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    $14.29
    1. The Immortal Life of Henrietta
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    2. The Emperor of All Maladies: A
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    3. The Mind's Eye
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    4. You Mean I'm Not Lazy, Stupid
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    5. Saving Graces: Finding Solace
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    6. The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook:
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    7. Anticancer, A New Way of Life,
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    13. Dr. Neal Barnard's Program for
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    14. My Own Country: A Doctor's Story
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    15. Betty Crocker's Diabetes Cookbook:
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    20. The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide

    1. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
    by Rebecca Skloot
    Hardcover
    list price: $26.00 -- our price: $14.29
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 1400052173
    Publisher: Crown
    Sales Rank: 11
    Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells—taken without her knowledge—became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first “immortal” human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. If you could pile all HeLa cells ever grown onto a scale, they’d weigh more than 50 million metric tons—as much as a hundred Empire State Buildings. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bomb’s effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions.

    Yet Henrietta Lacks remains virtually unknown, buried in an unmarked grave.

    Now Rebecca Skloot takes us on an extraordinary journey, from the “colored” ward of Johns Hopkins Hospital in the 1950s to stark white laboratories with freezers full of HeLa cells; from Henrietta’s small, dying hometown of Clover, Virginia—a land of wooden slave quarters, faith healings, and voodoo—to East Baltimore today, where her children and grandchildren live and struggle with the legacy of her cells.

    Henrietta’s family did not learn of her “immortality” until more than twenty years after her death, when scientists investigating HeLa began using her husband and children in research without informed consent. And though the cells had launched a multimillion-dollar industry that sells human biological materials, her family never saw any of the profits. As Rebecca Skloot so brilliantly shows, the story of the Lacks family—past and present—is inextricably connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we are made of.

    Over the decade it took to uncover this story, Rebecca became enmeshed in the lives of the Lacks family—especially Henrietta’s daughter Deborah, who was devastated to learn about her mother’s cells. She was consumed with questions: Had scientists cloned her mother? Did it hurt her when researchers infected her cells with viruses and shot them into space? What happened to her sister, Elsie, who died in a mental institution at the age of fifteen? And if her mother was so important to medicine, why couldn’t her children afford health insurance? 
              
    Intimate in feeling, astonishing in scope, and impossible to put down, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks captures the beauty and drama of scientific discovery, as well as its human consequences.
    ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars Thank you for this beautiful tribute to Henrietta Lacks, February 5, 2010
    Wow. This book should be required reading for scientists and students of life. The true story of Henrietta Lacks and her family has finally been told, beautifully, in this book. The book encompasses science, ethics, and the story of a family who was terribly wronged in the pursuit of scientific research. I could gush about this book for pages but I'll try first to hit the main points of why this book is so remarkable in list form for the sake of brevity:


    1. The author clearly developed a strong relationship with the Lacks family, which was absolutely critical to ensuring the story was told accurately and with the respect to Henrietta Lacks that was so deeply deserved.

    2. The storytelling is amazingly moving despite the need to convey a lot of scientific information. It reads like fiction.

    3. Ms. Skloot's research into the science is impeccable.

    4. The book is FAIR. It presents the unvarnished truth, obtained DIRECTLY from as many prinicpal people involved in the story as is humanly possible. It would have been easier to simplify the story into heroes vs. villians, but Ms. Skloot deftly handles all sides of the story.


    For some detail: I have worked with HeLa cells in the past, but did not know even the barest information about the story of Henrietta Lacks until a few years ago. It simply was not common knowledge, until a few less ethical folks released her name and medical records to the public. This obviously should not have been done without the express permission of the Lacks family, which Ms. Skloot obtained. In the past, others have not been as ethical. The book covers Ms. Lacks' early life, how her cells came to be harvested, and what happened to both the cells and her family afterward.

    The contributions of HeLa cells to science are absolutely staggering and cannot be over-stated. The sections where the science was described were clear and accurate. With the story of Ms. Lacks' family interwoven, this book was fairly close to perfect. I found myself moved to tears several times because of the fate of the Lacks family and Henrietta's daughter's indomitable spirit. I do not think anyone but Ms. Skloot could have written this book. She worked with the family for over a decade in order to get the story right. This was critical, as the family had been wronged too many times in the past.

    Thank you for this astounding work of art. I will be donating to the Henrietta Lacks foundation in honor of the entire family, and I hope many others will read the book and be similarly moved.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Captivating, engrossing, fascinating, heartbreaking, englightening...ALL in one stellar book!, January 16, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    This is hand's down one of the best books I've read in years and I wish I could give it more stars. It is going to be difficult to capture exactly what makes this book so outstanding and so captivating, but I'm going to give it my best shot.

    First of all I want to say I am STUNNED that this is the author's first book. She has poured ten years of her heart, soul, mind and her life in general in this book. What she has given birth to in that long period of labor is worthy of her sacrifice and honors Henrietta Lacks and her family.

    Other reviews have given the outline of this amazing story. What I want to stress is that Ms. Skloot has navigated the difficult terrain of respecting Mrs. Lacks and her family, while still telling their story in a very intimate, thorough, factual manner. What readers may not know is that the Lacks family isn't just a "subject" that the author researched. This is a real family with real heartaches and real challenges whose lives she entered into for a very long season. The Lacks' family has truly benefitted from the author's involvement in their life and that is something I am very appreciative of. I believe that Ms. Skloot was able to give Henrietta's daughter, Deborah, a real sense of healing, deliverance, peace and identity that she had been searching for her whole life...that story alone would have made the book for me.

    It would have been very easy for the author to come across as condescending or patronizing or possibly as being exploitive as she wrote about a family that is poor and uneducated. Instead the story is infused with compassion and patience as she not only takes the family along with her on a journey to understand their current situation and the ancestor whose life was so rich in legacy but poor in compensation; she educates the family in the process. I get the sense that the author grew to genuinely love Henrietta and her family. I am in awe of this level of commitment.

    The author has managed to explain the complex scientific information in a way that anyone can comprehend and be fascinated by. The author's telling of the science alone and the journey of Henrietta's immortal cells (HeLa) would have made the book a worthy read in itself. Ms. Skloot and Henrietta captured me from page one all the way to the final page of the book. I read it in one pass and I didn't want it to end.

    The author manages to beautifully tell multiple stories and develops each of those stories so well that you can't help but be consumed by the book. This is the story of Henrietta. It is the story of her sweet and determined daughter, Deborah. It is the story of the extended Lacks family and their history. It is a story of race/poverty/ignorance and people who take advantage of that unfortunate trifecta. It is a story about science and ethics. It is a story that should make each of us reflect on the sacrifices made by individual humans and animals that have allowed us to benefit so much from "modern" medicine. It is a story about hope and perseverance. It is a story about love and healing.

    I cannot imagine a single person I know who wouldn't love this book and benefit from reading it. I will be purchasing the final copy of the book and am looking forward to reading the book again.

    I am counting the days til Ms. Skloot writes another book and can't wait to attend one of her upcoming lectures. A fan is born!

    5-0 out of 5 stars 2010 Non-Fiction Award Winner?, January 8, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    As I recall this book was categorized as CANCER, I believe it might be more aptly described as science based non-fiction. In the last two decades I've seen occasional news items alluding to human cells taken from a black woman in the 1950's that have been replicated millions of times. The cells are referred to as HeLa and on the face of it I wouldn't have thought there was much of a story behind the extraction of these cells and their use by the biomed industry. However, this book dispells that rather naive assumption completely and puts a name and a face, a family, and a story behind the contents of many petri dishes and slides. THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS explains how the cells were obtained, replicated, distributed, and used without informed consent of the owner and family by John Hopkins and how they benefitted mankind w/o compensation to the family. Author Skloot tells the story of a family victimized by socioeconomic conditions and racism that can't get fundamental things like health coverage while these cells make a lot of money for the health establishment. It is a disturbing read that will stay with the reader long after the book is finished. It may also make the reader take a long hard look at the need for standardized health care in our society among many other things.
    The one thing that I found fascinating about this book is how Skloot managed to take a generally dry topic that might have been addressed in a scientific textbook and humanized it on a very personal level by developing a close relationship with Henrietta's family. The input received from the family took this book to a higher level and made it a very personsl story. From my perspective, it was very hard not to get involved with the Lacks family and not feel their sense of betrayal and loss.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely superb, January 17, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    Equal parts history, psychological drama, expose and character study, Rebecca Skloot's gripping debut is a deeply affecting tour de force that effortlessly bridges the gap between science and the mainstream.

    Her subject is the multilayered drama behind one of the most important--and in many ways, problematic--advances of modern medicine. Captivated by the story of Henrietta Lacks, a poor African-American woman whose cervical cancer cells (dubbed HeLa) were the first immortalized cells grown in culture and became ubiquitous in laboratories around the world, Skloot set out to learn more about the person whose unwitting "donation" of the cells transformed biomedical research in the last century. Her research ultimately spanned a decade and found her navigating (and to some extent, mediating) more than 50 years of rage over the white scientific establishment's cavalier mistreatment and exploitation of the poor, especially African Americans.

    Skloot deftly weaves together an account of Lacks's short life (she died at age 31) and torturous death from an extremely aggressive form of cancer; the parallel narrative concerning her cells; and the sometimes harrowing, sometimes amusing chronicle of Skloots's own interactions with Lacks's surviving (and initially hostile and uncooperative) family members. Moving comfortably back and forth in time, the richly textured story that emerges brings into stark relief the human cost of scientific progress and leaves the reader grappling with many unanswered questions about the ethics of the scientific endeavor, past and present. While the goals of biomedical research may be noble, how they are achieved is not always honorable, particularly where commercialization of new technologies is at stake. Skloot offers a clear-eyed perspective, highlighting the brutal irony of a family whose matriarch was a pivotal figure in everything from the development of Jonas Salk's polio vaccine to AIDS research to cancer drugs, yet cannot afford the very medical care their mother's cells helped facilitate, with predictable consequences.

    The LA Times book review section named Skloot one of its four "Faces to Watch in 2010," an honor that, based on "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" is well-deserved.

    Five stars--it was hard to put down this compelling, admirable and eminently readable book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A fantastic effort about the life of a forgotten woman, March 14, 2010
    Henrietta Lacks was born to an impoverished family of in rural Virginia in 1920. Her family worked on the same tobacco fields that their slave ancestors did during the preceding century, and after her mother died she grew up in her grandfather's dilapidated log cabin that served as slave quarters. She left school after the sixth grade to pick tobacco for ten cents per day on the farms of local whites. Henrietta had her first child with her first cousin Day at age 14, and they eventually married and moved to a small town outside of Baltimore during World War II so that Day could work at Bethlehem Steel for less than 80 cents an hour.

    In early 1951, Henrietta went to the gynecology clinic at Johns Hopkins Hospital after feeling a "knot" in her womb. After she was taken to a "Colored" examination room, the gynecologist on duty found a firm mass on her cervix that seemed cancerous, but was unlike anything he had ever seen. He sent a slice of the mass for analysis, and Henrietta was soon diagnosed with cervical cancer.

    Henrietta returned to Johns Hopkins a few weeks later, where she underwent treatment for cervical cancer. She was given a generalized consent form that gave permission for her doctors to perform any operative procedures necessary to treat her illness. However, she was not told that one of the staff gynecologists was collecting specimens of clinic patients with cervical cancer for a clinical study, and biopsies of healthy and cancerous cervical tissues were taken from her during her initial procedure. The cancerous cells, which were named HeLa after the first two letters of Henrietta's first and last names, proved to be the first human cells that could be grown indefinitely in a nutrient broth, and the Johns Hopkins researchers were overjoyed at this long awaited success.

    The treatment she received at Hopkins was state of the art, but was unsuccessful, due to the aggressive nature of her primary tumor, and she succumbed to her illness several months later. The researchers wanted to acquire more specimens from her tumor ridden body by performing an autopsy with biopsies. Her husband, after initially denying a request for an autopsy, was misled into agreeing to allow the Hopkins pathologists to perform a limited autopsy, after he was told that the doctors wanted to run tests that might help his children someday.

    The HeLa cell line was provided to scientists and organizations worldwide for minimal cost, as neither the researchers nor Johns Hopkins profited from the first immortal human cell line. However, a number of companies made millions of dollars by mass producing HeLa and selling them at a much higher cost. HeLa was used in numerous important biomedical studies, including the development of the Salk polio vaccine at the University of Pittsburgh in the mid-1950s, cancer and viral research projects, and studies of the effects of weightlessness and space travel on the human body by NASA.

    During this time Henrietta's husband and children were completely unaware that her cells had been harvested for medical research by the Hopkins doctors. By that time most of them were living in poverty in Baltimore, and were unable to afford basic health insurance. Articles about HeLa began to appear in medical journals and in the lay press, but it wasn't until 1973 that the family accidentally learned about the HeLa cell line. The family was contacted by Johns Hopkins, so that their cells could be analyzed and compared to those taken from Henrietta 22 years earlier. Once again they were misled into believing that the purpose of these tests was to determine if any of her children also had cancer, which caused Deborah, Henrietta's oldest surviving daughter, many years of anguish.

    Once Henrietta's name was released in the media, the family was besieged by journalists and others wishing to profit from her story, causing her husband and children to become distrustful and wary.

    Rebecca Skloot became interested in Henrietta Lacks after hearing about the HeLa cell line and its forgotten host as an undergraduate student. She spent many months and countless hours attempting to contact the Lacks family, and she slowly but painfully gained the trust of Deborah and her siblings, after she promised to tell the family's story alongside the history of HeLa.

    The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is a fantastic achievement, given the hurdles that Skloot had to overcome to obtain information from the Lacks family, Johns Hopkins, and the other key actors in this story. In addition to an in-depth history of this ordinary yet quite remarkable family, she provides just the right amount of information about HeLa and what it meant for biomedical research, along with information about informed consent from the 1950s to the present, the effect of race on medical care in the United States and the views of African-Americans toward medical experimentation, and the biology of cancer. The book is meant for a lay audience, but it would be of interest to those with a formal medical background. I found the book to be a bit overly sentimental and personal at times, but this is a very minor criticism of a fabulous book.

    3-0 out of 5 stars 5 star story, February 17, 2010
    Just so id doesn't sound like I damn this book with faint praise, let me say that this was an excellent story told well (for the most part). I'll save the synopsis for others. Needless to say, Henrietta Lacks' story is just as gripping as the science that was done with her cells. You will most likely enjoy her story (as I did).

    My criticisms:

    The author spends a rather substantial portion of the book describing her own efforts. It didn't add to Henrietta's story and leaving it out would have made for a better, more concise narrative.

    Black people were treated inhumanely to say the least (go look up the Tuskeegee Syphilis Study, for example). At the risk of sounding callous, this is well trod ground and some of it could also have been omitted for the sake of brevity without losing any of the story's impact.

    Lastly, there is an implicit condemnation of the doctors that took her cells (the author does say that this was "common practice" at the time). I can tell you that as a former cancer patient who has been biopsied more times than I care to remember, once a doctor removes something from you, it's gone. They are not going to pay you for it.

    Those criticism aside, this is a worthy read.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An astonishing scientific, sociological, racial exploration--and an engrossing work of art, December 28, 2009

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    Rebecca Skloot's story of Henrietta Lacks and her cancerous HeLa cells is both a fascinating history and an engrossing work of art. The book combines sharp science writing with some of the best creative nonfiction techniques and a heartbreaking story. The result is a stunning portrayal of twentieth century medicine, science, race, and class like nothing I've ever read before.

    Skloot skillfully interweaves the saga of a poor young black mother and her children with an elucidation of the almost primitive-seeming medical practices that were once customary, and the culturing and dissemination of the woman's cancer cells (unbeknownst to her or her relatives) around the world. This was a period when even paying patients were seldom if ever asked for consent and frequently experimented on without their knowledge. Skloot brings to life not only Henrietta's tragedy but also her own quest with Henrietta's daughter to find the woman behind the HeLa cells and the incredible accomplishments those cells have made possible. Just about all of us on the planet have benefited, while medical corporations have made billions and Henrietta's children received not one cent.

    A disturbing and even haunting aspect of the situation is that the 'Immortal Life' involved here is not that of Henrietta's cells alone but rather of her cells overcome and transformed by the terribly aggressive cancer that killed her. That is what has lived on and been used in thousands of experiments and inadvertently contaminated other cells lines around the world, replicating so much times that one scientist estimated all the HeLa produced (laid end to end) could circle the earth more than five times.

    As the author states in her opening, the history of Henrietta Lacks, her cells, and the way the medical establishment treated her family raises critical questions about scientific research, ethics, race, and class. It's also a supremely engrossing story and one that taught me more about race in America, medical ethics, science, and what makes writing matter than anything I've read in years. Original in scope and presentation, personal, thought provoking, and even profound, this is the kind of nonfiction that rarely comes along.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Good try, but could have been better, July 31, 2010
    I'm a big fan of science and medical non-fiction, so when I saw the rave reviews for The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, I was excited to read it. It started off strong; I'd give the first half five stars. The oral history of the Lacks family was fascinating, and I loved reading about how the cells got their start in the lab. When the author introduced the adult family (Deborah, et al), I felt a strong sympathy for them and what they'd been through. I was already recommending it to friends, anticipating that the second half would be as good.

    However, once I got to the second half, it went downhill considerably. The writing was fairly tight in the beginning, keeping all of the stories woven together in a comprehensible way, but seemed to unravel as the book went on. When I read the introduction, I didn't understand why Skloot was so defensive about inserting herself into the book (in my experience, medical non-fiction authors do it all the time), but I soon realized why - because by the second half, the book becomes less about HeLa, science, history, and ethics, and instead turns exclusively into a memoir about Skloot's dealings with the family. And at this point, the family became unsympathetic and insufferable. The writing became repetitive, somewhat informal, and ridden with unnecessary details. One reviewer called this book "deftly written" and I'd have to disagree. The second half gets one star.

    The book ended on a strong note, with the Afterward. The Afterward took us back to questions of bioethics. As I was reading it, I wondered why the Afterward was a separate part - couldn't it have been woven into the second half of the book?

    In short, I thought this book was merely ok, but as the reviews show, a lot of people loved it. If you think that you're one of the people who will love it, read it. If you're looking for a book that's just outstanding, look somewhere else.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Is Immortality really worth the price?, January 21, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    Rebecca Skloot has written a book that certainly sounds like it could be science fiction, but in truth it is incredible science. However, it's not only about the science, but more importantly about who is behind it all. She has put a very real face to one of the most important medical research discoveries of our lifetime and given an appropriate name to the HeLa cells used in that research all over the world; Henrietta Lacks.

    This book recounts the life of Henrietta, the death of Henrietta and the immortal cells she left behind that became the basis of many life saving discoveries in the medical field. HeLa cells are those which were taken from Henrietta's cancerous tumor many decades ago. They were easily replicated and viable for testing therefore they became an important staple in laboratories doing medical research right up to the present. Many have her cells to thank for their treatment and cures of deadly diseases.

    Sounds like a generous donation to the medical community, doesn't it? But, what if Henrietta and her family had no idea any of this had taken place? They didn't know that her doctor had taken the cells, and upon realizing how unique they were, shared and traded them with other researchers. They especially were unaware that these were eventually being sold for a profit among labs and medical companies. Was this a case of explotation or was it simply how science progresses?

    The author finds the surviving family of Mrs. Lacks and realizes there is far more to the story than it would first appear. She touches on each of the sensitive topics that present themselves as the family approaches her with so many questions left unanswered. The more I read, the more fascinated I became with the complexities.

    The Lacks family are uneducated and living in poverty, struggling to understand how their loved one could have saved so many lives while her own could not be saved. They find it hard to believe their mother has done so much for the medical community, and made some companies millions of dollars, yet they cannot even afford good medical care. They wonder how cells were named after her yet there was no true recognition of her by her full, real name. The children hope that Ms. Skloot will not be another journalist to take advantage of them, but that she will give their mother the place she deserves as a real person, not just a "cell donor". Ms. Skloot does exactly that and I believe they would be very happy with the care she has given to the subject.

    It's my opinion that everyone studying medicine & science should read this book to gain insight as to the genuine lives of patients. The understanding that there is much more to a person than their cells, their lab results, their disease, etc., is such an important lesson to be learned. To take a quote from the book, stated by the assistant who helped retrieve the cells while Henrietta was in the morgue, "When I saw those toenails I nearly fainted. I thought, Oh geez, she's a real person. I started imagining her sitting in her bathroom painting those toenails, and it hit me for the first time that those cells we'd been working with all this time and sending all over the world, they came from a live woman. I'd never thought of it thay way".

    I would also highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the ethical and legal aspects of the medical and scientific communities. There is also a significant component relating to the Johns Hopkins, the black community and black history. Every aspect was fascinating and eye-opening.

    If you are wondering how this could have happened, be warned that it could just as easily happen to any of us tomorrow, as there are still no laws in place preventing any doctor or hospital from keeping and using our tissue, or our children's umbilical blood, or our parents tumors for research once collected. Perhaps it is better that we all contribute to furthering scientific discoveries. But, you might rethink "immortality" after hearing this story. Just one more good reason to read this book.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Two different books, August 25, 2010
    I enjoyed the first half of the book. It was informative and educational. The second half - not so much. It took a bad turn with the introduction of Deborah and their trip together. The author depicted her as a woman who has the mind of a hyperactive 5 year old with ADD. "Oh my god. . . . I did this to her?" Maybe. Maybe not. The book went from the scientific and factual to the land of superstition and sensationalism I was left with the impression the book was a collage of facts and embellished observations. It's a good idea to leave your readers for a desire for more. I was left with a desire for less. ... Read more


    2. The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer
    by Siddhartha Mukherjee
    Hardcover (2010-11-16)
    list price: $30.00 -- our price: $14.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 1439107955
    Publisher: Scribner
    Sales Rank: 50
    Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    The Emperor of All Maladies is a magnificent, profoundly humane “biography” of cancer—from its first documented appearances thousands of years ago through the epic battles in the twentieth century to cure, control, and conquer it to a radical new understanding of its essence. Physician, researcher, and award-winning science writer, Siddhartha Mukherjee examines cancer with a cellular biologist’s precision, a historian’s perspective, and a biographer’s passion. The result is an astonishingly lucid and eloquent chronicle of a disease humans have lived with—and perished from—for more than five thousand years. The story of cancer is a story of human ingenuity, resilience, and perseverance, but also of hubris, paternalism, and misperception. Mukherjee recounts centuries of discoveries, setbacks, victories, and deaths, told through the eyes of his predecessors and peers, training their wits against an infinitely resourceful adversary that, just three decades ago, was thought to be easily vanquished in an all-out “war against cancer.” The book reads like a literary thriller with cancer as the protagonist. From the Persian Queen Atossa, whose Greek slave cut off her malignant breast, to the nineteenth-century recipients of primitive radiation and chemotherapy to Mukherjee’s own leukemia patient, Carla, The Emperor of All Maladies is about the people who have soldiered through fiercely demanding regimens in order to survive—and to increase our understanding of this iconic disease. Riveting, urgent, and surprising, The Emperor of All Maladies provides a fascinating glimpse into the future of cancer treatments. It is an illuminating book that provides hope and clarity to those seeking to demystify cancer. ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars OFF THE CHARTS
    You remember the scene in the film "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid"? From the top of the bluff looking into the distance at dusk, Butch sees the lights of the pursuing posse which doesn't stop tracking them even at night and says "How many are following us? They're beginning to get on my nerves. Who are those guys?" In the same threatening way cancers have been dogging human beings since the dawn of time, and although we now know quite a lot about cancer we still don't really know "who are those guys" or how to shake them. And they sure are "beginning to get on our nerves" as Butch said. Almost one out of four of us will eventually wrestle with cancer -- the defining illness of our generation -- and lose our lives in the process. Until it catches up with us most of us will try to ignore this fact, just as when we were very young children alone in our bedroom trying to go to sleep at night we tried to ignore the monster that we sometimes feared might be lurking in our bedroom closet.

    Enter oncologist Siddhartha Mukherjee who almost parentally takes us by the hand to give us the courage to open with him the door to that dark and foreboding closet in order to see what is really lurking inside. Since eventually most of us are going to have to wrestle with this monster anyway -- either as a victim or as a loved one of a victim -- looking intelligently and closely into that dark closet does diminish fear and enhance wise perspective. And on this incredible journey into the depths of that darkness, what an absolutely marvelous guide is this modern day Virgil called Siddharta Mukherjee as he leads us on this long and often harrowing journey through the swarth that cancer has cut through mankind throughout time.

    Mukherjee is a veritable kaleidoscope. Turn his writing one way and you experience him as an exciting writer of page-turning detective stories or mystery stories; turn him another and he's a highly effective communicator of cellular biology; turn him a third and you get superb science writing; turn him a fourth and he has the grandeur and broad sweep of an excellent historian. It's hard to believe that this one book, combining all of these appealing characteristics, is the work of just one man. And underlying it all is his sterling medical training and credentials which have been enumerated often elsewhere.

    The book itself is a tour de force. It is the first book of such extraordinary scope regarding cancer. Its architectural structure brings to mind Melville's Moby Dick and how effectively and artfully Melville braided together the three strands of his great classic: a grand adventure story, the technology of whaling, and a treatise of humanity and philosophy. Equally effectively does Mukherjee weave together all the various facets of this iconic disease throughout history, from describing cancer from the patient's perspective, to viewing the never ending battles of physicians and medical researchers with cancer over the centuries, to examining the mysteries of the cellular nature of cancer itself and what really goes on in there, to the pro and con impact of this never ending plague on the spirit of the individual human and on our race as a whole, to peering into a crystal ball for a glance of cancer's and our future together. While doing all of this the alchemy of Mukherjee's writing continually turns science into poetry and poetry into science.

    Simply put, it is so good, and so incandescently clear and lucid, and so powerful, and so engrossing, and so easily consumed that you will not lay it down without someone or circumstances forcing you to.

    Had I read this book in my teens I would have found my life's career. I can only imagine that while you are reading this book, somewhere there will be some very young teenage girl or boy who will also be reading it at the same time you are, and who will become totally hooked by this book just as you will be, and who will go on to make a career in cancer research, a career that might provide the breakthrough that humanity has been searching and hoping for all of these many centuries. Thus although you will never know it, you will have "been there" at the initial motivation of that person and thus indirectly present at the earliest genesis of the eventual great idea.

    This book has THAT potential. It is THAT good.

    Kenneth E. MacWilliams

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Burden, The Mass, Onkos
    In the United States one in three women and one in two men will develop cancer in their lifetime. Dr Siddhartha Mukherjee, a medical oncologist, has written a definitive history of cancer. It may be one of the best medical books I have read. Complex but simple in terms of understanding. A timeline of a disease and those who waged the wars. In 1600 BC the first case of probable breast cancer was documented. In the thousands of years since, the Greek word, 'onkos', meaning mass or burden, has become the disease of our time. Cancer. The title of the book, is "a quote from a 19Th century physician" Dr Mukherjee had found inscribed in a library book that "cancer is the emperor of all maladies, the king of our terrors".

    As a health care professional and as a woman who is six years post breast cancer, Cancer has played a big part in my life. I used to walk by the Oncology clinic, and quicken my pace. I used to give chemotherapy to my patients, before it was discovered that the chemo was so toxic that it needed to be made under sterile conditions and given by professionals who specialized in Oncology. Dr Mukherjee, wisely discusses cancer in the context of patients, those of us who suffer. After all it is because of the patients, the people who have gone before us, who have contracted some form of cancer, they are the base of this science.

    Dr Mukherjee started his immersion in cancer medicine at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. He relates the beginning of the study of ALL, Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia, by Dr Sidney Farber in 1947. Dr Farber, a pathologist at the time decided to change his focus and start caring for patients. He was given a medication to trial for ALL, and though most of his patients died, some survived to remission. This opened his world and with the help of Mary Lasker, and Charles E Dana, philanthropists, they opened one of the first clinics that specialized in cancer care and research, The Dana Farber Cancer Center. Dr Mukherjee gives us the timeline of ALL and lymphomas and the medications that turned into chemotherapy. The development of specific care for blood cancers and the emergence of AIDS and patient activism. He discusses the surgery for breast cancer. It was thought that the more radical the surgery the better the outcomes. We now know that lumpectomies have an excellent outcome. But, women before me had a radical removal of breast, chest tissue, lymph nodes and sometimes ribs. The lesson learned is that breast cancer is very curable now and all those men and women, the patients who suffered, gave us the answers and cancer care has moved on.

    The onslaught of chemotherapies changed the face of cancer, and the 1970's served us well. In 1986 the first outcomes of cancer care were measured. Tobacco emerged as an addiction and soon lung cancer was a leading cause of death. Presidential Commissions ensued, politics entered the world of cancer, the war against cancer and the war against smoking. The Pap smear was developed, and prevention came to the fore. The two sides of cancer, the researchers and the physicians at the bedside, who often thought never the twain shall meet, recognized the importance of research to bedside.

    The story of the boy 'Jimmy' from New Sweden, Maine, became the face of childhood cancer. The Jimmy Fund, a Boston Red Sox charity in Boston, is still going strong today. 'Jimmy' opened the door to the public for the need for money and research, and care for those with cancer. We follow Dr Mukherjee with one of his first patients, Carla, from her diagnosis through her treatment. He has given a face to cancer. We all know someone with cancer, those who survived and those who did not. Cancer prevention is now the wave of the future.

    "Cancer is and may always be part of the burden we carry with us," says Dr Mukherjee. He has now written a "biography of cancer" for us, those without special medical knowledge. However, he does go astray in some discussions such as genetics. I have an excellent medical background, and found I was floundering at times. As I discovered,and Dr. Mukherjee agrees, our patients are our heroes. They/we withstand the horrors of cancer, and the horrific, sometimes deadly treatments. The stories of his patients make us weep, and the complex decision making about their care make him the most caring of physicians.

    The 'quest for the cure' is the basis of all science and research, and Dr Mukherjee has written a superb tome in language that we can all attempt to understand. The biography of Cancer. Cancer may always be with us,Dr Mukherjee hopes that we outwit this devil and survive.


    Highly Recommended. prisrob 11-13-10

    Jimmy Fund of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, The (MA) (Images of America)

    Early Detection: Women, Cancer, and Awareness Campaigns in the Twentieth-Century United States

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Everyman Book of Cancer
    The brilliance of this book is the effortlessness with which the author draws the reader into the world of cancer and keeps him there as a tourist or witness. Dr. Mukherjee's engaging style, precision of prose and overwhelming compassion imbue this work with an energy that carries the reader along a ride like none other.

    Whether the reader is a basic scientist or sociologist, a patient or healthcare provider, a philosopher or philanderer, this book will appeal, entertain and educate.

    A remarkable achievement.

    5-0 out of 5 stars "Cancer was an all-consuming presence in our lives."
    Siddhartha Mukherjee's monumental "The Emperor of All Maladies" meticulously outlines the trajectory of cancer (derived from the Greek word "karkinos," meaning crab) over thousands of years, starting in ancient Egypt. In 2010, seven million people around the world will die of cancer. Many have experienced the horrors of this disease through personal experience. The author provides us with a global view of this "shape-shifting entity [that is] imbued with such metaphorical and political potency that it is often described as the definitive plague of our generation."

    In "The Emperor of All Maladies," we meet a variety of patients, doctors, scientists, and activists. We also hear the voices of such iconic figures as Susan Sontag, author of "Illness as Metaphor," and Alexander Solzhenitsyn, whose "Cancer Ward" is a desolate and isolating "medical gulag." Cancer is such a complex subject that it can only be understood by examining it in all of its facets: through myths, the anguish of its victims, and the untiring efforts of its adversaries, both past and present, some of whom were well-meaning but horribly misguided. Mukherjee says in his author's note that he has made an effort to be "simple but not simplistic." In this he has succeeded.

    Ancient physicians thought that such invisible forces as "miasmas" and "bad humors" caused cancers. Many years of experimentation, studies of human anatomy, laboratory work, and clinical trials have shown cancer to be a "pathology of excess" that originates from the uncontrolled growth of a single cell. Cancer is "unleashed by mutations--changes in DNA that specifically affect genes that incite unlimited cell growth." What treatment to use--surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, or a combination of these approaches--is rarely an easy decision. Equally significant are the efforts of public health officials, who seek to reduce cancer's mortality through early detection (mammography and colonoscopy, among others, are screening methods in use today). In addition, cancer may be prevented by encouraging people to avoid environmental carcinogens such as cigarette smoke.

    This elegant and heartrending narrative is far more than a biography of a terrible malady. It is also a story of paternalism, arrogance, and false hope, as well as inventiveness, determination, and inspiration. We meet Sidney Farber, who pioneered a chemotherapeutic approach to leukemia in children during the 1940's and helped launch "the Jimmy Fund"; William Halstead who, in the nineteenth century, disfigured women with radical mastectomies that, in many cases, were not curative; Paul Ehrlich, who discovered a "magic bullet" to combat syphilis from a derivative of chemical dyes; Mary Lasker, a powerful businesswoman and socialite who zealously raised money and political awareness in what would become a national war on cancer; and George Papanicolaou, a Greek cytologist, whose Pap smear "changed the spectrum of cervical cancer." Mukherjee constantly moves back and forth in time, showing how the past and the present are closely interconnected.

    Throughout the book, Dr. Mukherjee's keeps returning to one of his patients, thirty-six year old Carla Long. In 2004, she was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a cancer of the white blood cells. Carla would have a long road ahead of her, one filled with pain, fear, and uncertainty. We look to the future with cautious optimism that even greater progress will be made in our never-ending battle against a treacherous and multi-pronged enemy. Mukherjee is a brilliant oncologist, gifted writer, scrupulous researcher, and spellbinding storyteller. "The Emperor of All Maladies" is a riveting, thought-provoking, and enlightening work that deserves to become an instant classic.

    5-0 out of 5 stars All In favor say "Aye"
    There seems little left to say so I'll take a different tack, look to another facet of this book and its author.

    Today I heard Dr. Mukherjee interviewed on the Terry Gross show (Fresh Air - NPR), where the topic, the book, was biased in favor of the author ... and a wonderful treat it was. While I am interested in cancer and progress toward cure, the fascinating aspect of today's experience was the man himself. In all the interviews of all the interviewers I've listened in on - mostly literary in nature - I've never heard a more articulate responder than Mukherjee. He's a poet. His choice of words slice in toward meaning like the scalpel itself. He avoids vagueness and ambiguity, courts acuracy and precsion like no one I've heard. He is a treat just to listen to, never mind his insights into the disease, it's history and possible future.

    I ordered this book today in order to get more of his artistry but I wouldn't discourage those seeking the phycician's prowess - that is there too. If I should be in that 25% that ends up with cancer, I would hope Dr. Mukherjee would be there to consult with me and console.

    5-0 out of 5 stars As magentic as a biography can be
    As a work of scholarship, this book is just tremendous. Mukherjee traces the history of our understanding of cancer from 2500 BC to present-day. He writes of political battles for public attention, incredible wiles in the biology of the disease, and schisms among the researchers sent to conquer it. All major developments are present and sourced in sixty pages of footnotes. From this grand historical scope, Mukherjee has crafted a tight and coherent narrative that I found very difficult to put down. I'm aware of no lay-account of cancer with anything approaching the level of depth present here. This book is one-of-a-kind.

    Like anything so vast, it isn't quite perfect. Certain structural changes would benefit fluency, though they've no impact on my unqualified recommendation.

    * More humanizing characteristics and quotations. Smaller researchers, and occasionally even key players, are summed by little more than what they've accomplished. There are perhaps a hundred contributors that Mukherjee covers, but with exception to a handful that have had tens of pages devoted to them or some peculiar eccentricity, they're interchangeable and unmemorable.

