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    1. The Immortal Life of Henrietta
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    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. Run Like a Mother: How to Get Moving--and Not Lose Your Family, Job, or Sanity
    by Sarah Bowen Shea, Dimity McDowell
    Kindle Edition (2010-03-23)
    list price: $14.99
    Asin: B003D3N2AQ
    Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
    Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    In Run Like a Mother, authors Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea offer both inspirational advice and practical strategies to help multitasking women make running part of their busy lives.

    McDowell and Shea understand the various external and internal forces in everyday life that can unintentionally keep a wife--mother--working woman from lacing up her shoes and going for a run. Because the authors are multihyphenates themselves, Run Like a Mother is driven by their own running expertise and real-world experience in ensuring that running is part of their lives.

    More than a book, Run Like a Mother is essentially a down-to-earth, encouraging conversation with the reader on all things running, with the overall goal of strengthening a woman's inner athlete.

    Of course, real achievement is a healthy mix of inspiration and perspiration, which is why the authors have grounded Run Like a Mother in a host of practical tips on shoes, training, racing, nutrition, and injuries, all designed to help women balance running with their professional and personal lives. ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars An inspiring read to make you lace up the shoes
    I bought this book with a lot of hope and some trepidation. I'm a lapsed runner, and my last serious race dates back to the postpartum year after my first child was born, when I was eager to show myself I still had my athletic mojo. I just had my fifth child, and ordered this book to help me get inspired again. The authors' voices are real, thankfully, and the essays are honest and accessible. The training tips are great, because they're rooted in an understanding all the things mom use as excuses NOT to run. But what got me really lacing up my shoes again was the page full of short quotes by women saying how they feel after running. Powerful. Competent. Strong. Optimistic. It was like a quadruple dose of any of those herbal mood-boosters hocked by health magazines!

    5-0 out of 5 stars So relatable, it's sick!
    Since finding this book (and blog! and tweets!), I have been completely entertained and inspired and able to connect with a whole new community of runner-mamas.

    This book is so utterly relatable, it is sick! Even as a newbie runner! The moments of "O-M-G! That is EXACTLY how I feel" were countless, as a mom, spouse, runner, wannabe writer and overall multi-tasking-life balancer.

    The book inspired me, me made me laugh out loud causing my fellow commuter train riders to stop and stare (As soon as I would snort, I would hold up the book so everyone would get a peek...long enough for them to write down the title and and go buy it themselves!)

    This is my go-to book for prezzies for my runner mama friends and has saved the day with some much needed inspiration after the oh-let-it-be-over ugly runs.

    I savored every chapter like a rich ooey-gooey chocolately dessert and was thrilled to find more even more witty (and oh so true!) writing online through the blog runlikeamotherbook.com.

    Seriously, check it out, you won't be disappointed.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I'm not a mother, but could still relate
    I bought this book after hearing about it from several people. As my title says, I'm not a mother, but I could relate to most of the book.

    I found the writing very easy to follow--as if it were a conversation--and refreshing. I laughed out loud at some things and it gave me that little "umph" to get back to my running. I felt like I got to know Dimity and Sarah, just by following along in their journeys.

    I would definitely recommend this to others.

    5-0 out of 5 stars For Female Athletes Everywhere
    Run Like a Mother feels like one of those conversations you have with a friend on a long run. It's a book that all female athletes can relate to, regardless of motherhood status or running experience. However, for those of us who both run marathons and mother small children, it's an especially relatable book. At times it's part memoir--telling of Sarah's and Dimity's journeys as runners and marathoners (including a few race reports!), and other times it's more like a helpful training manual--giving advice on running gear, nutrition, and staging a post-pregnancy comeback. You won't find a 16-week marathon training plan in here, but you'll emerge from this book knowing what worked and didn't work for Sarah and Dimity as they trained. As a running coach, I liked the technical talk about running 8 X 400 meters and other training-specific tidbits. But as a mother and a fellow female athlete, I think I most enjoyed the deeply personal revelations about body image, weight, marriage, and mothering. I loved the personal essay format. By the end of the book, you'll feel like you have two new friends: Sarah Bowen Shea and Dimity McDowell.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Inspiring and laugh out loud entertaining
    I'm a mother of two and a fairly competitive runner (with myself). I love this book. The writers are honest and get right down to what is real. And this is what makes some of the excerpts laugh out loud funny. I so relate! But likewise, it is very honest about how difficult it is to run and be a strong runner while balancing kids and family. I read it an excerpt at night night for inspiration for the next day. It sounds corny, but I do. After having D, I know how hard it is to keep the fitness up. So many days I'd rather sit and hold the baby and be at home. But running makes me feel real, at peace and clean. I know this, but I also need the push. The pull, at times, is strong to stay home with the "kidlets." So thanks gals!

    Clothing tips, stories about racing, training, just everyday runs and how to pull yourself out of bed to get out on the road. Pregnancy and running, recovering from giving birth and beginning to run again and all that is involved in that. Right on and inspirational! The quotes and facts from regular runners make me feel part of a great club of women who push each other and support one another in our every day struggles to make the run happen. Totally inspiring. Sarah and Dimity know runners! And I totally feel a closer bond to all the mommy runners out there. I'm going to buy this book for all my mommy running friends.

    I just bought the book for my friend who is off to Boston in a week and am giving it to so she can indulge on her plane ride there. She has two kids, 5 and 3 and worked her butt off to get to Boston.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Read
    I purchased this book when I was training to walk/run my first half marathon in my life. As I am not a runner per se I was skeptical about how much this book would pertain to me. I was pleasantly suprised. The book is well written and truly is a must read for anyone who is a ruuner or thinking about becoming a runner. The book is entertaining, informative and fun. It also would make a great gift for a runner in your life.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Run Like A Mother Will Give You The Strength For Motherhood
    I love running. I especially love running as a mom. It is my "me" time, my recharge time and one of the few things that is just for me. I so enjoyed every bit of this book from the humor to the tips. I love any book that inspires moms to take care of themselves and to realize that they can run, will love to run and deserve to run!

