I honestly cannot think of anyone who wouldn't benefit from reading this book. Natterson-Horowitz is a doctor who was asked to do cardiovascular surge...moreI honestly cannot think of anyone who wouldn't benefit from reading this book. Natterson-Horowitz is a doctor who was asked to do cardiovascular surgery on a tamarin. While trying to "reassure" the monkey pre-surgery, she learned about the risks of a condition called capture myopathy found in animals. She's shocked to find this condition, well-studied among vets, bears a striking resemblance to an emerging heart condition in humans. This gets her thinking: What else do vets know all about that could help humans? The answer, it turns out, is quite a lot.
With the help of a science journalist, Natterson-Horowitz has created a compulsively readable, entertaining, and enlightening book about the intersection of human and non-human medicine. She has fascinating chapters on cardiology, cancer, sex, addiction, fear, obesity, mental illness, sexually transmitted diseases, and adolescence. She finds endless unexpected corollaries and begins to ask how studying these issues in animals could teach us more about humans. The results, as I mentioned, are riveting. The information she so smoothly conveys opens up all source of captivating ideas, questions, and avenues for investigation and collaboration.
The only (small) flaw with this book was her obsession with coming up with new terms. "Zoobiquity" for instance, which I'm not sure is really going to catch on) or a syndrome called F.R.A.D.E. which stands for "fear/restraint associated death events" and is more than a little forced. I don't know, perhaps all doctors do that. Regardless, it's a tiny flaw, and I suspect many of my friends and relatives will be receiving this book as a gift. (less)
The BOOK JACKET becomes a POSTER. The title is great. And the book is just enormous fun. There's not a lot of news in here that will surprise a person...moreThe BOOK JACKET becomes a POSTER. The title is great. And the book is just enormous fun. There's not a lot of news in here that will surprise a person who has rabidly been keeping up with dinosaur news lately, but if you've momentarily allowed yourself to be distracted by something like your job, family, or keeping your life under control, this is a great update on everything you wouldn't want to miss.
Even if you are up to date on your dino facts, this is a delightful refresher, and it's nice to have all the news in one place with some fun backstory added in. Highly recommended, to the point that I can't understand why it's taken so long for such a book to come out.
This is an interesting and important book. It's a cogent, well-research rebuttal to people (and quack) who say that we should do X, Y, and Z, "because...moreThis is an interesting and important book. It's a cogent, well-research rebuttal to people (and quack) who say that we should do X, Y, and Z, "because we're evolved to." She begins with a ruthless evisceration of "paleo" or "caveman" diet by pointing out there's no such thing as a caveman, and continues on from there.
Here writing is straightforward, her arguments are well-researched, and her reasoning is clear and rational.
The main problem with this book, I think, is that the people who most need to read it aren't going to get all the way through it. In that way, it might have been more effective to make it shorter and punchier to keep the attention of people who are prone to thinking that evolution programmed them to behave certain ways.
Regardless, it's a successful and well-written science book.(less)