    * A more even balance between discovery and those stricken by cancer. Mukherjee is at his best when he's describing the struggles of his own patients. These stories are touching, personal, and an intensely interesting ground-level foil to the bird's eye view of much of the book. The retrospective of cancer discovery is so vast and detailed that these rare moments where the story reverts to the present can feel like an oasis.

    Roughly half of The Emperor is comprised of five and ten-page vignettes where Mukherjee poses a question ("If XY, then could XYZ ... ?") and resolves it with the travails of a researcher ("Person Q, a scientist at H, noticed ..."). These accounts are often gripping, especially as advances accelerate in the mid-1980s, but sets of four or five in a series are enough to cause my attention to drift.

    * A different ending. In the final chapters, Mukherjee suggests he'd originally intended to conclude with the death of a particular patient. By serendipity, that patient was still living in late 2009. Given the great strides in cancer survival and the sense he conveys that genetics may well provide the magic bullets that so occupied the fantasies of early researchers, concluding on a high note would have been within the spirit of the book. Instead, Mukherjee describes another patient that did in fact die. This person was not previously introduced. She was a better fit for the narrative, but including her account for that purpose didn't strike the right tone to me.

    Structure aside, I'd like to have seen Mukherjee become more of a prognosticator in later chapters. I was reeling at the sheer mass of information on display by the last page, but I also felt as if I'd accumulated a great depth of trivia with little binding glue to the present. There probably aren't a hundred people alive in a better position than the author to comment on the state of cancer research, to predict, or to theorize in new directions. But these insights are spare.

    These points aside, if you've even a tangential interest in cancer or biology, Mukherjee's opus remains a must-read.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Spectacular insight into the most feared of all diseases
    This is a spectacular book. I read 100 books a year and this is definitely in the top 10. It is very, very well written and, in some ways, it is like a mystery. The way the book is written, we follow the stream of research and clinical medical treatment over 150 years. It's like feeling around in the dark for a bomb that we know will go off. It is simultaneously horrifying and compelling. I am a doctor and think I am compassionate towards my patients. This book increased my compassion 10X. What surprised me the most was the politics involved in attempting to cure a disease that potentially affects everyone. Surgeons want to cut and oncologists want to drug. They each have their turf and don't want to give it up. The fact that 50% of all men and 33% of all women will get some form of cancer before they die is a very sobering one. The section on the evilness of the tobacco industry was particularly illuminating. I can't put the book down and will truly be sad when it is finished.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic insight into the science behind medical research
    Great book, I will read it again. I love learning and understanding the thought processes, errors and vast achievements of all aspects of scientific research, particularly medicine. This book does not disappoint. The author leans somewhat heavily on his thesaurus, be prepared to dig around in the dictionary. However, great history and insight into the scientific method. A fascinating peek into the mind of a scientist and a clinician. Must read.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The New Standard for Cancer Stories
    It is difficult to even imagine the stacks of reports, articles, notes and interviews that Dr. Mukherjee processed to produce this fabulous book. Each page explains, in very readable prose, complex, arcane subjects. For anyone looking for reason to hope that their cancer is curable, this book is trove of stories of lives saved and changed by the work of cancer researchers.
    This book will be referenced in other works for a long time. ... Read more


    3. The Mind's Eye
    by Oliver Sacks
    Hardcover
    list price: $26.95 -- our price: $14.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0307272087
    Publisher: Knopf
    Sales Rank: 279
    Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    In The Mind’s Eye, Oliver Sacks tells the stories of people who are able to navigate the world and communicate with others despite losing what many of us consider indispensable senses and abilities: the power of speech, the capacity to recognize faces, the sense of three-dimensional space, the ability to read, the sense of sight. For all of these people, the challenge is to adapt to a radically new way of being in the world.

    There is Lilian, a concert pianist who becomes unable to read music and is eventually unable even to recognize everyday objects, and Sue, a neurobiologist who has never seen in three dimensions, until she suddenly acquires stereoscopic vision in her fifties.

    There is Pat, who reinvents herself as a loving grandmother and active member of her community, despite the fact that she has aphasia and cannot utter a sentence, and Howard, a prolific novelist who must find a way to continue his life as a writer even after a stroke destroys his ability to read.

    And there is Dr. Sacks himself, who tells the story of his own eye cancer and the bizarre and disconcerting effects of losing vision to one side.

    Sacks explores some very strange paradoxes—people who can see perfectly well but cannot recognize their own children, and blind people who become hyper-visual or who navigate by “tongue vision.” He also considers more fundamental questions: How do we see? How do we think? How important is internal imagery—or vision, for that matter? Why is it that, although writing is only five thousand years old, humans have a universal, seemingly innate, potential for reading?

    The Mind’s Eye
    is a testament to the complexity of vision and the brain and to the power of creativity and adaptation. And it provides a whole new perspective on the power of language and communication, as we try to imagine what it is to see with another person’s eyes, or another person’s mind.
    ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars The wonder of our visual sense, revealed through its pathologies, September 22, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    If I were to ask you to descrbe the differences were between what your eyes see, and what you see, you'd probably think it an odd question. After all what you see is what your eyes see, right? Curiously enough, what you see when you perceive the world around you is very different from what your eyes "see."

    Consider this: The human eye can detect fine detail over an angle of about 2 degrees. That's not much; it's roughly the area of a dime held at arm's length. Your first instinct is probably to say nonsense; after all, you can easily perceive the entire scene before you, over an angle of at least 90 and as much as 180 degrees. You're right, at least in part. You perceive the wide expanse of the world before you, but what you perceive and what your eyes take in are two very different things. The world you perceive is not the raw input from your eyes, but rather something constructed by your brain, using input from your eyes as well as a lifetime's experience and memory of the world around you.

    Here's another example. You've probably, at one time or another in your childhood, placed a finger in front of your face, and then viewed it through each eye in turn, noticing how it appears to jump back and forth and you switched eyes. Obviously, your eyes see slightly different pictures of the world. Yet when you look at the world, you don't see two different pictures. You see a single picture of the world, with a sense of depth and dimensionality not apparent when viewing with either eye alone. That third dimension isn't there in the pictures coming from your eyes- it has to be added by the brain.

    Neurologist Oliver Sacks has made a second career for himself writing about neurological affectations, and how they affect the people who suffer them. In this book, he examines how vision works, and what happens when it doesn't. Sacks has a particular insight into the problems of those whose vision differs from that of the population at large, as he himself suffers from prosopagnosia- the inability to recognize faces. For years, this was assumed to be a purely psychological problem. How could someone with excellent vision fail to recognize a face- even that of a family member? But for severe prosopagnosiacs, even the face of a parent or child is a nondescript set of features, no different from any other. This can and does affect recognition of things as well as people. Sacks, for example, tells how how he many times walked past his own house many times until a neighbor or family member spotted him and guided him home again. Prosopagnosia can range from the slight to the severe. Perhaps as many as 2.5% of the population carry a gene that predisposes them to the condition, and most mild prosopagnodiacs are probably unaware that they have the condition, thinking instead that they simply have a "bad memory for faces." Sacks speculates if many instances of social shyness may in fact be due to the difficulties brought on by prosopagnosia; his own mother was painfully shy, and he suspect, given the genetic component, that he may have inherited his condition from her.

    A related condition Sacks discusses at length is alexia, the inability to recognize letters.Usually brought on my injury, disease, or stroke, alexics can see letters, but the letters make no sense to them. One subject, a writer by trade, describes his post-stroke perception of English language as looking like "Serbo Croation (cyrillic) characters." Curiously enough, most sufferers have no difficulty writing, a condition known as "alexia sin agraphia"- alexia without agraphia. They can write, but they cannot recognize their own handwriting after they write. To a neuroscientist, this is strong evidence for very different areas of the brain being involved in the production of text and the perception of it; to a writer, or a voracious reader, it can be a devastating condition. Some found they can switch to audio books and dictation, and a very few have managed to teach themselves new strategies to read, if slowly.

    Midway through the book Sacks describes the discovery of a tumor in his dominant eye. Though the tumor is treated, successfully, he loses a part of the visual field in the affected eye, and eventually, most sight. This leads to a number of very curious things. At one point, Sacks describes closing his eye- and continuing to see the scene about him, as if his eyes were still wide open. The brain, Sacks notes, is predisposed towards receiving information from the senses, and if deprived of that information, will fill in as best it can. There is a rare condition in which the sufferers are objectively blind, yet maintain that they can see, even as they find themselves bumping into objects, and many older people with visual impairment suffer from Charles Bonnet syndrome, a condition in which the mind creates objects (and occasionally people) to fill in for missing visual stimuli. (Charles Bonnet syndrome is rarely reported, as the sufferers are often afraid it will be taken as a sign of senility.)

    Sacks also discusses stereo vision, and those who have lost and gained it, and the loss and recovery of vision in general. Interesting, although most sighted people who lose vision eventually lose their visual imagery as well, some gain an enhanced sense of visual imagery. One subject Sacks discusses became so good at integrating the information from his other senses into his visual imagery that he could confidently walk down the street without a cane or dog. Another repaired the roof of his garage- at night (terrifying his neighbor!), since the presence or absence of light made no difference to him.

    As with all Sacks' books, "The Mind's Eye" is a superb synthesis of science, medicine, and insight into the human experience. His obvious empathy, and even affection, for the people he meets and consults with come through in his writing, and help the reader to see the person behind the affliction, and to give each of us greater appreciation for the wonder and the mystery of the senses we possess.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Focused and Fascinating, October 1, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    Oliver Sacks has a distinct style of story-telling. He comes across a patient with unusual symptoms. He takes the time to get to know the person in detail. The person is amazing, cultured, refined, and suffering from a brain dysfunction that his other noble qualities compensate for. The doctor visits the patient's elegant home, they share a love for classical music or some other refined art, and the whole discussion leads to musing on the nobility of the human spirit and the utter weirdness that can happen to the human brain.

    This book starts out like that, with a story about a classical musician who slowly loses her ability to read, first words, then music, then an inability to recognize much of anything visually. At this point, I felt that the writing was pleasant and interesting, but a bit predictable. A second similar story follows. I still didn't realize that this book focused specifically on sight, vision, and the part that the brain, rather than the eye itself, plays in the ability to see. (I know, the title was a dead give-away, but I took it too metaphorically.)

    But then the book veers off in a direction that I wasn't expecting. Dr. Sacks himself is diagnosed with cancer in his eye. He undergoes surgery and radiation, and his vision is changed in odd ways. Much of the book is based on his own detailed notes on his experiments with himself, his internal observations of what he experiences. There is a great deal of reflection on stereopsis, the ability to see in 3-D, which curiously, he had been a big fan of, belonging to a society in New York based on old 3-d imagery. Just like the people he so often writes about, now he himself turns out to be a patient whose particular gifts and interests are suddenly impinged upon by a peculiar ailment. (Are the gods mocking us? Beethoven becomes deaf, musicians lose the ability to read music, a man fascinated with antique View-master images loses the ability to see in 3-D? I once met an elderly woman who was a skillful pianist who had been the victim of a mugging in which the mugger had stepped on and smashed all her fingers.)

    I found this book to be one of Sacks best, which is saying quite a lot. I have never forgotten The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, but I found Musicophilia tedious. This is first -rate Sacks. He always has impressed me as a man of unusual empathy. This time, he is not only the empathetic doctor, but a sympathetic patient. A stimulating and enriching read.

    4-0 out of 5 stars It's All in Your Mind, September 24, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    It's not surprising that such a complex system as vision can go wrong in so many ways. The eye itself is amazingly complicated, but it's the mind that makes sense of the images the eye sees. We all know about the trick the mind plays on us to make us ignore the fact that one's nose is in the field of vision of each of our eyes. That's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how much the mind determines what and how we see.

    In his latest book, The Mind's Eye, Oliver Sacks presents case studies of vision malfunctions. A concert pianist suddenly can't read music anymore. A novelist finds he can't read anymore - but he hasn't lost his ability to write in longhand. Other chapters cover face blindness and a lack of stereoscopic vision - a woman who sees in two dimensions rather than three.

    This would have been a depressing book if it had just been about the many ways our brains can fail us. But Sacks also describes the incredible ways these people have compensated for their losses. The concert pianist finds that she can play by ear better than she ever thought she would be able to. She can memorize long pieces of music and improvise and compose. The novelist writes his drafts in longhand and has his editor read it to him so he can make revisions. In a non-vision related aside, Sacks tells of a woman who has been paralyzed following an accident, but finds she can still at least enjoy the small pleasure of doing the daily crossword puzzle by memorizing the grid and all the clues and then solving the puzzle mentally through the day. She could not have imagined being able to memorize to such an extent before the accident.

    Is it possible to achieve feats such as super-memory without having been injured? Do we all possess amazing brains that we only put to the test when we're challenged by circumstances? Again we're left to marvel that, of all the fantastic things the brain can do, the one thing it hasn't been able to figure out yet, is itself.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Not for your common Joe, October 22, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    Oliver Sacks' Uncle Tungsten: Memories of a Chemical Boyhood is one of my all-time favorites. It provides an interesting walk though science through the eyes of a child. It is both enlightening and charming... truly a rare breed.

    Unfortunatley, "The Mind's Eye" is quite different and while it does offer some of the charm - it is much less readable. In truth, it requires a fairly large degree of prior knowledge in neurology in order for it to make sense. This makes the reading much more academic, and in my case, tedious.

    I am sure that many people will enjoy "The Mind's Eye" but it may be restricted more to the medical community and not the average reader. This is unfortunate, because the stories offered by Dr. Sacks are interesting, but the level of detail is just too deep. An example was the discussion on "Face Blindness" which to me is a fascinating topic (my wife seems to think that I may suffer from this disorder!), but withing 5 pages I have a hard time following the technical detail of the discussion.

    Final Verdict - Probably very interesting for the medical community, but it may be a tough read for common Joe.

    2 1/2 Stars

    4-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating window into the eye's mind, October 2, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    I thought of warning psychosomatic individuals off this book, but then realized that, within a few pages, they would lose the ability to read any further, and so the damage might be rather acute and short-lived.

    The extraordinary stories of human suffering, endurance and triumph that Sacks presents in this book all have to do with some aspect of sight: people who cannot recognize faces or places, people who all of a sudden lose the ability to read, to play music, or who cannot see in stereo. And they are fascinating stories told in Sacks' usual entertaining style that seems to benefit from his near photographic memory, so much detail does he lay down.

    Of course, not all the stories are depressing tales of relentless decline into blindness or depression. There is also resilience and the overcoming of obstacles. And even the unlikely gaining of abilities lost. But every story is gripping and enlightening, not the least of which are the stories about Sacks' own related struggles (I won't throw in any spoilers here.)

    An important take-away from this book is learning that such a high number of people suffer from aphasic disorders, yet they lead mostly normal lives, thanks to their will and their brain's ability to compensate and strengthen the person in other ways.

    Read this book and you may never think about words (or faces or eyes) in the same way again.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary Real Life Adventures in Perception, October 14, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    The Mind's Eye is my first exposure to Oliver Sacks; however, it will not be my last. The author is a seventy-six year old practicing physician with an uncanny ability to tell his patients stories, bringing the reader close to the afflictions experienced by both him and his subjects.

    What do the terms agnosia, anomia, aphasia, dyslexia, prosopagnosia mean? This book explains them all and more in the context of stories about people with brain anomalies that result in visual problems. Sometimes these anomalies are genetic and other times they are the result of brain lesions; however, they drastically affect individuals' senses and method of adjusting to their affliction.

    Whether it is the sudden or gradual loss of the ability to read, recognize faces or objects, or measure depth the brain has a remarkable plasticity an those areas associated with sight give way to sharpen other human senses.

    I found Oliver Sacks' writing skills remarkable and zipped through this 240 page riveting real life medical documentation of visual anomalies in record time. He brings his stories to life making what could have been a difficult subject an easy and interesting read.

    If you are interested in learning more about "perception," this is a must read.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting Accounts, September 24, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    Dr. Sacks is an interesting writer. His accounts of different patients dealing with various ailments having to do with the brain's affect on vision is fascinating. But, for me, the book really got interesting when he chronicled his own battle with a tumor in his eye. His honesty and vulnerability during his ordeal was very compelling. Having been diagnosed with a melanoma tumor in his eye, he journals his fears, frustrations and daily battle with his symptoms.

    When he wrote of his patients and their struggles it was interesting, and his compassion for their conditions was apparent. Suffering himself from prosopagnosia (inability to recognize faces), his writing and dealing with this condition was particularly detailed. When he chronicles his own battle, though, is when you really feel you get to know the man and what he went through. His writing is honest, no holds barred on how he felt and his fear. A lesser man, especially in the medical field, might have put on a clinical face, but Dr. Sacks really lets us in on how frightened and frustrated he was with his condition.

    I would highly recommend this book for anyone, especially those that may be struggling with a chronic condition that requires a lifestyle change to accommodate your condition.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An eye-opener for those interested in the mind., October 13, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    THE MIND'S EYE by Oliver Sacks is a 254 page book by a seasoned author and trained professional (medical doctor). The book is written at the layperson's level. There are no attempts to teach the reader details of any techniques that are used for diagnosing mental disorders, and no attempts to introduce concepts that might be encountered only in a course in advanced psychoanalysis. (These observations are not meant as criticisms.) Of course, there are a few technical terms, here and there, such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (page 7), "upper right quadrant of his visual field" (page 55), "prosopagnosics" (page 91, 107),"stereopsis" (page 123), and "ocular melanoma" (page 147). The book is also careful, now and then, to provide names of famous neurologists, such as Joseph-Jules Dejerine (page 57) Jean-Martin Charcot (page 77), and Gordon Holmes (page 229).

    The book contains seven chapters. Each chapter details, in layperson's terms, the afflications of a different patient. In other words, this book contains seven biographies of seven different people. For example, the first chapter discloses the story of an older woman, a musician, who was losing her ability to read words, and losing her ability to read music. The name of the disease is, "alexia." This woman's alexia also included, "musical alexia." The woman was able to recognize letters, but was simply not able to read. Over the course of years, she became unable to recognize drawings, for example, drawings of a banjo or a dog. In contrast, the woman had no problem in identifying real objects, such as a real bell pepper or real eggs. Eventually, the woman also acquired the disorder of, "anomia," namely, the inability to find words for things, such as the word for a match, or sugar. Despite these problems, the woman -- a recording artist and music teacher -- was still able to play pieces on the piano, providing that she played them by memory.

    The entire book contains fascinating stories of this nature. The book would make an ideal gift to any child of the ages ten and older, as well as for any adult. FIVE STARS.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Ode to the Long-Term Adaptabililty and Plasticity of the Brain, even after Injury, October 27, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    This book is nominally about how people deal with visual impairment and loss. However, the real underlying themes of this book are: 1) there is no single way by which people adapt to the same neurological loss; and 2) the brain can keeps acquiring new skills and recovering old skills after injury for many years.

    Typically neurologists tell stroke patients that they will improve for up to a year at most, but I observed in my father continual improvement after that, and Oliver Sacks offers other accounts as well. One case "Stereo Sue" involves a woman acquiring a new neurological skill (learning to see in 3D) in her 40s, that she had not had since childhood. It was really fascinating to see that you can teach the brain basic skills after decades, generally considered impossible after early childhood.

    Sacks also wrote about how different people who became totally blind used a variety of strategies to handle the world around them. Some had a rich model of images that they constructed in their minds, other discarded imagery once they lost sight. It shows that their are a variety of cognitive styles out there, and that there is no one way of dealing with neurological loss.

    Finally, in what I found to be a page-turner, Sacks writes about being struck with his own visual medical crisis.

    As usual with the writings of Oliver Sacks, this book is an affectionate appreciation of people and the variety of ways in which minds work, which flowed well and was easy to read. But more importantly, it gives hope to any brain-injured person that improvement can continue after the initial healing period, and that brains are very clever at coming up with ways of dealing with deficits.

    [A few of these chapters were previously published in New Yorker magazine.]

    3-0 out of 5 stars Stories About Maladies of Recognition: Not As Absorbing As Dr. Sacks's Previous Books, November 12, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    Dr. Sacks is normally an engaging story teller, and his forte is stories about brain, particularly the higher cortical function disorders, told as stories of patients suffering a variety of maladies of cerebrum. Higher cortical functions are what separates us from other primates.

    Vision, recognition & perception are the focus in this book. First part of the book is about the stories of patients with higher cortical visual disorders; in the second part he describes his own vision problems due to melanoma of the eye and his lifelong inability to recognize faces, believe it or not, it is a disorder called Prosopagnosia.

    First is the story of Lilian who starts out with musical alexia - inability to read musical scores by an accomplished musician - followed by general alexia. Then he describes the story of Canadian novelist Howard Engel who suffers from even rare form of alexia - where he is unable to read and recognize words but he is able to write - a condition called alexia sine agraphia.

    Patty is another patient who develops aphasia - inability to speak and express in words but then she adapts and becomes expert by expressing with gesture and mime using just her left arm because her right side is paralyzed. Patty is inspired by Jeannette, a quadriplegic speech therapist. So the stories are about how people adapt when they lose the ability to recognize or express.

    Sometimes losing one higher cortical function opens the other doors in the brain, for example, study by Nancy Etcoff showing how people with aphasia become better at detecting lies and emotion.

    Dr. Sacks has tackled vision before in The Island of Color Blind but this book deals with a different aspect of cortical visual disorders. In A Leg to Stand On he described how he lost awareness of his leg after an injury. Coming from a tradition of British clinical neurology, his vignettes are mostly anecdotal about his patient's life and presentation and at the most he goes into the anatomical basis of the disease; rarely, if at all, does he delve into the neuroelectrophysiological, biochemical or genetic basis of the sickness.

    Compared to Dr. Sacks previous books, this book is not as tautly written; at times it gets too technical for a non medical reader and feels dragged. If you have not read Dr. Sack's before then try The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat: And Other Clinical Tales and Uncle Tungsten: Memories of a Chemical Boyhood. Those are probably his best books. If you want to learn about higher visual, perception & recognition disorders and how the brain and people adapt when they lose some of those functions then this book is informative but less engaging. ... Read more

    4. You Mean I'm Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy?!: The Classic Self-Help Book for Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder
    by Kate Kelly, Peggy Ramundo
    Paperback
    list price: $17.00 -- our price: $11.56
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0743264487
    Publisher: Scribner
    Sales Rank: 434
    Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    With over a quarter million copies in print, You Mean I'm Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy?! is one of the bestselling books on attention deficit disorder (ADD) ever written. There is a great deal of literature about children with ADD. But what do you do if you have ADD and aren't a child anymore? This indispensable reference -- the first of its kind written for adults with ADD by adults with ADD -- focuses on the experiences of adults, offering updated information, practical how-tos and moral support to help readers deal with ADD. It also explains the diagnostic process that distinguishes ADD symptoms from normal lapses in memory, lack of concentration or impulsive behavior. Here's what's new:

    • The new medications and their effectiveness
    • The effects of ADD on human sexuality
    • The differences between male and female ADD -- including falling estrogen levels and its impact on cognitive function
    • The power of meditation
    • How to move forward with coaching

    And the book still includes advice about:

    • Achieving balance by analyzing one's strengths and weaknesses
    • Getting along in groups, at work and in intimate and family relationships -- including how to decrease discord and chaos
    • Learning the mechanics and methods for getting organized and improving memory
    • Seeking professional help, including therapy and medication
    ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars Know you're smart but think you're nuts? Then read this!, January 5, 1997
    I first bought this book strictly because of it's title. Having spent 45 years feeling crazy & stupid and being accused of laziness most of my life, I decided this book was for me. I didn't realize how very right I was! When I started to read I realized I was reading about myself. I identified with many of the descriptions of ADD from childhood through to adulthood. It was incredible to learn I was not alone in my daily frustration. This wonderful, informative book started me on a road of self-discovery. I was subsequently tested and diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder. The authors describe this "disability" as an "ADD-ed dimension" and they are so right! I now have self-esteem and self pride. My intelligence has been tested and verified .. I'm not lazy, crazy or stupid and I thank the authors of this book for that discovery. This book has changed my life. I can now read a page without losing my place. I don't forget what I'm saying or lose things as often. I have learned that I am one of many who use an additional area of my brain & must therefore learn to "process things differently". I no longer feel timid, ashamed, afraid or just plain different. I can now accept and like myself for the first time in my life.

    This book is written in a very "easy-reading" style. There is a wonderful blending of research facts and referenced stories and quips. As an adult diagnosed with ADD at the age of 45, I can attest to the value of this book. I highly recommend "You mean I'm not lazy, stupid or crazy" to anyone who has ever felt they were!

    3-0 out of 5 stars Needs updating, March 10, 2006
    While reading some of the previous reviews, I saw one that mentioned "contemporary science" - written in 1999. The first Amazon.com customer review for this book is from 1997. If I'd read it then, I would have rated it higher. But a book that deals with anything medical needs to be updated long before it's a decade old, which this one now is. The chapter on medication is completely outdated; it shouldn't be referred to by anyone who wants to know what options are available now. And while all the scientific/medical questions about ADD/ADHD haven't been answered, more is known now than when this book was written.

    The fact that this book has helped many people understand themselves better is great, and I'm not one who equates wanting to understand yourself with looking for excuses. This book has been recommended not only doctor to patient but friend to friend for a long time, and what it has can be helpful - the reason I gave it three stars. But I hope a second edition isn't being held back by the fact that the first one is still being recommended and purchased; it could be so much better if the information were updated.

    I personally had a more general problem with the book, which may also be related to its age. I'm primarily inattentive type ADD, and felt like I was a real outsider while reading this book. Some things applied to me, but a lot didn't. And anytime there was a statement like, "We all remember from our childhood..." I'd think, "Nope. Not me." Not that there's anything wrong with a book aimed at people with combined or primarily hyperactive ADD, and I didn't take away a star because of it, but "nowadays" that would probably be stated more clearly in the information about the book, or even on the cover. But back in 1996, that might have been less likely. (I told my doctor that reading this book reminded me of my experience of going to a support group for people with depression and being the only unipolar one there. You're "supposed to" fit in, and you kind of do, but not really.)

    If this is the first book about ADD someone reads, it would be eye-opening, and it was probably the best around 10 years ago. But I don't think that's true anymore. A second edition of it would be very useful.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A TERRIFIC resource!, January 18, 2000
    "You Mean I'm Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy! " belongs on the bedside table of every ADDer and of every parent, spouse or teacher who is trying to understand the ADDers in their lives. It was cutting edge when it was written and its information is still right on target.

    As an ADDer, ADD Coach, and founder of a company that trains ADD Coaches, I not only recommend "Lazy/Crazy" to anyone who asks for an ADD book recommendation, it has been required reading for OFI's 18-month ADD Coach Training program since the first beta classes in 1994. (Kate joined us several years later and is now President of OFI; Peggy joined us in 1999 and now heads up OFI's Sliding-Scale Coaching Clinic -- all the more reason I can recommend this book WITHOUT reservation!)

    An extremely readable book, obviously written from an "insiders" viewpoint, this book made me feel understood and validated -- like great advice from good friends. When I stumbled across it on the "New Books" table at a large Manhattan Bookstore (before I had met either of these authors) I started reading immediately. It was almost an hour before I finally forced myself to close the book, pay for it, and take it home. My copy is well-worn and multi-colored from all the highlighting I do to focus my attention.

    DO take the time, as the authors advise, to carefully read the first chapter. Although it is a little "heavier" reading than the rest of the book, the ADD information it provides will prove well worth the concentration it may take to go through it.

    (Helpful Hint: If your dominant modality is visual you will either LOVE the graphics or hate them. For my clients in the latter group, a sticky-note covering the graphics allowed them to focus more easily on the text.)

    Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC -- founder & CEO of The Optimal Functioning Institute�

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    58 of 59 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars The most useful book I've found, April 4, 2005
    I was diagnosed with ADD at the age of 9. In the seven-plus years since then, I've read a great deal of books about ADD. Almost all of them rely on the same "You're a unique and special snowflake!" attitude, and the same generalizations about people with ADD.
    After I was given this book as a gift, I put off reading this book for a while, sure thatit would be more of the same. Instead, it was incredable in its honesty. Instead of playing up the benefits of ADD, making it sound like a wonderful blessing, Kelly understands that, sometimes, it's also a curse. Those recently diagnosed need may reassurance, of course. However, when that's ALL a book is, it loses its value as a resource. That's why this book was so great- it stated that there's nothing wrong with ADD in the first couple chapters, then moved right along (giving it a more believable tone than most books, whose constant "There's nothing wrong at all!" statments make me suspect that maybe the author is trying to hide something) to talking about theories involving ADD (which was pretty cool).
    My favorite thing about this book is that it talks about the problems ADD can cause in various aspects of your life, and how ADD can manifest itself in different people. Rather than make general assumptions about people with ADD, the authors recognize that ADD is a complex, varied condition. Before this, I'd no idea that my sluggish periods might be part of my ADD, that it manifests itself verbally, and that my tactile defensivness (an occasional aversion to physical contact) wasn't because I was aggressive or weird- I was just overstimulated! No other book had even MENTIONED this kind of thing.
    Keeping with the diversity of problems, the authors offer a diversity of possible ways to deal with problems arising from ADD. Each idea can easily be altered to fit your needs- another big plus.
    Honestly, if you or your teenage child have ADD or ADHD, you should not be without this book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A classic that I often recommend to newly diagnosed adults, January 15, 2005
    First, I want to start with the title: It is so reassuring and affirming. How many adults and older teens have thought this when they first realized that they had AD/HD? Even the illustrations have a humorous, comfy, reassuring feel.

    This book deals with the every day practicalities of living with AD/HD. First, the authors reassure the reader that he or she is not bad or blameworthy. This is good, but then they go on to help the individual to take charge. Ultimately this leads to a new sense of empowerment and an enlightened sense of responsibility. The book deals with the often overlooked issues of scheduling, spirituality, adequate sleep and maintaining social supports.

    My favorite chapter is the one on how to organize your workspace. This chapter is worth the price of the book. So often people waste time getting up and looking for the stapler or the stamps when a few organizational tips could give them less reason to get up and get distracted.

    Best of all for this book: It also comes as an audiocassette!! I personally prefer the book because you can refer back to the individual chapters. If you are not a book reader, consider getting the cassette, and then buying the book so that you can refer to pertinent chapters.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Thought-provoking and common sense, May 24, 2001
    I found the book rather practical.

    First three chapters talk a lot about the symptoms and describe the nature of ADD. For a person who is not well acquainted with attention deficit disorder these three chapters would be a great jump-start.

    The rest of the book gives very common-sense, down-to-earth recommendations and ideas on how to "get used" to living an ADD life. A lot of time is spent on dealing with depression and anxiety thoughts. Various portions of the book are devoted to issues like ADD vs. work-place environment, family relations, and social interactions.

    I personally do not believe you have to be an MD or a professional of any other kind to have a sound and solid opinion on a subject as some of the reviewers have mentioned here. On the contrary - the most brilliant, the most ingenious, if you wish, ideas frequently come from "outsiders" who are not caught in the "routine thinking pattern" of a discipline or a field of studies. I express this opinion as a professional who worked with "outsiders" a lot and found their fresh thoughts very encouraging and breaking-through.

    Read this book and let it challenge you to think over the ways you live your ADD life, let it open some doors you were scared to open before, and find peace in acting in the ways you never thought you would ever act.

    Would make an intricate and a valuable gift for a person with an ADD! Will not offend your buddy in any way.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Good but can be hard to get through, February 2, 2003
    My daughter has ADD, and I probably do as well, so I've read quite a bit on this subject. While the book is very informative and does give personal accounts of what it's like to live w/ AD/HD, I found it hard to get through. It seems to ramble a bit at times and the organization and even the choice of print size and font made it hard for me to stay interested after a while. Basically, it reads as if was written by someone with AD/HD-- (which of course, it was), but that's what makes it hard to get through at times! I found Driven to Distraction by Hallowell and even Women With Attention Deficit Disorder by Solden much easier to read and just as (if not more) informative, especially for an ADDer with a tendency to lose interest if the book doesn't captivate me early on. Also, if you are very well informed on the biology/neurology etc. of ADD the first three chapters don't offer anything new. Bottom line, worth reading, but there are better choices out there.

    5-0 out of 5 stars GOOD REALISTIC ACCOUNT..., July 11, 2001
    I have ADD. I am 36 yrs old, female. I LIKED this book because it was written from a "Regular-Joes" perspective. Don't pay any mind to the guy who gave it "one star". He missed the point of this kind of book. He may not know it, but not everyone wants to read a hoity-toity physician's perspecitve on a complex condition. My experience has been, I think the people who actually HAVE it tend to have the most accurate information. It was very nice to just RELATE to what these 2 women journaled and observed through their own experiences - on the job and personally. I know ALOT about ADD ADHD and I appreciate ALL types of materials on this subject. Even when I don't agree with them sometimes, the only way you learn is by learning others perspectives. And this book is really - just that. I felt it was pretty much on target - quite honestly. I purchased the book about 5 years ago, and still use it as part of my ADD library. I find it very helpful and useful.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Where was this book when I needed it 20 years ago?, December 27, 2001
    How much of this scenario sounds familiar to you?
    I'm in my mid-thirties and have floundered my whole life....not just in one arena of life....but in many (if not all). For 20 years, one thought has been weighing excrutiatingly on my brain: "Why am I so (explitive deleted)different?" Does any of this sound like you?
    This book...this wonderful book has finally given me some kind of validation, by eerily describing MY life....hell, I'm even an advertising copywiter....I have no idea how they got that one right. I'm telling anybody who is interested in finally getting real answers to those frustating questions that never got asked, "Read this book, friend." I have already wasted well over 20 years because I didn't know what the hell was "wrong with me." And, yes, for 20 years, I KNEW I wasn't stupid....I KNEW I wasn't crazy (well...a little crazy, but NOT insane), so that left me with feelings that I was must be lazy. I honestly didn't think I was lazy, but since that what everybody said, it must have been true. And that only made me feel guilty!
    People, if you have something to be gained by conquering ADD, I highly suggest that you read this book. If for no other reason than for personal validation that you're not lazy, stupid or crazy.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Most Helpful Book on ADD I have ever read....!!!, August 26, 2001
    This book has really changed my life in so many ways. Having ADD as an adult is one thing....but being able to do something about it in a positive way is yet another challenge. This book enabled me to make some really fundamental changes in the way I operate to take advantage of the skills I have. It really helps in enabling you to rationalize your "lazy/crazy" behaviours by giving you a pseudo-scientific explanation for why you do the things you do. It does this by relating your actions to they way the brain works in an ADD vs. non-ADD person. Also, it relates brain functionality with day-to-day examples such as filing cabinets, etc... Best part of the book is that it doesn't give you specific answers, since there is a different solution for every individual. Rather, it arms you with the fundamental facts/issues/consequences so you can formulate something that works best for you. As a well-educated adult in a challenging profession, this book has helped me cope with my limitations due to ADD very effectively. I can't thank the authors enough...and that is why I am writing this review so that others may benefit. ... Read more


    5. Saving Graces: Finding Solace and Strength from Friends and Strangers
    by Elizabeth Edwards
    Paperback (2007-08-14)
    list price: $14.95 -- our price: $10.17
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0767925386
    Publisher: Broadway
    Sales Rank: 823
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    She charmed America with her smart, likable, down-to-earth personality as she campaigned for her husband, then vice-presidential candidate John Edwards. She inspired millions as she valiantly fought advanced breast cancer after being diagnosed only days before the 2004 election. She touched hundreds of similarly grieving families when her own son, Wade, died tragically at age sixteen in 1996. Now she shares her experiences in Saving Graces, an incandescent memoir of Edwards’ trials, tragedies, and triumphs, and of how various communities celebrated her joys and lent her steady strength and quiet hope in darker times.