    Thank you Sarah and Dimity for giving a shout out to Stroller Strides!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Read like a runner
    A friend of mine recommended this book to me as a new runner, and she was right! It's motivational and informative. I read part of it while on an airplane and it was all I could do not to run up and down the aisle! A great read for all running mothers!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great book for lady runners
    This one's for the ladies. The ones who like to move and move fast. It's called Run Like a Mother: How to Get Moving and Not Lose Your Family, Job, or Sanity by Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea. It all started with two women who had just had children, trying to get back into running shape. They decided to pitch an article to Runner's World about their journey. That whole experience with them trying to balance family, work, and running lead them to write this book.

    There is a lot of great advice in here for runners of all ages, but it is geared toward time crunched mothers who have to consider their families in their decisions. They give advice on nutrition, racing, finding motivation, and managing children and husbands. Their insight is both humorous and helpful. This is a great read for women athletes who can relate to the authors' experiences and find inspiration in their successes.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Absolute greatness
    This book was absolutely wonderful. I have really enjoyed reading it and saddened by finishing the final chapter. The words of Sarah and Dimty really stayed with me - during runs, during my wanting to not run. I am buying this as gifts for all my running mother friends. I laughed out loud and found myself saying "thank you" for touching on all subjects that us mothers want to ask, but are afraid to. Loved it!!!! ... Read more


    3. 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


    4. 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

    5. What to Expect When You're Expecting: 4th Edition
    by Heidi Murkoff, Sharon Mazel
    Paperback
    list price: $14.95 -- our price: $8.97
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0761148574
    Publisher: Workman Publishing Company
    Sales Rank: 270
    Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    Announcing a brand new, cover-to-cover revision of America's pregnancy bible. What to Expect When You're Expecting is a perennial New York Times bestseller and one of USA Today's 25 most influential books of the past 25 years. It's read by more than 90% of pregnant women who read a pregnancy book—the most iconic, must-have book for parents-to-be, with over 14.5 million copies in print.

    Now comes the Fourth Edition, a new book for a new generation of expectant moms—featuring a new look, a fresh perspective, and a friendlier-than-ever voice. It's filled with the most up-to-date information reflecting not only what's new in pregnancy, but what's relevant to pregnant women. Heidi Murkoff has rewritten every section of the book, answering dozens of new questions and including loads of new asked-for material, such as a detailed week-by-week fetal development section in each of the monthly chapters, an expanded chapter on pre-conception, and a brand new one on carrying multiples. More comprehensive, reassuring, and empathetic than ever, the Fourth Edition incorporates the most recent developments in obstetrics and addresses the most current lifestyle trends (from tattooing and belly piercing to Botox and aromatherapy). There's more than ever on pregnancy matters practical (including an expanded section on workplace concerns), physical (with more symptoms, more solutions), emotional (more advice on riding the mood roller coaster), nutritional (from low-carb to vegan, from junk food–dependent to caffeine-addicted), and sexual (what's hot and what's not in pregnant lovemaking), as well as much more support for that very important partner in parenting, the dad-to-be.

    Overflowing with tips, helpful hints, and humor (a pregnant woman's best friend), this new edition is more accessible and easier to use than ever before. It's everything parents-to-be have come to expect from What to Expect...only better?.
    ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars The cute-ification of the writing upstages the value of the book, February 7, 2010
    Pregnancy is an exciting time and it's good to have fun with it, but the 4th edition takes the most simple descriptions and turns them into terms 15 year olds use. Sperm is routinely referred to as "the guys", and the following is taken from page 8, "Knowing when the Big O (ovulation) occurs is key when doing the Baby Dance (aka trying to conceive). Here are a few ways to help you pin down the big day--and pin each other down for baby-making activities."
    I will only use this until my new pregnancy book arrives at which point this is going to a book drive.

    1-0 out of 5 stars so condescending!, March 21, 2009
    This book assumes that pregnant women are idiots, and talks to them accordingly. It's full of cutsey language, puns, and linguistic tics that drove this English major up a wall. In terms of content, it contributes to our culture's position of "better safe than sorry" when it comes to kids - kids and pregnant women must be protected from anything and everything that might be the slightest bit upsetting. It does not provide any information on the research behind their advice, assuming that the pregnant woman is too stupid or lacking in self-control to make an informed decision for herself upon being presented with the facts, relying instead on making across the board recommendations on all kinds of things for which there is no scientific basis. I also hated that the miscarriage section had a big disclaimer warning pregnant women not to read it unless they actually had had a miscarriage, because the knowledge alone that miscarriage could happen would be so emotionally devastating to her that she couldn't handle it. After doing some research on my own and finding out how inaccurate and unnecessary many of their claims are, I find I no longer trust the book at all. I would not recommend it.

    1-0 out of 5 stars As per our Midwife's advice: Throw it away... now!, July 21, 2010
    This book is the worst book any newly pregnant woman can read. It is fear based to a degree that makes you wonder if Murkoff is intending to help you or to avoid a lawsuit. According to the book you are cursed if you do and if you don't. Diets are impossible to follow, and practically everything from green tea to vitamins can cause a birth defect. In terms of literary value, this book is filled with annoying and condescending cliches. Sadly, it becomes evident through the content that Heidi Murkoff has no formal training in these matters.

