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Find more Top 10 Science & Health Books
A fantastic voyage through the body, journeys to the edge of mathematical concepts, chasing butterflies, a search for a lost bird, respect and health care for veterans, and wise words of advice for young scientists, the best science and health books reviewed in Booklist between December 1, 2012, and November 15, 2013, cover a world of intriguing discoveries.
Butterfly People: An American Encounter with the Beauty of the World. By William Leach. 2013. Pantheon, $32.50 (9780375422935).
Historian Leach tells the intriguing, often moving stories of nineteenth-century American butterfly fanatics who collected, bred, and studied the diverse, resplendent butterfly species that then flourished in our “agrarian tapestry.”
Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal. By Mary Roach. 2013. Norton, $26.95 (9780393081572).
Witty, audacious, best-selling science writer Roach takes readers on a wild ride down the alimentary canal, revealing fascinating, if increasingly icky, facts about our body’s incredibly complex digestive system.
Imperial Dreams: Tracking the Imperial Woodpecker through the Wild Sierra Madre. By Tim Gallagher. 2013. Atria, $26 (9781439191521).
Gallagher sets the gold standard for nature writing in this chronicle of his search for the possibly extinct imperial woodpecker in Mexican territory held by drug traffickers.
Letters to a Young Scientist. By Edward O. Wilson. 2013. Norton/Liveright, $21.95 (9780871403773).
Revered biologist and writer Wilson’s candid guidance and profound encouragement to aspiring scientists, celebration of creativity and discipline, and love for the living world will uplift every reader.
Military Mental Health Care: A Guide for Service Members, Veterans, Families, and Community. By Cheryl Lawhorne-Scott and Don Philpott. 2013. Rowman & Littlefield, $34.95 (9781442220935).
This thorough and caring guide covers symptoms and treatments of post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, and much more, and assesses the social repercussions of veterans’ struggles.
Saving Normal: An Insider’s Revolt against Out-of-Control Psychiatric Diagnosis, DSM-5, Big Pharma, and the Medicalization of Ordinary Life. By Allen Frances. 2013. Morrow, $27.99 (9780062229250).
Frances worries that, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM), the bible of psychiatry, the definition of normal is shrinking, resulting in inflated psychiatric diagnosis and overmedication.
Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age. By W. Bernard Carlson. 2013. Princeton, $29.95 (9780691057767).
In an exceptional fusion of technical analysis and imaginative sympathy, Carlson portrays the tormented Serbian-born genius Tesla as a scientific wizard and flamboyant showman.
Time Reborn: From the Crisis in Physics to the Future of the Universe. By Lee Smolin. 2013. Houghton, $28 (9780547511726).
With rare conceptual daring, Smolin suggests a paradigm shift in cosmological theory that accepts time as the reality, allowing scientists to develop new theories of galactic evolution and understand global warming.
Visions of Infinity: The Great Mathematical Problems. By Ian Stewart. 2013. Basic, $26.99 (9780465022403).
Readers will relish the intellectual stimulation of Stewart’s explication of challenging mathematical problems and his illumination of how high-level mathematics stirs profound emotions by tapping into the mind’s deepest impulses.
What Doctors Feel: How Emotions Affect the Practice of Medicine. By Danielle Ofri. 2013. Beacon, $24.95 (9780807073322).
Ofri, an internist at New York’s Bellevue Hospital, explores the emotional core of doctoring in this insightful and candid look at the role feelings play in medical decision making.
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