    Edwards writes about growing up in a military family, where she learned how to make friends easily in dozens of new schools and neighborhoods around the world and came to appreciate the unstinting help and comfort naval families shared. Edwards’ reminiscences of her years as a mother focus on the support she and other parents offered one another, from everyday favors to the ultimate test of her own community’s strength—their compassionate response to the death of the Edwards’ teenage son, Wade, in 1996. Her descriptions of her husband’s campaigns for Senate, president, and vice president offer a fascinating perspective on the groups, great and small, that sustain our democracy. Her fight with breast cancer, which stirred an outpouring of support from women across the country, has once again affirmed Edwards’ belief in the power of community to make our lives better and richer.
    ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars "The World Was Wide Open To Us"
    In Elizabeth Edwards' extraordinary memoir she traces the careers of many of her friends and acquaintances, who like her, were children of military families, had lived all over the world and to whom "the world was wide open." Ms. Edwards, as most Americans now know, saw that world shattered when she and her husband John Edwards lost their son in a freak automobile accident when the young man was only 16. Then there was her diagnosis with breast cancer just before the 2004 Presidential election. Ms. Edwards writes with remarkable honesty about those two events as well as the 2004 election. She was once a Ph.D candidate in English at the University of North Carolina before she switched to law. The result is an extremely well-written memoir, parts of which are almost to painful to read. She always refers to her son as "my boy," words that speak multitudes. Her thoughts on grief are every bit as good as what Joan Didion had to say on the subject in her recent THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING.

    Some of Ms. Edwards' conclusions: She came to accept a God that does not intervene in "accident, disease, violence." It may not be the God we want but it is the God we have. She also reminds us that as in the case of Cain and Abel, "no one will step in and protect the pure from death." And as much as we love our families, we cannot spare them from pain.

    Ms. Edwards' candor about her diagnosis and treatment of cancer is also an inspiration to us all, whether we have had cancer or are friends or family of cancer patients. That inspiration has been returned to her more than the Biblical fourfold as she has received over 65,000 messages of support from people of all walks of life; she prints some of them in the chapter "Washington: The Hospital."

    Equally at home reading a Henry James novel or shopping at Target, Ms. Edwards is the good neighbor we all want to have. You have to adore someone who tells you she colors her hair and goes to a "workday" luncheon for Senate wives dressed in overalls and sneakers because she assumed, incorrectly of course, as one Senate wife showed up in a suit with "sequined lapels," that "workday" meant some sort of work.

    This memoir is not like anything else you'll read by someone whose family is connected with national politics. It will make your believe all over again in the goodness of people.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Story from a kind & caring woman
    I knew nothing about Elizabeth Edwards when I first purchased this book but now I have a deep respect for her and her family. This book is not political in nature, it is just the story of her life which at times is wonderful and at others is truly heart-breaking. Mrs. Edwards is an eloquent writer and the stories just flow out of her. You can feel her pain on the pages as she discusses the loss of her son and the uncertainty about finding out she had breast cancer.
    Mrs. Edwards has truly had an interesting life starting in Japan as a military kid and up to now as a presidential candidates wife. You will feel like you know her as a personal friend after reading this book and I feel she is one of the most genuine people you will ever find.
    This is really a good read and I recommend it to anyone.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Saving Graces
    Elizabeth is an amazing woman. This book is an inspiration to anyone who has suffered the loss of a child and the "BIG C" diagnosis. Her story is the story of many women. It is well written. I gave this book to my mother as a gift with the instruction that I wanted to borrow the book as soon as she finished it. She started reading and couldn't put it down. My mother is 85 years "young". She loved the book, as did I. Great read and very inspiring. It doesn't matter who you are, what you have, where you live.....Her loses and how she deals with them make for an awesome read.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A courageous and remarkable woman who is making a difference - An exceptional book!
    "Saving Graces," by Elizabeth Edwards is a gift to all women. Elizabeth Edwards was in the midst of her husband's vice-presidential campaign, giving speeches throughout the country when she became concerned about her own health. One day while taking a shower, she noticed a lump in her breast. That morning, Elizabeth Edwards knew she was remiss by neglecting her regular mammogram examinations. Through reading her book, more women have learned the dire consequences of not being tested on a regular basis. "Saving Graces" will inspire many women to get a mammogram to help detect any abnormalities before they become cancerous. As soon as the election was over, she was immediately treated by experts in the field. Elizabeth was diagnosed as being in the later stages of the disease. Her fight for life was to begin. But we are talking about a woman of strength, courage, faith, and tenacity. She is also a witty, intelligent, and a remarkable woman with an optimistic spirit.

    After all, she had suffered the worst tragedy a parent can experience. She and her husband, John, had lost their precious teenage son, Wade, in a car accident. Now, she was about to battle another nightmare. This gripping book will inspire, educate, and stir your emotions. Elizabeth Edwards doesn't hold back, but tells her life story with honesty and courage. Men will also enjoy her story as she tells of her life growing up as a military "brat", raising her children, and helping her husband during his political campaigns.

    Elizabeth Edwards believes in the power of community coming together to help each other in good times and bad. Through a sisterhood of community with other women throughout the country, she was able to stand up to the adversity that faced her. Through "Saving Graces," she gives hope, strength, support, and friendship to women battling breast cancer and other diseases. She also gains solace and strength from other women.

    There aren't many women like Elizabeth Edwards. I was honored to meet her when she was on the campaign trail in 2004 in NH. I shared my story and book of how my elderly mother was transfused with HIV contaminated blood during heart bypass surgery. My 66 year old mother felt like a "leper" and kept her infection a secret for fear she would be rejected due to the stigma of AIDS. Elizabeth Edwards felt my pain, and tears flowed from her eyes as she hugged me. Now, I have the opportunity to read "her" story. Through it, I gain more strength and courage to deal with everyday struggles.

    This book will help anyone dealing with any kind of adversity. It will save lives of thousands of women who put off having mammograms due to inexcusable reasons. Mrs. Edwards speaks from her heart and soul. She is a genuine and sincere woman filled with empathy. Thank you, Elizabeth for sharing your heartfelt memoir. You are a courageous woman who has taught us the importance of reaching out to one another in love and understanding. You are a "first-class" lady who shared your trials and triumphs through your heartfelt story. God bless you. I highly recommend this book.
    Nancy A. Draper (Author) A Burden of Silence: My Mother's Battle with AIDS

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book!
    I loved this book so much that I bought copies for several friends. Elizabeth Edwards writes with heartbreaking feeling about the death of her son, Wade, and of her fight with breast cancer. In spite of that (or maybe because of it), the book ends up being one of hope. Ms. Edwards also is an earthy, humor filled author, who writes with such a natural style and honesty that you feel as if you are having a conversation with someone you like very much. Highly recommended.

    5-0 out of 5 stars the true story of a remarkable "ordinary" woman
    While her book was a fine read in its own right, especially for those who have experienced the loss of a loved one or faced a battle with cancer, it also gave such insight into the real lives of a politician's wife and family. But from the very first pages the political story plays such a minor role to the story of a loving, damaged family and the peril faced by its narrator. It must have been very therapeutic to write this--it is certainly cathartic to those who read it. Elizabeth Edwards needed to tell her story and she told it with a grace and candor. I hope the pressure of another campaign does not take its toll on her recovering stamina and health. This world needs Elizabeth Edwards.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An incredible book written by an exceptional human being!
    After reading this book I am so amazed and inspired by this woman. Not only is her intelligence displayed, but also the purity of her heart and soul. Every sentence that i read brought out an emotion in me of some kind - maybe a tear or deep concern, but many times a laugh or a smile. Repeatedly as I was reading, I would feel almost as if I was in her house with her, sitting at her kitchen table having a cup of coffee, and talking together - listening to her speak the pages of her book. I don't like to include this...but I will. Because of the respect I now have for this woman, I believe with more strength and certainty in her husband as a person of great character, true heart, and strong leadership ability. (After finishing the book, I spent some time reading up on Senator John Edwards. I did not have much knowledge of him prior to this.) Saving Graces shares pieces of a woman, her husband, a marriage and a family that our nation would be blessed to have moving into the white house after our next election.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Wise Woman with words of compassion
    At times Elizabeth Edwards is so raw in her anguish that I want to put the book down and call her..if I only had her number. At other points she is so frank and honest that I feel as if she is sitting at my kitchen table, and I am the only one she is talking to. And then there are those wonderful moments of humor. How not to feel that she is my new best friend? This is a book I have already bought for my mom, who still copes with losing a child and who knows too well what cancer means to a family. I have a copy for a friend who lost her only child in an auto accident and her husband to cancer. And I will continue to buy more copies of this book because it is not about loss. It is about what happens the next minute and the next hour and the next day and the next week. It is about how we all need one another, but Elizabeth Edwards writes it so much wiser than I can. It is about what saves us. As she writes, and as readers will quickly understand, "You know". If you want a wonderful book about what brings us closer together, in a time of so very much that seems to divide us, then buy this book. Even better, buy several copies and give them to those people who are your community, who provide that saving grace to you. And if you have the inclination, this teacher reviewer would love to have more parents imitate Elizabeth Edwards and read the books their kids are being assigned to read in high school. Just think about the wonderful conversations you can have.

    5-0 out of 5 stars 10 stars at best!
    I watched Elizabeth Edwards on Oprah and went out the very next day to purchase the book. I couldn't read it fast enough. What an amazing woman! I would definitely recommend this book to a mother who's been devestated by the loss of a child. As a woman who has lost an infant, I was deeply touched by her story. The loss almost devestated my marriage, but we stayed strong. I wish I'd had the type of inner circle of friends she had. From reading this book, I learned no matter what obstacles we face in life, it's never too late to pick up the pieces and live your life to the fullest!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great memoir, charming, and impressive-Read this book
    Elizabeth Edward's book is a gripping and endearing journey through the
    events, mostly tragic, unfortunately that have toughened and tempered this
    fiesty, funny, and interesting woman who has bared her soul and her family's
    history for us to read. Ms Edwards is a classic American, a military "brat"
    uprooted and relocated into a gregarious, sympathetic and wise woman who
    bears the scars, and holds tight to the lessons and prizes that she has gleaned
    in a way that should inspire us all.
    The book is also a real tear jerker, a lesson in reponsibiliy, and a serious
    warning about the joint dangers of putting off a mamogram, and taking our
    healthcare, social welfare, and security for granted. This book is also
    full of a thousand reasons Elizabeth Edwards should be our first lady.
    ... Read more


    6. The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook: Your Self-Treatment Guide for Pain Relief, Second Edition
    by Clair Davies, Amber Davies
    Paperback
    list price: $22.95 -- our price: $15.61
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 1572243759
    Publisher: New Harbinger Publications
    Sales Rank: 851
    Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Trigger point therapy is one of the most intriguing and fastest-growing bodywork styles in the world. Medical doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists, and massage therapists are all beginning to use this technique to relieve formerly undiagnosable muscle and joint pain—conditions that studies have shown to be the cause of nearly 25 percent of all doctor visits. The technique involves applying short, repeated massage strokes to trigger points, tiny contraction knots in muscle tissue where restricted circulation and lack of oxygen cause referred pain. Trigger points create pain throughout the body in predictable patterns characteristic to each muscle, producing discomfort ranging from mild to severe. Trigger point massage increases circulation and oxygenation in the area and often produces instant relief. This dynamic technique has made a huge impact among health professionals and the public alike, becoming an overnight classic in the field of pain relief. The book has sold over 220,000 copies since the release of the first edition in 2001. The second edition is a complete update and includes a new chapter specifically for massage professionals, as well as a chapter on systematic muscle relaxation techniques that can reinforce the therapeutic power of trigger point work. ... Read more

    Reviews

    4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book (not Quackery), January 27, 2004
    I was really worried that this book might have been a standard new-age, make-a-buck, quack title. Thank goodness that turned out to be a groundless worry. This is an excellent book (with medical references) that does a very good job of helping you get rid of pain. I had hurt my lower back by performing the arduous task of putting on my underwear. The doctors and physical therapist couldn't really come up with a reason for it. After a month, it still wasn't getting any better. Searching the web gave me references to this book. Within three days of reading it and poking around in my UPPER (not LOWER) back, my thighs, and my abdomen, the pain has faded to just a reminder. I'm still not able to bend and reach like I used to. But, I'm exercising and stretching again, so hopefully that'll change. Best of all, it no longer hurts just to SIT (or lie down or stand, for that matter). After showing my wife that her lower body has just about every active trigger point known, she's also reading the book and working on her points. Hopefully, her pain will reduce in a couple of days, too.

    The only reason I gave this book four stars instead of five is that it's kind of hard to find and reference ALL the trigger points associated with a specfic pain FOR THE FIRST TIME. The book does have a diagram for pain locations at the start of each chapter. But, in many cases, the pain will be caused by multiple trigger points in multiple body locations. It takes quite a bit of paging through the book to figure out what you're supposed to do. Once you figure it out, though, the book is great. Of course, in the author's defense, I can't come up with a better organization method outside of having some kind of software with an anatomical display using hyperlinks.

    I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this book if you suffer from any kind of chronic pain. Even if your doctor has pronounced judgement that he/she knows what's causing things, try this book. As the author says, trigger point therapy should be the first course of treatment: it's easy and cheap.

    5-0 out of 5 stars SAVED MY LIFE, November 15, 2005
    After a full year of severe dysfunction of my right hand, arm, and particularly my right thumb THE TRIGGER POINT THERAPY WORKBOOK revealed to me the astonishing fact that most of my trouble was being caused by 'trigger points' in the scalene muscles of my neck and also in the area above my clavicle. What could I do about it? Simply massage them away - within half an hour of hitting the correct locations my right thumb (and hand and arm) seemed to heal by about 60%! The rest of the healing took maybe 3 more weeks of finding these things and methodically deactivating them.

    Other muscles besides the scalene were involved and Clair Davies had them all referenced in the back of the book under "thumb". This is the case for any body part you may need help with, it is all very accessible and easy to find. Needless to say, this book was a miracle in my life - providing a simple solution to a debilitating problem that seemingly did not HAVE any solution (no doctor, acupuncturist, or even most up-to-date-book on repetitive strain injuries seemed to hit upon this stunning information). I went from abject misery to basically playing this strange video game of hunting out and zapping away all these trigger points hidden in my muscles.

    I found this book fairly late in the healing process, and so it's important to note that another book, IT'S NOT CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME! helped me immensely with all of the problems I had that did NOT include trigger points - I would even say that my left side (arm, hand) had healed already by studying what I found in that book alone. But the trigger points were the missing piece.

    I want to thank the reviewer who suggested getting the book spiral-bound at kinko's so it will lie flat and xeroxing the cover so you can pass it out to everyone you know without lending it (I gave my first copy away but discovered I need the book on an ongoing basis).

    I discovered that the book actually has its own website, which you can find by searching 'trigger points' on google. I suggest reading ALL about the book there yourself, and if you think it might help you ordering from amazon because it is cheaper. Even once you have the book, the website makes the info. very accessible.

    At a certain point, I started to dot the hard-to-find trigger points on my skin with a marker. It may look bizarre but they can be hard to keep track of and you want to get all of them.

    DON'T OVERLOOK THE SECTION ON PROGRESSIVE MUSCLE RELAXATION, even if massaging trigger points seems to be enough to cure you.

    The scalene trigger points can be HARD to find. At first I found them easily, but months later my symptoms came back and after 2 weeks of despair I found a terrible trigger point that was almost completely hidden in the scalene, I could only reach it after hitting the muscle at a particular angle.

    Underline as you go along! Here and there he mentions areas of referred pain that are NOT depicted in the illustration.

    Very relevant pages I xeroxed and taped to the wall.

    Again, SOME aspects of Repetitive Strain Injury are not brought about by trigger points, so everyone w/computer related injuries needs to look at IT'S NOT CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME! by Suparna Damany and Jack Bellis and also the books by Emil Pascarelli. If you have REAL nerve damage, trigger point therapy may ease some of your discomfort but it won't resolve the problem.

    Those with back problems might want to look into John Sarno's MINDBODY PRESCRIPTION. Maybe even those w/out back problems - however this recommendation is based on other people's experiences not my own.

    Other books I used: Conquering Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (by Sharon Butler & also her online book about DeQuervain's of the thumb), Your Body's Many Cries for Water, Tendon & Ligament Healing, Free Your Breath Free Your Life...and the PBS program Priscilla's Yoga Stretches (not a book, it is apparently shown in many parts of the US). Some of these I got from the library, but being that my HANDS were at stake I would have just put them all on a credit card if I had had no other choice. I also recommend spending time between the shelves of Barnes & Noble.

    If you happen to live in Los Angeles, Janet Travell & David Simon's medical volumes, upon which Clair Davies' work is based, are available at the Central Library (one reference set, and one that you can actually check out). Don't know about other major cities - but they're beautiful, exquisite books and amazingly clear.

    Finally, I am just now looking into Bonnie Prudden's books particularly 'MYOTHERAPY' from 1984- and I am surprised because while they are missing key components of The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook they offer insights about trigger points that I have not found in other places. She quotes Janet Travell often, and there is great spirit in her book.

    There is no way to express my gratitude to Clair Davies, et al, for making this info. available to the world. I am literally better off knowing about trigger points than I would be had I won a million dollars.

    It's a crime that this info has been around for over a quarter of a century & the medical world has not yet grabbed a hold of it.

    Good luck everyone!

    January 8th, 2006 update: After all that I now have something more to add: I did actually have more trouble getting over a recent relapse than I would have expected, and I have been greatly helped by a massage therapist who is actually very familiar with trigger point therapy. In addition to trigger points, he has been helping me with other forms of massage therapy & guidance on how to rehabilitate my muscles without overdoing it. After being so injured for a long time it is great to have professional guidance in conjunction with self-applied trigger point therapy. He knew about this book & appreciated how well-informed I was - unlike certain doctors I have spoken with who seemed to take offense at my attempt to do my own research! In summary: use this book and if necessary, try to find a great massage therapist as well.

    one more thing: the book is almost entirely viewable in google books! also, it has its own website triggerpointbook dot com.

    5-0 out of 5 stars All Massage Therapists Should Own and Use This Book, May 1, 2001
    Clair Davies is really on to something here. I deal with chronic pain in my massage therapy practice daily. I've been able to help my clients, using Clair's methods, to rid themselves of pain they've dealt with for years. Clair presents his material in an easy to read, practical format--and the pictures are excellent. Anyone--professional and lay person alike--can benefit from this book. In fact, I recommend this book to my clients. I'm always encouraging them to try to help themselves during the time between our sessions. If you've got pain or help others deal with their pain, get this book. You won't be sorry.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Clair Davies et al. should be canonized, October 5, 2004
    If you suffer from mysterious and FRUSTRATING chronic musculoskeletal pain and are at your wit's end (like I was), ORDER THIS BOOK NOW. This book SAVED ME by helping put an end to about 4 months of "unexplained" pain in my thighs, knees, buttocks and hips. I had spent hundreds of $$ getting x-rays, MRI's, bone scans, and seeing numerous physicians as well as a physical therapist, chiropractor, and a naturopath. None had a clear expanation of what was causing me so much pain for such a long time. I was prescribed massive doses of ibuprofen (which did nothing but ruin my stomach) as well as Valium, Flexeril, Elavil, and finally Prozac. I tried various supplements including potassium, magnesium and B vitamins, but they didn't seem to do anything. I was completely unable to exercise as it made the pain much worse..at times I was unable to walk a couple blocks. I finally got this book last week and realized that little "knots" in my muscles were the source of all this grief. No wonder nothing else (physical therapy, diet, medication) worked! With the book I figured out that I had at about ~10 trigger points in my buttocks/thighs, some which were EXTREMELY painful to massage. Since it was so painful i was a bit skeptical at first but I stuck with it. I began to massage with a tennis ball several times a day. Some trigger points responded immedately after a massage and others took several days, but after a while the aching pains in my legs have subsided! I couldn't believe that something so SIMPLE (something I could do myself) could end such a debilitating problem that numerous doctors & specialists couldn't figure out. Combined with acupuncture and craniosacral therapy & occasional professional deep-tissue massage I would say my pain is 99% gone. I am so glad I discovered this book...I never thought I would find the explanation (and the solution!) for all this pain!! I can now look forward to returning to a normal, pain-free life! Thanks so much to Clair Davies and others who contributed to making this book!!

    P.S. I have just started reading through ALL the sections of this book (not just the ones for leg pain) since trigger point massage seems to help with all sorts of pain (i.e. carpal tunnel syndrome, back pain, etc). So from now on I will consult this book FIRST before seeking a doctor or some medication for any type of pain. My only regret is that I didn't buy this book sooner!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive information that promotes self-management..., October 8, 2001
    This book is a godsend. Clair Davies' book starts by describing the author's personal journey as a person in pain who discovered the power of self-applied trigger point therapy. The book then goes on to detail the basics of trigger point science and methods of self-treatment. Each body region contains muscle-by-muscle descriptions of trigger point locations, causes, referred pain patterns, and specific self-treatment techniques with fingers, thumbs, tennis balls or other hand-held "tools".

    Two populations will benefit. The first are professionals dealing with myofascial pain. Mr. Davies' book has neatly summarized many of the essentials contained in the bar-setting but often intimidating 2-volume "bibles" of trigger point therapy by Janet Travell and David Simons, which will make many more practitioners comfortable with the idea of searching for and treating trigger points with manual techniques.

    More important than information for clinicians is the help and hope this book offers to suffering patients. The book's focus is on self-treatment, which is not only *possible*, but is in fact *extremely* effective, and often downright necessary in this day and age: healthcare costs are forever rising, insurance coverage for physical therapy grows progressively more restrictive, massage therapists are often costly and the majority of the time, not covered by insurance, and, money factors aside, pain does not always present itself when professional treatment is readily available. Even with the *best* professional treatment, myofascial conditions are highly recurrent and knowing how to deal with these recurrences empowers patients and thereby reduces fear and apprehension.

    With information referenced from current and highly reputable sources, The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook has not only my highest recommendation, but also the endorsement of many, many well-known names in the field of myofascial pain, including one of its pioneers, Dr. David Simons.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fibromyalgia and Boby Pain, August 31, 2001
    I rate this book right up there with Devin Starlanyl's books. I have had Fibromyalgia and Myofascial Pain most of my adult life and have been disabled the past 5 years. This book by Mr. Davies has just helped me end 2 months of an excruiating flare of muscle pain. I showed it to my Pain Management physician, who is ordering one for his office and will advise his other patients similarly effected to purchase one if possible. When all the doctors don't know what else to tell you about relieving your body/muscle pain, this book is the answer. It is easily understood by medical professionals and laypeople alike. It's deascription of the muscles and the mechanism involved in the creation of unexplained boby pain is outstanding. Anyone, by themself or with another person, will find the diagrams showing the location of trigger points in muscles and how to achieve relief easy to learn. Mr. Davies explanation of massage therapy for trigger point release has made this book one of the best and most valued tools for self-treatment of body pain.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Worked beautifully for me, April 5, 2006
    I would like to share my exerience ,briefly, with this book. I had shoulder pain for over two months, that neither rest,heat,cooling,meds, or excercise diminished in the slightest. My doctor could find no cause for it, and recommended physical therapy. That didn't help. Out of frustration, I picked up a stack of books at the library. Fortunately, this was the first one I looked at. I was skeptical frankly, but being desparate devoted a couple of hours to reading the salient parts of the book. I found my trigger point ( tender area ) on the front shoulder ( anterior deltoid as I recall ).
    I purchased a lacrosse ball as recommened in the book, and proceeded to massage the area using the technique specified. The end result was in two days, the pain thruout my shoulder had diminished by approx. 80%. After 1 week, the pain was gone, with only an occasional sensation. It's been about 2 weeks now since I started, and I still have a very tiny tender area, so I give it the ball treatment a couple of times a day.
    It's very important to complete the treatment until the trigger point is TOTALY erased ( as stated in the book ). Also, some have mentioned that the book is highly technical. It is to a degree, but not to where it can't be discerned by the average person with a little perseverance. You don't have to read the entire book! Just the initial couple of chapters on diagnosis and technique, then straight to the chapter that deals with your symptom area. Like I said, I spent a couple of hours reading, and went right at the treatment.
    I had to write this, as I could not find the authors email anywhere, and I'm eternally grateful to him for giving the world this treatment technique that a layman can self adminster. If your a pain sufferer you owe it to yourself to at least try this system.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Eliminate pain from your life for less than $20, June 20, 2005
    A lacrosse ball and this book have changed my life, and together, they cost less than $20. I have suffered from chronic pain since I was 13. At its worst, my pain was so bad that I was drinking myself to sleep at night and I thought I was going to need crutches to get around. The worst part was, I didn't know what was wrong with me, and the medical explanations I'd been given didn't seem right.

    In January of this year I finally found the solution to my pain when I read this book. It knew in such detail what was wrong with me that it even explained every misdiagnosis I have ever been given. No doctor I saw ever mentioned this book, and most people haven't heard of it, but as you can see from all these rave reviews, the book is genius.

    Whether you suffer from chronic pain, the occasional sports injury, or pretty much any other kind of pain, this book can help you. Some common issues it can help with are carpal tunnel syndrome, back pain, migraines, and bad knees. It can also help you with less common, even extremely uncommon issues. You may find out that whatever problem you think you have is not serious at all and can be solved with this massage technique. Regularly treating your trigger points can allow you to become more active, increase strength, sleep more soundly, and do physical activities you thought you couldn't.

    I learned that, surprisingly, activities like stretching, yoga, and physical therapy can actually make your pain worse. I have had multiple bad experiences with yoga and physical therapy. I thought I was crazy for thinking that these exercises that were supposed to help were making me worse, and I scolded myself for being lazy when I quit doing them. What I learned from this book is that by going against medical advice and refusing to do something that was hurting me, I was actually doing everything right.

    Listen to your body! Doctors, friends, family members, etc. do not necessarily know what is best. No one lives in your body but you. If other people's explanations or advice don't seem right to you, they probably aren't. If you want a real solution to pain, buy this book. I never thought I'd be able to feel as amazing as I feel today.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Arthritis and other pains, March 29, 2002
    I was in so much pain that I couldn't sleep at night. I was diagnosed with arthritis (hip, back, etc), but I was not satisfied that this explained my pain. Then I found Davies' book and started to work on trigger points with the rubber ball he recommends. It didn't solve all my problems, but it reduced my pain to the point where I could sleep without pills (and demonstrated that my pain was at least partly muscular)--and all for the cost of a ... little ball! And now (several other therapies later), I still keep the book and the rubber ball by my bed, and still follow its directions to massage key areas on a daily basis.

    This book is terrific--the best "self-help" book I've seen. It is clearly written, well organized, mostly well illustrated, and contains a wealth of really useful detail. It is definitely not one of those "glossy" books--all photos and no useful information. The author really does take the approach of someone who was himself helped by this therapy and who wants to make it as clear and accessible to his readers as possible. Very highly recommended.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Effective Self-Help for Pain, May 3, 2003
    This book provides lots of good information on healing pain. It's written in an accessible, easy-to-read style for people who don't know anything about muscles, yet the information is not simplistic, and is useful even for professionals who want to learn about trigger points. This book is great for people who have chronic pain and are motivated to help themselves. Trigger point massage really does a lot more good than anything doctors have to offer -- most doctors are not trained to effectively help people with muscular pain. And it's cheaper and more effective to do it yourself than pay to see a massage therapist, because you'd need to go every day for most seriously chronic problems. I do have a few complaints: There are lots of illustrations, but they don't always show all the areas of referred pain. There are handy lists arranged by body part, but it would be even more helpful to have a more detailed reference guide where you could look up specific symptoms. I also think Davies is a little too enthusiastic, claiming trigger points are the cause of most pain. He is also unfairly disparaging of massage therapists. Any properly trained massage therapist knows it's not always the spot where it hurts that's causing the problem, and if you know how all the muscles work together to act on a joint, and a little about nerve pathways, you're going to address most of the areas that are likely to have trigger points. Still, he has a valid point in that consumers need to ask whether a massage therapist specializes in relaxation massage or knows how to treat specific pain and injuries. ... Read more


    7. Anticancer, A New Way of Life, New Edition
    by MD, PhD, David Servan-Schreiber
    Hardcover
    list price: $26.95 -- our price: $17.79
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0670021644
    Publisher: Viking Adult
    Sales Rank: 778
    Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    The New York Times and international bestseller-now updated with the latest research

    Anticancer has been a bestselling phenomenon since Viking first published it in fall 2008. Now, a new edition addresses current developments in cancer research and offers more tips on how people living with cancer can fight it and how healthy people can prevent it. The new edition of Anticancer includes:

    • The latest research on anticancer foods, including new alternatives to sugar and cautions about some that are now on the market

    • New information about how vitamin D strengthens the immune system

    • Warnings about common food contaminants that have recently been proven to contribute to cancer progression

    • A new chapter on mind-body approaches to stress reduction, with recent studies that show how our reactions to stress can interfere with natural defenses and how friendships can support healing in ways never before understood

    • A groundbreaking study showing that lifestyle modification, as originally proposed in Anticancer, reduces mortality for breast cancer by an astounding 68 percent after completion of treatment

    • New supporting evidence for the entire Anticancer program

    ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars "Enjoy the benefits of medical progress and the body's natural defenses.", October 2, 2008
    In "Anti-Cancer: A New Way of Life," French-born psychiatrist and neuroscientist Dr. David Servan-Schreiber discusses his fifteen-year battle with brain cancer. Although conventional treatments worked initially, the cancer recurred. Fortunately, he has been cancer-free for the past seven years, and he attributes his success to an anti-cancer regimen that, he asserts, boosts the body's natural defenses. Dr. Servan-Schreiber does NOT encourage cancer patients to reject their doctors' advice concerning surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation treatments. However, he does believe that there is nothing to lose and everything to gain by making changes in one's diet, level of physical activity, psychological attitude, and environment.

    This book is an informative and eye-opening look at the mechanisms of cancer, explained in a way that a layman can understand. There are many helpful charts, tables, and illustrations that clarify the sometimes technical information about the latest research on the genesis and progression of cancer. The author maps out how rogue cells are nourished and conversely, how they can be starved of the nourishment that they need to multiply. Although researchers have undoubtedly made a great deal of progress, Servan-Schreiber assures us that we have a long way to go before we can declare victory over the many types of cancer that still plague mankind. In addition, he includes well-chosen quotations from literature (such as Tolstoy's "The Death of Ivan Ilyich"), philosophy, and other physicians and scientists to illustrate his points, some of which deal with our fear of dying without having lived a full and meaningful life.

    "Anti-Cancer" is a personal, touching, instructive, and thought-provoking. Whether or not the reader is interested in adopting the author's recommendations concerning diet, exercise, meditation, and other lifestyle changes, no one who completes this book will ever think about cancer or about the human body in quite the same way. Servan-Schreiber is not a new-age charlatan who advocates far-out therapies. Everything that he suggests is based on solid and well-documented research, and he includes numerous citations from scientific journals.

    Although no one wants to confront a fatal illness, Servan-Schreiber contends that his battle with cancer has had a positive aspect. "By exposing life's brevity, a diagnosis of cancer can restore life's true flavor." Forced for the first time to look into his soul and evaluate his approach to living, he realized that he had been caught up in a treadmill that allowed him little time to appreciate the importance of mind-body equilibrium, inner peace, relationships with loved ones, and personal fulfillment. Everyone, no matter what the state of his or her health, can benefit from this stimulating and provocative work.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Connecting the Dots, October 24, 2008
    A REVIEW OF ANTICANCER: A NEW WAY OF LIFE by David Servan-Schreiber, MD, Ph.D.
    Viking Penguin, 2008. 258 pages. Hardcover, $25.95.


    Mind and heart come together in this remarkable book, making it a must read. As a person living with cancer I found it impossible to put down. Servan-Schreiber, a physician and neuroscience researcher, co-founder of the Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh was diagnosed with brain cancer when he was 31 years old, received treatment and went into remission. Eventually though, he had a recurrence. After the recurrence he started to look into natural approaches to prevent or help treat cancer. The book is both a memoir and a riveting journey through recent developments in the ideas about cancer. We learn about his personal story and how he slowly transformed himself from a laboratory scientist mainly interested in writing papers into a proponent of an integrative approach to cancer treatment who is keenly interested in human beings. He does a marvelous job of connecting the dots in widely dispersed areas of knowledge-all relevant to his interest in cancer and our natural defense mechanisms.

    Key ideas presented are: 1) everybody has cancer cells in their bodies, but not everybody develops cancer; 2) we must include the concept of "terrain," our whole being, in any discussion about cancer; and 3) at this point in history, we cannot attempt to deal with cancer without the tools of conventional Western medicine. Based on these ideas, he presents an updated view on cancer growth and how to mobilize our vital mechanisms and use the resources of the body to defend ourselves.

    Chapter 4, "Cancer's Weaknesses," presents some of the current thinking about the immune system, inflammation, and angiogenesis. He discusses "natural killer" cells (NK cells), white blood cells that attack cancer cells, and activate their self-destruction. The more active NK cells are the more they can stop tumor's growth. It follows that we must do all we can to activate them through a healthy diet, clean environment, physical exercise, and stress reducing activities.
    The discussion on inflammation is clear and concise. Inflammation is the normal process that our bodies use to repair tissues after a wound. But, as it turns out, inflammation can be diverted to promote cancer growth, as if cancer were the outcome of a wound repair mechanism gone wrong. Cancer cells need to produce inflammation to sustain their growth and block the natural process of apoptosis-the suicide of cells. As Servan-Schreiber aptly puts it "Thanks to the inflammation they create they infiltrate neighboring tissues, slip into the bloodstream, migrate, and establish remote colonies called metastases" (page 37). Dietary imbalance in the ratio of essential fatty acids has led us to an incredibly higher consumption of omega-6s oils compared to omega-3s, which increases inflammation.
    Judah Folkman was a surgeon whose great contribution to cancer research was to highlight angiogenesis, the fact that tumors need new capillaries to feed themselves and expand. Tumors hijack blood vessels by producing a chemical substance that attracts them and stimulates them to grow new branches. Though it took quite a while for Folkman's ideas to be accepted, how to block angiogenesis is now one of the central areas of cancer research. There are some foods, spices, and herbs that reduce angiogenesis and diminishing inflammation will also prevent new vessel growth.
    Servan-Schreiber gives very practical suggestions about these three areas of knowledge, so that we can stimulate our defense mechanisms, while receiving conventional treatment. Just this chapter is worth the price of the book!

    In discussing the contribution of the environment to the cancer epidemic, Servan-Schreiber writes about the typical Western diet, the changes in farming and raising animals during the last century, and the chemical contamination of our planet since the forties. Sugar and white flours dominate our diet and raise rapidly the level of glucose. Insulin and IGF-1 (insulin Growth Factor 1, a powerful growth hormone) are released to allow glucose to enter cells. Insulin and IGF1 also promote inflammation. He argues convincingly that we should eliminate sugar and white flour from our diet.
    There is a detailed section about anticancer foods in daily practice. Servan-Schreiber has been influenced by the work of Richard B�liveau, at the University of Montreal. B�liveau, a cancer biologist working in medical pharmacology for twenty years, shifted to working on diet, through a series of interesting circumstances that I won't tell you about here. Read the book! It is a fascinating story and it has led to the concept of anticancer foods, like phytochemicals, components of some vegetables/fruits, which have antimicrobial, antifungal, insecticidal, and antioxidants properties. They also act as detoxifiers of the body. There is also a wonderful description of the research on traditional spices, like turmeric, by Professor Bharat Aggarwal at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Research Center. A key substance called nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kappaB) is secreted by tumor cells, it promotes cancer cell growth and spread. The whole pharmaceutical industry is trying to find out drugs that inhibit NF-kappaB. Servan-Schreiber points out that two substances that do so are available easily, catechins, found in green tea and resveratrol, found in red wine. And as it happens, turmeric is also an antagonist to NF-kappaB. He also states that since the pharmaceutical industry and the food industry are not interested in any changes we badly need "... public institutions and foundations to finance human studies on the anticancer benefits of food" (page 115). Indeed!