    I followed my midwife's advice and decided to throw it away. Please, do not give it to your girlfriends as a gift. It may say that is the pregnancy bible, but it is in fact a misinformed alarming guide to complete freak out. My anxieties indeed stopped when I got rid of this book.

    I would suggest "Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn: The Complete Guide," by Penny Simkin. It is written by actual professionals in the field.

    btw, I'm using my husband's account. This review comes from a pregnant woman :)

    1-0 out of 5 stars To All the Expecting Fathers ..., May 31, 2008
    Guys ... consider this a warning; this will be the worst book that your significant other can read and will make your life utterly miserable for the next nine months. It's been over four years since I had to deal with this serie's 3rd edition and I still can't stand the sight of it.

    It may have been intended as a self-help guide, but its alarmist tone and condescending attitude leads this to act more as a bible for every worst-case scenario imaginable. After spending a few hours perusing this book's contents, your wife, girlfriend, whomever will become so overworked and paranoid that every little ache, pain, and irritation will become a sign of the baby being born with a forked tongue and three heads. The diet your partner will be instructed to keep is impossible for any human being alive to follow. She will be told to try and avoid ... damn near everything it seems like.

    I was also incensed that after reading up on the author, all of this "wonderful" information was being brought to me by someone with NO MEDICAL BACKGROUND. If I'm going to want advice on dealing with pregnancy issues, wouldn't I want to consult an expert (i.e. someone with a degree)? Murkoff is no more an expert then I am ...

    I'll be blunt, WTEWYE seems to be an EXTREMELY popular gift for someone who's pregnant for the first time and it's probably unavoidable. I came into three copies without any effort at all. I'm not going to stand here and pretend I know of a better source for information either, because (outside of ... oh I don't know ... a doctor) I don't. All I know is that if THIS is the definitive volume on the pregnancy experience, then God help us all.

    I absolutely guarantee you, someone your partner knows WILL buy this for her. Your mission is to "lose it." If you're already stuck with it and you can't hide it or burn it, at least do your best to temper its pages with as much perspective as you possibly can. Again, for a first-time mom-to-be, who, frankly, is probably a bit nervous anyway about all the changes her body is going through, all this volume is going to accomplish is completely freaking her out.

    Batten down the hatches and break out the antacid my friends, it's gonna be a long nine months

    1-0 out of 5 stars Dry, bland, and uninformative, June 4, 2008
    Unfortunately, this book wasn't really what I expected. If you are looking to be scared by you pregnancy, than I suggest this book to you. However, the offensive and judgmental tone of this book will do you no good. Try something else that won't make you feel bad while you read it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The classic guide to pregnancy., April 16, 2009
    A MUST have: If you are looking for a thorough pregnancy book, this has to be it. When I got it from my doctor (he gives one out to each new, expectant mom) I was suprised at how big it was. Wow! A lot of reading material. However, this one covers just about everything you want to know about pregnacny and then some. There was also some stuff in here that I particularily didn't want to know!! However, it's a good, solid read and one of the best. A classic. I also liked Really Pregnant! Confessions of a New Mom-To-Be or Why I Couldn't Stop Eating Brownies.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Not "alarmist" or "fear-mongering.", December 14, 2009
    Luckily I purchased this book before reading the Amazon.com reviews. The reviewers that gave this book a poor rating, claiming it is "alarmist" and "fear-mongering," are using exactly the kind of hyperbolic language they accuse the authors of using. I am normally overly self-aware and concerned about every little pain or abnormal feeling I have; if anything, the book's month-to-month description of possible symptoms and conditions helped reassure me that all the things I went through were normal and easily explained. It made for a convenient reference to further research things that were pertinent to my situation. I didn't find the book frightening or agenda-pushing at all. In fact, I thought it was much less concerning than the book that the doctor's office gave me.

    The section on birthing options seemed fairly diverse to me. It did not condone using medications or seem to favor hospital birthing in any way. It encourages you at around 7 months to start thinking about and preparing your birthing plan so you can make sure it is carried out in the way you want it to be.

    There is a whole section, at the back of the book, SEPARATE from the month to month sections, which covers the various conditions that can potentially complicate pregnancies. I think this section is more for mothers who are pre-disposed to these conditions or have already been diagnosed with them. The book in no way made me feel like I was at risk for any and all complications or that I had to sleep with all eyes and ears open. I myself have been at-risk with a short cervix so I found that section, and the section on the signs of preterm labor, to be helpful, informative, and unbiased.

    The best and first place you ought to go with a pregnancy concern is of course your doctor or midwife. But if you'd like some handy and concise information on the kinds of things you MAY encounter month-to-month, why these things happen, and some possible ways to deal with them, then this is a fine book. I did not find the tone threatening, condescending, or heavily prescriptive by any means. I'm not sure why anyone would give it one star.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Really unhelpful and alarmist, August 5, 2008
    This book offers only one version of pregnancy and childbirth - a managed, highly medicalized version. Which is totally fine if this is what you want, but this book doesn't present it as, "Well, you have this option or this option." It is straight away one version of high-drama childbirth that totally discounts the ability of most women to have a healthy, normal birth and healthy normal baby. Granted, all birth books seem to have a slant, but why not err on the side of what is healthiest for mom and baby? Sure, if you feel like you cannot birth without drugs or you don't care about having an episiotomy, this is fine and good, but lots of people find that when they are not scared into these procedures, and scared by birth in general, things tend to go more easily. The Sears pregnancy and birth books acknowledge the need/option for fetal monitoring, ultra-sounds, c-sections, drugs, etc., but at least give you the information about them rather than assuming that they are routine and 100% without risk. More on the alternative side is Having a Baby, Naturally: The Mothering Magazine Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth, but even if you don't end up going that route, everything in the book is well documented by studies, so it is a great source of information. I'm not trying to be harsh on this book, but it really stinks at giving a balanced, comprehensive view of your options, or of portraying birth as a natural, normal process. Try to avoid it if you can - it just makes you feel more nervous and stressed.

