily deeper, understanding of world beer culture delivered in package that’s easy on the eyes. Those seeking a more scholarly (though less beautiful) source should instead consult The Oxford Companion to Beer.—Josh Hadro, New York P.L.

Zoll, Miriam. Cracked Open: Liberty, Fertility, and the Pursuit of High Tech Babies. Interlink. 2013. 200p. ISBN 9781566569231. pap. $20. HEALTH

Having a baby is something that most couples take for granted. Many women interested in pursuing career goals wait until they have established themselves at work before starting families, believing that high-tech fertility treatments give them that option. This frank memoir by writer, educator, and reproductive health and public policy advocate Zoll counters these assumptions. At the age of 40, she and her husband decided that they were ready for children. When they did not conceive, they began the journey through in vitro fertilization (IVF). Noting that this industry is largely unregulated and the physicians working in the clinics often make promises that cannot be delivered, Zoll adds that the chance of a woman in her 40s conceiving is low. Yet she and her husband persevered, supporting each other during the ordeal despite their lack of success, and eventually added to their family by adopting a son. ­Verdict This valuable book providing truthful information for women considering IVF belongs in all public, health sciences, women’s studies, and consumer-health collections.—Barbara Bibel, Oakland P.L.

Chambers, John & Jacqueline Mitton. From Dust to Life: The Origin and Evolution of Our Solar System. Princeton Univ. Dec. 2013. 320p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780691145228. $29.95. SCI

Given the subtitle, one might expect this book to restrict its subject matter to the sun, planets, and other local objects. However, after beginning with an overview of what we know about our solar system, how we came to know it, and what our scientific models explain about both the general characteristics and anomalies within the system, Chambers (planetary science, Carnegie Inst. for Science) and PhD astronomer Mitton (Titan Unveiled) provide more extensive background. The authors discuss the origin of the universe, stellar evolution, and galactic structure, while keeping everything within the context of how these phenomena help explain the formation and evolution of our own system. As they describe characteristics of different bodies (e.g., planets), they outline competing proposed scientific models in enough detail to show both strengths and weaknesses of each, along with what we do and don’t know to date. VERDICT This is not your average tour of our solar system. Using clear, relatively jargon-free language, Chambers and Mitton provide a comprehensive examination of our current understanding of its formation, which should readily appeal to the general reader who enjoys scientific detail without getting into equations. Recommended.—­Marcia R. Franklin, St. Paul, MN

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The following titles are reviewed in this month's print issue.
Visit Book Verdict for the full reviews.


Cardoza, Steven. Chinese Healing Exercises: A Personalized Practice for Health & Longevity. Llewellyn. Nov. 2013. 336p. illus. ISBN 9780738737546. pap. $21.99. HEALTH

Gerald, Michael C. The Drug Book: From Arsenic to Xanax, 250 Milestones in the History of Drugs. Sterling. 2013. 528p. photos. index. ISBN 9781402782640. $29.95. MED

Horowitz, Richard I. Why Can’t I Get Better? Solving the Mystery of Lyme and Chronic Disease. St. Martin’s. Oct. 2013. 576p. illus. ISBN 9781250019400. $28.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250038487. HEALTH

The Story Within: Personal Essays on Genetics and Identity. Johns Hopkins. Dec. 2013. 280p. ed. by Amy Boesky. ISBN 9781421410968. pap. $24.95; ebk. ISBN 9781421410975. MED

Thompson, Edward H., Jr. & Lenard W. Kaye. A Man’s Guide to Healthy Aging: Stay Smart, Strong, and Active. Johns Hopkins. (Health Bk.). Nov. 2013. 592p. index. ISBN 9781421410562. pap. $30.95; ebk. ISBN 9781421410555. $65. HEALTH

Wickert, Kimberly McCrone & others. The Sandwich Generation’s Guide to Eldercare. Demos Medical. Oct. 2013. 212p. notes. index. ISBN 9781936303434. pap. $19.95; ebk. ISBN 9781617051425. HEALTH


Bonné, Jon. The New California Wine: A Guide to the Producers and Wines Behind a Revolution in Taste. Ten Speed: Crown. Nov. 2013. 304p. photos. maps. index. ISBN 9781607743002. $35; ebk. ISBN 9781607743019. BEVERAGES

Fecks, Noah & Paul Wagtouicz. The Way We Ate: 100 Chefs Celebrate a Century at the American Table. Touchstone. Oct. 2013. 368p. photos. notes. ISBN 9781476732725. $32; ebk. ISBN 9781476732756. COOKING

redstar Van Aken, Norman. No Experience Necessary: The Culinary Odyssey of Chef Norman Van Aken. Taylor. Dec. 2013. 272p. photos. ISBN 9781589799141. $24.95; ebk. ISBN 9781589799158.


DeGraaf, Leonard. Edison and the Rise of Innovation. Sterling. Oct. 2013. 244p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781402767364. $29.95. TECH

redstar Greenberg, Joel. A Feathered River Across the Sky: The Passenger Pigeon’s Flight to Extinction. Bloomsbury. Jan. 2014. 304p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781620405345. $26. NAT HIST

Petter, Jean-Jacques (text) & François Desbordes (illus.). Primates of the World: An Illustrated Guide. Princeton Univ. Oct. 2013. 186p. tr. from French by Robert Martin. illus. maps. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780691156958. $29.95. Nat Hist

Sabin, Paul. span class=”k4productname”>The Bet: Paul Ehrlich, Julian Simon, and Our Gamble over Earth’s Future. Yale Univ. 2013. 320p. photos. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780300176483. $28.50. SCI

Shere, Jeremy. Renewable: The World-Changing Power of Alternative Energy. St. Martin’s. Nov. 2013. 304p. index. ISBN 9780312643751. $29.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250038227. SCI

CORRECTION The LJ Science & Technology review of Sweet Debbie’s Organic Treats (10/1/13) stated that the book was spiral bound. The book is trade paperback with a traditional trim. We regret the error.