    The book emphasizes the importance of a healthy mindset that will stimulate the will to live in cancer patients and the need to find support, to deal with emotions, and to find ways to relieve stress. There is a lot of work going on about the link between psychological factors and the immune system. White blood cells can detect the presence of stress hormones and react according to the levels of these hormones in the bloodstream by releasing inflammatory substances. Natural killer cells can be blocked by stress hormones, and become passive instead of reacting to viruses or cancer cells. Feelings of helplessness can influence directly our immune system. Meditation, yoga, and other practices that develop awareness and attention to the present moment can help the body's harmonious functioning and in so doing stimulate the life force that keeps us healthy. Our bodies need touch and physical exercise, we can benefit from massage, and we must increase our sense of connection with others that it is so important to give meaning and purpose to our lives. A holistic approach needs to take all the dimensions of living into consideration and Servan-Schreiber pushes us to leave nothing out of the picture and to pay attention to our inner selves so that we can live fully and gracefully.

    The book ends by stressing three points: the importance of our "terrain," the effects of awareness, and the synergy of natural forces. This last point is important. The body is a system in equilibrium, each function interacts with all the others. If we just change one of these functions the whole is affected. So, we can start with one thing, diet, psychological work, whatever makes sense to us and nourishes the will to live. Awareness in one area will automatically lead to progress in others, and little by little, the equilibrium will shift to greater health and will make changes easier. Finally, he addresses an important point, the worry that some oncologists have "not to give false hope." He turns this idea around, and points out that "...this comes down to restricting ourselves to a conception of medicine that withholds the power every one of us has to take charge of ourselves. As if we couldn't do anything to protect ourselves actively against cancer- before and after the disease. Encouraging this passivity creates a culture of hopelessness" (page 203).

    One reservation that I have about the book is that the discussion about chemical contamination of the environment seems weak in comparison to the depth with which other topics are discussed. This is an area where individually we can do very little. This needs to be addressed at a system level, and in fact it is beginning to happen. For instance, in Massachusetts, the Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow, a coalition of over 160 organizations, has relentlessly pursued legislation that will require the use of Safer Alternatives, when feasible, to dangerous chemicals. This year, the Senate voted unanimously in support of this but the House did not get to vote. The law will be introduced again in the 2009 legislative session. Keep an eye on it.

    The book has eight pages in color on glossy paper that summarize visually the information about foods, inflammation, contamination in fruits and vegetables, effects of certain foods on specific cancers, detoxification, and an anticancer shopping list. And a list of ten precautions for cell phone use. Very useful!

    If you want to take a look at Servan-Schreiber go to [....] and look for the video Anticancer, in English. He conveys intelligence and warmth. I highly recommend this book for everybody.

    Rita Arditti

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Must-Read for Everyone!, September 6, 2008
    Being a mom of two small children, I rarely have time to read a book from start to finish without interruption. However, the day I bought this book I had read 40 pages in one sitting and only put it down because the hours sped past midnight before I knew it! I'm very impressed with how Dr. Servan-Schreiber is able to break down extremely complex subjects in cellular and molecular biology in such a way that everyone can understand them. Cancer runs in my family, so I'm always trying to stay current on the science of living healthfully in order to avoid it. This book explains vital information about how to do that. It thoroghly describes what cancer is, how it behaves, and what things are necessary for it to grow. Then Dr. Servan-Schreiber shows you how to deprive a cancer of those things, thus avoiding mestasteses and prolonging life.

    Given the cancer epidemic we are currently experiencing in the West, I truly believe this is an important book for everyone to read. You won't regret buying this one.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Why Don't We All Get Cancer?, September 28, 2008
    From: www.BasilAndSpice.com

    Book Review: Anticancer: A New Way of Life (Viking, 2008) by David Servan-Schreiber

    Both an informational book and an autobiography, Anticancer begins with the premise that all of us have cancer in our bodies, but not all of us will develop the disease. The author, David Servan-Schreiber tells his story of how he discovered his own brain cancer while testing an MRI machine, how he felt about his diagnosis, and what issues he faced. This autobiography is truly fascinating as Servan-Schreiber lowers the privacy walls surrounding his life, to allow us in. He has been a cancer survivor for 16 years. David Servan-Schreiber, MD, PhD, is a clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and cofounder of the Center for Integrative Medicine.

    As a physician who has also been a patient himself, Servan-Schreiber wants the West to know what the recent discoveries in the world of cancer research are and how they can benefit us. The major points of Anticancer:

    * The Western diet creates conditions for the disease.
    * Our bodies are making defective cells all of the time.
    * Each of us also has a body designed to fight the process of tumor development.
    * Sugar and stress do feed cancer.
    * There are physical effects from feelings of helplessness and unhealed wounds which affect our ability to restore our health.

    Benefits of reading Anticancer: Servan-Schreiber explains:

    * How to find the right blend of traditional and alternative care
    * How to minimize environmental toxins
    * How to reap the benefits of exercise, yoga, and meditation
    * How to learn about ways to achieve life balance and good nutrition to combat it
    * How to develop a science-based anticancer diet

    Servan-Schreiber places a major emphasis on our food. Many cancer patients, relying on their oncologists' advice, believe that they can eat whatever they wish, thinking it will have no bearing on their wellness. Servan-Schreiber states that this simply isn't true. He outlines the importance of food and its synergy with the body showing the research behind eating well. Key topics include refined sugars, red meat, fats, organic, garlic, turmeric, and toxins.

    Also included within the book's middle is an Anticancer Action Plan, for quick reference. The Plan highlights foods to eat regularly and is well designed. (The number one vegetable is garlic.)

    Anticancer also discusses how to avoid toxins, the need for exercise, how our mind and body works together, how to overcome fear, talking about death, and notes the recent research into cell phone risks.

    Anticancer should be read by everyone. It is a tool for cancer prevention, and a wellness guide for those living with the disease. Anticancer offers considerable scientific-backed research to support its lifetime living plan. The only negative--it wasn't published quickly enough. I have personally recommended this book to others who live with cancer.

    5 Stars

    5-0 out of 5 stars Superb!, September 10, 2008
    David has written a profoundly important book and has also told a very important personal story. All too often we are intimated by both doctors and by the simple statement from a doctor that we are no longer a person but have become a disease. Having been deeply involved in the medical and pharmaceutical world myself I followed the same path as David has when I was diagnosed 6 years ago with 'terminal leukemia' and given two years to live. That I am writing this review demonstrates the essential truths in this superb book.

    My story,The Journey of a Newly Diagnosed CLL Patient, is told at CLL Topics (www.clltopics.org)

    Thank you David for doing a much better job of moving from your own experience to helping others learn from your expertise and experience.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Traveling on the same path..., September 23, 2008
    When I stumbled upon this book I was simply amazed to read that the author had asked the same questions I asked my doctors and he received the same answers I got which was "there is nothing you can do for yourself". Grrr...

    I searched and searched the internet for answers as I wanted to fight my cancer or at the very least make a big improvement in my survivability. In time I learned to change my diet drastically (adding omega-3 via flaxseed oil), exercise daily, get out into the Sun, and learn to meditate to reduce stress. I now follow the Budwig protocol which basically agrees with the author's suggestions.

    I wish I had found this book sooner as it would have shortened my search for answers. Nonetheless, I love the book and highly recommend it to everyone who needs a good dose of reality about cancer.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Give this book to everyone you know!, September 4, 2008
    Since I picked up this book I can't stop thinking about how many people in my life need to read it. My list just keeps growing! It breaks everything down about the disease so you really understand what's going on, and it has such great, practical advice. He's been through it himself, and his story is just amazing.
    Cancer is really scary, but reading Dr. Servan-Schreiber's story and reading about the research, you get a sense that you're not helpless, and you want to share that with everyone you know. And even though I'm not into charts and graphs, seeing how thorough he has been and how much he relies on medical and scientific data for his advice - it's clear that this guy is for real.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Have bought a dozen or more copies so far..., November 3, 2008
    Last year at age 48 I was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer with metastasis in the liver and lymphs. Frankly, I was given several months to live. I've rewritten my prognosis and have stunned the doctors. I am their "poster child" for recovery... How did I do it?

    After enduring three major surgeries, two "near death" experiences, and over $600,000 in medical bills in one year, I have pondered my recovery more than most...

    This is "the" missing link as far as I'm concerned. Modern oncology does very little to address those things other than standard allopathic treatments. There's much more as this book will attest!

    Buy it for yourself and your loved ones but let me get another dozen or so first... LOL! This is a great book. You need it. Everyone does!

    3-0 out of 5 stars wonderful to read but has a few mistakes...., November 3, 2009
    This book was wonderful for me to read. I am a cancer survivor and am cancer free long after the time I should be gone and this book puts all the truths I found for myself about diet and emotions and living cancer free in an excellent format and sequence. It took me years to find all that information. What a joy it would have been to have had this book at that time. I give this book three thumbs up!

    Okay, I am adding this note to this review and downgrading it to a three because of some misleading information mostly regarding the use of sugars. The author recommends avoiding sugar and honey, etc and going with agave and zylitol. I did a bit more research and it is hard to beat the health benefits of honey so I diasgree with him on that one and I tried zylitol and got horrible stomach pains. It is a total mess in my mind. As for Agave, new research says it isn't as low glycemic as it has been touted to be and it does not have the health benefits of honey. My recommendation is go low on sugars and when you have to, use honey. Forget Agave and Zylitol.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Super, But Would Like More Information, September 18, 2008
    I've had 8 female friends diagnosed with cancer in the past 2 years. These friends are aged from 30 to 49, do not smoke, do not drink heavily, are not overweight, and all but of them one has children. Needless to say, I wanted to learn more about cancer and how it might affect my family. I immediately started reading this book after it was delivered, and could not put it down. There were a lot of "aha" moments for me while reading this book. I feel like I've learned a lot about cancer and how I might be able to ward it off. If I had one suggestion on how to make this book better, I would ask the author for resources on locating foods he suggests eating. For instance, I've had a difficult time finding organic grass-fed dairy products. One local natural foods store did have organic milk made from grass-fed cows, but it was unpasturized. Because I have little kids, I'm wary of an unpasturized product. That unpasturized milk was the only grass-fed dairy product I found after looking all day at several markets...no cheese, yogurt, etc. Also, no employees at the markets knew if their organic poultry was grass-fed. Since I live in Sonoma County, California - an area where "local" and "organic" food stores are popular - I thought getting these foods would be easy. So far, it hasn't been that easy. I would love to know how and where the author shops, so I can feed my family the same wholesome food. ... Read more


    8. Is It You, Me, or Adult A.D.D.? Stopping the Roller Coaster When Someone You Love Has Attention Deficit Disorder
    by Gina Pera
    Paperback
    list price: $21.95 -- our price: $21.41
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0981548709
    Publisher: 1201 Alarm Press
    Sales Rank: 597
    Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Winner of four national book awards, including Foreword Magazine's Psychology Book of the Year!
    The science has been clear since 1994, when Adult AD/HD was declared a medical diagnosis. Still, the public harbors misconceptions, and that means millions suffer needlessly. And that includes millions of couples who can't understand why their lives together are so hard -- sometimes despite many attempts at couples therapy.

    Everyone knows someone with adult AD/HD. Yet we misattribute the symptoms to anxiety, depression, or even laziness, selfishness, or moodiness. Moreover, we assume AD/HD means "little boys with ants in their pants." In fact, childhood hyperactivity goes "underground" as the person matures, resulting in a mentally restless state. (By the way, the former, and still better-known, official term is ADD, plus or minus Hyperactivity. The new term, AD/HD, uses a slash mark to indicate that hyperactivity is not central to the diagnosis.)

    Meticulously researched by award-winning journalist Gina Pera, Is It You, Me, or Adult A.D.D.? is a comprehensive guide to recognizing the behaviors where you least expect them (on the road and in the bedroom, for example) and developing compassion for couples wrestling with unrecognized ADHD symptoms. It also offers the latest information from top experts, plenty of real-life details, and easy-to-understand guidelines for finding the best treatment options and practical solutions. The revolutionary message is one of hope for millions of people--and a joyous opportunity for a better life.


    Insightful, helpful, witty, and very practical. This book can change your life.
    --Daniel G. Amen, M.D., author of Change Your Brain, Change Your Life

    ... contains information that is just not available anywhere else. This book is sure to become the authoritative guide for couples dealing with ADD.
    --Patricia O. Quinn, M.D., Director, The National Center for Girls and Women with ADHD

    ...We expect this book will be the bible for all of us dealing with adult ADD.
    -- Elizabeth Weathers and Diane Hartson, moderators, ADD Spouse support group

    ... I can safely predict it will become as much an 'industry standard' as Driven to Distraction.
    --David Edelberg, M.D., Medical Director, WholeHealth Chicago

    ... The book is well researched, reader friendly, and includes insights and perspectives from a Who's Who of professionals. For couples struggling with ADHD, it's the season's new must-have book and bound to become a classic.
    --Michele Novotni, Ph.D. Psychologist, Coach

    Confirmatory brain neuroscience answers this speculation about Adult ADHD: It s a real problem with real and painful challenges, not a belief system.
    -- Charles Parker, DO, Medical Director, CorePsych, author of Deep Recovery

    ... Gina Pera has combined a real feel for the disorder with sound reporting skills and the spice of those who tell the story best: the couples themselves.
    -- Margaret D. Weiss, M.D., Ph.D., Head, Provincial ADHD Program, British Columbia, Canada

    ... Gina Pera has been there and has authored a guide that offers understanding for the confused, practical strategies for the frustrated, and hope for the despondent. This book will be a lifesaver for both partners.
    -- Ari Tuckman, Psy.D., M.B.A., author of Integrative Treatment for Adult ADHD ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars The "Our Bodies, Ourselves" for Adults w/ADD, October 23, 2008
    I recalled the shock of recognition and thrill of a first encounter with the unadulterated truth that I had when I read "Our Bodies, Ourselves" as a thirteen year old girl, as I read "Is it You, Me or Adult ADD? by Gina Pera.

    As a 43 year old women with ADD who was married to a man with untreated ADD, the book rang so true and touched upon so many of our struggles that it was, at times, disorienting to read them detailed in the pages of a book written by an author who did not know my story. Often, I could only read a few pages before needing to take a break and let the enormity of the suffering and needless pain that ADHD causes in adult relationships to sink in.

    For too many of us, the real tragedy comes from having seen expert couple therapists for years desperately trying to make our relationships work, while the good will, intimacy and benefit of the doubt was drained out of the marriage as each new round of therapy failed, all the while, never being offered the information provided in this book that could have put us on the path to understanding.

    Gina Pera lays out the necessary truth about the impact of adult ADD on relationships and provides a framework to view the issues not as insurmountable, but rather as typical for our population and, in fact, manageable with the right treatment for ADD.

    I urge all couples with children who have AD/HD to read this book. Because research tells us that this disorder is genetic, you and your partner may be affected by AD/HD without knowing it and your relationship may be needlessly imperiled. You may save your marriage by discovering how ADD plays itself out in relationships and learning how to address those issues in your own home.

    This book provides clear descriptions of the classic dynamics that often underlie the interactions of adults with AD/HD and concrete strategies to preserve the respect and love that you have for your partner while working to make the relationship fulfilling for both of you.

    I am in awe of Gina Pera's writing and her ability to harness what looks and sometimes felt like unrelated, distressing events into a cogent, comprehensive portrait that depicts in a devastatingly accurate fashion what life and love feels like being married to an adult with ADHD.

    Thanks to this book, we, adults with ADD, can understand the emotional consequences of our behavior, accept responsibility for it and work to empathize with and advocate for our children, spouses and, most importantly, ourselves with a clear mind and full heart.


    5-0 out of 5 stars FINALLY, a book written for the non-ADHD partner, October 22, 2008
    Thank you Gina Pera!

    Finally, a book written for non-ADHD partners. The author spent 8 years researching ADHD, and this text is clearly a masterpiece of her great efforts. The book is filled with examples, tips, and resources like no other book offers to date.

    Most books on the market are written for a person with ADHD, and not chiefly for partners thereof. Perhaps there should be more support groups available, such as, ADD/ADHD Anonymous. Dr. Schwartz offers good help online at mentalhelp.net; however, there are limits. In fact, this is where the author was found [on Dr.Schwartz's article/comment page].

    The book was received today, and there was so much to read AND highlight. The text offers a great "peace of mind," helps one realize the truth, without blaming one's self, and helps to comprehend the complexity of ADHD symptoms. Readers are reminded not to blame the person, but rather to understand or manage the "symptom," as Dr.Amen suggests.

    There are stories from lives of others that clarify multiple topics, which also projects what non-ADHD partners are facing because others, including friends or family, may rarely understand. The best part is the included "Tip Sheets" to help manage, cope, and/or not take the termed ADHD-bait.

    If your partner has ADD/ADHD, whether it is diagnosed or not, this text is highly recommended. As one reviewer noted, "Sure to become the authoritative guide..." Also, as reflected by the diagnosis, some ADHD'ers exhibit strong symptoms of denial, including remorse or blame when others [or their partner] attempts to discuss the illness.

    Warning: Anger, and other unnecessary conflicts may occur as a result of having this text or others present. Therefore, if you have been a heavy sufferer, it may be best to put a book cover on this, and keep it to yourself while reading and learning more. Remember that AWARENESS alone can change everything. This book gives you the insight and wisdom to see what you may not have realized, and helps sufferers not to *react* to symptoms, but to recognize them, while offering solutions.

    Those with the diagnosis may also benefit from this book if they are able to read with an open mind. Often, it can be difficult for anyone to [look in the mirror and] understand how they are affecting those around them. Indeed, this book is an excellent first step for those whom may or may not be diagnosed. It will offer unique insights into that which may be unconsidered. Finally, the roller coaster can be stopped and parked forever.

    In closing, we wish the very best to everyone, and send a very special thanks to the author.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Help for all the partners of people with ADD!, September 8, 2008
    This book will do for partners of people with ADHD what "Driven to Distraction" did for people who themselves have ADHD. It's easy to read and has enough medical and scientific information to explain what needs to be explained but not so much to bore the reader. You can go straight through the chapters in order or take advantage of the chapter to chapter references and pick up what you're looking for in the order that works best for you. I love this book! I'll be sharing the info with my clients and their spouses... and especially with the people who call and want me to "fix" their other.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Compassion for those with ADHD...but a focus on their partners, July 16, 2009
    Okay, my story...My husband and I were married for 10 years before he was diagnosed with Adult ADHD, inattentive subtype. During that decade, I transformed from a relatively spontaneous, moderately adventurous, and generally flexible wife to a rigid, super-anxious, and critical one. Even though he tended to walk out of the room while I was talking, ran us into debt, forget plans, misremembered conversations/decisions we made together, etc., we both pretty much thought the whole thing was my fault because I was so negative all the time. I stuck with it, because I love my husband and because I didn't want my son to grow up with divorced parents, like I did. Even so, I was unhappy enough to start thinking about divorce and I definitely felt like I was going crazy.

    Fortunately, my husband's best friend told him that he probably had ADHD and my husband was diagnosed and started taking medication at age 39. It was not a cure-all, but it let us get some traction on the situation and finally convinced us to get some marriage counseling. Three years later, we are not entirely out of the woods, but I think we will make it.

    One very frustrating thing about the experience was the utter lack of support out there for spouses/partners of those with ADHD. I honestly adore my husband and I know that he needs a lot of support and love from me, but I could have used some support too. Even though I knew/know something about the effects of ADHD on his life and mind, I had a hard time putting in the necessary work to make things better because I was exhausted, demoralized and isolated. He got meds and counseling. I got no meds and urgings from websites and counselors to "help him be organized" and "reduce my negative affect so he could rebuild his self-esteem." I did/do my best, but it is hard. I couldn't find a site that discussed the effects on me or his responsibilities to help heal the marriage (just mine).

    Man, I wish I had this book three years ago...ten years ago. It really is for me and people like me...people who love their partners and want things to work out, but need a sense of support and community. At parts I laughed out loud, but sometimes I was stunned and saddened by how much I had put up with and how bad my life and marriage had gotten before it started to (slowly) get better. My husband picked it up one day and spent the next few days reading it all the way through. Since he is really one of the most wonderful people in the world, he responded with a renewed sense of purpose to figure out how to use compensatory strategies (calendars, alarms, checklists, etc.) and to hire organizers, coaches, etc. (with my okay just because I needed to take over our finances). He came home with flowers after he finished, hugged me, and said that he never really understood the impact that ADHD had on me. He was surprised when he'd read quotes from spouses in the book that were almost identical to things I'd said recently or even years before. Just the hug and the compassion was amazing. I felt validated and appreciated...not a common thing in the past decade, unfortunately.

    BTW: I disagree with reviewers who think the author treats those with ADHD without compassion or respect. It seem very loving to me. That said, if your partner is still dealing with a new diagnosis or is touchy about it, I wouldn't just dump the book in his or her lap. It really is written for spouses and partners. It does not pull punches when it describes how tough ADHD can be for us. In a way, I feel that both my husband and I have ADHD and that now I am getting some help too. I agree that she is pro-meds, but she makes that clear right from the outset and a lot of the book had nothing to do with treatment. I am pro-meds for adults too, at least for a trial run, so that part didn't bother me. Without meds, I just don't know what we would have done.

    In short, I loved this book. I thought I'd read everything there was to find about ADHD, but I learned things in every chapter. I am going to order a couple copies for the spouses of my husband's family members, many of whom have similar profiles. I'm even thinking of starting a support group in my area, or finding someone qualified to lead one. I think this book could save marriages, relationships, and some people's sanity.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Probably the best ADHD book I've read, January 10, 2009
    The title of my review probably sounds like hype but it's not. I've read 20+ ADHD books (Hallowell, Ratey, Amen et al) and "Is it you me or adult ADD" is the most practical and "real world" of them all.

    It's the best balance of real-world anecdotes, situations, issues that ADHD'ers (and those who know ADHD'ers) face, science, and practical solutions, as well as many insights into ADHD that I've seen no where else.

    Even though I have ADHD, have read so many books about it, and even regularly attend an ADHD support group, I had at least a half dozen "ah-ha" moments within the first few chapters. I learned about things that I had no idea were related to ADHD. It was really an eye-opener and has helped me live that much better now that I understand why and how it's related to my ADHD.

    To me the book is also very practical and real world. It tells it like it is with no sugar coating--both the good and the bad. There's a trend in some ADHD circles to try to paint ADHD as a "gift". Take it from me, having ADHD sucks, it's not a gift. Of course we want to be rid of the stigmas and discrimination (both by people and by the insurance industry) but trying to spin ADHD as a gift just goes too far into la-la-land in my opinion. This book doesn't do that. It talks about what ADHD is, how it effects those who have it, and those who have to deal with those who have it. As I said, very real world, practical, and helpful.

    Denial is one major thing this book talks about that I don't recall reading about before. Yes, many of us with ADHD deny we have it, or even if we admit we have it, we think we're doing fine without treatment. These are both unfortunate situations which can have bad if not dire consequences. (Witness the higher accident rates, drug abuse and crime rates of those with *UNTREATED* ADHD.) Amazingly enough, when you treat ADHD these things largely go away and life improves for everyone involved. Getting through the denial may be a major stumbling block though, and this book addresses dealing with that.

    I can't say enough good things about this book. If you have ADHD read this book. If you are in a relationship with someone with ADHD read this book. If you're related to someone with ADHD read this book. If you know someone with ADHD read this book and get them a copy.

    If you know someone who's life seems like a complete mess, is constantly late, is always losing things, seems distracted or day-dreamy, often says inappropriate things, may be moody or angry a lot, can't seem to stick to something to completion, it's likely that this person has ADHD.

    Get them this book or read it yourself and see if maybe you can help them face and deal with their ADHD. You may, in no exaggerated terms, save their life.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wish I'd had this book 16 years ago!, November 28, 2008
    Plenty has been written about ADHD in children and in adults. All the focus has been on the person with the disorder. What hasn't been effectively addressed is how it affects loved ones of people with ADHD. Nor has there been much hope or help for non-ADHD partners until now.

    Reading this book was like a look back into my former marriage. My ex-husband has had ADHD his entire life. During our 12 years together, we - and our children - suffered so many of the situations Ms. Pera describes in her book.

    The first part of the book sets up what it's like to ride the ADHD Roller Coaster. Just reading the stories from the support group members caused my adrenaline to surge, like it used to regularly. Believe me, the partners of folks with this brain disorder tell their stories well. The hyper-vigilance, walking on eggshells, watching every penny - it's such a hard way to live.

    The surveys the author used are also very revealing. You get a pretty good picture of the challenges faced by partners of folks with ADHD and how the disorder colors every facet of life - eating, sleeping, parenting, sex, finances - and the rest of the world can't understand. You feel positively bereft and, at best, nobody else understands. At worst - and this is standard operating procedure - any problems are entirely your fault.

    In case you think I'm dissing folks with this disorder, you need to know how attractive, intelligent, creative, funny and talented they are. However, one does get sucked in by their hyper-focus on the prospective partner and the budding relationship. Then suddenly after the intended is "caught," that "knight-in-shining-armor" disappears and left in his (or her) place is somebody who has no concept of how to relate anymore because they've now moved on to the next person or project that catches their attention and they hyper-focus on that to the exclusion of everything else in their lives.

    I spent years in therapy, both with and without the ex, and read many books on the subject to no avail. The problem was that none of the therapists or books took the next step into the challenges faced by partners and to offer effective coping strategies. Solutions were trite and useless. Communication tips for couples where one partner can't focus long enough to say good morning are no help whatsoever.

    This book, "Is It You, Me, or Adult A.D.D?" frames the problems differently than any other I've read and gives solid, multi-pronged, science-based solutions. It explains, in layman's terms, how neurotransmitters in the brain work and how medication can make a huge difference by physically getting those messages across those synapses. As the author explains, medication can be to the ADHD brain what eyeglasses are to the myopic eye. There's no more shame in appropriately using medication than the appropriate use of eyeglasses.

    There is no one size fits all solution and Ms. Pera makes an in-depth exploration of other therapies that support and supplement medication for those who find that to be a good option.

    The best part of the book, however, is the advice and resources for finding a therapist who truly understands the disorder and its effects on a relationship. We spent thousands of dollars on therapists who seemed to know less about the disorder than we did. There was no guidance for people in choosing somebody to help back then.

    I particularly appreciate the coping and self-care strategies offered. If these had been available to me ten years ago, I might be in better health today.

    Though there's no way I could go back to my ex - too much hurtful water under that bridge - I wonder what could have been if we'd had a resource like this book at the beginning.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Changed my life, December 6, 2008
    Are you and your partner fighting all the time? Does it seem like it's always one thing or another? Things get close to settling down, but it never happens? Have you given up your hobbies, your friends? Starting to walk on eggshells? If you just KNOW something is amiss, READ THIS BOOK!! There's so much to say about this book. I could write volumes. It educates you, validates your thoughts and feelings, and helps you realize "It's not your fault". The author describes the stages you go through when you are being overpowered by your partner's symptomatic ADHD behaviors that leave you feeling hurt, lonely and resentful. The great thing about this book is that it takes you beyond pinpointing the issue and takes you to a place of healing and peace. Through Ms. Pera's thoughtful guidance, you are able to take back control of your life and have the strength, drive and courage to rebuild yourself, rediscover your passion and commitment for your partner, and take a lead role in shaping the course of your relationship in the future. My partner and I are not there yet, but with the new insight this book has given me, I know it's just a matter of time. The quality of the book itself should also be noted. It is well designed and printed on high quality paper. The author has included many subheadings, making it easy to access content fast. There are plenty of narratives, advice and information in the numerous boxes and sidebars. It is nicely organized and easy to read.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Gina Pera's Roller Coaster - An ADDer Review, September 10, 2008
    I have been anticipating reading Gina's book for some time. She is a marvelous woman who truly cares about people with ADHD and the people who are related to us.

    I knew her book would be good, but I had no idea what I would be getting into by reading through it. Much of it was like reading via a mirror into my soul and if you know Gina, she doesn't mince words or try to be overly diplomatic (like some people I know = me).

    Before I started read Gina's book I joked with her about how thick it is, but I tell you what, once I opened it, I could not stop reading it. I am really tired at this point because I have not been able to fully sleep until I finished it and I know I will have to reread several parts.

    Gina has written a book for the ages and I have never read any book as thorough, evaluating all the aspects of adult ADD/ADHD. She explains not only the common symptoms, but also the symptoms that show up in smaller groups of people with ADD. She tells us of how to train our brains and why. I really liked how she broke down each individual symptom and gives us rational easy to understand explanations for getting through and working through them. You finish reading this book and realize the truth and that truth is that you are not doomed, but you will be doomed if you don't do something about it for yourself and your partner. She sees relationships as teams, both individuals having equal rolls to play while still remaining individuals with dreams, goals and desires.

    For me, the most important part of this book is about seeking out the right therapist - how and why. I found this to be the most important part because therapy is what has helped me the most to overcome the past and learn copings skills for a better future. I really can't wait to start working many of these strategies into my life.

    Gina, thank you so much for the gift of this book, it will be my most treasured companion (next to Joan) for a long time to come, you were right, it truly is a `one stop shop for information on adult ADHD', but let me add that this book should not simply be considered for those who are in a relationship already. Even if you are single and seeking a companion, "Is it You, Me, or Adult A.D.D.?" is a must and will save you so much unnecessary heartache in the future and will help you with your daily life already. Trust me!

    Bryan Hutchinson
    Author of:

    One Boy's Struggle: A Memoir: Surviving Life Undiagnosed ADD

    5-0 out of 5 stars AD/HD in Adults no longer taken lightly, March 16, 2009
    Gina's book has transformed the way we have looked at the family challenges that have plagued us since the day we married. Thanks to this new understanding we have the clarity we need to go forward.

    Ignoring the reality of my husband's adult ADD has caused us all a great deal of emotional pain and life disappointments. It was so confusing that someone could be such a "good guy", swearing love and devotion AND in denial about frequent behavior that was at best inconsiderate and frequently just plain mean.

    We are hopeful about capitalizing on the commitment we have had toward each other while finally seeing some real improvement in the possibility of smoother marital interaction.

    I am especially grateful that my husband chose to take the book with him to work and read most of it (after my reading parts of it to him that were so clearly "us"). He has apologized for what my life has been like married to him, because of his ADD, his first step in acknowledging that the relationship problems were stemming mainly from him, and not because I was "too sensitive".

    A world changing book. A must read, especially for those involved in behavioral health. Marriage therapy that does not take adult ADD into consideration is worse than useless, as the adaptive and stress related behaviors of the partner of the adult with ADD can be focused on to everyone's detriment.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Indispensable for the non-ADHD partner, July 28, 2010
    If not for this book, my spouse's ADHD would have destroyed our marriage a long time ago. ADHD in a marriage is a big challenge, but the struggles and needs of the non-ADHD partner are very different from those of the person with ADHD. Ms. Pera's book is the first (and AFAIK the *only*) book to address these specific concerns, and she does so with great competence, humor and empathy - for BOTH partners.

    The book is filled with practical advice and strategies that actually WORK - both to limit the damage ADHD does in the relationship, and to move forward towards a happier, healthier and less stressful life for both parties. The chapter on finding an ADHD-competent therapist is, just on its own, worth the entire cover price, and there is much more helpful information contained in these 350 pages. ... Read more


    9. Taking Charge of Your Fertility, 10th Anniversary Edition: The Definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control, Pregnancy Achievement, and Reproductive Health
    by Toni Weschler
    Paperback
    list price: $24.99 -- our price: $16.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0060881909
    Publisher: Harper Paperbacks
    Sales Rank: 1414
    Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Celebrating 10 years of helping hundreds of thousands of women achieve pregnancy, avoid pregnancy naturally, and gain better control of their health and lives, the 10th Anniversary Edition of the classic bestseller will include:


    •New 'Preface to the 10th Anniversary Edition"


    •Updates on new fertility technologies


    •Natural approaches to conception


    •Updated Resources and Books

    For any woman unhappy with her current method of birth control; demoralized by her quest to have a baby; or experiencing confusing symptoms in her cycle, this book provides answers to all these questions, plus amazing insights into a woman's body. Weschler thoroughly explains the empowering Fertility Awareness Method, which in only a couple minutes a day allows a woman to:


    •Enjoy highly effective, scientifically proven birth control without chemicals or devices


    •Maximize her chances of conception or expedite fertility treatment by identifying impediments to conception


    •Increase the likelihood of choosing the gender of her baby


    •Gain control of her sexual and gynecological health

    ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars Required reading for EVERY woman!, May 4, 2003
    I honestly thought that just being a woman ~ I knew all I needed to know to get pregnant. I am 35 now and ready to have a baby, so I stopped taking the pill and waited 2 cycles and thought all I had to do was plan our night of fun close to Ovulation "Day 14". Was I ever wrong!!

    After trying unsuccessfully on my own for 5 months, I started to question my fertility. I purchased ovulation test strips and they wouldn't show a peak ovulation. I found others online who were trying to conceive and recommended this book. Once I received the book, I couldn't put it down! I was amazed at what little information I actually knew about my cycle ~ my own body and what it had been telling me all along. I just didn't understand it.

    I learned not everyone ovulates on "Day 14", for me it is actually "Day 23". I assumed I wasn't ovulating and got frustrated at day 20-21 and would stop testing. I now know to look for signals to show when I'm ovulating and now test in the correct window.

    By reading this book I now have a clear understanding of my cycle. At my age, I want to have a baby sooner than later, so I plan on taking a more aggressive approach to my fertilization. I talked with my doctor after 6 months, rather than 1 year. With the help of this book and charting, I was able to explain my cycle and show my doctor all my charts. I was able to provide all the information needed to show I have a short luteal phase. By providing this information to the doctor, we will be able to treat the ovulation problem that much quicker. My doctor commented that I was extremely organized and it really helped things along.

    This book is very easy to read and understand. You will be able to clearly read your own body signals during your cycle, and have a better understanding of your fertilization ~ whether you want to become pregnant - or not.

    I will share this book with other women and would recommend it for every woman!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent, excellent, excellent, October 8, 2002
    I consider myself to be a reasonably intelligent, college-educated woman with a pretty darn firm grasp on How Babies Are Made, so when my husband and I decided to start a family, I thought it would be as easy as tossing the birth control pills aside and Let The Fun Begin! After almost a year with NO baby, followed by a miscarriage, I was starting to question my fertility. (After all, how hard can this be?) I went to the OBGYN, who immediately recommended Clomid and sex on the 14th day of my "cycle." I wasn't comfortable with the fertility pill concept, and saw a recommendation for this book instead. So, I picked it up.

    WOW! Why don't they teach THIS in Sex Ed?? I wish I'd known this stuff when I was 13! I sure knew the mechanics of sex, alright, but not the mechanics of my own body. I was amazed at what I didn't know; while I had observed the various signs that are talked about, I didn't have the slightest clue what they meant. They never worried me, but they never gave me any insight, either. I started charting, figured out what day of the cycle I REALLY ovulated, and on the third try -SURPRISE!- we were pregnant! While the OB said to try on day 14, we REALLY needed to try on day 19. Sperm only live for 5 days max, so we would have missed our window of opportunity every time. :(

    I have recommended this book to complete strangers whose friends were "trying to get pregnant," and lent it to my best friend when she mentioned going off the pill. She's due in December!

    Now that my cycle is back, I've reclaimed the book back again to avoid another baby until we're ready. We're still breastfeeding, and using this as a birth control method doesn't come with the risk of drying up my milk supply. (I know, Micronor (mini-pill) is breastfeeding-friendly, but I don't think I'm ready for that yet.)