    1-0 out of 5 stars scary!, July 23, 2009
    DON'T READ THIS WHEN YOU'RE EXPECTING!!!!!!! This book will only serve to scare you! Try "Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn: the Complete Guide" by Simkin, Whalley & Keppler instead.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Read this if you like having meltdowns, November 7, 2008
    To make a long story short, after getting about 120 pages into this book, I called my best friend nearly in tears. I told her I was reading the book, and before I could go into details, she said "oh for goodness sakes, don't read THAT! It's all about what you can't do and what can go wrong."

    Turns out that three other friends of mine echoed the same sentiments with no prompting.

    This book is a great way to make a (probably already nauseous) pregnant woman even more miserable. ... Read more


    6. Top 100 Baby Purees: 100 Quick and Easy Meals for a Healthy and Happy Baby
    by Annabel Karmel
    Hardcover
    list price: $16.00 -- our price: $7.89
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0743289579
    Publisher: Atria
    Sales Rank: 320
    Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    Babies grow more rapidly in their first year than at any other time in their lives, so how you feed your newborn will be one of the most important decisions you make for your new baby.

    Making your own baby food is not only more economical than buying commercial brands, it also assures that your child consumes only the freshest, top-quality ingredients. British television personality and children's nutrition expert Annabel Karmel's essential collection of best-ever purees grants new parents their wish: one hundred quick and easy recipes that will make for a healthy and happy baby. From first tastes and weaning, right through to meals for older babies, all the recipes are suitable for children aged six months and older. And with all these fruit and vegetable favorites, and innovative fish, meat, and chicken purees, the dishes are so tasty you will want to eat them yourself!

    In addition to easy and delicious recipes, Top 100 Baby Purees also includes information on:

    • Weaning your baby and transitioning to solid foods
    • Food allergies
    • Time-saving food preparation tips
    • Freezing and reheating your homemade baby food
    • Tricks on finding the hidden nutrition in everyday foods

    Featuring a preface by Dr. Michel Cohen, New York pediatrician and author of The New Basics: A-to-Z Baby & Child Care for the Modern Parent ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Resource, Wonderful Recipes, But Be Careful, December 29, 2006
    I am so glad I bought this book; it agrees with my philosophy about shaping children's palates early, using whole foods, and organic eating in general. The recipes are easy and delicious, and give you ideas for all the way into toddlerhood. I love the inclusion of recipes using meat, fish, and chicken. My daughter has loved everything I have made from this book so far; my husband and I have even eaten a few- with salt and seasoning added for adult taste- and enjoyed them.

    I do, however, agree with Lynn W.- USE WISDOM with certain recipes, since the author does not seem to follow the AAP's recommendations about when to introduce certain foods, and seems to lack a current understanding about food allergies in children. There are lots of recipes with cow's milk, tomatoes, and citrus, for example, for very young babies.

    Otherwise, I highly recommend this book as an excellent resource.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Not what I was looking for...but I'm still glad I ordered it!, July 3, 2006
    My daughter is turning eight months this week. She is not eating textured foods yet or finger foods, but she is getting bored with one-ingredient foods and bland food like just sweet potatoes by themselves, so I'm starting to make her some varied purees with different ingredients and spices. Hence, why I ordered this book!

    What I was expecting to find was exactly what the title said...100 puree recipes. Not a book divided into ages with age-appropriate recipes. The first section tells you how to steam and puree vegetables and fruits. Then moves on to 6 month old foods, and then 7-9 month foods and then 9-12 month recipes which aren't even purees. They look more like recipes I would make for my husband and I, not that it's a bad thing at all, because we want her eating what we're eating in a few months!

    I'm not returning the book, because some of the recipes look awesome and I can't wait to try them, but it's not what I was looking for at all when I ordered it. It really should be retitled to something other than Top 100 Baby Purees when that's not really what it is.

    But the BEST part of this book that is so different than other books is that it has some great puree recipes for chicken and beef and fish, and I haven't been able to find that anywhere else. And the recipes call for onion and garlic, which are two ingredients that my husband cook a lot with, so it's going to be a good cookbook for us. So, three stars for the quality of the book and the ease of the recipes which I can tell already by reading them since I'm an experienced cook, but a two star deduction for the bad title.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Good Book, Great Food, February 1, 2007
    I bought this book looking for homemade baby food recipes and got so much more. Besides having lots of tasty recipes for each stage of your baby's development it provides valuable nutritional iformation. Each recipe is easy to follow and easy to make. The best part is that they actually taste good! I usually spend 3-4 hours over 2 days to make enough baby food to last a month. A tip, pick a few recipes that use similar ingredients and as Rachel Ray says, "Use it twice, chop it once."

    To make my life easier most recipes are suitable to freeze. I freeze them in 1 ounce ice cube trays (mostly the fruit purees to add to yogurt, cottage cheese, or baby cereal) and in 4 ounce portions (for the more complete meals). Some of my baby's favorites are the Lovely Lentils, Apple-Mango Puree (mixed with plain yogurt), and the Sweet Potato with Spinach and Peas. I love this book and I love knowing my baby is eating healthy, tasty food that I've prepared.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book, But Use With Caution, June 26, 2006
    This is a great baby cook book. My son liked almost all the meals I made out of the recipes and they even tasted good to me. It is a fine book with colorful pictures which made it fun to read and use.