    I am SO pleased with this book and the knowledge I gained from it; I can't believe I didn't know all this before my mid-twenties!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly enlightening!, August 18, 1999
    I bought this book after 4 unsuccessful months of trying, which was after 3 months of waiting after having 2 miscarriages. Since I'd gotten pregnant right away with my first child, I figured there might be something I needed to learn and I couldn't have been more right. This book is an absolute must for anyone, whether you're trying to get pregnant or not. I learned more about my body in the day and a half it took me to read the book than I ever did in any of the sex ed classes in school. After 4 months of what we thought was perfect timing and no success, we thought there might be a problem. I bought the book to learn about detecting ovulation and potential fertility problems. I got pregnant the first cycle I charted because of the knowledge I gained about ovulation and its signals. I learned through charting that I ovulated on Day 21 rather than Day 14. I was also able to determine I was pregnant without even taking a test! I'm so thrilled about the knowledge I've gained by reading this book and I feel much more in tune with my body now that I am pregnant. I urge any woman to get this book if you are at all interested in your body, pregnancy achievement, or pregnancy avoidance. This book is very well written in plain English that is easy to understand. The illustrations, color photographs, and numerous charting patterns were especially helpful to me. I can't say enough about this book!

    4-0 out of 5 stars An invaluable resource, but skepticism prevents heartache, January 27, 2002
    'TCOYF,' as it is known in pre-conception communities, is definitely an invaluable resource for any woman or couple wanting a child (it is often referred to as the 'bible' of pre-conception). It arms you with the knowledge necessary to maximize chances of conception (or lower the risks of pregnancy in those who do not wish to conceive) and does so in an enjoyable, easy-to-read manner that does not belittle or overwhelm its audience. The wealth of information in this book about a woman's cycle and how to chart it are absolutely fantastic, and one is left with a sense of 'how could I not have known all this was going on in my body before?' Although I highly recommend this book, I would also like to offer a much-needed word of warning about it: page after page after page of success stories are presented, leaving the general impression that the whole process of conception is MUCH easier than it is. The author repeatedly presents 'case studies' of women who conceived after only ONE MONTH of using the methods in this book. The overall effect is one of effortless and immediate conception if the guidelines provided by the author are followed religiously. Although I do not believe it is intentional, I have to say I feel the book is deceptive in this regard. It also promotes methods of determining pregnancy that absolutely are NOT definite and that, if taken to heart by the reader, can leave one devestated at the end of a cycle, when the feeling of 'but I don't understand, the book said I must be pregnant' take over. I have seen too many women experience these disappointments to consider any honest review of this book complete without mentioning these things. The reader should use a healthy dose of skepticism about some of her more controversial ideas and use the book mainly as a guide to getting to know one's body and learn how to determine ovulation. It truly is invaluable in that regard. But don't let all those case studies get you overexcited or build up unrealistic expectations. Conception still is not an exact science, no matter how much knowledge you have at your disposal, and you still may be in for a wait, no matter how faithfully you follow these guidelines.

    5-0 out of 5 stars You've got to have this book - and recommend it to friends!!, May 4, 1999
    After over 4 months of trying to get pregnant, a good friend of mine recommended this book. She told me that if nothing else I would feel more knowledgeable about my body, its cycles, and what it was telling me when. So I ordered it. It is so well written that I found myself looking forward to reading it. It is incredibly informative and easy to understand. And I immediately knew from reading it what my husband and I were doing wrong (we were a little late in my cycle each month). Thanks to the charting I knew that having a mild flu with fever delayed my cycle's ovulation date *and* I knew when to keep going before ovulation. I'm happy to write that thanks to my first cycle of charting I'm now 3 weeks pregnant. I very very highly recommend this book. It helped me to relax and, literally, go with my body's flow. (I wish there were one this good for during pregnancy!!) THANKS TONI!!!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Essential for every woman, especially teens, June 19, 2000
    This is not just a guide to getting pregnant. It is about knowing your body without being embarassed. It is quite liberating to read this book and then be able to recognize exactly where you are in your fertility cycle. Too often, women are made to feel guilty or shamed about even looking at our bodies. It's beyond imagination for some women to examine themselves or to ask questions about what exactly their bodies do. Weschler helps break this barrier and shows us why it's critical to overcome the societal embarassment or reluctance.

    She makes a very good point: why is it that men are fertile all of the time, that women are fertile for just 5 days a month, yet the majority of birth control involves a woman taking a drug 30 days a month, or inserting a contraceptive device before every sexual encounter? Forget about the burden being placed on women (as long as we bear the children we will be ultimately responsible). Think about the ridiculousness of taking powerful hormonal drugs every day or having to use contraception when you're not even fertile! The drug and contraceptive industries are having a field day!

    This book has three very distinct values:

    1. An essential part of every adolescent girl's education about her changing body. This book will do more than almost anything else in preparing her for responsible sexual encounters, and will help her self esteem by getting rid of her trepidation about her body.

    2. Tool for avoiding pregnancy.

    3. Tool for achieving pregnancy.

    It boils down to three basic fertility signs: basal temperature, cervical fluid, and height of cervix. Once you read the book and become accomplished at tracking each of the three signs, you can put away the thermometer. Weschler urges you to track the basal temperature faithfully for several months. But, especially if you're using the method as birth control, you can judge by the other two signs and safely avoid pregnancy. And it takes absolutely no extra effort or monitoring.

    Most of us have heard the jokes about natural family planning. Weschler discusses those criticisms and shows why this book is different and reliable.

    "Taking Charge of Your Fertility" will ease your mind and give you the confidence of being certain when you are fertile or not fertile.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Excellent information - but take with a grain of salt, February 22, 2005
    If you are anything like me, you were about 12 years old when you learned everything you know about the female body. Of course back then we were more concerned about guessing who had gotten their period so far and too busy avoiding eye contact with the boys in the room to really pay much attention.

    Now, both as an adult and as a woman actively trying to achieve pregnancy, this is invaluable information that I wish I had known all along. Through Ms. Weschler's clear and easy to understand writing, you'll learn to fill in those blanks: how everything works, what exactly goes on during your cycle, how best to time sex for conception (I learned within the first month of charting that we were off by about 10 days - no wonder our first attempts didn't work!) and so much more...including how HIS parts work (700 million sperm at any given time? OH MY!).

    However, I would also take Ms. Weschler's blatant distain for the medical community with a grain of salt. YES, her methods provide invaluable knowledge for women and YES this is information I believe each woman should be armed with, but I do bristle at her constant dismissal of all doctors and her negative portrayal of them. Especially alarming was her description of colonoscopy as "demoralizing." No, this procedure isn't as fun as trip to Disneyland, but it has indisputably saved thousands of lives despite the stigma many would place on it. My hope is that women read this to learn more about themselves...but not shy away from seeking medical help when and if they need it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Learning Experience for Every Woman!, October 22, 2000
    This book is absolutely wonderful. My sister sent it to me. I stopped birth control pills in March and with the charting of my cycles, purposely avoided conceiving. July was the first month I actually tried to get pregnant and I did...on the first month! I knew I was pregnant before I "missed my period" and before I took a test. My sister read it before me, and while off the pill, avoided pregnancy for over a year. The first month she decided to try to achieve pregnancy, she too, conceived...first month! We are both expecting in the spring...2 1/2 weeks apart.

    I have sent this book to several friends and recommend it to everyone. It is such an important learning tool for all women, whether they are thinking of pregnancy or not. I learned so much about my body. It is just an incredible book and method. It is such a shame that doctors do not recommend fertility awareness to women. BUY THIS BOOK...you will LOVE it!!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A terrific guide to understanding our bodies!, October 11, 1999
    My husband and I had been trying to get pregnant for six months when I heard about this book through a website. I purchased the book on amazon.com and started charting my cycles right away. Within two months my husband and I realized our fertility problems were nothing more than timing. We got pregnant on the second month of charting. Our son's due date is in December. I have recommended this book to so many people. There is so much information in it that you just never learned in school. Above everything else I realized it is normal not to be "normal". This book saved us the agony of fertility testing and unnecessary stress. For the first time we felt in control! I showed my charts to my doctor and he was extremely impressed with accuracy and teachings of the book. My sister-in-law is now using the book as a guide for her fertility problems. She is currently taking Clomid to overcome a medical condition. "Taking Charge" is helping her to keep track of her cycles and gives her a guideline to help deal with the unsympathetic doctors!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Irregular periods? Save valuable time, read this book NOW!, January 6, 2000
    If your cycles are irregular, read this book NOW. I went to my gynecologist a FULL YEAR before I wanted to start trying for pregnancy (because I'm older and wanted to speed things up when the time came), said: What do I read/do now to get ready because I'm very irregular and my cycles are unpredictable? She talked about genetic compatability screenings, but never mentioned cervical fluid or going off the pill right away to determine what my non-pill-controlled cycles were like. She sent me off to "try for 6 cycles" (which in my case took nearly a year due to long cycles during which, I now know, thanks to Toni's wonderful book, I wasn't even ovulating!) What a waste of a 35-year-old woman's precious time! I haven't conceived instantaneously like many of the other woman testifying here, but I'm confident I'm now finally truly on my way. Even though there are almost 200 reviews posted about this book at the time of this writing, I felt I must add my comments (and endorsement), in the hopes they will push one more woman to order this book NOW and truly get educated about our body's awe-inspiring ability to tell us what we need to know to get pregnant. ... Read more


    10. My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey
    by Ph.D., Jill Bolte Taylor
    Paperback (2009-05-26)
    list price: $15.00 -- our price: $10.20
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0452295548
    Publisher: Plume
    Sales Rank: 1414
    Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    The astonishing New York Times bestseller that chronicles how a brain scientist's own stroke led to enlightenment

    On December 10, 1996, Jill Bolte Taylor, a thirty-seven- year-old Harvard-trained brain scientist experienced a massive stroke in the left hemisphere of her brain. As she observed her mind deteriorate to the point that she could not walk, talk, read, write, or recall any of her life-all within four hours-Taylor alternated between the euphoria of the intuitive and kinesthetic right brain, in which she felt a sense of complete well-being and peace, and the logical, sequential left brain, which recognized she was having a stroke and enabled her to seek help before she was completely lost. It would take her eight years to fully recover.

    For Taylor, her stroke was a blessing and a revelation. It taught her that by "stepping to the right" of our left brains, we can uncover feelings of well-being that are often sidelined by "brain chatter." Reaching wide audiences through her talk at the Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) conference and her appearance on Oprah's online Soul Series, Taylor provides a valuable recovery guide for those touched by brain injury and an inspiring testimony that inner peace is accessible to anyone.
    ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars Important
    This is, indeed, a first-person description of stroke by a scientifically and dare I say it -- spiritually -- sophisticated person. The author describes a range of experiences that make sense given our knowledge of localization of function. I'm not sure that such a detailed and consistent report by a scientist is available anywhere else. As such, this story is unusual and important. Moreover the author reports how she turned her stroke into an opportunity for profound wisdom and insight. Amazing stuff! And this may save lives.

    Personally, I don't share all the author's ideas about strict functional localization in the brain... but that is secondary and doesn't detract from my admiration of her remarkable contribution.

    My enjoyment of this book was enhanced considerably by the material and links at the author's website. She has posted a number of video and audio presentations, radio shows, etc.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Stroke of Brilliance!
    I first came across Jill Bolte Taylor, Phd when her speech at TED (an annual conference devoted to Technology, Entertainment, Design) went viral. In it, she describes how she witnessed herself having a stroke and the subsequent feeling of peace that enveloped her when her logical left brain shut down and her right brain became dominant. I became intrigued after watching the video and then read the book.

    The book expounds on her experience while having the stroke and her subsequent recovery. It was amazing on many levels:
    (1) She gives a 1st person narrative of her experience of the stroke and recovery but she doesn't portray it as something we should all pity and feel sorry for. Instead, she lays it out not unlike an explorer discovering new territory, full of suspense and wonder.

    (2) She gives incredible tips on how to communicate with and care for stroke victims. For e.g., some people would yell at her after they saw she didn't understand what they were saying. However, she wasn't deaf. She could only process one word at a time. If those people would have spoken more slowly rather than loudly, she would have been able to understand them. This is something that would never have occurred to me if I hadn't read this book.

    (3) She takes us on a tour of the 'mystical' right side of her brain which little is known about and whose capabilities in today's world seem to be dismissed. She says the right side of the brain is the gateway to enlightenment and nirvana. She shares tips on how to 'tend the garden of your mind' and to interrupt or stop those stories we all tell ourselves over and over again (usually about how we are deficient, not good enough, etc.). She calls them loops.

    Dr. Taylor's tips about how we can all achieve nirvana by accessing the right side of the brain as a conscious process is worth the price of the book many times over. We all have a "loop of deep inner peace" wired into our neurological circuitry in our right brain and we can consciously choose to run this loop whenever we wish.

    Closely related to this topic are books by Ariel & Shya Kane. They've written three outstanding books: Working on Yourself Doesn't Work: The 3 Simple Ideas That Will Instantaneously Transform Your Life, How to Create a Magical Relationship: The 3 Simple Ideas that Will Instantaneously Transform Your Love Life & Being Here: Modern Day Tales of Enlightenment. The Kanes have been teaching about accessing the magic of the right-side of the brain for over 20 years and their book is chock full of tips, and stories on how to recognize those loops Dr. Taylor talks about and how to bypass them. If you're serious about getting enlightened, get Dr. Taylor's and the Kanes' books NOW!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Required Reading
    My wife is a "massive" stroke victim. Her survival and recovery themselves were miracles. We are very fortunate. But one of the god-given gifts that has not returned is her speech. And while as a husband of 45 years when asked how she is doing often facetiously say that her loss of speech "is not all bad", I feel for her occasional frustration as she stumbles in her attempt to convey her feelings - fortunately, it is only occasional. We were warned it would be much, much worse.

    But the bottom line, this book has restored her faith in the possibilities of even further recovery. It should be required reading for all stoke victims whose speech was affected. Likewise, for all caretakers of those victims. For just to see the light shine in her eye as she showed me many passages in the book that still gave her hope was well worth the price and time involved.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!
    I've been recommending My Stroke of Insight to nearly everyone I know. Jill provides a great moment-by-moment account of her stroke, a potentially devasting event many of my relatives have experienced. I deeply admire her determination to work through it. She also does one of the best jobs of describing brain function I've ever run across. I came away with a renewed sense of understanding, wonder and hopefulness about the capabilities of the human brain. Highly recommended!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Glimpse Inside the Mind of Another
    Dr Taylor shows there are many kinds of knowledge, but maybe only one kind of awareness. The specialjourney that "Stroke of Insight" chronicles is surprising. It's a lesson how new learning, understanding and benefit can come of an experience that most would consider a severe blow. If you have the courage to face it and see it.

    The ability to experience something on several levels, beyond the daily vision of most of us, and then to share it in such a clear and thoughful account is rare. In this book, Dr Taylor shows her courage doesn't end with facing pain, loss or mortality, but she also now breaks convention and presents her ideas and experience in full view, with their emotional and philosophical content included. Not only was she inspired by her own journey, but she shares the inspiration directly with the reader.

    More than just an interesting read, this is one of the books that lets the reader peek inside the mind of another and, in doing so, to learn more about the self and the nature of our existence. Well worth your time.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great book
    How often do you get to hear a neuroscientist describe her own stroke?
    This is an amazing story on three levels; physical, emotional, and spiritual. Dr. Jill's description of her eight year recovery is both uplifting and powerful. But the spiritual aspect is alone worth the price of admission. (I won't spoil it for you.)

    Dr. Bolte-Taylor is not a writer of prose. Her style is that of someone experienced in writing scientific papers; factual, concise and parsimonious. But the content! That is what makes this a great book in my opinion.

    A quick read but a powerful story.

    Danny

    5-0 out of 5 stars My Stroke of Insight
    An absolutely wonderful journey by a brain anatomist who suffered a stroke. Her resilience, her deep understanding of the condition and lessons to be learned by her and other health care professionals is outstanding. A must read for anyone whether faced with a health problem or not. Is a mind awakening experience!!! ... Read more


    11. Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease: The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutrition-Based Cure
    by Jr., M.D., Caldwell B. Esselstyn
    Paperback
    list price: $17.00 -- our price: $11.56
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 1583333002
    Publisher: Avery Trade
    Sales Rank: 1335
    Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    A powerful call for a paradigm shift in heart disease therapy.

    Based on the groundbreaking results of a twenty-year nutritional study by Dr. Esselstyn, a preeminent researcher and clinician, this book illustrates that a plant-based, oil-free diet can not only prevent and stop the progression of heart disease but can also reverse its effects. The proof lies in the incredible outcomes for patients who have followed Dr. Esselstyn's program, including a number of patients in his original study who had been told by their cardiologists that they had less than a year to live. Within months of starting the program, Dr. Esselstyn's patients began to improve dramatically, and twenty years later, they remain free of symptoms.

    Complete with more than 150 delicious recipes, this book explains the science behind the simple plan that has drastically changed the lives of Dr. Esselstyn's patients forever. It will empower readers to take control of their heart health.
    ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars Meet Dr. Esselstyn, say goodbye to your cardiologist, February 10, 2007
    Dr. Esselstyn's brand new book, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, delivers just what the title promises. 21 years ago, Dr. Esselstyn took 17 people who were very sick. They had had heart attacks, bypass operations, angioplasty, pills, you name it. These people had by and large been sent home to die by their cardiologists, their heart disease so severe nothing further could be done. Doctors told several they would be dead in "less than a year."

    But they didn't die. Instead, each agreed to become part of Dr. Esselstyn's study, and adopted a low-fat plant-based diet as their medicine. 12 years later every one of these patients was alive, free of heart disease, and living full, active lives. Even those originally given a death sentence of "one year to live" are alive today 21 years later; and all thank Dr. Esselstyn for giving them knowledge, inspiration -- and recipes -- to save their lives. Their experiences as well as the many in his ongoing counseling, are documented in this amazing, highly readable book and backed up by 20 years of rock hard, peer reviewed science.

    This is not a book just for people with heart disease (one out of every two Americans will die of heart disease). This is a book for anyone wanting to regain or preserve their health, anyone wanting to enjoy great health throughout their entire life.

    The infomation in Dr. Esselstyn's book can save your life, and the recipes alone make it a must-have.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The land of Esselstyn... where the living is easy!, September 6, 2007
    My cousin turned me on the Esselstyn lifestyle. Her husband, who has suffered from genetically high cholesterol, had seen many male family members die before their time due to heart disease. When vegetarianism and then veganism didn't solve his problem, they went hardcore into the Esselstyn lifestyle.

    In 5 short months, my cousin (average size 12 American female) lost almost 30 pounds, much of it by foregoing the core of their vegan diet: olive oil, nuts, avocados, etc. Her husband also lost weight; better yet, his high cholesterol finally responded and is now in the excellent range.

    My cousin then recommended the Esselstyn book to me, as my husband's cholesterol has stubbornly remained above 200, and he, too, has a history of heart disease in his immediate family. Though we believed we were already eating a healthy diet, several hours of reading through Esselstyn's findings soon proved we were wrong. We made a pact to try the diet for just 1 month and evaluate where we stood.

    Well, 1 short month convinced us that this is the way to eat for life! We've now been following the program for 37 days, and the changes are already obvious. My husband has lost about 12 pounds and 3" in his waistline. He feels "lighter" and less bloated, and is "completely satisfied" (his words) by the wide variety of natural and delicious foods we eat.

    As for me, I have lost about 9 pounds and a total of 12"; I will soon need new jeans! My mid-afternoon cravings are miraculously gone. And no one was more surprised than I to discover that we do not miss eating the staples of our previous diet, such as grilled salmon, eggs, olive oil, fat-free dairy products, dark chocolate, and an occasional 96% Laura's Lean sirloinburger. Another side benefit is that we are spending less at the grocery store!

    If you're on the fence about this one, do what we did... try it for just 1 month (but be sure to give it 100%) and then make your decision.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Probably accurate but very difficult to follow, March 5, 2009
    After searching for books on reversing cardiovascular disease I came across this one. He makes an excellent case for reversing heart disease and provides before & after angiogram pictures as well. I have no argument with the science. I also have a bone to pick with experts that don't like this doctor because he is not a heart specialist. Since when do all things correct have to come from only specialists? This guy treats patients that cardiologists have given up on when their invasive treatements fail. Angioplasty & bypass only relieve symptoms & do not cure the disease. My father found that out! After seeing what he was like after bypass surgery perhaps we need to do nearly anything to avoid that like the plague.

    While the science is very compelling, and I believe it is right, the diet itself is extremly hard to follow unless you really love eating beans & vegetables, some fruit, and grains (no white bread or white pasta). The basis of his recommendations are no dairy at all, no meat, no fish, no eggs (not even egg whites), no cheese, no oil of any kind, no high-fat vegetable sources like nuts & avocado. Pretty sparce eating to me.

    The author says that eating any oil at all, whether in animal or vegetable form, affects the arteries in a negative way & in at least one patient contributed to his angina. That statement ups the ante and leads you to believe that oil is not just undesireable but extremely dangerous. I find that eating out is nearly impossible as just about all food not prepared on your own is cooked in oil or has oil as part of the food....refried beans, soup, bread, crackers, tortillas, etc. Wanna eat out? You are pretty limited to steamed vegetables & some fruit, maybe rice (no sauces unless they are totally fat-free, and who can know if the marinara sauce has soybean oil in it?). Thinking that eating salad will solve your problems? Naw, not unless you like to eat it naked or carry around your own homemade dressing. Commercial fat-free salad dressing is NOT fat-free, and ANY vegetable oil at all is not allowed.

    Sticking to this diet has been a huge struggle, but I've only been on the diet for 14 days. The hardest part is finding prepared foods, like bread, that have no fat at all in them. So far I've only found one manufacturer and the loaf costs $4.00. Can't even find tortillas that meet that criteria, and you really have to pay attention to labels. Fats go under other names like glycerin, mono & diglicerides, lethecin.

    Do I sound frustrated? Yeah, I am. Most of the positive reviews I've read are written by folks with blocked arteries who welcome anything to keep them out of surgery, and having had a parent who had quadruple bypass surgery I totally get that. My dad's mother died of a heart attack, and so did her father. So, despite my frustration I'm going to adhere to this diet because I am convinced the author is right & I hope to avoid the fate of my relatives.

    I have cooked many of the recipies in the book and did not like the majority of them. I don't like vegetables very much, and therein is my struggle. Try them anyway........

    Do I like the book? Yes, it's very thorough. Do I like the diet it recommends? Nope, but I'm going to do it anyway.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A must read for anyone who wants to remain alive as long as possible, February 8, 2007
    This is an extremely important book. Dr. Esselstyn has conducted the longest-running study, with the most impressive results, of any study in which heart disease has been arrested and reversed. I have read it once and plan to read it a second time. I had known of Dr. Esselstyn's work prior to reading this book, but it is wonderful to have all of his thinking and recommendations available in one easy-to-read book, together with a treasure trove of wonderful recipes supplied by his wife Ann Crile Esselstyn. Dr. Esselstyn points out that everyone over 60 who has been eating the standard American diet has some level of heart disease and it is increasingly found to be starting in children and young adults.

    I used to think that there was nothing one could do about the chronic diseases of aging such as heart disease and strokes. It is exciting and heartening to learn that there is something one can do to prevent, arrest and even reverse heart disease. The proof is shown in the stunning photos of actual angiograms before and after Dr. Esslestyn's treatment (you can actually see that the arteries are wider after the treatment!) and more importantly, in the remarkable improvement in his patients that he tells about.

    I have decided to follow Dr. Esselstyn's lifestyle guidance and I encourage all of my friends and associates to do the same. I direct a residential special needs school and have changed the menu plans for the 230 students at our school to follow Dr. Esselstyn's guidelines. I plan to send a copy to a cardiologist I know. I wish every physician would read this book. Do yourself a favor and read this book. It could be a life-saver, literally.

    Matthew L. Israel,Ph.D.
    Executive Director
    Judge Rotenberg Center
    Canton, MA 02021

    5-0 out of 5 stars Lucky To Be Onboard!, February 21, 2007
    I was lucky enough to find Dr. Esselstyn almost 3 years ago after a stress test showed an insufficient blood flow during exercise. Rather than undergoing a quadruple by-pass operation (standard procedure), I adopted his healthy life style and my last two annual stress tests showed no blood flow deficiency. Each day I eat healthily I feel in control of my life. My stamina has returned, my indigestion has gone and my optimism is back. Don't feel deprived. Feel empowered! Edward Flax, Syosset, N.Y.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Does it really work?, April 4, 2008
    With all of the promises being made regarding health cures it is hard to figure out which ones really work & which are vehicles to remove dollars from your wallet. I am a skeptic about these apparent fad cures & diets because most ultimately fail while an author or guru gets rich.

    I have heart disease and things were going well after my bypass over 7 years ago. After the surgery I changed to a lowfat diet, exercised more and felt good. Throughout my 20's I was a triathlete and was top condition - training 2 to 3 hours 5-6 days a week and understood, so I thought, the value of exercise and an effective diet.

    Thinking I had my heart problem beat (pardon the metaphor) after favorable results from 2 extensive thalium treadmill tests 3 & 5 years ago, I went about eating the great American Diet that included the occasional burgers, sodas and the rest.

    I found that I was short of breath during heavy exercise (Jiu Jitsu), I decided to have my heart tested with the elaborate systems in the hospital - thinking that it must be my age of 53 years catching up with me and nothing else. I got the shocking news that my heart condition had gotten 50% worse since I had the same test 3 years before! That was truly bad news...

    Being fully depressed but determined to not have my quality of life wither away, I decided to do something about it and not wait for the doctors to give me more meds since surgery was not an option. My doctor said that the only reason he could see for my diminishing condition was an increase in cholesterol in my diet that has started to block other heart vessels.

    I stumbled upon this book with this bold title including "reversing" written by a heart surgeon - a heart surgeon indeed!

    I read it along with the China Study (if you want a tech book about the western diet, this will blow your mind) and made the dietary change - of course, family members gave me grief for eating a plant based diet.

    Four months later my results are as follows: Cholesterol went from 230 to 150. Weight 236 to 202, great for someone who is 6'4". My energy during exercise is 50% better than before my checking 4 months ago. Mental clarity improved significantly and that is the short list.

    So, does it really work? Try it and find out.

    PS
    One family member & wife who scoffed loudly is now on the diet simply by seeing my results (I had no interest in defending or arguing about my choice because I decided to extend my life). They read the China Study as well and decided to give the fast food industry a miss from their eating habits. Read it and you will think twice about it as well.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Caldwell Esselstyn, June 7, 2007
    This is the best heart book ever written period. I have about 50 health books. Ornish's book made me think about it, Esselstyn's book made me do it. All other health and heart books are just noise, they will just confuse you. This one is the best in many ways. In many ways the study is more powerful, and the book is more powerful than the Ornish books by far, though I think Ornish is admirable. This book really should be read along with The China Study, as the two authors refer to one another and their work in the two books. The China Study goes more in depth about the science and rational behind what Esselstyn is suggesting. The China Study is also an outstanding book. Congradulations to Mr Esselstyn, he is by far the best thing going at the Cleveland Clinc, this from one of its angioplasty patients. The only addition I would make to his analysis, is once you are able to, you need to add reasonable exercise, it is essential. But I understand his reasons for sort of omitting it. I suggest Mr Esselstyn write a Reversing Heart Disease Part 2, or "Advanced" there I am sure he would suggest strongly about exercise, as seen with himself and his own family. And I am sure he also has a lot to update us on. Great book, a must for anyone with heart disease.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Buy This Book For Everyone You Know, April 18, 2007
    I am a cancer survivor who went whole foods vegan the moment I got my diagnosis in early spring of 2005. I experienced no side effects during six weeks of radiation treatment, and my other health benefits were swift and, frankly, miraculous. Chronic pain in my back, leg, and foot that I'd had for nearly two years was simply gone on the 8th day of "veganism". The pain never returned. My weight dropped to 120 and has remained there regardless of how much I eat. My cholesterol dropped from 191 to 127, and my blood pressure is 90/60 on average. If I pull a muscle or a tendon, I'm good as new the next day. I recently cut my finger chopping vegetables and two days later it was completely healed. When I tell people my story I feel like an impossible testimonial, yet here I am: almost 46 years old and feeling about 18!

    I collect low-fat vegan cookbooks and as soon as I saw this book with "150 recipes", I grabbed it. These recipes are the most delicious and easiest to prepare that I've ever encountered. What a PERFECT collection! Everything I make comes out gold! I recommend this book to anyone who wonders, "What do you eat?" This recipe section is all anyone needs to make the switch to low-fat vegan easy and delicious!

    As for the rest of the book, I've read it four times already, determined to commit memory everything in it regarding the effect of fat and junk food on our arteries. Dr. Esselstyn has done a tremendous job of writing a book that includes only what's necessary to clearly illustrate a path to health. I appreciate the fact that he avoided "filler" and got right to the point, pictures and all. I wish I could buy this book for everyone. It should be required reading by the time kids reach 5th grade!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Have a Heart--Save Yours!, February 8, 2007
    Anyone with a heart problem or who wants to avoid heart disease needs to read this book. Dr. Esselstyn details the results of a 20-year study that proves that heart disease can be reversed. This reversal was accomplished not by surgical procedures but by a nutritional program that has been remarkably effective. Unlike other doctors who tell you to eat a balanced diet, Dr. Esselstyn spells out the foods you must eat and those to avoid to promote a healthy heart. To help those who need guidance in preparing meals, the book provides over 150 easy-to-prepare recipes.

    Dr. Esselstyn is a remarkable man who has written a remarkable book that dares to challenge his professional colleagues. In an era where so many people are eating themselves into chronic illnesses like heart disease, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease presents a simple nutritional solution to a problem that has evolved into a national health crisis. His recommendations empower each individual to take charge of his/her health instead of turning to the medical profession for surgical intervention.

    He says, "I have an ambitious goal: to annihilate heart disease--to abolish it once and for all." His goal will be realized only if his message is widely disseminated and people to turn their backs on unhealthful eating patterns to embrace a lifestyle that encourages their wellbeing.

    Hopefully, doctors, instead of mocking and marginalizing practitioners like him, will change their focus to prevention instead of surgical procedures that cost thousands of dollars and offer no cure. He points out that surgery is far more lucrative for doctors than providing nutritional guidance to make that surgery unnecesary. As Esselstyn concludes, "We can start teaching people how to walk alongside the edge of the cliff instead of trying to save them after they fall off."

    5-0 out of 5 stars JUST SAY NO to heart disease, May 6, 2007
    This is a very clear, very concise book.

    A plant-based diet can prevent and reverse heart disease.

    It has the potential to save millions upon millions of lives.

    My cardiologist suggested that I try the South Beach Diet. Somebody slap him for me. Living proof that medical school nutritional education is NOT only pathetic, BUT actually DEADLY. I'd love to be able to say that this was a joke. Actually, it was. But true too.

    Luckily I had read Ornish. McDougall is great. Esselstyn is the clearest and most up to date AND he recommended a vegan diet PLUS statins, with ZERO further cardiac events for those who followed the program. What more did you want? Did my cardiologist thank me for excitedly passing on that information? HA! Have you got a lot to learn ...

    BUT you are not alone. You have Drs. Ornish, McDougall and Esselstyn and (biochemical) Dr. T. Colin Campbell. As for an actual live family practioner or a cardiologist, you may get lucky, but unfortunately I wouldn't count on it. When you have a new diagnosis of heart disease and you are petrified, or 'they' are shoving a coat hanger up your leg, is that tough? Oh Yeah ;-).

    Younger doctors may be more open and/or have less to lose? (Sample size = 1 ;-) ).

    Find support on McDougall's online forum and see if Dr. Esselstyn starts one. The very best of luck to you.

    May you be as lucky (and Iron Willed) as those already happily following the advice.

    (REMEMBER the one about the Formula One driver in Australia. A spectator says to a friend of the driver, "He's very lucky." To which the outraged friend replies, "Yeah mate, and you know what? The harder he works, the luckier he gets!"). Trust Drs. Esselstyn, Ornish and McDougall, be lucky and you'll do fine.

    Esselstyn recommends reading The China Study. Having now done so, all I can say is "My God. What you don't know can SERIOUSLY damage your health." So that is why Ornish, McDougall and also Esselstyn say NO DAIRY. Got Cancer?

    Can't do it? Willpower of a gnat? That's too bad because from here on heart disease is surely suicide by fork and spoon.

    Tip - You can start with partial adherence; get used to it; then gradually increase the compliance. % compliance is entirely up to you. Better to have tried and failed than not to have tried at all? Plus the secret is: following the diet becomes extremely easy as it becomes a daily habit. In about a year. ... Read more


    12. The Gerson Therapy: The Proven Nutritional Program for Cancer and Other Illnesses
    by Charlotte Gerson, D.P.M., Morton Walker
    Paperback
    list price: $17.00 -- our price: $11.56
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 1575666286
    Publisher: Kensington
    Sales Rank: 1344
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Cancer. Hepatitis. Migraines. Arthritis. Heart Disease. Emphysema. For years, the medical establishment has called these chronic or life- threatening diseases "incurable." But now, the Gerson Therapy offers hope for those seeking relief from hundreds of different diseases. Juice your way to wellness. One of the first alternative cancer therapies, the Gerson Therapy has successfully treated thousands of patients for over 60 years. Now, in this authoritative revised and updated edition, alternative medicine therapist Charlotte Gerson and medical journalist Morton Walker reveal even more on the powerful healing effects of organic fruits and vegetables. Not only can juicing reverse the effects of many degenerative illnesses-it can save lives. "The Gerson Therapy" shows you: How to beat cancer by changing your body chemistry; Special juicing techniques for maximum healing power; and, How to combat allergies, obesity, high blood pressure, AIDS, lupus, and other diseases. This unique resource will help and inspire anyone who has ever said, "I want to get well. Just show me how.""The Gerson Therapy" offers a powerful, time-tested healing option that has worked for others - and can work for you! ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars Read this book on Chronic Disease first, October 12, 2001
    A Highly Recommended First Book On The Use And Application Of Alternative Medicine/Natural Healing for Chronic Conditions.

    This is the book that I would first recommend for anyone wanting to understand the use of alternative medicine for the healing of any chronic condition including cancer I would also highly recommend this book to anyone contemplating the use of conventional medicine as well because of the excellent material on the disease process and the potential for using this or some other alternative therapy in a complimentary or combination process of natural and conventional healing. The issue in addressing healing of chronic diseases is for the person with the disease and their family to be sufficiently unformed of the causes and all possible treatment possibilities so that they can make informed and responsible decisions about their total treatment. Other therapies and approaches could be evaluated as to how well they addressed all of the healing concepts detailed in this book.

    "The Gerson Therapy" is a welcome and highly recommended addition to the multitude of books that address healing of chronic conditions including cancer by using natural or alternative means. The specific approach is healing by a combination of high quality nutrition and total body detoxification. The Therapy is a total program and does require significant life style changes at least for the detailed therapy. Actually, lifetime lifestyle changes will be required to remain healthy, but these are easily done once one has gone through the detailed therapy.

    This book accomplishes several needed functions. The Gerson Therapy is brought up to date, (the therapy is over 60 years old), with the latest information including program modifications for people who have had chemotherapy, for people who are in an extremely weakened state, and a modified program for non cancer chronic conditions. The information is provided in a highly readable and understandable format. The book details the background, theory, and enough specific cases to establish credibility without being overbearing. In fact most of the case studies are used to detail understanding of the therapy. The book does not sugar coat the difficulty of healing using natural therapy and states that the Gerson Therapy may be the most difficult to follow of the many that are available. All of the information required to do the therapy either on one's own or in conjunction with a qualified clinic or practitioner is provided in easily accessible section. (There is some redundancy in some of the specific sections but this redundancy eliminates the need to search for needed information for people who are following the therapy). The number of recipes is expanded from previous books, and this is a welcome addition for anyone who has followed the therapy. The mental aspects of natural healing are now addressed and are given a separate section in the book. Finally, many tricks and techniques needed to make the therapy more workable are included. The bottom line is that the book is both informative and is useable as a day to day guide for anyone deciding to do the therapy.

    I feel qualified to make these statements about this book because three years ago I was diagnosed with cancer and after much research and discussions with conventional and alternative practitioners, I chose to first start with the Gerson Therapy. The results have been wonderful with the cancer having gone in remission after about 18 months and numerous other problems have responded to the therapy as well. I have not had to revert to my back up plan of conventional medicine. Yes the therapy can be difficult to follow particularly because it is highly restrictive on food, requires time to make fresh vegetable juices several times every day, and requires time to do the detoxification procedures. And yes, the diet has different taste due to the salt and fat restrictions, but one quickly get use to the different tasee However, to be healed without permanent side effects is well worth the effort and the required life style changes. While I had excellent support materials available, this book is still a significant improvement to the available literature. I found nothing in this book that I had a problem with and with the improvements that have been made, the book deserves the five star rating

    The process of natural healing is not easy, requires attention to detail, and continued study to avoid setbacks through the process. This new book on the Gerson Therapy will provide information that can assist the decision process and will provide up to date information on the therapy's application.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Resource !, April 9, 2003
    Much like the previous poster, I also suffered a degenerative disease. I did the research for a cure while healing from some conventional radiation therapy. I began the Gerson Therapy (GT)as indicated in this book in part, started feeling stronger and got into it full tilt. I must admit, Dr. Max Gerson MD, the author's father, hit the nail on the head in terms of a curative therapy. His is some heirloom information and techniques that have survived because they work.

    If you need to buy a book on how to get well from degenerative disease, this is the first choice. Get started now. Begin now. Disease as simple as arthritis, and as tough as cancer respond to this therapy. I know from personal experience also. The program is nutritional and detoxification with minimum supplements. The book informs as to what and why and when to use what. They do not sell vitamins, or expensive publications, just straight forward truth.

    I also, particularily for Multiple Myeloma or Plasmacytoma patients, but cancer patients generally, highly recommend the book, 'Living Proof', by Michael Gearin-Tosh, published 2002. It is a wonderful narrative of how to approach cancer treatment written by a man diagnosed MM but who did Gerson Therapy and lives.

    Do it, get well, and write your own review ! I'll be checking back from time to time. God Bless.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This book is so valuable!!, December 28, 2005
    The Gerson Therapy saved my life.
    I was diagnosed with SLE ( Lupus), and there was nothing that the M.D.'s could offer me, except Prednisone...which was urged upon me.
    Through the fortunate advice of a friend, I read the Gerson book...and to make a very long story short, I decided to do the program.
    Let me just say here, in rebuttal to the first reviewer of this book, that NOWHERE in this book does it suggest that on should JUST do coffe enemas. Quite the contrary. If one is doing coffee enemas, it is essential that one ALSO be drinking the juices.
    In fact, if one is serious about getting well, it is absolutely essential that one do the program to the letter- not just some elements.
    I stayed on the Gerson program for two and one half years. Hard? Yes.
    But I came out of it healed.
    I went into the program so very sick, hair falling out, skin sores, terrible joint pain, failing kidneys.
    That was more than fifteen years ago , now, with no recurrance. And I neved did take the Prednisone.
    I did the Therapy at home, with the Gerson book as my guide. ( The Gerson staff, in terms of support and more information, were my telephone angels.)
    So, while my experience was not with cancer, I most certainly will recommend this book to those who suffer from auto-immune disorders, and also to those those who simply are interested in knowing how bertter to preserve and restore health.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Gerson Therapy... by Charlotte Gerson, March 19, 2006
    An indispensable aid for those wishing to use the highest cure rate therapy for cancer yet devised. The incredible cures for many degenerative diseases wrought by slight variations of this program are also described in this book. With the recent opening of a Gerson Therapy center in Hawaii, and with the Baja Nutri Care facility in Las Playas de Tijuana, Mexico, what's not to love about this amazing chance to survive the deadly big "C"? With a cure rate under 10% in America, why not go with the Gerson Therapy, with almost ten times the cure rate? This book is logical, orderly, and well thought out. It is not "easy reading," but it is certainly essential reading for our day. The present rate for cancer is five of every twelve alive today. Doctors are already predicting that the rate will increase yet again. Be prepared. Know how to prevent cancer, not just cure it.

    Update 12-15-2006. My wife began the Gerson Therapy for stage 4A Malignant Melanoma in October 2005. She is quite healthy today and her cancer markers are perfectly normal according to her monthly blood work. She has at least 10 months remaining to stay on the full Gerson Therapy. She has already out-survived 7 out of 10 patients with her diagnosis from the same start date who were or are undergoing "conventional" medical treatment. Conventional treatment odds for her five year survival are 1 in 200. Gerson Therapy gives her 80 chances out of the same 200. Yes, there are other therapies out there, but it is a minefield that can kill you if you land on the wrong therapy. The Gerson Therapy has about a 75 year history of great overall success. It is definitely not 100% though. Check the history of whatever others you are looking at. But whatever you do, remember that your health decisions are in your hands alone and that your life is a precious thing. Don't let anyone scare you into wasting it.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Not the only way, March 13, 2006
    I found the book to be a litte condradictory. It acknowledges that other alternative therapies have cured terminal cancer via nutrition life style changes. It later leads you to believe if the protocal is not followed to the letter your cancer will return. This is simply not true. Whole foods is the key and detoxification. I know of a man who dissolved over 50 tumors in his body thru eating more fruits and veggies and coffee enemas and suplimentation of vitamins and minerals not mentioned in this book. He also has not juiced one drop of veggies or fruit.

    The protocal I believe is way to strict and discouraging to cancer patients. Asking a terminal cancer patients to take in 13 glasses of juice a day is way more than they can take. They likely give up and sucumb to the cancer.

    "Beating Cancer with nutrition" is an excellent alternative and can be used in conjuction with some of the treatments in this book without the burden of juicing and living by the kitchen. You dont have to be a slave to your home to heal.

    There is great truth to The Gerson Therapy but it is unfortunatly out dated. There are other therapies out there that work just as good if not better and are not nearly as combersome and demanding. Max Gerson was a genious of his TIME.


    Update: UPon further research of other existing therapies I came to the conclusion that the Gerson Therapy although very difficlult is the most effective. All the other Cancer therapies have seen good results but nothing like the results of The Gerson Therapy. The hard work is worth it for your life. I know juice 13 times a day and feel better than ever. Dont take a chance use the proven therapy not all the spin offs.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This book should be read by everyone!, July 3, 2006
    Fantastic book! If you are at all interested in optimum health and well being or know someone suffering healthwise, this is a must read. It will change your life and the way you look at the food you eat. CANCER AND OTHER DISEASES CAN BE CURED-This book will tell you how. I have recommended it to all my family and friends.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The only answer for cancer, June 26, 2007
    Were I so unfortunate as to find myself with a cancer, this is the only program I would follow. Forty years ago my prognosis was a life expectancy of maybe 3 months -- if I was lucky. Arteriosclerosis was then considered by medical doctors as irreversible, yet here I am, 40 years later, because someone pointed me in a different direction, one very similar to Gerson's. I bought several copies since you run into the incurable all the time. We live in a sick society -- in more ways than one.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This info should be common sense, August 12, 2009
    If you haven't done your research on Dr. Max Gerson you should. His work is well documented you just have to search. See in America we aren't just told about this stuff. The people that do make a great profit off the sick do a great job of keeping this material hidden. Watch the movie "Dying to have known."
    It's sad that the government can tell us how we can get better. Only surgery, chemo and radiation are PERMITTED by our government as health options. Wow.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Gerson - What you still don't understand, May 9, 2009
    What's not to understand. Why cure cancer completely?? Or for that matter all ill fated illnesses? Please take a moment and realize the money involved in just so called "managing" illnesses. Companies that make medical equipment, special food products for various illnesses, doctors pressured to meet their patient quota, hospital responsibility to their institutions and their employees. Doctors despensing drugs because that is all they can do to keep their jobs, or seek alternaive medicine practice. Do you really think anyone but your family members really cares whether you live or die because of radiation or chemotherpy? The hard fact is that YOU ARE nothing but a resource for them via your insurance company - The hard fact is that they will never cure cancer completely or any serious illness - They need you to be sick, or else they don't have a industry. Yes some do get results and get better - but they have such a long way to go - and they will take their sweet money making time doing so. Diatebes association is a very lucrative business now - When I called and asked what they are doing in terms of research and curing - she was speechless - yes she did not know how to answer. Same with the MS society, and new societies are cropping up now to take advantage of your donations - DON'T GIVE BECAUSE YOU ARE PAYING THEIR SALARIES- Gerson is a great program. Remeber, garbage in - garbage out.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Proven but controversial natural healing, November 9, 2008
    After reading some of the book, I ordered literature from the organization. I do not recommend ordering most articles as they are testimonials and self-promotional literature w/ little substance, unless someone needs inspirational documentation of the natural approach to healing.
    Out of the expensive charges for 3 documents, only one was helpful with actual research information. As for the book, I do recommend it as it offers a positive alternative to conventional medicine that does not offer the cure rate that the Gerson Therapy offers. The therapy has a greater success rate and long-term survival rate than conventional medicine.
    But if one chooses to go this route to healing and survival, it is expensive; if you determine to use home therapy, realize that the local markets may not offer the recommended organics to support a full regimen the book dictates. The therapy has been labeled quackery by the medical profession. However, after researching the multiple approaches to disease management, control, and eradication,
    the author's approach seems to be more legitimate. Should all conventional medicine be shunned? The answer is left up to the individual. A high potasssium diet can lead to other illnesses beside the one illness a person is treating.
    But this approach cannot be ignored or called "quackery". It is an alternative that has worked for over 60 years. The TRUTH in natural healing appproaches is in the middle between conventional and natural. Book highly recommended. The therapy takes us away from the modern assumptions that we are NOT what we eat. We are what we eat.. ... Read more


    13. Dr. Neal Barnard's Program for Reversing Diabetes: The Scientifically Proven System for Reversing Diabetes without Drugs
    by Neal D. Barnard M.D.
    Paperback
    list price: $15.99 -- our price: $10.87
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 1594868107
    Publisher: Rodale Books
    Sales Rank: 2014
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    Until Dr. Barnard’s scientific breakthrough, most health professionals believed that once you developed diabetes, you were stuck with it—and could anticipate one complication after another, from worsening eyesight and nerve symptoms to heart and kidney problems. But as this groundbreaking work reveals, this simply is not true. In a series of studies—the most recent funded by the National Institutes of Health—Dr. Barnard has shown that it is possible to repair insulin function and reverse type 2 diabetes. By following his scientifically proven, life-changing program, diabetics can control blood sugar three times more effectively than with the standard diet; and cut back on and in some cases eliminate medications while reducing the risk of diabetes complications.

    "The long overdue epic scientific breakthrough in diabetes is here…an obvious must-read for health professionals and for diabetic and potential diabetic patients." —Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., MD, preventive cardiology consultant, Cleveland Clinic

    "This is the approach to follow…the clinically proven way to get your blood sugar under control… and start living again."—John McDougall, MD, founder and medical director of the McDougall program

    "Dr. Barnard’s book is no exaggeration…The signs and symptoms of diabetes can be reversed, and he’s got the evidence to prove it."—Jennie Brand-Miller, PhD, author of The New Glucose Revolution

    ... Read more

    Reviews

    4-0 out of 5 stars Diabetes Diet, March 21, 2010
    The reviewers who blame the author for not mentioning exercising in his book are absolutely wrong. Of course exercising is good for one's overall health but it is completely outside of the scope of this book. The author specifically talks about ways of reversing diabetes with a proper diet instead of using drugs. There is a whole range of other positive things that you can do to improve your overall health but this book is not an encyclopedia of natural health but a program for reversing diabetes.

    And what an interesting and effective program that is! This is a book about a great healthy nutritional plan not necessarily for diabetics only. It is a surprisingly easy plan to follow as it never makes you hungry but you will end up with a lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol level, and also lower body weight. The recipes are tasty and they don't result in the feeling of meat deprivation, which is a good prerequisite for keep the diet for a long term, hopefully for life...

    Dr. Barnard in a respectable American scientist. His book is well researched and his system is scientifically proven to bring good results. Yet as the same time, the book is free of doctor's jargon and is easy to read.

    But Dr. Barnard is not alone in his approach to treating diabetes. In the book Cure th e Incurable, a renowned Russian scientist writes the following in the chapter about diabetes:

    "Thirty or forty years ago, when we didn't have today's abundance of highly processed refined food, deli products, (...) diabetes was a rare disease. People who got it were usually advanced in years and their pancreas wasn't efficient any longer due to old age. (...) We know that our digestive system, if fed natural non-processed food, can produce all hormones necessary for our body. It means that we can get rid of diabetes by putting some efforts into our diet..."

    For those who would like to read more about not only the ways of treating diabetes but also other so called "incurable" diseases, and for ways of keeping the body fit and healthy in a natural way, in addition to above mentioned book I also suggest reading Live 150 - Your Body Maintenance Handbook.

    3-0 out of 5 stars A good program for diabetics, although very strict, May 10, 2010
    Dr. Barnard's program for reversing diabetes is based on Dr. David Jenkins portfolio diet, which is a high-fiber vegan diet. It's a completely vegan diet with no meat, eggs, or dairy products, although in Dr. Jenkins original study they allowed a small amount of butter. The result of the one-month study showed the portfolio diet to be as effective as low dose statin drugs for lowering LDL cholesterol.
    This diet is fine for a diabetic who's life depends on it, but for the average reader who is just trying to lose weight or control his or her cholesterol it may be too strict to follow for a long period of time. Not mentioned in the book, but in a survey only 40% of the portfolio diet participants found the diet acceptable. Dr. Barnard does not even allow low-fat fish in his program to keep protein intake low. A low protein diet may not be beneficial for children or athletes who have higher protein requirements. The book gives a lot of good advice, but is lacking in detail. For example, he recommends the addition of a multivitamin with B-12 since this is not found in a vegan diet, but he does not mention the best form of B-12 (methylcobalamin). He recommends fruit and vegetables with a low glycemic index, but does not take into consideration glycemic load. He recommends cinnamon for lowering blood sugar, but does not tell you it works by slowing digestion and so it's most effective taken shortly before or with a meal. After reading that the diet did not allow fish, I thought for sure that somewhere in the book he would recommend fish oil as a source of omega-3s. To my surprise he recommends not taking fish oil. While flax seed is a great source of ALA, it does not contain EPA or DHA like the omega-3s in fish oil. Our body can convert ALA to EPA if an enzyme called delta-6-desaturase is present, but this enzyme is inhibited in diabetes. There is not much information on antioxidants and no mention of natural treatments for lowering cholesterol, such as niacin or red yeast rice extract.

    5-0 out of 5 stars TRUTH, March 8, 2010
    Almost a year ago I was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 64. I thought that I would escape its impact through a relatively reasonable lifestyle even though my father died of it at age 68 after having it for 25 years. The diagnosis hit me like a brick...there was no way I was going to suffer its possible diverse ramifications or food exchanges like my father endured.
    A trip to the bookstore somehow allowed me to find this fantastic information. My A1C was 7.3 and glucose was at 183 when tested and after a week of reading the book carefully and spending a few weeks coming up to speed at the grocery store both my wife and I became vegan.
    The results have been nothing short of astounding. Even the family doctor who was prepared to start me on a drug regimen is totally amazed as I progressively lost weight, lowered LDL and triglicerides and raised HDL. I have lost 25#, the A1C is now at 5.9 and feel better than I have since college age. I found everything he predicted to be the truth (which as we all know in todays' world is in short supply. We will continue to develop our cooking skills and look forward to even more success.

    MAKE THIS LIFE ALL IT CAN BE FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY...THERE IS A SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM AND IT IS SO SIMPLE.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Keep It Simple..., March 19, 2010
    The title of this book can tend to be a bit misleading, but it at least misleads in the right direction. The entire "program" can be completely summed up in two words: vegan diet. Other than recommending the daily use of a multivitamin, keeping your diet free of all animal products (meat, eggs, milk, etc.) IS the program. You will find plenty of evidence supporting the theory that a vegan diet can dramatically improve one's health in the book, which makes surprisingly few references to diabetes directly. The book could just as easily have been titled Dr. Neal Barnard's Program For Reversing high cholesterol, or hypertension, or obesity. It really does not address diabetes as an isolated disease, but rather as part of an overall health problem that could potentially be cured through diet.

    That being said, there is almost no emphasis whatsoever on other factors that may help improve one's diabetes, or one's overall health. You will find only passing references to exercise, supplements, prescription medications and other staples of traditional diabetes treatment. Exercise, in particular, is ignored to the point of absurdity.

    The evidence to support the benefits of switching to a vegan diet are compelling. Still, readers need to understand that this is basically a "diet book", rather than a complete plan for diabetes reversal. I understand, and even support, the message Dr. Barnard is promoting. I would have preferred that the book's approach to treatment be more well-rounded than it was though.

    5-0 out of 5 stars So far, so great!, August 14, 2010
    I first read of this diet last April. I have been a Type II Diabetic, morbidly obese (324lbs-6'3"), morning sugars ~200, on 30u of NPH, 2X/day, lots of other meds and previous colon cancer surgery.
    I tried this diet with a few modifications (I live alone, hate cooking and recipe following): I had small amounts of peanut butter, and occasionally fish when dining out (~1X/wk.) My weight at a July 20th doctor's appointment was 280lbs(down 46lbs/4mos)! I have greatly reduced my insulin injections(102 blood sugar this AM) and even had a few minor hypoglycemic episodes which I was ready for. I am aiming for 190lbs by next summer. My biggest surprises: 1.) I love oatmeal, rye and pumpernickle and veggie baked beans!
    2.) An occasional beer shows no adverse effects
    3.) I can't believe that pasta fits in so well with no adverse effects
    4.) I have very little hunger between meals.
    5.) My grocery bill is down ~ $200/mo.; no dairy, no meat, no fish.
    Why is there so little publicity given to this diet when so many other (questionable) methods are so often hyped?

    5-0 out of 5 stars Dr. Neal Barnard's Program for Reversing Diabetes, May 12, 2007
    Great Program with scientific evidence that will help most all diabetics. Have been on this program for 5 weeks. Within the first week my blood glucose levels dropped 15-20 points. In the last four weeks I have maintained within 80-110 on my morning checks. Have used many of the recipes and amazingly am not hungry at all. I have eliminated the nightly dosage of Metformin. My goal is to eliminate all medications. The American Diabetes Association should rethink their diet plans.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing Transformation, June 25, 2010
    This book will change your life if you follow it and really want to get and have your diabetes under control and maybe reverse it. We haven't got that far yet. My husband has been following the program for 1 1/2 months. He's had type 2 diabetes for 6 years and been insilin dependant for 5 of the 6 years. He told his Dr and Endocrinologist from day 1 that this was to hard for him to deal with, that he couldn't do it, couldn't count carbs, etc. etc. he worked a rotating shift schedule so he'd always be off balance. This was an excuse, he was in denial. His A1C was never under '12' and the highest was 13.5 His daily blood sugars were always close to 300 and sometime over 400! The man felt miserable all the time. When he finaly hit rock bottom. He saw Dr. Barnard's program on PBS about 2 months ago, bought his book and started following it. After only 2 weeks following the book I'm so happy to tell you his blood sugar was down below 200 on a regular basis. It's been about 6 weeks now, his blood sugars are around 120, he feels so much better, like night and day. Weekly faxes in a glucose log to his doctor who's reduced the amount of insulin he needs twice already and he's made the decision to go Vegan. I thought it could never happen to a man who every Tuesday ate Popeye's Fried Chicken,took left overs to work for a few days. Ate Ice Cream every night, snacked on Potato Chips daily!! Anything he shouldn't eat he did. He was commiting suicide by diet slowly over the years. Since reading this book and following the program he's eating better everyday & everyday he eat's better he feels better and doesn't crave or have any interest or miss any of the old food he use to put in his body. If this stubborn hard headed man can make this much of a change I think anyone can, if they want to. He now cuts and prepares all the veg's he's going to eat and is finding enjoyment in it. Never thought I'd see the day from a man that never set foot in the kitchen before except to go to the frig! Dr. Barnard's Program was a Godsend.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Lost Weight But Blood Sugars Remained High..., August 3, 2007
    I stuck to this diet as posed in the book for 4 months. I did lose weight, in fact I did lose about 30 pounds and then after about 3 months no more weight loss.

    The problem with me is that yes my fasting blood sugar average did go down (from 270 to about 240) but that after each meal of allowed foods it would go sky high well over 300. I cheated twice on the diet, one night I had my mom's fried chicken and mashed potatoes and green beans...the other night I got a hamburger and french fries. But those were the only 2 times I cheated on this diet. Other diets I would cheat all the time, so you do feel more satisfied on this diet. Pizza without cheese and just vegies is actually pretty good! Mostly I had frozen steamed vegies, beans and a little rice for my meals, with breakfast being shredded mini wheat (I cannot stand oatmeal and that is advocated for breakfast in this diet) and blueberries and soymilk. I did lose the weight but my blood sugar drop was unsatisfactory.

    Last week I went and got Dr Bernsteins Diabetes Solution book. In about 8 days, I lost another 4 pounds and my blood sugar this morning was 140. Its dropped over a hundred points in one week. It may be another alternative for other diabetics.

    This diet may work well with others, I gave it a good shot and I did lose weight but I have had better results on Dr Bernstein's diet and treatment.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Way to Treat Diadetes, November 4, 2009
    Neal Barnard's book is an offshoot of an NIH funded controlled study in which he compares clinical results in patients who have followed his low fat vegan diet with those in patients who followed the ADA (American Diabetic Association) diet.





    Patients following the low fat vegan diet had much better control of sugar levels, weight and diabetic complications. Perhaps surprisingly, ease of following the diet was also better for the low fat vegan diet since part of that diet was a high quantity of satiating low fat food. Many patients on this diet were able to eliminate all anti-diabetes medications.





    Barnard also cites others' research using similar diets for diabetics. One particularly remarkable result was in diabetic neuropathy which can present as pain, often severe, in the region served by nerves damaged by diabetes. In two weeks 17 of the 21 patients had total relief and the other 4 had noticeable improvements.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Life Saving, June 16, 2008
    As an RN I find this information easy for the lay person to understand and apply. My brother has used a lot of this information and his diabetes is very controlled (off medication) and he has no other diabetic related problems. This is a must read for all diabetes and their families. The large print book is so helpful! ... Read more


    14. My Own Country: A Doctor's Story
    by Abraham Verghese
    Paperback (1995-04-25)
    list price: $16.00 -- our price: $10.88
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0679752927
    Publisher: Vintage
    Sales Rank: 2440
    Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    Nestled in the Smoky Mountains of eastern Tennessee, the town of Johnson City saw its first AIDS patient in August 1985. Working in Johnson City was Abraham Verghese, a young Indian doctor specializing in infectious diseases who became, by necessity, the local AIDS expert. Out of his experience comes a startling, ultimately uplifting portrait of the American heartland. ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best memoirs I've ever read
    With the eye, ear and voice of a novelist and with the compassion of a healer, Dr. Abraham Verghese has taken his experiences as "the AIDS doctor" of east Tennessee and turned them into an incredible memoir. This is one of the most touching and engrossing books I've read in years.

    When Verghese landed in Johnson City, Tennessee in 1985, he came as a newly-accredited infectious diseases specialist to treat veterans, most of whom had lung cancer and emphysema, and to spend one day a week in the town medical center he learned to call the "Miracle Center". When the center's first AIDS patient entered the hospital, it was the beginning of the plague which would soon extend across the country, not just in the big city locales where the majority of homosexual men and drug abusers lived. They were coming home to die.

    Because the young doctor had a strong desire to help and an ability to tolerate the differences of others, he gradually found himself almost obsessed with caring for his patients. He loved them as people, and as they began to die, he mourned. They were on his mind constantly, even when he was home with his beautiful wife and small sons to the point where his marriage and the center of his home became endangered by his devotion to a setting and to people which excluded them.

    This book is so beautifully written I could not put it down. Each patient became fully alive for me, thanks to Verghese's ability to describe them, and I, too, mourned them as they passed. This is a memoir I will not soon forget. Poignant in its humanity, staggering in the scope of its tragedy, it will remain Verghese's monument to Tennessee and the people he came to love in all their variety.

    Wonderful book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This account of the early days of AIDS rings true.
    As a physician who was just finishing training when AIDS burst on the scene in the 80's, the panic and fear among medical staff described in this book are actually tame to what I saw in my hospital. I am one of those "who would, " as Dr. Verghese categorized those who would or would not care for HIV infected patients, and this truly separated us from the vast majority of those at that time who let their fear rule over their intellect. Dr. Verghese tells this exciting story with great compassion for his patients and their families, and it is clear that his emotional connection to them, which is stongly discouraged in medical training, came at great personal cost. As someone who now lives and practices in East Tennessee, I feel he accurately described the people, the culture, and the region's great beauty. His yearning to fit in--to have a home--is poignantly obvious throughout the book even as he becomes more and more isolated from his family and his collegues. Several of my collegues trained under or worked with Dr. Verghese during this time, and they all attest to his brilliance as a diagnostician, his great empathy for his patients, his nonjudgemental approach to the gay lifestyle, and his decency and approachability as a person. This book, in their opinions, is an accurate portrayal of the AIDS story in the rural setting. I am drawn to medical writing, particularly when written by physicians themselves, and Dr. Verghese is a master. This book moved me to tears as the deaths of all of these patients began to add up toward the end of the book, and one can't help but to feel the great waste of life that this virus causes. As a hospice medical director, I was also touched by Dr. Verghese's struggle to understand the process of dying, moving from his all-out attempts to save lives at the beginning of the book to his hospice-oriented approach toward the end. This is a masterful telling of how AIDS affects everyone -- patients, families, and doctors alike.

    5-0 out of 5 stars a stunning book
    This book is absolutely stunning. Verghese's writing style is so unusual as he writes with humor, compassion, and keeps you fully informed as a outsider to his patients treatment, and their disease. During the begining stages of our dealings with the AIDS virus we were so quick to judge the population that received AIDS rather than treating it as a disease that impacts not only the patient but their family. Verghese is able to reflect a wholistic picture of the patient, and their family. He was a person that was interested in the patient, the disease, and learning about the gay culture. He did so in way that was free of prejudice, and it was a true learning experience. I highly recommend this book for those that wish to read a good book as well as those that are interested in the early days of the AIDS epidemic.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A compassionate doctor confronts the HIV epidemic
    As a doctor, I rarely enjoy books about physicians because they simply don't show the reality of our lives.
    Unlike the soap opera sexuality and black humor (and ridicule) in many medical best sellers, Dr. Verghese writes a the simple tale of a doctor and his patients, told with quiet compassion and an eye for the small details of human experience.
    He tells of the daily fight to keep people alive. And he tells the story of how ordinary Americans confront this new disease with courage.
    Too often, Southern Americans are portrayed as bigoted religious homophobes by the literati. His stories of how the close knit families confront and accept their dying sons and husbands.
    And he tells of the common --but rarely discussed-- story of immigrants. This a story I see in my own family, where one person comes, and then is joined by friends and family, and soon a thriving immigrant community invigorates the small towns of middle America.
    Finally, he shows the strains of practicing medicine in the context of a daily life.
    Most of the reviews paint this as a book about HIV, and it is.
    But it is a book about families, about culture, and especially about the life of ordinary physicians who daily confront the struggle against sickness and mortality.
    I would recommend it to anyone thinking of joining the medical profession.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Chronicling the transformative power of both fear and love
    My Own Country : A Doctor's Story by ABRAHAM VERGHESE ostensibly chronicles the appearance of AIDS in the rural burgh of Johnson City, TN in the mid 80's, and in fact the book does chronicle that event. However, this book is far less about AIDS than it is about the human condition in general and, more specifically, the transformative powers of both fear and love.

    I had previously read Dr. Verghese's The Tennis Partner, an excellent book that shares some critical threads with this effort. In both books Verghese, an Indian from India, effectively portrays both the problems as benefits associated with being a foreign doctor in America--the former being the prejudices that accrue to those who had the perceived misfortune to be born in the third world and the freedom that being an "outsider" brought to the patient-doctor relationship.

    The Tennis partner was a fictional work with obvious significant autobiographical undertones. This book is clearly an autobiographical work of nonfiction that benefits considerably from Verghese's previous work within a fictional realm. Verghese writes very well and he uses his quite considerable talents to render a moving, suspenseful and insightful book.

    These being a medical autobiography, a fair amount of fairly detailed, turgid technical aspects are a part of the package. That is the only genuine criticism I can make. Other than that, the book is a fascinating, engaging, highly moving account of human misery, death and, ultimately, triumph.

    This is one of the best books I've read this year. Definitely a 5 star effort.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A gem of a book! Honest, heart-warming, elegantly written.
    This is one of the best books I've read from a contemporary author. Verghese writes elegantly and with searing honesty about the AIDS patients he encountered as a young immigrant in small town America. So much has been written about his wonderful writing style and his compassion and humanity as a doctor...and I agree with all of that. I was especially interested in how he describes the gay experience as being analagous to the foreign immigrant experience in America. Both groups gain sustenance from their communities; both groups long for acceptance from the mainstream. It's interesting that the author's desire for assimilation is greater than his need to identify with the local Indian community. This book succeeds on every level. You gain insights into the life of the gay community, Indian immigrants, the medical community, and most of all the emotional and mental state of the man who describes it all. Thank you Doctor Verghese for this great book!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Medical Drama
    There is out there a growing field of medical fiction; that is, books authored by literature doctors about their patients' stories. This is a compelling read about AIDS in an East Tennessee town, one where the doctor knows he's not God, and in many ways, is just as confused as his AIDS patients. We at once see a country grappling with how to handle an epidemic, a town trying to overcome their phobias, and a doctor trying to make a difference while balancing his work and his family.

    Dr. Verghese writes with finese and does not miss a beat. This is a true novel, compelling through and through, and raises important themes about finding your place in the world and alternatives to the elusive American dream. Do not miss this fantastic piece of medical literature.

    5-0 out of 5 stars My Own Country, my home town.
    This book is an amazing way to discover the hardships that those must over come who are diagnosed with HIV and AIDS. I am from Johnson City, TN. As a part of a clinical I was doing in high school we were given many options of books to read for a grade, this was one. I was drawn to it because hey, this was my home town. But what I got from this book overcame everything I had expected.

    I wept reading this book. It is amazing how you get to know Dr. Verghese and his patients. You, in a way, experience their hardships and triumps, even the families loss. He explains word for word the exhausting battle of finding out and forming a plan of action. He puts you into the realization of these individuals and what they felt. You begin to morn their loosing battles and celebrate in their strength in recovery.

    He discribes this area of Tennessee with such effortless ease. It's beauty struck with something so horrid. Reading the book I forgot that this was my home, the people in it were people of my town. For a nieve high school student it made me realize that no matter what the year was this was real and it was here in my own back yard. "My Own Country."

    I learned more than just about the people or about the land but the medical terminology was explained and he made you the reader understand what it meant to him and the world of medicine. Each detail will make you feel like you are right there in the ER of the "Miracle Center".

    There were times I just could not put this book down. I have read it three times now and I am starting my fourth. The stories in this book of the patients are tragic. Anyone who has any type of preconceived notion of what it is like to have AIDS/HIV or what "kind of people" have AIDS/HIV should read this book. It will open your eyes to a whole new world.

    This story of our small town, as it was then, has reached all over the world. It has inspired and educated everyone who has read it. I'm sure that it still means a great deal to the families of those in it.

    AIDS will always be scary, it will always be something that will cause pain and horror to our ears, this book describes a small town with prejudice of it's own before a time of AIDS and how it conforms to another way of thinking. Just like in this book, not everyone will ever be accepting of those who contract this disease but everyone will be made aware of it.

    I suggest this book to any reader with any reading taste. You will walk away with much more than what you came with. You will get to know our people and their stories from the mind of a man who knew them all. Abraham Verghese was brilliant in writing this collection of lives on paper. Thank you Dr. Verghese for letting their voices be heard all over the world and inspiring those who take time to indulge in your brilliance.

    5-0 out of 5 stars richly detailed book full of suspense, sorrow, and humor
    The author of this book is an Indian doctor, working at a hospital in Johnson city, Tennessee, at the start of the AIDS epidemic. His account is of being the only infectious diseases physician in a rural community at a time when the first wave of HIV-positive gay men were returning to their hometowns from New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. His observations of the men and women who come to him for care, and the relationships that have grown between them, are insightful and vivid. Though he is heterosexual and married with two small children, his intuitive compassion for people with AIDS is a lesson in what it is to be nonjudgmental.

    However, the crisis for him is to live in a place and time where his curiosity and compassion are shared by almost no one else, both within and outside his professional community. Through his work, he comes to a deeper understanding of homophobia and the irrationality that drives people's fear of disease and disability. As an African-born Indian, happily Americanized, he finds in the social isolation of his patients something of his own status as an "outsider." We also see the demands that professional commitments can make on marriage and parenting.

    An outgoing and obviously dedicated, self-sacrificing physician, the author is slowly overcome by the growing solitude of his professional and personal journey and the weariness of battling a disease with no cure. Although sometimes a triumph of dignity against all odds, the deaths of his patients are heart-breaking. This is a richly detailed book full of suspense, sorrow, and humor and beautifully written.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Haunting memoirs from the trenches of a distant front
    Foreign-born physicians, especially South Asian ones such as the author of this remarkable memoir, frequently are perceived as even more arrogant, distant, and smug about their high status and income in rural areas than are urban, American-born ones. Verghese, who grew up in Ethiopia and who finished medical school in his (Christian) parents homeland of India, clearly describes the allocation of medical personnel in the US. He also understands the resentments by those of old stock, poor white patient of affluent foreign-born doctors. As the title indicates, Verghese wanted to feel at home where he chose to settle, to provide his sons a sense of belonging in one place, a sense that he had not had in his own peripatetic life. Like his patients, however, he was never certain that seeming acceptance was was more than provisional.

    This insightful, lyrical, and moving book provides a vivid account of being an alien doctor in rural America dealing with a terrifying disease that was (and is) also perceived as alien, as something that, in the view of many, other kinds of people contract and probably deserve. Acute analyses of American (including Asian-American) arrangements and assumptions underlie a poignant narrative of AIDS coming to the northeastern Tennessee hills. Verghese shares Oliver Sackss ability to engage readers in the horror and the mystery of sufferings for which physicians have no magic bullets. As Paul Farmer, another physician who made a difference, showed in _AIDS and Accusation_, how a society responds to AIDS illuminates much about the society, not only how medical services are organized and financed in it. Verghese shows strengths as well as weaknesses in rural Southeastern American backwaters. He also illuminates connections from such seemingly isolated places to the larger society and ties of blood to distant urban centers where gay men sought refuge. ... Read more


    15. Betty Crocker's Diabetes Cookbook: Everyday Meals, Easy as 1-2-3
    by Betty Crocker Editors
    Hardcover
    list price: $24.95 -- our price: $16.47
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0764567047
    Publisher: Betty Crocker
    Sales Rank: 2393
    Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    At last! This special cookbook puts flavor and choice back on the menu for people with diabetes and their families
    Betty Crocker, America's most trusted friend in the kitchen, has teamed up with the International Diabetes Center (IDC)--one of the leading medical centers--to create an indispensable source of easy-to-make recipes and up-to-the-minute food and nutrition information for the growing numbers of people who have diabetes, more than 15 million of them.
    Here is the first cookbook to include recipes featuring Carbohydrate Choices--the new, simplified approach to meal planning recommended by the American Diabetes Association. For people who find diet exchanges too hard, too limiting or too much work, this new method is a real breakthrough. Each of the book's 140 recipes shows the number of Carbohydrate Choices per serving, so that planning the rest of the meal is easy. From Old-Time Beef and Vegetable Stew to Creamy Vanilla-Caramel Cheesecake, the recipes are made with everyday ingredients, including sugar. No food groups or ingredients are left out, so there's no need for anyone to feel deprived or restricted to a special diet. Food exchanges are also included, making it easy for those who still count calories.
    Betty Crocker's Diabetes Cookbook is also packed with expert medical and nutrition tips from Dr. Richard Bergenstal, an endocrinologist and diabetes doctor, and two registered nurses--invaluable for the newly diagnosed as well as for those who have been coping with diabetes for years. Throughout the book, real-life advice from people who have diabetes offers inspiration and great ideas on dealing with this chronic disease. When it comes to eating and living with diabetes, people need guidance and advice they can trust.
    ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars So many refined carbohydrates!, July 14, 2004
    I am completely baffled by this book and the reviews it has received! After only a few pages I was aghast and realized I had thrown my money away.