    But it is more a book for babies who are less likely to develop food allergies or negative reactions because of the use of some ingridients like cow's milk, orange juice and various spices. Furthermore, trust your own judgement and that of your doctors' on when to introduce certain foods because the author's opinions do not always comply with the recommendations made by The American Academy of Pediatrics.

    If you are free of those concerns, I would highly recommend it to you!

    1-0 out of 5 stars Terrible, April 19, 2009
    This book is very, very wrong about a lot of things. I asked my pediatrician about what I could feed my baby and a lot of things in this book he said NO. The time frame is awful. You are not supposed to give babies butter, onions, fish, eggs at 6 months of age. I will not use my book anymore and will get a new one.

    5-0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT for easy first time moms, April 29, 2008
    I am a full time working basically single mom. I thought, "there is no way I can add making baby food to my list of things to do! I am just too busy!!" But as soon as I got this book, I began. And it's been 3 weeks straight of preparing my own home-made food for my 7 month old son....who has LOVED EVERY SINGLE THING.
    I made the pears-apple-cinnamon recipe...and took leftovers to work for myself! hehe
    It is very easy to follow, great recipes, easy to read through, organized well, and I don't have a single complaint. Thank you Ms. Karmel for giving me the tools to do it myself. :-)

    5-0 out of 5 stars This book proves it's easy to DIY!!, February 8, 2007
    I decided to try making my own baby food for my third child and I am SO sad that I waited!! Using recipes in this book I have made all sorts of different foods and he LOVES them. He is 7 months old and today he had broccoli and sweet potato and he couldn't get enough. My other kids never did like broccoli -- still don't.

    The fruit purees are so yummy that I have been known to steal a few bites myself. And I love knowing exactly what is going into my little guy's body. These recipes are easy, add alot of variety to their diet, and are simple to understand. I spent two hours yesterday and two hours the day before and now I have a freezer full of little cubes. They are ready to thaw and eat and I have enough to last about six weeks. And I think I spent about $20 on ingredients. With my older kids I would spend that much in a week on the jarred stuff.

    Give homemade baby food a try. This book is a great start, and the recipes aren't "out there" like some of the other books. I highly recommend it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great book!, August 2, 2007
    This book is awesome. A quick word of advice for breastfeeding mothers. If you don't plan on feeding your baby a lot of solid foods until fully weaned do not make a lot of this food at one time. I made 5-6 recipes one day to stock my freezer, one month later I'm going to have to toss out some of it to make room for new foods as she is now 7 mo. old and ready to eat heavier stuff. The Trio of Vegetables recipe is a HIT and she voraciously eats it whenever I put that one in front of her. I love it too as it relieves any constipation she may get while breastfeeding.
    I bought this book along with the "Blender Baby Food." Both are great, however this is my favorite as I like being able to see pictures. If you want to make your child's food please note, it IS easy and fun to do...I can't tell you how many people gave me a hard time for wanting to make my own and are now jealous that I don't have to go to the store, nor deal with all those empty jars. Ice cube tray's and ziplock bags are all that are needed to store the food. Highly recommended. You can probably get away with just this book as there are SO many recipes I doubt I'll ever get around to making them before she begins eating the real deal!

    3-0 out of 5 stars Nice book, BUT be careful with some recipes, November 23, 2007
    For example, there are recipes with fish and cheese for ages 7-9, while fish are not reccomended for babies until 2 years of age and cheese for babies until 12 months. Then scrambled eggs for ages 9-12 months - babies should not have egg whites until 12 months and the later you introduce them the better. The author might be a good cook, but she definitely doesn't know anything about what are babies NOT supposed to eat to prevent allergies and other problems.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Check with your family doctor or pediatrician first!, July 3, 2009
    I recommend checking with your Family Physician or Pediatrician before following the advice in this book. Butter, tomatoes, cow's milk/cheese, and citrus before age 1? Not advised by the American Academy of Pediatrics! Not to mention whole eggs, strawberries, and canned tuna. The bio on the author does not state she has any nutritional education whatsoever. Buyer beware. ... Read more


    7. Talking with God in Old Age: Meditations and Psalms, Enlarged Print
    by Missy Buchanan
    Perfect Paperback
    list price: $12.00 -- our price: $10.94
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 083581016X
    Publisher: Upper Room
    Sales Rank: 703
    Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    The so-called golden years have arrived, and you hate to admit it, but you often wonder what is so golden about them after all. You re concerned about your health, your finances, and all the changes you face.
    As a person of faith, how are you to cope with the challenges and find purpose for the rest of your life? Missy Buchanan knows first-hand what it s like. She addresses such heartfelt topics as the fear of falling, despair over feeling useless, and grief after the loss of a spouse. She pleads with God to help her see the beauty of life and the world in the midst of these trials. As you read this series of poems paired with selections from Psalms, take comfort in the company of a friend who is in the same place. Share the journey with Missy Buchanan as she faces the heartache and finds hope in the process of aging.
    ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars Stop Thinking of Aging as a Problem. Start Thinking About Spiritual Gifts!, March 16, 2010
    For all the thousands of books about aging--usually regarded as a problem to solved--there are precious few writers exploring the spiritual gifts of aging. One of those rare and important writers is Missy Buchanan and her newest offering, published by Upper Room Books, is well worth buying.

    Why dwell on aging? Let's face it: As a nation, we are aging! As much as our Baby Boom generation wants to envision our lives as an endless, youthful adventure--the deep truths of global religious traditions involve aging. Many of our greatest ancient stories don't make sense without an understanding of maturity and advanced years.