    I am not a medical professional or scientist but all of my own personal research into diabetes and related blood disorders strongly recommend avoiding refined carbohydrates. This book is full of recipes using highly refined carbohydrates: white sugar and white flour.

    I also found recipes containing an uncomfortably high percentage of calories from fat. I expected recipes emphasizing whole, low glycemic foods prepared in as close to their natural state as possible - foods that had as much of their beneficial properties (such as nutrients and fiber) intact. I was extremely disappointed by what this book had to offer and am sorry I bought it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great food and a better understanding of diabetes..., September 16, 2003
    I received the double-whammy 3-4 weeks back...my fasting blood sugar level was in the pre-diabetes range and my cholesterol was moderately high. The doctor wanted me to attend classes on both, and also suggested that weight loss and exercise would help. I have already attended the cholesterol class, and I felt I could bring the blood sugar level down by cutting out sodas, exercising, eating healthy food, and learning more about diabetes! My first stop was the ADA web site, and my second stop was Amazon.com... More than a decade ago, I had purchsed the Betty Crocker "New American Cooking" cookbook (low fat, low cholesterol recipes), and I love that book!!! And, I remembered seeing that they had published a diabetes cookbook. This book contains some GREAT recipes that are healthy AND tasty, enabling the whole family to enjoy them. The introduction to the book also explains diabetes, counting carbs, and "do's and don't" about eating healthy to control diabetes. So far, I don't miss those nasty things I was eating before, and I feel I even have more energy. I would recommend this book to anyone with concerns about diabetes and folks just interested in eating healthier!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Yummy foods, good advice, March 5, 2003
    The folks at Betty Crocker have done it again: given us mere mortals great, easy recipes my whole family can enjoy. The best thing about this book is that the recipes aren't made from weird food you have to hunt for; they are made from items already in your kitchen. And they are recipes anyone can eat for good health. So, if one member of your family has diabetes, the whole family can eat this food and love it.

    The recipes are great, especially the desserts. And you thought you couldn't eat dessert with diabetes! The Carbohydrate Choices is a great counting device. I've never seen it in any other cookbook and I find it much easier to use than exchanges. Plus, it's not just a cookbook. There's doctor's advice and management plans inside. This book is very uplifting and practical.

    GET THIS BOOK! IT'S THE BEST DIABETES COOKBOOK, hands down.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect recipes for Diabetic, June 20, 2005
    For those who thought desserts are not for diabetics, here's a book which is a must read. The ingredients used in the recipes are the basic things found in every kitchen thus making it enjoyable for all in the family. The book also has doctor's advice to remain fit. A great book for diabetic people.

    [...]

    5-0 out of 5 stars Betty Crocker's Diabetes Cookbook, May 24, 2003
    Excellent book - Recipes that will take the boring out of healthy cooking and teach the reader how to eat healthy, limit fats, and sugars, etc.
    Purchased out of need because my husband's triglyceride count and other medical tests show him to be pre-diabetic. For a beginner in counting carbohydrates, learning about all types of diabetes and meal planning for a healthier lifestyle, this book fits the need! Easy to read, hints and comments from other diabetic patients & medical advice from contributing M.D.s.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Delicious Food, September 4, 2003
    The food is delicious and the recipes are easy to follow. The whole family will love these dishes.

    There are very helpful aids to daily living with diabetes. The pictures are attractive and the print is large. If I was only going to have one cookbook this would be it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fabulous Cookbook!!, March 7, 2003
    This is the best diabetes cookbook that I've ever had. The pictures are beautiful, the meals are wonderful and the advice is extremely practical. Everyone with diabetes should have this cookbook!

    1-0 out of 5 stars This cookbook is dangerous for diabetics, February 24, 2008
    I received this cookbook as a gift so I can't offend the giver, but it is by far one of the worst cookbooks that a diabetic could possibly use. Not that it isn't pretty, and not that it doesn't contain many luscious looking dishes, but almost every recipe calls for either sugar or flour or other sugary or starchy ingredients - all catagories included, not just desserts - none of which a diabetic should ever eat. The somewhat confusing use of 'carbohydrate choices' is further dangerous, because one - and only one - 'carb choice' is worth 15 grams of actual carb and by combining several foods from this book into a single meal plan, one will be way over the limit for safety. The menu plans in the back of the book prove this - add up the number of carbohydrate choices in any one day's meal plan, and you get between 15 and 17 carb choices. Multiply that by 15 and you are looking at nearly 300 grams of carb a day. What people don't realize (because they have not been told by doctors and 'diabetes educators' who do not for some reason, continue their education in metabolism) is that the word SUGAR should be substituted for any carbohydrate. In fact, The American Diabetes Association is still using decades-old protocols which encourage huge amounts of carbs in a 'diabetic diet' that invariably fails to manage the disease. A safe and sensible diet for a diabetic either on or off insulin, must restrict sugar and starch of any kind because within minutes of hitting the bloodstream it all turns to pure glucose and out of control insulin production - the cause of diabetes. Feeding yourself more sugar only hastens complications, and they can be very bad indeed. Virtually all good low carbohydrate diets restrict carbs (sugar!) to 50 or less per day - not 50 'choices' but 50 actual carbs. I myself, a diabetic, cannot tolerate more than 30 or 40 carbs a day to maintain decent blood glucose control, and less is better if I can do it. When a disease such as this has the potential to rob one of their eyesight, kidneys, limbs, and life itself if not properly managed - it is ludicrous to demand that one be allowed daily potatoes and pastas and cereals and sugary desserts. Anyone wishing to help themselves try and maintain safe blood glucose levels before it's too late should instead purchase 'Dr. Bernstein's Diabetic Solution' - a Type 1 diabetic himself, he has helped millions prolong their lives with proper diet. He doesn't sell anything, he doesn't do anything but be virtually the best diabetes doctor in this country. Another extremely informative and widely respected book is 'Good Calories' Bad Calories' by Gary Taubes. Other resources are all over the internet. One's life is worth the effort to do the research.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Cookbook and more!, March 12, 2006
    You will find great recipes in this cookbook and learn how to plan meals and snacks for diabetics. This book also explains diabetes and gives guidelines on how to live with it. Our doctor ordered one to have in his office to show his other patients after I showed him my copy. It has been so helpful in coping with this new lifestyle.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Diabetic Cookbook I've Seen!, September 9, 2003
    I ordered this book a few months ago and use it all of the time! The information included is helpful, but the recipes are the real star! As a diabetic it's hard to find recipes that are good for me and taste good and are fairly easy to make. This book delivers on all three of those requirements. Try this book- you'll be glad you did!! ... Read more


    16. Pain Free: A Revolutionary Method for Stopping Chronic Pain
    by Pete Egoscue
    Paperback
    list price: $17.00 -- our price: $11.56
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0553379887
    Publisher: Bantam
    Sales Rank: 1930
    Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    Starting today, you don't have to live in pain.

    That is the revolutionary message of this breakthrough system for eliminating chronic pain without drugs, surgery, or expensive physical therapy. Developed by Pete Egoscue, a nationally renowned physiologist and sports injury consultant to some of today's top athletes, the Egoscue Method has an astounding 95 percent success rate. The key is a series of gentle exercises and carefully constructed stretches called E-cises. Inside you'll find detailed photographs and step-by-step instructions for dozens of motioncizes specifically designed to provide quick and lasting relief of:


    • Lower back pain, hip problems, sciatica, and bad knees
    • Carpal tunnel syndrome and even some forms of arthritis
    • Migraines and other headaches, stiff neck, fatigue, sinus problems, vertigo, and TMJ
    • Shin splints, varicose veins, sprained or weak ankles, and many foot ailments
    • Bursitis, tendinitis, and rotator cuff problems
    • Plus special preventive motioncise programs for maintaining health through the entire body.

    With this book in hand, you're on your way to regaining the greatest gift of all: a pain-free body!

    ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars Pain Freedom, June 8, 2010
    Written by an author who has suffered with chronic pain himself, Pain Free: A Revolutionary Method for Stopping Chronic Pain takes a specific stand on why you're hurting and what you should do about it. In a nutshell, the idea is that chronic pain is due to imbalances in the body- mainly those of posture and alignment, which can be corrected through proper motions the book calls "E-cises". Here's a few highlights...

    -the book starts you out with three chapters that go over its main ideas
    -from there, you go to specific chapters for specific problems (like the foot, the back, the shoulder, etc.)
    -you'll find lots of good pictures that do a good job of showing you how to do the exercises
    -you don't really need a lot of equipment to do the exercises- mainly some pillows or something to rest your arms and legs on
    -there are routines for maintenance, as well as specific sports (like soccer, football, etc.)

    Mostly good stuff here, as you can see, and an all around sensible approach I thought. I did find the exercises simple enough, and will probably help relax a lot of pain sufferers to boot.

    The negatives? Not many. The only thing I think that might turn off some people, is the time involved- sometimes its recommended you do them for 45 minutes to an hour. But, you get out of it what you put into it.

    Worth a good look, I recommend any chronic pain sufferer give them a try. Those with back pain might also be interested in Treat Your Own Spinal Stenosis.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Buy this book *BEFORE* you need it., October 18, 1998
    I'm going to have to lower my lathe about 4 inches. Hmm, well that's starting at the end. Back to the beginning: The first thing I noticed when I got the book was a blurb from Depak Chopra. Not very encouraging. The second was on about page 34 or so the author says the X-Rays are one of the biggest problems with modern medicine...and I'm an X-Ray Tech. The biggest problem is that all of the evidence is anecdotal, some even celebrity anecdotes, nary a controlled study in sight.

    But I'm afraid I've become an anecdote myself. After doing the shoulder pain exercises for a couple of weeks, not only has the pain gone away but my shoulder height has dropped about four inches. I can tell, because both of my lathes were set to be at elbow height, and now they're far too high.

    After doing the shoulder exercises for a month or so I switched over to the general exercises, and my feet, after 50 years, now point straight ahead when I walk instead of out to the sides. With a little deliberate effort at first, mind you.

    The book makes consumate sense. And it sure worked for me. Far better to buy and follow the book now before our modern propensity for the sedentary life gets you in trouble.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Marathon Runner With Chronic Knee Pain - Now Cured, May 17, 2005
    Looking through the many reviews regarding this book, I felt that I should add my own personal experience. In 2003, I developed chronic Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS) while training for the Honolulu marathon. I initially tried to push myself through the injury, thinking it would just go away, and even forced myself to run half of the marathon before I just couldn't go on due to the excruciating pain. Multiple doctors, physical therapy, and cortisone shots have filled the last two years of trying to come back. Everything failed.

    About two months ago, I went to an orthopedic surgeon and begged him to "fix" my problem through surgery so that I could start running again. He refused, and ordered me back to the same physical therapy program which did nothing before. Disheartened, I resigned myself to do nothing until I heard Mr. Escogue's weekly radio show one Saturday morning. Intrigued but wearisome of another fix, I decided to pick up the book at the local library since I didn't want to spend more money on something that may be bogus.

    I began doing the exercises for knee pain approx. three weeks ago. After a few days, I began to notice some improvements. Five days ago, I began running again with zero pain. To test this miracle cure, I went to the gym to do full squats, something that I couldn't even do one of before with out some serious pain. I did four sets of twelve, again with zero pain. I've now ordered three of Mr. Escogue's books so that I can give them to friends and family with various forms of chronic pain. I can't predict how his methods will work for others, but they worked for me.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Great intro to good posture, but there are alternatives, October 7, 2008
    Pain Free is the simplest, most direct explanation of the Egoscue Method available...if you'd like to save hundreds if not thousands of dollars over therapy, get this book.

    Pete Egoscue deserves enormous credit for introducing the concept that structural integration - aka postural alignment - is the primary method for relieving all kinds of chronic pain. Western medicine is fantastic at combating "acute" problems (broken bone, heart attack), but has not traditionally been so great at tackling "chronic" problems... something that I think postural alignment really addresses much more effectively than most western physical therapy. I personally thought so highly of the Egoscue Method that after I bought and read this book I went to get treated at an Egoscue clinic (where I think they correctly diagnosed my problem), I bought his two other books, took the P3 seminar to get their lowest certification, and referred my dad and a good friend to Egoscue for their problems.

    I would say that the biggest criticism I have of Egoscue is the time required to do the "e-cises"... these can literally demand 30-45 minutes PER DAY to apply appropriately. Also, Egoscue's depiction of the ideal posture, which I originally accepted as gospel because I had no comparison, I have since come to think of as slightly flawed.

    I prefer Esther Gokhale's "8 Steps to a Pain Free Back" for two reasons:

    1. It takes MUCH less time - you simply learn the Gokhale method and then integrate it all the time without separate exercises.

    2. Instead of trying to figure out from an engineering perspective what's best for the body as Egoscue has done, Gokhale went out to indigenous peoples with very low incidences of chronic pain and simply observed what they were doing...her depiction of the ideal posture is based on this, and is what produces the slight variations with Egoscue's ideal posture. I think Gokhale makes a convincing case for her method because of this.

    If you're sold on the Egoscue Method, then I highly recommend "Pain Free" as the book to get at the method the quickest (well-done book with illustrations and explanations); but I prefer Gokhale and would recommend checking that out as well.

    1-0 out of 5 stars It did not help me but ..., April 11, 2007
    I bought this book based on the great reviews it has but the exercises did not ease my back pain. After suffering from back pain for over 20 years my hopes were getting lower and lower to find any relief. Going 3 years to the chiropractor helped somewhat but not really.

    Reading another customer review I came across some exercises by DonTigny that correct commonly overlooked sacroiliac joint partial dislocation. This condition is most often overlooked as a source of severe and constant back pain. Even better you can download the program for free. Just google Richard Louis DonTigny home program.

    This condition was totally unknown to me but after doing the exercises a few times something popped in my hip area and my back pain started to ease. Now 4 months later I am still pain free and can cut my own fire wood again something that was before simply out of the question.

    If the Book Pain Free helps your back pain great ... if not maybe give Richard Louis DonTigny free exercises a try I am certainly glad that I did!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Egoscue's book appears both effective and economical., August 23, 1998
    After two sessions with Egoscue's exercises, I've still spent less than $25, I can hold my head straighter, and my uneven gait from mis-aligned hips is much improved. Two sessions at the physical therapist would have cost $36 in hot-packs alone, never mind the cost of actual therapy. And I would have been treated for the hip or the shoulder, but probably not both.

    Egoscue recommends reading the introductory chapters, then moving to the chapters specific to your needs. This advice works well with one possible exception: you may miss the story about the woman so misaligned that after 45 minutes in a relaxed, static back posture, she went into muscle spasm. This story indicates that it might be wise for people with considerable pain or strong mis-alignment to have someone with them during the first days or weeks of doing these exercises, to begin with the minimum times recommended for each exercise, and to expect to take longer to reach maintenance.

    Egoscue might also have provided directions on how to get up after lying in some of these positions: I've found it helps to pull my legs in toward my torso, then turn onto my side before I try raising my head and upper body.

    All in all, Egoscue's book appears very helpful. I now have high hopes for my own recovery from various chronic muscle ailments and recommend the book (I'm getting ready to have Amazon.com mail a copy to my sister right now).

    5-0 out of 5 stars Response to another review, May 6, 2002
    Re: Fad exercises, April 19, 2002
    Reviewer: A reader from Limassol, Cyprus

    I was only in my 30's(not a pensioner) when I used this book and the results were amazing. Yes, they take time to do, but too many people want a quick fix via a pill or surgery. This book helps you avoid those if that is your choice. I made time by getting up earlier in the morning or staying up a little later. This book truly changed my life and many other people's lives that I referred it to.

    2-0 out of 5 stars handle with caution, March 31, 2006
    Notice the number of rave reviews for this book, and notice how many of the reviewers describe "The Method" in terms that are more appropriate to religious recruitment. Reviewers here call this book a "bible", talk about "evangelizing" their friends, and there are only a few reviews that address what I think are serious dangers involved in an uncritical use of the exercises in the book.

    I've had surgery for a cervical disk that was all over my spinal cord and was causing hyper reflexes and intolerable pain. I still have pain, because even after surgery, nerve roots from C4 to C8 are pinched by narrowed foramina. I also have cervical spine stenosis.

    I tried the exercises here, some of which are based on common sense, and for those the author deserves credit. The book advocates movement and warns against hours of sedentary bad posture. Fair enough. Many of the exercises are similar to those recommended by my physical therapist, and used in moderation, could help someone possibly delay or even eliminate surgery. Great. But when I tried the "Cats" exercise, which hyperextends the neck, it caused a lengthy episode of excruciating pain that prevented me from turning my head the full 180 degrees of range that I had before. The nerve-root at C6-C7 flared up, with the familiar stabbing pain under the shoulder blade. It was enough to make me weep. Given the very individual nature of spine problems, to claim that these exercises are a "one size fits all" is a mistake.

    I have to agree with the other reviewer who said that putting a big old curve on your spine is a terrible idea if you already have stenosis. Nowhere in this book does the author caution against the very compromising "Cats" position for people with cervical spine damage.

    Rave reviews from adoring groupies notwithstanding, this book should be used with extreme discretion by chronic pain sufferers, if the pain is coming from a known spinal abnormality. If the positions shown here go against what your surgeon or pain doctor recommend, avoid them. Do get off your couch and move a bit! On that score, numquam satis.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Scientific Perspective on the Body, September 20, 1999
    I'll add my voice to the others extolling the virtues of the Egoscue Method. What really impressed me, as an engineer and scientist, was Pete's recognition that the body must obey structural laws, just like a skyscraper. Buildings are designed so that weight is transferred through the girders, not the joints. In people, muscles position our girders (bones) so that they transfer weight effectively. When our muscles weaken from lack of use, the bones aren't positioned correctly. Our personal skyscraper begins to sway, and the wrong joints or muscles are forced to compensate. This causes or allows the myriad of ailments Pete describes, because the wrong joints simply cant bear the load -- knees wear out, backs hurt, etc. Don't think this program is easy. You must pay attention to detail when you do the exercises. It is hard, long work. Muscles that have weakened for years dont strengthen overnight. But feeling good, controlling your own health -- isn't that worth it? After five orthopedists and two chiropracters, it is for me.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Pain Free changed my life, December 29, 2004
    This easy-to-read book was recommended to me last summer by my daughter-in-law. Because of scoliosis, I suffered from back pain all my life. Following Pete Egoscue's recommendations, I am now free of all hip, back, and shoulder pain, and I've increased my height by one-half an inch. Although the exercises take time and committment, the results are well worth it. I also recommend his book for computer users: Pain Free at Your PC. For a more in-depth explanation of Pete's techniques and how you can diagnose yourself, read The Egoscue Method of Health Through Motion. ... Read more


    17. 8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back: Natural Posture Solutions for Pain in the Back, Neck, Shoulder, Hip, Knee, and Foot (Remember When It Didn't Hurt)
    by Esther Gokhale
    Paperback
    list price: $24.95 -- our price: $16.47
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0979303605
    Publisher: Pendo Press
    Sales Rank: 2589
    Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best method for treating & preventing chronic pain, March 22, 2008
    This is by far the single best source for healing back pain that I have seen. I hurt my lower back pretty badly doing heavy deadlifts after too long of a layoff (entirely my fault, I know), and pursued a wide variety of different treatment methods. I had previously been exposed to other postural/ alignment methodologies in an attempt to get rid of chronic injuries, which had been helpful, but nothing was as poignant, simple, or direct as Gokhale's work.

    There are three outstanding aspects of this book:

    1. Gokhale clearly identifies what ideal posture and alignment looks like, and backs this up with numerous photos.
    2. Gokhale's method is very, very simple, and once learned, becomes integrated into your everyday life. I know of other methods where you have to spend 30-45 minutes per day doing exercises - this method requires very little extra bandwidth once you have learned it.
    3. The book itself is beautifully laid out, with a balance between illustrative photos and explanations.

    Considering the amount of time and money I've spent pursuing other treatment methods, this is a ridiculously good value. Don't discount it just because it is so inexpensive! I bought a copy for my parents, and two extra books as I constantly have them loaned out. If you are seeking to get rid of chronic pain, this is my #1 go-to recommendation.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great spine/biomechanics book, not just for backs, April 12, 2008
    This book has been very helpful to me, not just for the back, but also for my hip, knee, and feet. This is a beautifully illustrated and designed book, with very clear directions and explanations, using many diagrams, photographs, and visualization techniques to move the body as a whole, integrated unit.Included are sections on sitting, standing, walking and sleeping. There are also sections on helpful exercises and stretches, and troubleshooting guides with each chapter.
    The sections on hinge-bending and the anteverted pelvis were especially helpful. You can watch a 53 min. talk by the author on youtube by looking up her name. Another good book on this subject is one by Stuart McGill, but it is much more scientific and doesn't address walking, sleeping, feet and knees. Esther's book is much more user-friendly with the same science and more anthropology to back up her method.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A simple, elegant solution, March 22, 2008
    This book offers a natural, simple solution to chronic back pain. No special machines or contraptions or surgeries are required. Instead it teaches healthy posture. Esther Gohkale studied posture in countries such as India, Burkina Faso, and Portugal, where people have very back-demanding life styles, but suffer very little back injury or pain. Her book offers an anthropological study, with color photographs of beautiful, healthy backs from around the world, in ancient and modern times. She offers clear, simple instructions to help anyone achieve healthy, pain-free posture.

    I've tried chiropractors, massage, physical therapy, yoga, and Pilates for my chronic back pain, and each helps to a degree, but none eliminated the painful "bungee" cord running between my shoulder blade and spine. Gokhale's methods of "stretch sitting" and "stretch lying" have provided me the most lasting relief of anything I've tried, and they are the simplest techniques of all!

    This book is well worth the investment--it's only a fraction of the cost of a massage or chiropractic visit, and it's provides fascinating reading and vital healing. Best of all, it extends hope that anyone can free themselves from chronic pain, no matter how cramped or stooped you've become.

    5-0 out of 5 stars pain free!, March 21, 2008
    Esther Gokhale's book "8 Steps to a Pain Free Back" is a marvel.. At first glance it appears to be just another self help book on how to relieve common back pain. Upon reading it however, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that this is the most comprehensive and helpful book I have yet come across. Gokhale's technique which is grounded in sound anthropological study; as she explains, our back problems are largely the result of our cultural habits. Apparently, only five to ten percent of people in certain other countries suffer from back pain, yet in American that number jumps to almost ninety percent. Why such a difference? Ms. Gokhale explains that poor habits and incorrect training are to blame; and her technique for proper posture goes way beyond conventional American teachings. A victim of debilitating back pain and surgery herself, Ms. Gokhale both understands the pain many of us are going through, and genuinely wants to help.
    Her book is wonderfully illustrated with the most specific "how to" techniques I have encountered. She not only guides the reader through not only what to do and what you should be feeling, but also explains symptoms of overdoing any given technique. She identifies specific muscles that need to be engaged for stability and strength in support of the discs. The book explains safe techniques for sitting, lying, bending, lifting and walking, activities we do all day long. She shows us how to preserve our knees and protect our hips as we age. As a person who has been doing yoga and seeing chiropractors for years in an attempt to overcome my own back injuries, I can safely say that this book has been incredibly effective in allowing me to resume a normal, pain free lifestyle. Once you begin integrating Ms. Gokhale's methods into your life you will be hooked and find yourself making corrections to your positioning all day long. I highly recommend this book; it will create great habits that will last a lifetime.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Essential reading for anyone who works at a desk!!!!, March 16, 2008
    I read this book in conjunction with a class given by the author, and all I can say is Wow!!!!

    The author has studied posture and movement in cultures that do not have the high level of back pain we have in our culture, and come up with a simple method of improving posture. The information is presented persuasively and is broken down into simple principles. The book is clearly (and beautifully) illustrated.

    But the amazing part is that the principles work. The difference for my low back pain, and neck pain, and foot pain is remarkable. Now I can sit at a computer all day and have my back feel GOOD at the end of the day! I wish someone had taught me these principles when I was five. This book is well worth the investment for anyone who has back pain, or who wants to try to ensure that they don't have back pain in the future.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Transformational Work!, June 13, 2008
    Ether's method has transformed my approach to my own long-term back pain therapy. I have herniated lumbar disks, in addition to tight gluteus medius and piriformis that have contributed to chronic sciattica over the past 5 years. I have employed many forms of therapy, including PT, massage, Yoga, inversion, Feldenkrais and others. All have helped, but when a friend told me about Esther's book, I was intrigued to try a new approach. Within 3 hours of integrating Esther's method of stretchsitting (did this while reading the book), I felt a tremendous improvement in my pain level. This was especially significant to me, since at the time, I was 2 weeks away from an epidural cortisone injection - my overall pain level had become unbearable. I worked on the other 8 steps over that time period and was able to cancel the procedure because after 2 weeks I was 95% pain-free. This work has been the single most transformational therapy for my back pain. It has given me an entirely new way of looking at my posture in every-day activities, as well as all of the athletics I participate in. I feel so strongly about Esther's method, as a massage therapist, I'm going to become certified to teach her method to help my own clients. Esther's research and structure of her book make it easy to understand and integrate. Thanks Esther for your insightful, common-sense approach to posture and body mechanics.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Relief at Last, March 25, 2008
    Review of 8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back by Esther Gokhale
    By David Riggs


    8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back shows readers how to overcome back pain through better posture. Gokhale's revolutionary approach features a highly original blend of user-friendly exercises, physiological expertise, and in-depth historical analysis. Users will not only experience pain-relief; they will also understand why they feel so much better. The potential applications of this book are enormous. Because the Gokhale method is a holistic program for returning the body to its natural posture, her system reaches out beyond the epidemic of back pain to address dozens of other multoskeletal maladies including repetitive stress injuries and pain of the neck, foot, knee, shoulders, and hip.

    The book guides the reader through a series of disarmingly simple changes in posture that take up eight one-hour sessions. These movements involve an anteverted pelvis and use the muscles to decompress the spine, support motion, protect the joints and bones, reduce stress, and improve circulation. The relief comes right away. Unlike most back-pain books, this one does not require any special equipment, cumbersome physical exercises, expertise in Yoga or Pilates, or changes in diet or daily routine. Instead, the steps are designed to integrate easily into everyday life. One can perform them while sleeping, driving, walking, sitting in a meeting, standing in line, or bending over to pick up an object.

    Gokhale begins by asking why the epidemic of back pain has been largely confined to adults living in Europe and North America during the twentieth century. Using history and anthropology, she leads her readers through a series of key factors, culminating in the French fashion industry during the 1920's, that encouraged a tucked pelvis and habitual slouching. To counter this trend, she reproduces and analyzes over a thousand high-quality photographs and pictures of infants, and of men and women from Africa, Asia, South America, rural Europe, and from pre-industrial societies, together with many anatomical drawings. These images provide incontrovertible proof of the author's fundamental claim that the way out of back pain leads back to the body's natural posture.

    This wise and beautiful book reaches out to an enormous readership. 8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back will prove an invaluable asset to all of those who deal with back pain in their daily practices: neurologists, physical therapists, physiatrists, general practitioners, and of course the patients themselves. It appeals to a wider audience concerned with alternative medicine, anthropology, art, and fashion. It holds special interest for professional and weekend athletes, yoga and dance instructors, frequent flyers, manual laborers, gardeners, and other hobbyists at high risk for back pain. It should be required reading for anyone who has an aching back and wants to avoid needless and expensive medical procedures like surgery.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Purchase That May Just Change Your Life, April 24, 2010
    *****
    All of our lives we are taught to "stand up straight" and to have good posture, but how many of us still have back problems, knee problems, foot problems, and chronic pain despite our best efforts? If this is you (and it is me) then this book is for you. It is my belief that the author's ideas about posture, movement, sitting, sleeping, etc. could very well revolutionize conventional wisdom about posture, movement, and more.

    How is this possible? At the most basic level, you can buy this book and not even read it, but just look at the many diagrams, photographs of people modeling healthy behaviors, and most importantly, stunning photographs of people from other countries. The latter--the people from third world countries especially--where good posture is taught and modeled and passed down through the family, rather than via books, or visits to an orthopedic surgeon's office, or Pilates lessons--these are exceptionally revealing. Look at the pictures of how people in these countries hold themselves, and view the arduous work they do all day, and then note the incidence of back pain and other chronic pain they experience from their work. This alone will impress you. These photographs alone are worth the price of the book.

    If you are interested, you can try to do the posturing yourself. It is very simple, but it is not easy, because of the way our culture has changed over the years. Conventional wisdom no longer teaches us how to care for our bodies; in fact, the opposite is true. Here in our industrialized society, poor habits are the norm. Even popular "posture" practices teach one or another person's ideas and theories, rather than looking at how people have moved (and still move, in most cases) throughout history. If you struggle to achieve the positions from just looking at the visuals, as I did, then you can go to the author's site at egwellness dot com. Here you will find many resources, including free classes in many locations and free online classes for those people who wish to learn in this way. In addition, there are paid group classes and even paid private classes. The visual and kinesthetic support is very helpful. For those people who need "see it" to learn, you can. For those who need to "do it" to learn, you can.

    If you are motivated, you can do these exercises as a practice, as I have begun to do. I am (as I write) taking an in-person beginner class because I learn by seeing AND doing. Just in a couple of days I have felt so much relief and hope that I plan to do this for a significant period of time; as I develop my practice, my body will begin to change to the point where the positions will eventually be automatic. It is important to understand that no significant change can come without hard work; however, for those of us who have spent hundreds or even thousands of dollars pursuing other methodologies and solutions without success, you need to know that there is hope and that this is it.

    The chapters are organized into lessons, starting with some foundations and an orientation. Then there are 8 lessons: Stretchsitting, Stretchlying On Your Back (e.g., in bed), Stacksitting, Stretchlying On Your Side, Using Your Inner Corset, Tallstanding, Hip-Hinging (e.g., bending down to pick up an object), and Glidewalking. There are additional exercises and many more resources in the back of the book.

    Readers should also know that many of the examples contradict various ideas promulgated in our culture about what good posture is. Thus, you should have an open mind. However, the positions in the book are not theoretical or ideas you need to accept on faith because all of the evidence necessary to understand what is behind the positions is in the book itself; it is merely reinforced when you try to do the positions and experience the change for yourself.

    If you are still uncertain, go to the web site mentioned above as well as to YouTube and search for the author's name and watch the videos that are available by many people on YouTube.

    This is a beautiful, elegant book filled with color photographs that you will not regret buying, whatever your level of interest.

    Highly recommended.
    *****

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Gokhale Method helped me, March 26, 2008
    As someone who was lucky enough to be taught by Esther Gokhale in person, I am delighted to see that her method is now available in self-help form. My own sciatica started to fade away on my first lesson (stretchsitting) and as I went on to learn how to walk, stand, sleep and bend in the way nature intended, my pain went away completely, and never came back. With its detailed instructions and excellent illustrations, the book should help thousands to find relief from pain - or even better, to keep back pain from starting up in the first place.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Simple Solutions, March 25, 2008
    I am from a family of people with bad back pain.
    Esther Gokhale provides a clear path where the first step is to understand what makes a back hurt, then with wonderful pictures and illustrations shows small incremental steps towards relieving the pain.
    Nothing seemed complicated or expensive in her advice and simply applying her new sitting posture and way of going to sleep seems to have relieved half the pain.
    Often self help books give advice which is impossible to follow because it involves big changes in the way we live, these steps are small steps that are easy to remember and apply. This is definitely a book which provides an easy path to pain relief and given how many people around me suffer from this `mal du siecle',
    I definitely recommend this book. ... Read more


    18. Driven To Distraction : Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder from Childhood Through Adulthood
    by Edward M. Hallowell, John J. Ratey
    Paperback
    list price: $16.00 -- our price: $10.88
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0684801280
    Publisher: Touchstone
    Sales Rank: 2324
    Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    Through vivid stories of the experiences of their patients (both adults and children), Drs. Hallowell and Ratey show the varied forms ADD takes -- from the hyperactive search for high stimulation to the floating inattention of daydreaming -- and the transforming impact of precise diagnosis and treatment. ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars A superbly balanced and rigorous text for all readers, March 6, 1998
    Whether lay public or professionals in the field, this is the best book you'll find on Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). I treat patients who have ADD; many come bearing a well-marked copy of this book to say they've found themselves in it. To the others, I routinely recommend they read it before we finalize the diagnosis or decide on treatment. The tone throughout is rigorously scientific yet informal, relatively free of jargon, approachable by anyone with a high school education, and very supportive to the sufferer without being patronizing. It contains no propaganda, a rare virtue in books about ADD. Although written by physicians (who themselves are sufferers), it does not shill for medication management at the expense of alternative treatments that have been scientifically validated as effective. This is the ideal book for sufferers and their families, for teachers and those who evaluate the learning problems of children and adults, and for all health care providers. For those who find it hard to read, another book by these authors, Answers to Distraction, is written in an easier, sound bite format. Both books are available on audiotape, often the best way for the ADDers to "read".

    -Phil Torrance MD (Diplomate in Psychiatry)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Forgive? Nay! Applaud!, October 2, 2000
    How does a person go from being their own worst enemy to their own best friend? This book can tell you how -- and best of all, why.

    Like many others, I had never thought of myself as hyperactive -- hyper-book worm maybe! I was creative and obsessive. I was determined beyond description -- if it was something interesting to me. And I was successful... enough. A natural born explainer and teacher -- I had the patience of a saint!

    I never admitted to anyone that I constantly berated myself in my mind: Even a small thing like a load of laundry would become a reason to rant. "You stupid! You forgot to turn on the wash!" Later, I'd realize: I had turned the knob three hours before -- but I had forgotten to close the lid.... when I remembered to move the clothes from the washer to the dryer -- at midnight -- I'd get out of bed to do it. "No way dufus-head will remember tomorrow!" Multiply this small life detail by 1000 lost, forgotten, ignored, denied life details -- all day, every day. The tirade never ceased.

    I never tolerated others being negative to someone who made a mistake. I forgave everything. I understood the need for tolerance and forgiveness -- but I never gave it to myself.

    I was never capable of doing any one thing from beginning to end. With a 100 projects going on at once very few get done. And, I was never able to enjoy the applause when I did do something really well. "Next week you'll screw up." the evil, mean voice in my head said. How did I keep from driving myself nuts?

    As a result of reading this book, I started a path that changed my life. I now realize and forgive -- Nay! Applaud! my "differentness." The hyper-creativity is still there -- now I know how use it. I let my mind wander when I need to -- then I guide it gently back to where I need it to be. And I cheer and applaud and praise myself all along the way. My explanation sounds too simple for the revolution -- and evolution in my life.

    Dr. Hallowell writes evocative stories -- call it revelations through case histories. It is required reading for anyone with ADD -- or anyone with a child, spouse, student or employee they define as an underachiever. This book explains "why?"