    What Missy points out, over and over again in this new book, is that the ancient Psalmists often were touching on these truths. For this new book, she has written her own contemporary Psalm-like meditations--each one connected with a relevant Psalm from the Bible. And here's evidence that Missy and her publishers both are thinking wisely about these themes: The book is printed in large type. It's great if you're a family member caring for someone who is older--and it's also a great gift for an older person you love.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A treasure trove of knowledge, recommended, April 10, 2010
    God knows no age. "Talking with God in Old Age" is a Christian inspirational book aimed at seniors who wish to understand God's plan for them even as they go into old age. Drawing much inspiration from Psalms, presented in large print for easier reading, Missy Buchanan does well in reminding seniors that even at an advanced age, you can do well inspiring others. "Talking with God in Old Age" is a treasure trove of knowledge, recommended.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Book Review of Talking With God in Old Age, September 7, 2010
    "Another straight-to-the-heart project from Missy Buchanan written with genuine reflection and honesty."

    There are those who share their heart openly and honestly. In Talking With God in Old Age: Meditations and Psalms by Missy Buchanan, there are 42 conversations, reflections, poems, and on-point messages for those approaching their golden years.

    These are topics that are not openly discussed with children or other family members but only among deep friends.

    Issues like loosing privacy and independence, pain from an aging body, and coming to grips with new titles like `shut-in.' All these issues pass through the minds of the elderly but are not openly admitted in general conversation with friends and family.

    But here, in this grouping of meditations, the reader can identify with the topics and find hope and comfort from God's word. I recently began assisting in our ministry to the elderly by doing visits to our shut-ins and was happy to offer them this book as well another of Missy Buchanan's' books, Living with Purpose in a Worn-Out Body: Spiritual Encouragement for Older Adults.

    This is a wonderful resource for anyone who has an elderly loved one or a perfect gift from the ministry of a Church. I recommend it highly.

    Disclaimer:
    Review copy provided free of charge by the author and donated to the library of Westwood Baptist Church.

    Reviewed by: Keiki Hendrix
    Reviewed for: Missy Buchanan

    5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book for all..., June 8, 2010
    As we become older, many changes will take place in our lives. For example, we will wonder if our finances will be there for us when needed the most; we will find ourselves becoming frustrated by the many physical and mental processes of aging itself; there will be times of intense loneliness...when our thoughts may turn toward God, asking Him why He is allowing all of these things to take place; there are moments of picturing unfulfilled goals and dreams - against the background of the limited span of life itself. The list of the effects and implications of aging is endless. Missy Buchanan has once again presented a book of spiritual encouragement...words that will bring a tear to each of our eyes as we enter into the very thoughts of those who are living in their latter years. Well-written and thought-provoking, this is a "must-read" for those of all ages and stages.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Talking with God in Old Age, October 10, 2010
    This book has no redeeming qualities. I was expecting an interesting message, but was disappointed in the lack of uniqueness it had. I do not recommend it since there is no earth-shaking attribute to it. I was looking for something that I could take to my meetings at church, some useful information to relate to my peers, but there is nothing to really share. ... Read more


    8. Living with Purpose in a Worn-Out Body: Spiritual Encouragement for Older Adults
    by Missy Buchanan
    Perfect Paperback
    list price: $12.00 -- our price: $10.70
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 083589942X
    Publisher: Upper Room
    Sales Rank: 789
    Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    "Why am I still here? Why does God require such prolonged suffering?" Frailty, dependence and constant pain can lead to a spiritual hopelessness in this increasingly "gray" society. While we're inspired by occasional news about an extraordinary centenarian who swims every day, it's more common to grieve and wonder as loved ones grow feeble. With compassion and honesty, Buchanan gives voice to the those living an assisted life. Through the painful-to-consider feelings of loss, self pity, resignation and loneliness, she leads caregivers and those in their care to see that living with purpose in old age is an extension of the challenges lived all along: learning to offer one's will to God's, trusting God's grace and continuing to respond with the joy and fortitude of faith. Buchanan fosters empathy for and expresses the deepest concerns of the frail elderly without tap-dancing around the tough issues. Forty-two short, comforting devotionals offer much-needed spiritual encouragement to the once-vibrant who now cope with daily limitations and failing health. The devotions are written in the first person, allowing readers to speak directly to God about the pills they take, the walkers they need to be mobile, the ambulances that take away their friends. Supporting scriptures from the New Testament and Psalms are included with each meditation. Buchanan writes to the experiences of lifelong Christians as well as elderly non-believers who are thinking anew about God. "Though we may experience fear and discouragement, this book invites us to remember that God's energies are at work silently but powerfully throughout all of life," writes one reviewer. LIVING WITH PURPOSE IN A WORN-OUT BODY is elder-friendly: large-print text and wide margins for easier handling by arthritic hands. Help someone you love find a reason and way to live out God's purpose in spite of their limitations. ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars Our Patients and Staff love this!, May 20, 2008
    I bought this book to use with my patients. I facilitate an outpatient gero-psych therapy group and also assist the social worker in the nursing home our facility operates. This book exceeded my expectations! One of our patients was so touched by it; we sent it home with her. We've purchased 10 more. We have the best discussions with our patients after praying and studying with this resource.

    5-0 out of 5 stars God is good!, June 4, 2008
    God is good! And God has blessed Missy Buchanan with the ability to relate what it is to be one of the frail elderly. My mother died last year at the age of 93, and reading through Missy's pages I am reminded again and again of how she endured those years of her failing health with such hope and grace.
    I plan to share her book with the Stephen Ministers in our church, as several are caring for some of our older church members. It is perfect for this ministry.
    Marilyn Hamilton
    Dallas, Texas

    5-0 out of 5 stars great resource, September 10, 2009
    Purchased this book for my Mom who is in excellent shape and living in her own house--but she does get discouraged about slowing down & aches & pains. She enjoys reading this book and appreciates the encouragement it provides.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This book quelled Mom's discouragement. It lifted her spirits., July 13, 2008
    I recently ordered a copy of Living With Purpose in a Worn Out Body for my eight-five year old mother-in-law who has been a resident of an assisted living facility for six years.