    5-0 out of 5 stars A necessity. It's the Bible of ADD., October 2, 1998
    I am one of those beset by troubles with myself that I couldn't understand. Soon I learned of ADD and of Driven to Distraction. THE BOOK HIT THE NAIL RIGHT ON THE HEAD!

    Driven to Distraction is an excellent introduction to those who have no knowledge of ADD, but have found out about it want to know more about it and everything about it. Want to know ADD? Start with this book. No other researcher has collected more pertinent data and given to ordinary people in their language than Drs. Hallowell and Ratey. Truly, this book is the Bible of ADD life. Coupled with Answers to Distraction, one could consider himself well-equipped to face the world where ADD is a terrible stigma.

    I'm from the Philippines and here ADD is still known as a kid's disease and named MBD (Minimal Brain Dysfunction). NO ONE knows about ADD here, and if only this book were read by more psychologists in this country, the problems would certainly be more alleviated. My hat off to Drs. Hallowell and Ratey for such a helpful, life-changing book. God bless!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book for parents, teachers & ADD/ ADHD adults, April 11, 2001
    As an educator, I've been dealing with kids with attention problems for many years, as has my wife who is a learning differences teacher (as a tutor and in private schools). When our daughter was in 2nd grade, she was diagnosed with ADD (over 15 years ago), so we began learning about this disorder firsthand. After attending a teacher's seminar on ADHD, I began suspecting that I might have it as well, but it wasn't until I read Hallowell's "Driven to Distraction" that I decided to seek help. Now, many years later, I can say that I'm glad I did.

    As an elementary school librarian, this is the first book I recommend to teachers and parents, as well as to adults who suspect they may have an attention problem. It is easy to read, full of good information and the self-quizzes throughout the book are invaluable.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Solid, Fun, Helpful, August 23, 2001
    While many ADD books are filled with froth and fluff, and others are littered with mantras about accepting ADD in our life but, "Driven to Distraction" actually is useful. Buy it now before you forget. From descriptions about what is and is not ADD, to incredibly informative thoughts on ways of managing ADD's pitfalls and positives, this book is the one to buy. Anyone with ADD welcomes every aspect of it, and most of us would trade it for a dollar. However, Hallowell and Ratey manage to dispel the malarkey about ADD being a handicap, and provide case studies which will remind you of many of your own experiences. Great for a dear friend or mate to read to understand ADD, and how to be a better friend or spouse. Let me recommend also, "Managing Attention & Learning Disorders : Super Survival Strategies" by Elaine McEwan and "Uncommon Gifts : Transforming Learning Disabilities into Blessing" by James Stewart Evans. I fully recommend "Driven to Distraction : Recognizing and Coping With Attention Deficit Disorder from Childhood Through Adulthood." Anthony Trendl

    5-0 out of 5 stars The book that changed my life..., January 1, 2000
    As an adult with ADD (which I found out by reading Driven to Distraction), I can honestly say that this book changed my life. It altered my entire self-perception.

    Now, instead of seeing myself as a lazy, disorganized, half-crazy person, I understand that I have a common condition with negative - and positive - traits. I also understand clearly why I failed so miserably in school and no longer blame myself for it. Even just the knowledge that there are other people with the same syndrome, the same behaviors... is comforting!

    The altered self-concept has made me a much more positive person, and knowing what I'm dealing with has helped me to nurture the positive aspects of my ADD, particularly the ability to hyperfocus on tasks that are important to me.

    5-0 out of 5 stars For adult ADHD sufferers, a stepping stone toward diagnosis., August 11, 2000
    I was a skeptic regarding this whole ADHD thing. Too many people are being diagnosed with it. Too many parents placing the blame on their kids instead of the fact that they both work. They use the TV as a babysitter. They allow the kids to watch unsupervised TV and movies. Seemed like every kid was being diagnosed with it.

    But then everything changed for me. It changed when my 1st grade son - who can be a real pistol - was requested by the elementary school administration to be placed in an alternative school for uncontrollable kids. (Of course, this was their conclusion after months of talks.) To counter their on-site psychologist, we sought our own, and after many counselling sessions there, the doctor presented us with his diagnosis: ADHD. But my wife and I still didn't believe in it. We wouldn't accept the diagnosis. So we read some on it, and on Ritalin, and decided based on that informaton, to take the doctor up on his desire to prescribe Ritalin for him.

    And it was a miracle. Seriously. He had only a week left in public school, but the teacher was astounded. In the end, we changed him to a private school anyway since he earned a bad-boy reputation that he did not deserve, nor could he seem to shake.

    In my desire to learn more about it, I bought this book. What I uncovered, was not only a greater understanding of my son, but also the realization that I probably also was afflicted. This book is geared towards an adult ADHD diagnosis. It is well written, and enjoyable to read because it is filled with small vignettes, little stories of people and their difficulties, and how they sought and received treatment.

    The book clearly underscores that the ADHD person cannot diagnose themselves, but that through an increased knowledge gained by reading it, it can help you decide if you should seek professional diagnosis from a psychiatrist.

    I did, and my life has turned around. I have no idea how this drug works, but I am on a very low dose, and yet it feels like the barriers are down. I can stop NOT DOING what I want to do. I can now easily set aside a distracting, stray thought, and come back to it after the other person finishes talking.

    Honestly, if you think you may have adult ADHD, this book will act as a stepping stone for you and can help you decide if you need to seek professional help.

    5-0 out of 5 stars In Gratitude For Such A Spectacular Discovery!, April 29, 2000
    With undiagnosised ADD onboard, being raised in a large household the second of eleven children, with a perfectionist father who would not accept second best as a condition of showing his love for his children, and an obedient submissive mother was a challenge beyond discription. I was continually being punished for my actions and behavior, and not understanding ADD (or that there was even such a disorder) I felt as if I was a scumbag of the lowest order for the first 40 or so years of my life. My father had two degrees, or better stated two professions, one as a dentist and the other as an anesthesiologist. Hyperactivity was seen as a huge sin in my family, and I don't remember anyone as hyper as I was. When I asked my mother a few years ago how was my behavior as a child (of which I can remember very little) her comment was, "We didn't have a moments peace from the day you were born until you left home to become a missionionary at the age of 19!" Wow! What a eye opening statement! Reading Dr. Hallowell's book is such an experience! I read a case history in his book to my seven children substituting my name and profession (a dentist) for the person envolved, and when finished my ten year old daughter quietly took me aside and with grave concern asked, "Daddy how did they get your life's history in that book if you just bought it?" I have never read a book that hit home with more force in my life than did Dr. Hallowell's DRIVEN TO DISTRACTION! What a masterpiece of diagnosis and heartfelt concern. In the Bible there is a verse which states that we are commanded to love our neighbors as ourselves. Until reading (and comprehending) Dr. Hallowell's book I could not grasp that scripture, as I could not "see" why I would even desire to love another as I did myself, simply because as stated above, I felt that I could not love myself (in my heart) as I always considered myself to be a scumbag of the lowest order. Forgiveness of one's self is, in my opinion, one of the most challenging and difficult endeavors in life, and Dr. Hollowell's book has done more for me in this area than all the preaching in church and advice given combined. Thank-you Edward from the bottom of my heart for having the courage to expose your life and ADD behavior so that others like myself might begin to live! A must read! Sincerely,

    Dr. Michael Hamilton

    5-0 out of 5 stars Who me, have ADHD?, April 9, 2001
    This is a great book. I think this is one of the only books that I have ever been able to read and pay attention to. Usually I zone out but because this topic hit so close to home I was able to pay attention. While reading the book I found myself laughing because it was so much like me. I finally realized why I do the things I do and why I have trouble in college. I know I am smart. This also explains why I am so hyper active. I kept telling myself that I don't have ADHD but the more I read, the more I realized that I did. (I was also clinically diagnosed at age 23). This book and a few other books helped to realize that having ADHD is not a disability but rather a character trait with its pluses and minuses. I think it kind of cool at times. I just find myself getting frustrated with the typical ADD downfalls. I think this is one of the best books out there for adult ADD. So good, that others refer to this book when they write theirs. I have read so many books on ADD that it seems like I read the same or similar things and it's like a circle.

    5-0 out of 5 stars It Hit the Nail on the Head, June 29, 2000
    Tears streamed down my face as I read the letter from the mother to the son - and touched every void I have felt. In his growing up years, my 80+ year old mother used to say, "He wants to do good, he just can't" -- wise beyond her time. She was speaking of my son, the little leaguer who loved to steal bases and slide on his stomach to catch fly balls, the high school wrestler, the broken-hearted, devastated, depressed, financially strained divorced 25 year old police officer who at times resorted to too much alcohol, and who at 29 years old, probably on impulse, used his service revolver to end his life. This book hit the nail on the head and helped me to better understand and try to pave the way for a better life for my recently (after several years of wondering why she is the way she is) diagnosed ADD 12 year old granddaughter, the spitting image of her Dad, who wanted to do right but just couldn't. And we didn't understand why. Now we do. Even to the extent that it could be inherited from a parent who has never been diagnosed. Everyone with any interest whatsoever in ADD should read this book. It is wonderful. Please let Drs. Hallowell & Ratey know how appreciative I am for this book. Thank you for providing such insight. LPruett ... Read more


    19. Knockout: Interviews with Doctors Who Are Curing Cancer--And How to Prevent Getting It in the First Place
    by Suzanne Somers
    Paperback
    list price: $15.00 -- our price: $10.20
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0307587592
    Publisher: Three Rivers Press
    Sales Rank: 2890
    Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    In Knockout, Suzanne Somers interviews doctors who are successfully using the most innovative cancer treatments—treatments that build up the body rather than tear it down. Somers herself has stared cancer in the face, and a decade later she has conquered her fear and has emerged confident with the path she's chosen.
    Now she shares her personal choices and outlines an array of options from doctors across the country:
     
    EFFECTIVE ALTERNATIVE TREATMENTS
    •without chemotherapy
    •without radiation
    •sometimes, even without surgery
     
    INTEGRATIVE PROTOCOLS
    •combining standard treatments with therapies that build up the immune system
     
    METHODS FOR MANAGING CANCER
    •outlining ways to truly live with the diease
     
    Since prevention is the best course, Somers' experts provide nutrition, lifestyle, and dietary supplementation options to help protect you from getting the disease in the first place. Whichever path you choose, Knockout is a must-have resource to navigate the life-and-death world of cancer and increase your odds of survival.  After reading stunning testimonials from inspirational survivors using alternative treatments, you'll be left with a feeling of empowerment and something every person who is touched by this disease needs…HOPE.


    From the Hardcover edition.
    ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars Invaluable information for those diagnosed with cancer!, January 29, 2010
    As a professional environmental biologist who has had health as an avocation for over 40 years and been critically reading about cancer and cancer treatments, both standard and alternative, for over 20 years, I highly praise Suzanne Somers for having the courage to compile the interviews in "Knockout" with physicians who have had successes in treating cancer patients using alternative methods.

    Over the past 30 years, I have known many people who were diagnosed with cancer: Practically none lived for more than a relatively short time-- months or short years of continual or intermittent chemical treatments that made most of the last part of their lives physically miserable ( at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars.) Had I personally known ANYONE who survived long-term after standard treatment of breast, lung, or pancreatic cancer, or brain tumors, I might have put more credibility in it, but I haven't. The only "survivors" I have known had lymphomas which standard treatments can successfully treat (a fact mentioned in "Knockout".)

    Cancer is not something that attacks us from outside the body like a virus or bacteria, but rather something that the body creates in response to an external insult (radiation, toxin, e.g.) or internal imbalance (nutritional deficiency, hormonal imbalances, e.g.). It only makes sense that if the body can create cancer, it also has the capability of controlling or removing it given the right kind of support from a physician: That is what the doctors interviewed in "Knockout" have been doing: supporting the body and its immune system to control or fight the cancer. Do I think that all the treatments presented in the book are of equal value in treating cancer based upon what I've read over the years? No. But most are based on good science, practical experience and success, and are highly consistent with the scientific studies and reports that I have read. It is to Suzanne's credit that she did not "pre-judge" the various treatment alternatives but leaves that task up to the readers.

    I have only one criticism of the information provided in "Knockout" and that is some of the comments made about pesticides and "organic" produce. Two or three of those interviewed made blanket and inaccurate statements and assumptions about pesticides (it's obviously outside their area of expertise.) Few people know that the EPA for many years has required extensive toxicity testing of pesticides by independent, EPA-approved laboratories using standard protocols--including testing of reproductive effects over multiple generations--before they will approve a product label; that the pesticide label use requirements provide a 100-fold protection factor for human safety; that chemical companies today generally won't even pursue approval of new pesticides that are highly toxic or dangerous; or that manufacturers of the hormonally disruptive and persistent organochlorine pesticides such as DDT, were prohibited from selling them in the US some 30+ years ago. Few people know that some "organic" growers use "natural" pesticides, some of which are considerably MORE TOXIC AS APPLIED and more environmentally persistent than a good number of the commercial, standard pesticides, and which generally have not undergone the extensive EPA-required testing of standard, commercial pesticides.

    Rather than buy nothing but organic produce -- which many people cannot afford -- I recommend buying fruits and vegetables grown in the USA where only EPA-approved pesticides can be used and where states are required to test and certify all commercial pesticide applicators to ensure pesticides are applied in accordance with the product label. (Violations result in loss of applicators' licenses). No such strict controls exist in some foreign countries that regularly ship produce to the US. I am also highly dubious of "organic" claims for imported produce. (I avoid buying products from other countries when I can get the same products grown in the USA, organic or not.)

    That said, however, anyone diagnosed with cancer who does not examine and seriously consider at least some of the alternatives presented in "Knockout" to the standard "cut, poison, and burn" treatments (all of which can seriously compromise the very immune system needed by the body to fight the cancer), runs the risk of laying down like a lamb to slaughter in the face of standard cancer treatment. Being well informed and playing an active role in selection of cancer treatment may make the difference between life and death.

    "Knockout" is a major accomplishment and a valuable contribution to all those who face a diagnosis of cancer, and one that I hope readers will take seriously. Suzanne should be highly praised for facing the highly lucrative and entrenched cancer industry head on!
    Knockout: Interviews with Doctors Who Are Curing Cancer--And How to Prevent Getting It in the First Place

    5-0 out of 5 stars An Education for All of Us, October 20, 2009
    Knockout:Interviews with Doctors who are Curing Cancer--And how to Prevent Getting It in the First Place, by Suzanne Somers, is a must-read.

    The book begins with a foreword by Dr. Julian Whitaker who challenges the very paradigm of curing cancer--that is, of removing or destroying it--with surgery, radiation or chemotherapy, Instead, she writes, the challenge to curing cancer lies in stopping the cells from dividing; do that and the cancer disappears.

    Somers relates her harrowing story of her gross misdiagnosis that occurred in November 2008. She woke up covered in hives and was rushed to the hospital. She was told that she had cancer throughout her body. The hellishness of the experience prompted this book, because Somers explains that if she--a health advocate, best-selling author and famous person could get so mistreated, it can certainly happen to anyone.

    Shockingly, the medical community has made little strides in curing cancer in 60 years, and it will soon be the second leading cause of death in our country.

    The purpose of this book is to educate us on the alternatives to the traditional treatment of cancer--surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, and to prevent cancer from happening in the first place. As a cancer survivor, this is a topic close to Somers' heart.

    There are chapters on the sad state of Western medicine, and how most of us poison ourselves daily--with drugs, chemicals in our food and more.

    The crux of the book are the interviews with alternative doctors. They are divided into two sections--doctors curing cancer and on preventing it in the first place.

    Some examples from the interviews:

    * One doctor interviewed said that mamograms increase the risk of breast cancer.

    * Sugar and artificial sweeteners feed cancer and help it spread.

    * Tumeric is one of the most powerful cancer inhibitors. (One note on tumeric--several years ago, I read that there is a significantly low incidence of Alzheimer's Disease in India. Studies proved it was due to the high consumption of tumeric. Lately, I read that tumeric is great in preventing inflammation, increases memory, and a whole bunch of other fantastic qualities. You can buy it in capsule form if you don't eat much of it.)

    The final chapter is advice for those who do choose traditional treatment to combat cancer.

    The resources include integrative health practitioners listed by state.

    I appreciate that Somers interviews a variety of doctors to get all kinds of advice. For those suffering from cancer and for those hoping to prevent it, this book provides solid alternative choices to traditional therapies that don't seem to be working.

    This book provides hope. Highly recommend.

    Author of HARMONIOUS ENVIRONMENT and SELL YOUR HOME FAST IN A BUYER'S MARKET

    4-0 out of 5 stars Deserves careful reading., November 19, 2009
    I decided to read this book after watching Suzanne Summers on TV with Larry King. Suzanne was very passionate about her conviction but the program left me with a number of unanswered questions and I hoped that reading this book will clear some of mine doubts...

    Unfortunately I cannot say that I am now, after reading this book, much smarter than I was before. To start with, Suzanne's story at the beginning of the book is bizarre to say the least. Could that all be true? Could so many doctors be so wrong all at the same time? Possibly, but maybe Suzanne omitted some facts detrimental to the story to make it for a better read. We will never know...

    Some of the reviewers do not hold punches and simply call Ms. Summers greedy salesmen "selling snake-oil, and laughing all the way to the bank!" I don't think so. I think the opinion that "she is selling unproven remedies not recommend by any accredited institution" can only be spread by the proponents of so called "conventional" medicine - the establishment. Keep in mind that there are Charlatans in both conventional and alternative medicine who will exploit patients.

    The main problem that I have with conventional medicine is that it is focused on treating symptoms but it is absolutely failing in prevention of diseases. The oncologists may be relatively good in treating some cancers but they offer nothing in the way of prevention. I cannot say conclusively that Suzanne is right in her approach but she at least brings our awareness to the potential prevention protocols.

    I think this book deserves careful reading. I am not saying that I agree with everything Suzanne Somers says, she may be wrong, but her findings definitely deserve proper consideration. I have studied some of the doctors she is promoting, and I find it very hard to disagree with Dr Blaylock. He is not promising any miracles and he backs his opinions with solid data. I encourage you to get a good look at them. I was surprised to learn that Suzan failed to mention in her book Dr. Tombak. His book "Cure th e Incurable" sheds a lot of light at a number of "incurable" diseases, cancer being one of them. You will find that there indeed exist successful alternative treatments of diseases written off by conventional medicine as incurable.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Guess What?, November 2, 2009
    Here's a bit of information that most of you aren't aware of, most especially the "dead heads" who are still living in the 1950s when everyone thought their doctor was God and that every pill and medication was a sure-cure.

    Oncologists of today have a pretty slick set-up with Big Pharma. Bet you didn't know they get as much as an 86% kickback from the chemotherapy that they prescribe. They are the only specialty that has this handy little system. They have a limited set of cancer drugs that they prescribe,which gives them a percentage back of the drug's cost. If they prescribe a drug that they aren't signed up with, they do not receive the kickback. I suggest you do your due diligence on this one. Congress should be asking "What the????" and putting a stop to this practice. So if you have cancer, your oncologist has a vested interest in giving you the drug he/she makes money on. Google "Oncologist's drug kickbacks" and get educated. Those of you with limited functioning brain cells can continue to criticize Suzanne Somers all you want from your wobbly soapbox--those of us who have been down the cancer road with devastating results and have had the wake-up call to look further and farther than the nearest idiot with an MD behind their name have found information that will curl your hair. Get off your self-satisfied backsides and wake up to 21st Century reality. Those of us who know better will continue to encourage Ms. Somers and others who are willing to pull their head out of the sand and find new answers to our current health care dilemma. No one seems to ask why we continue to get sicker as a nation with all the dollars going down the medical/pharmaceutical rathole. And then there's the health insurance debacle... A story for another day.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Knockout, December 6, 2009
    Do not dismiss this as some kookie new age book. It can save your life or lives of those you love.

    Super work by a personality who is both keenly interested and knowlegeable. Given the importance of the alternative approaches to preventing and treating various cancers, this book is one which every family should have and READ...BEFORE this may strike...if possible.

    The beauty of it is that there are very viable and proven methods outside conventional medicine with its routine " cut and chemo" approach. Even the concept of "not curing" is brought into question, where many have safely arrested its negative developement and lived for decades beyond, by attention to health, nutrition and bioidentical harmone support. Finally, there are serious questions about some surgical approaches actually causing cancerous cells to begin circulating , resulting in spreading tumors.

    This book has both questions, not always possible to answer, and new answers not possible to ignore. Plus, it is a fine personal narrative of considerable experience with medical practices. some obviously of the "cookie cutter" variety. She has experienced first hand the numbing verdict where one prognosis fits all, and the end result is short term hopelessness and traditional treatment's expensive but wasted efforts.

    However you do it...used book...paperback now...library...borrowed or new..read it. Then decide.

    4-0 out of 5 stars From where I sit..., February 13, 2010
    I'm not a medical practitioner, but I am familiar with the "standard of care". After my 62 yr-old husband was given 2-4 months to live by a famous research hospital, we found a prestigious transplant surgeon who would operate. Almost 60% of his liver was removed, but two suspicious lymph nodes were found by scan (which may have been post-surgical inflammation). His oncologist insisted he start "preventive" chemo. So just 6 weeks after surgery, when his liver had barely begun to regenerate, chemotherapy began. One of the drugs was Gemzar given by IV... and mentioned in this book as a sort of placebo! Another was a very expensive drug take orally that caused numerous side effects and eventualy destroyed his liver.

    A holocaust survivor is exactly what he looked like! Five months into chemo he was admitted for severe abdominal pains and dehydration. While in the hospital he experienced septic shock, exploratory surgery (that he wasn't expected to survive)and three stints in the ICU. 2 1/2 weeks later, two Drs who were on-call for the weekend, diagnosed him with liver failure. His other eleven specialists had missed it. He slipped into a hepatic coma the following day and was gone in 48 hrs.

    Our medical bills totaled over $600,000, so we were fortunate to get some financial aid from the hospitals. That was 1 1/2 yrs ago and I'm still paying the rest and in danger of foreclosure. At least he got an extra year of life with the surgery, but he should have never been given chemo in the first place! The irony is that I did so much research and I've been getting "Life Extension" magazine for years, but somehow missed the offer to call them first! Their research and their founder (William Faloon) are highly respected. Make your own opinions about the author, but don't miss the point. The fact that he personally encouraged Suzanne to write this book gives the interviews credence in my opinion. It's a book everyone should read in case they ever need it.



    5-0 out of 5 stars A Patients Guide to Alternative Cancer Treatment, October 30, 2009
    This book dramatically presents the remarkable successes of some of the Alternative and Complementary Medical Doctors have used for the treatment of cancer. The book is loaded with valuable informatio and tips for ALL patients, regardless of what therapy they ultimately decide to use. Dr.Stanislaw Burzynski,MD discovered antineoplastons, that have had amazing success, making it a uniquely valuable discovery that unfortunately is not being used by other practitioners, since FDA has not approved it yet. Dr.Nicholas Gonzalez,MD uses of pancreatic enzymes, nutrition and coffee enemas that have shown promise, but it requires a lot of work on the patients part.Dr.James Forsythe,MD is also a Homeopathic Doctor in addition to being a board certified oncologist. He became a homeopath after seeing that patient using alternative therapies were doing better than his patients using chemotherapy radiation and surgery.Salicinium is a homeopathic that blocks sugar metabolism. Sugar pronotes cancer growth. Sugar should be avoided by cancer patients. I was amazed to find out that there are some tests for determining which chemotherapy is kiely to be most successful with your type cancer. He also uses oxidative therapies. Dr.Jonathan Wright,MD explains the use of bioidentical hormonal theraapy, in which the doctor neasures and balances the hormones so as to promote anti-cancer properties. This turns out to be very complicated and too detailed for me to summarize, but it is a very informative discussion. There are also good tips on foods like brassica vegetables such as broccoli,cailiflower and brussel sprouts that promote anti-cancer responses.
    Dr.Steven Sinatra,MD a cardiologist and psychiatrist makes some keen observations about the importance of the state of positive belief in the patient that the patient will triumph over this cancer. A suprising observation was that the lung is the organ most susceptible to grief from emotional upset.What starts as a lung bacteria ot tuberculosis can end up as lung cancer, and that crying is one of the most healing emotions and relieves tension in your vocal chords and lungs,tears contain endorphins and they can heal. Compassion and touch are the healing tools of nature, the cancer patient must use them.
    One of the most readily available and easily administered therapy mentioned briefly in the book is the one referred to as Flaxseed Oil and Cottage Cheese. This was pioneered by Dr.Johanna Budwig,PhD a biochemist from Germany. It is more complicated and involved than the description, it is really a comprehensive dietary and lifestyle regime revolving around the provision of Omega-3 fatty acids in Flaxseed combined with the sulphurated protein in cottage cheese. A good list-serve is available for detailed instruction at [...] with excellent moderators to help you to implement it.
    But if you are afraid to trust alternative and unconventional therapies you can gain tremendous insight into using the best proven nutritional and drug therapies described by Bill Faloon of the Life Extension Foundation. Mr.Faloon is a layperson who has extensively studied the vast medical and scientific literature on health treatments. He presents both alternative treatments and mainstream conventional treatments supported by the scientific literature, some of these are approved by the Food & Drug Administration, others are not. But too many doctors are not familiar with some of the peer reviewed medical literature in their field. Here you will find it.
    The book has a large Resources sectiongiving names addreses and phone numbers for Doctors Clinics and Institutes for Doctors practicing Alternative and Complementary Medicine throughout North America,Belgium and the Bahamas.
    There is also a list of Compounding Pharmacies.
    The only thing missing is the footnotes to support these therapies. The section listing Books by or about Knockout doctors, especially those by Dr.Jonathan V.Wright,MD will have many of these citations. His research is always very well documented.
    Arnold Gore
    Consumers Health Freedom Coalition


    I

    5-0 out of 5 stars Finally someone with a voice is blowing the lid on the conventional cancer treatment scam, November 16, 2009
    I am so grateful that someone who has an audience, a voice, is finally speaking out against this corruption that murdered both my parents!

    The "war" on cancer has created a $200 billion a year industry that has only improved its success rate by 5% since the 1950s. A mere 2.1% of those taking chemo will be alive after five years. (If you die one week after the five years, you are considered a success!) Oncologists give hope to their patients, claiming their tumor will likely respond. Yet what they mean by "respond" is a few months added to a person's life. Yeah, let's mortgage the home, spend off the kids' college fund, all so you can live 3 months in bed, too sick from the chemo to do anything but sleep! Yet, as long as oncologists are following the protocol that gives big bucks to big pharma (and the docs also get kickbacks!!) then they cannot be arrested. It is legal. It is murder, it is robbery, it is fraud--but it is legal.

    Now, here are these alternative doctors. They can be harassed for not going by "standard of care" even though they are healing 70-80% of their patients. By harassed, I mean some have to move their clinic to Mexico. They are called quacks. In the past, they even had to go to jail. ...And by healing, I mean the patient is cancer free for 20, 30 years! At a small fraction of the cost! Yet, the insurance companies do not pay for it (calling it "unproven"--even though chemo has been proven--proven to FAIL!)

    When I saw all the one-star reviews on Amazon, I was reluctant to buy the book, thinking it might not have anything I didn't already know. A quick scan revealed that these people hadn't even read the book, but just had a bee in their bonnet and probably work for drug companies. The book is excellent. I have read several hundred books on health, and found myself marking something on nearly every page. I intend to give this book out to everyone I know who gets the C diagnosis.

    The book contains Suzanne's own story and 2 diagnoses of cancer (1 false); several chapters on the sinister mainstream cancer business; interviews with doctors who have great success treating cancer--even stage IV, and even the tough ones like liver or pancreatic cancer; and interviews with doctors on how to prevent cancer. It's all cutting edge material. I especially liked the interviews with Dr. Burzynski and Dr. Gonzalez (who uses enzymes and is a raw food advocate).

    I myself wrote a book which includes many testimonials on people who used the raw food diet to reverse cancer. You see, we already have a cure for cancer! It's called the immune system. It just needs to be supported with proper nutrition, rest, and a break from toxins. To add chemo to someone with cancer is like cleaning your kitchen with mud and trash. Hello, people! Wake up!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Your HEALTH or Their WEALTH?, November 30, 2009
    "Knockout" is the new world-beater from Suzanne Somers. This book will end the Nazi-like American Medical Establishment. I got my copy from the local B&N Bookstore, but i see you can get one thru Amazon for about half what i paid.

    Anyhow, if it were one hundred dollars, it'd be worth it. Not only if you have or had cancer, but if you want NOT to get it. Suzanne has been thru the mill, winning her battle against cancer and living to tell about it... despite the eforts of ME (Med Establishment), including American Cancer Society, AMA, and Big Pharma... all making Million$ on chemotherapy, radiation, donations, and surgery.
    Wake up folks! Instead of running around with pink ribbons, for heaven's sake learn about saving people from cancer thru alternate health that work...not the Establisment paradigm that's sending us to cruel, torturous death. Suzanne tells how to save ourselves.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Thanks Suzanne!, December 6, 2009
    By now I have read about half the book, and as expected, I consider it excellent. Apparently many books like this one are needed for enough patients to stop accepting advice of doctors with a serious conflict of interest. Before that happens no health care reform or fund raising to stop nasty maladies will do any good.
    Congratulations Suzanne! You are helping to get enough of us towards wanting a change for the better! One reason I bought the book is that I have been aware for years of most of what you say. I don't care about minor details. But I am happy that you may reach one million people! I wonder which size is the critical mass that will force improving the situation. But you are helping to reach it.
    I am a subscriber of some of these doctor's health letters. I also contributed to Dr. Burzynski legal expenses when Dr. Whitacker made me aware of the serious blow that real medicine was about to suffer. ... Read more


    20. The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for People with Alzheimer Disease, Other Dementias, and Memory Loss in Later Life, 4th Edition
    by Nancy L. Mace, Peter V. Rabins
    Paperback
    list price: $17.95 -- our price: $12.20
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0801885094
    Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
    Sales Rank: 2790
    Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Revised in 2006 for its twenty-fifth anniversary, this best-selling book is the "bible" for families caring for people with Alzheimer disease, offering comfort and support to millions worldwide. In addition to the practical and compassionate guidance that have made The 36-Hour Day invaluable to caregivers, the fourth edition is the only edition currently available that includes new information on medical research and the delivery of care.

    The new edition includes:

    -new information on diagnostic evaluation-resources for families and adult children who care for people with dementia-updated legal and financial information-the latest information on nursing homes and other communal living arrangements-new information on research, medications, and the biological causes and effects of dementia

    Also available in a large print edition

    Praise for The 36-Hour Day:

    ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars An absolute must for caregivers, July 27, 2007
    For those of us who are caregivers, this book is a lifesaver. Before reading this book I was certain that many of the behaviors that my family member exhibits were unique to her. While I often read about Alzheimer's, I never read anything that made me stop and realize that, first, I am not alone, and second, that there are ways that I can handle situations better. This book is full of great suggestions on how to deal with the many behavioral issues that are exhibited by those with Alzheimer's and dementia.

    Whenever I have an especially difficult day, I go online to the Alzheimer's page and remind myself how difficult it is for my family member. This book drove home that message, yet more importantly provided me with some tools on how to deal with these issues. I cannot stress enough how much I thought our situation and the behaviors were unique; it is liberating to realize that they are not. As well, understanding why the person exhibits such behaviors makes it much easier to respond correctly.

    I wish I could thank the authors personally for this book. I hope they both know that their wisdom, concern and awareness of the Alzheimer patient has made a difference for me, and I am certain has made a difference for many others.

    Caregivers -- buy this book, you will find some stress greatly diminished.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent for entire family system, especially the caregiver, September 15, 1999
    The book is informative, explicit for people who know nothing about mental health and diseases of the mind. Good for the lay person, the afflicted person, all of the family. Gives insight and helps with understanding care of the patient, and the grief involved for those around the patient. Good reference--I will be using it in a church group setting also.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Dealing family member with Alzheimers, January 17, 2000
    I found this book to be a life saver. I thought that I was losing my mind, until I read this book and now I know there is help out there. I have read this book a few times and each time it helps me understand a little more about Alzheimers patient. It is like a bible for people who are dealing with a family member with Alzherimers.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Guide, April 10, 2007
    This is a excellent book and reference for those learning to deal with Alzheimer. Plenty of resources and ideas of what to look for when caring for someone with this disease. You can get a good idea of what to expect and how to help those suffering with this devastating disease. Easy to understand and read. Can't recommend this book enough.

    5-0 out of 5 stars THE 36-HOUR DAY continues to be the 'bible' of recommendation for any caregiver whose family member suffers from dementia., February 7, 2007
    When THE 36-HOUR DAY appeared in its original edition it was unprecedented in its information for families struggling to care for people with Alzheimer Disease and other dementias: now this updated 4th edition in large print includes new details on diagnostic evaluation methods, new medications and research, and new social and legal issues involved, and will find a place not only on health and public library shelves, but in the home shelves of caregivers searching for information. From financial aid and nursing homes to alternatives to treatments and living arrangements, THE 36-HOUR DAY continues to be the 'bible' of recommendation for any caregiver whose family member suffers from dementia.

    Diane C. Donovan
    California Bookwatch

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Answers I Have Been Searching For, July 5, 2004
    It doesn't give medical advice, it doesn't give technical advice, although it provides resources for seeking such advice. What it does give are explanations and insights into the thinking of brain impaired persons, explanations for their behaviors, and advice on how to manage and cope with being their caregiver.

    These are exactly the answers I have been searching for. So many of my father's actions, reactions and behaviors are profiled in this book, and it's becoming clear that his decline had started many years ago with smaller incidents that we as his family had dismissed. The path of progression can be tracked, and even predicted. It will be helpful to know what's coming next and be prepared. But most important to me is the understanding of why. Being able to understand the why of his behavior helps me a great deal in being able to let go of the anger and to cope better with the situation that has recently escalated to horrific.

    In trying to manage the situation I have started taking anti-anxiety meds, as well as antidepressants and high blood pressure med. I have done all that I can to make changes within myself, yet things have gotten progressively worse. I am beginning to understand that these changes have been part of the problem in a sense in that I have become "unpredictable" to him in not reacting the way he expects me to.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for People with Alzheimer Disease, Other Dementias, and Memory Loss in Later Life, July 1, 2007
    Well-written, easy to read, and comprehansive..excellent resource! I have already recommended it to others facing a future as a caregiver.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Succinct and Thorough, May 6, 2007
    This is an exemplary book,thorough and well written re the information essential to dealing with a loved one with alzheimers. I couldn't put it down...not that I enjoyed what I read...but how appropriate it was to the situation at hand.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Help for the family, April 1, 2007
    This book has been the single most helpful tool my family has been given to help us help my mother as she progresses with Alzheimer's Disease. While other books have touched on many of the topics in this book, no where else have we found as much practical information on how to avoid confrontations with her; ways to improve her daily living; ideas to keep her involved with us and to provide meaning to her life; questions to ask her doctors; types of resources that are available (depending on your area); what to expect as the disease progresses; and how to help each other as we take on the many different roles needed to provide care for her.

    I highly recommend this book to others; in fact, I have purchased multiple copies to share with family members and donate to my local library - that's how helpful and important this book is!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Essential for families experiencing Alzheimer's, January 4, 2001
    The small type notwithstanding, this book has been so helpful to us in understanding how to deal with our family member and her spouse. Each experience we have had seems to be covered; I wish we had bought this when we first noticed symptoms, long before she was diagnosed, and long before her spouse would admit there was a problem. However, we did find that when we gave it to the (elderly) spouse, he did not read it and found the large amount of material daunting. I don't think a smaller type face would have helped, as the other reviewers indicated, because it would have then been even a longer, larger book. What he finally *would* read was only a brochure from the doctor, which was very basic. ... Read more


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