    Author, Missy Buchanan has done a wonderful job of describing Mom's discouragement, doubts, and fears. She has captured the atmosphere in which Mom and others like her live.

    I am thankful for her words of hope and encouragement that will help these dear ones find purpose in their last years.

    Mom has found this book meaningful and it has lifted her spirits.
    Large type also makes it easier for her to read.

    I plan to order additional copies for gifts.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A must for those who are worn-out physically, but not spiritually, March 14, 2009
    At the end of one's life, one struggles to find why they need to live on. "Living with Purpose in a Worn-Out Body: Spiritual Encouragement for Older Adults" is a Christian manual to finding the purpose in one's life at the end. With powerful words accompanied by poignant scripture, it is crafted in such a way for easy access to older readers with large print, easy reading, and other facilitating features. "Living With Purpose in a Worn-Out Body" is a must for those who are worn-out physically, but not spiritually.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A singularly insightful, beautifully written book, January 22, 2009
    I found this book extraordinarily insightful, Spiritual, hopeful and very well written. The author, Missy Buchanan, has done an excellent job of describing just how aged Souls feel that it's hard to believe she's a mere child and not one of us. In my book, she gets top marks. This is a fine read and a prayer book as well.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Heart-warming, July 21, 2008
    This book is an easy read, yet each message can be savored and prayed. Both humor and inspirations abound. The large print (about 16 pt font) is appealing for those with failing vision.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting devotional for the Aging, February 20, 2010
    When I bought this book I was prepared not to like it. As an aging Christian myself, I was a little tired of being told that i am old and getting older.

    However, this book is a warm book with lots of ideas and devotions for the aging Christian that give a lot of thoughtful concepts and useful information.

    Enjoyed the poems, prayers and scripture readings in this book.

    It is recommend for any aging adult who happens to be a Christian.

    J. Robert Ewbank, anthor of "John Wesley, Natural Man, and the 'Isms'"

    5-0 out of 5 stars Living with a Purpose....by Missy Buchanan, June 26, 2009
    I enjoyed this book so much that I ordered three copies to be sent to friends whom I felt would also appreciate the book...and they do!!! It is a great book for those who are facing unusual challenges in their every day lives. It's a book that I highly recommend!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Living With Purpose in a Worn-Out Body, March 3, 2009
    These writings connect with the reality of the limitations of the aging and offer understanding and purpose. ... Read more


    9. The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet
    by Robb Wolf
    Hardcover
    list price: $24.95 -- our price: $15.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0982565844
    Publisher: Victory Belt Publishing
    Sales Rank: 439
    Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    Do you want to lose fat and stay young, all while avoiding cancer, diabetes, heart disease, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and a host of other illnesses? The Paleo Solution incorporates the latest, cutting edge research from genetics, biochemistry and anthropology to help you look, feel and perform your best. Written by Robb Wolf, a research biochemist who traded in his lab coat and pocket protector for a whistle and a stopwatch to become one of the most sought after strength and conditioning coaches in the world. With Robb's unique perspective as both scientist and coach you will learn how simple nutrition, exercise and lifestyle changes can radically change your appearance and health for the better.
    ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars READ THIS BOOK!!!!, October 29, 2010
    About five months ago, I started doing CrossFit (an exercise program/gym). The coach explained the Paleo diet model and suggested this book. It took me almost five months before I read it, but prior to reading I had pretty much adopted a Paleo diet, which completely changed my life. I mean, really changed my whole experience. I used to be a vegan (six years ago for four years), but then my hair started thinning and that was the end of that, so I started incorporating fish and eggs, and a little dairy. But I was still almost always hungry, and it seemed no matter what exercise I did, or how much, it wasn't ever really getting me to where I wanted to be, even though I thought I was eating super healthy. I also drank a lot of wine, which interfered with my sleeping. All in all my digestion wasn't so good. I felt my health slowly and steadily declining. So, long story short, when I started CrossFit I decided to give this Paleo diet a try. Amazing results! Never felt better, my blood sugar is even and steady all day long, and my sleep is restorative not something to "get through"; not to mention, my body is rockin'! I don't crave sugar, which is a miracle, and I hardly drink anymore. Why? Because I feel so good, I have no desire to mess that up. Me, a wino, yes, giving up wine. For once in my life, I'm lean, I'm stronger than I've ever been, and I feel certain solidity to my being. I never thought it possible. So then I bought Paleo Solution, because I'm thinking, "I gotta learn why this diet works so well. What's up with this Paleo stuff? I want to tell the world about it!" I was skeptical about the read, despite my great results in trying out this lifestyle. Books on diet and health can sometimes be boring, daunting, and uninspiring. Right? How many books have you bought, hoping to find the thing you were looking for, only to quit reading it half way through? Robb Wolf has assembled an incredible amount of information into one book, and he's presented it in a simple way. He's also got a great voice -- a great sense of humor -- and it feels like he's talking directly to you. I liked this. It felt personable and it was engaging. Plus, I was understanding all this scientific information, (and I'm not scientifically oriented at all), which when all put together into the bigger picture was like "WHOA!". (It was more like a holy you know what). So here's the skinny: If you are suffering from diabetes, a heart condition, high blood pressure, an auto-immune disease, indigestion, cancer, a sugar or alcohol addiction, or pretty much any illness; or, you are an athlete seeking greater performance, or you're wanting to loose weight and look and feel fabulous and incredible, then you MUST read this book! It's quick, it's easy, informative, it's entertaining, and it will change your life like it did mine. That is, if you're willing to give it a try. And for those of you who are vegetarian, or concerned about industrialized farming and general slaughtering practices, I suggest you check out eatwild on the internet to find out where you can get grass-fed animal directly from sustainable farms in your local area. READ THIS BOOK, for your health, and for the health of your family. Thank you, Robb Wolf!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wolf's teachings in the Paleo Solution changed my life, September 14, 2010
    Let me begin by saying that I have always been a healthy person--or at least that is what I thought. Since I was fourteen, I went to the gym almost every day and ate foods that I thought were good for me. Around the age of thirty I got super busy. Although I still worked out and ate foods that I had been told were healthy, I didn't sleep as much, stressed a whole lot more, and things began to go down hill. I developed a fairly good-sized tire around my midsection. The color of my skin was a little off. And, most importantly, I no longer felt super healthy. I tried everything I could thing of, which basically boiled down to eating less of the foods I had been told were healthy. I ate a ton of lean meats, and I combined them with a ton of carbs in the form of rice. I cut out every ounce of fat I possible could. And guess what? I started to feel (and look) even worse. In an attempt to correct the situation, I began working out even harder. Although I got stronger and gained more muscle, I still had that tire of fat around the midsection and had very little energy on most days. Was I just getting old? Were the good old days of being fit and healthy gone for good?

    A friend of mine had been following Robb's teachings for some time, and he turned me on to the diet. As with most people who learned "nutrition" in college, I was highly resistant. I mean, why would they be teaching us the wrong nutrition in college. The professors seemed pretty smart, and I doubted that they had the goal of trying to kill me. But I was failing with the traditional way of thought, and so I decided it to give the thirty days. My friend told me that Robb preached the "give me 30 days" philosophy, and so that is what I decided to give this new and strange diet, which I still doubted would ever work. Well, thirty days later I had dropped TWENTY SIX POUNDS. Am I joking about that number--absolutely not. A part of it had to do with the fact that I was working out a whole lot more--but the only reason I could work out more is because I was feeling so GOOD. How good? Well, to be quite honest, I was feeling like I did back when I was eighteen (well, maybe not eighteen, but twenty one for sure.)

    Now a year and a half later, I feel better than ever. That twenty six pounds of weight loss not only did not come back on, but it turned into thirty pounds of weight less (and yes, I needed to drop thirty pounds.) Just like Wolf's slogan, I LOOK, FEEL, AND PERFORM better than I ever thought imaginable. For someone who has always prided himself on being fit, healthy, and happy, I can honestly say I owe Wolf the world. His teachings have convinced me that getting older does not mean getting fatter, sicker, and less happy. Will you be eighteen for the rest of your life if you take Wolf's 30-day challenge and then adopt a Paleo lifestyle--no, probably not. But you most certainly won't be 40 or 50 or 60. You will look younger than you are, feel younger than you are, and be happy in your skin. Honestly, I don't see how you can put a price tag on that.

    What about the sacrifices? This is the big one, right. Well, I have been on diets before, and this is not a diet. It is a lifestyle. And when you get that "diet" word out of your head, restricting certain foods becomes a lot less challenging. Trust me when I tell you that I was a guy who LOVED my bread and wheat beer. But you must also trust me when I tell you that I do not miss these delicious products in the slightest. . .Wolf's lifestyle plan puts you in much better contact with your body, and when you acquire that mindset, things that make your body feel, perform, and look better begin to taste better. Foods I used to despise now taste wonderful. And the foods that I once could not have lived without (bread, rice, pasta) are now the farthest thing from my mind. I've talked with other people on the Paleo diet, and many of them have told me that when they cheat, they can feel the negative effects immediately. Personally, I think I may have cheated on the diet twice in a over a year. Is it because I am super strong willed. Absolutely not. When it comes to will power, I don't think I have that much of it. The reason that I haven't cheated is because I simply don't want to cheat. When I smell the foods I once loved, I no longer have the urge to consume them. Did this take fun out of my life? Did this destroy the thrill of eating and socializing over a tasty meal? Actually, the opposite has happened. I actually enjoy eating a whole lot more because it makes me feel powerful, just like food should. It makes me feel strong, both mentally and physically. And despite what some people will believe, eating healthy does not destroy your social life. All it may do is add some interesting conversations into the mix.

    In conclusion, try the Paleo Solution. it works. It works well. And it will change your life in ways you can not imagine. I know change is scary for a lot of people (it was for me), but when the changes you make break the barriers of what you thought life could be, you won't regret it!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good but some things to fix for the second edition ..., October 21, 2010
    I've read this book, Mark Sisson's Primal Blueprint, and Cordain's Paleo Diet recently. Wolf's book was a good and accessible explanation of his overall approach, without the diet-book-y style of Cordain's effort.

    With the growing popularity of paleo eating lately, I would have liked to see more discussion of some of the controversial issues within the field, such as "cheat meals" or the use of salt (Cordain is strongly anti-salt but Wolf's recipes often include it). Explaining how the Paleo Solution's prescriptions differ from those of others would strengthen the book.

    I also would have liked to see an index. Not having an index is especially a problem if you're looking for a recipe. (I also would have run the entire meal plan, followed by all the recipes. When the meal plan calls for a recipe, just give the page number for the recipe.)

    Finally, there are a couple of references to a "Gear List," which doesn't seem to appear as such anywhere in the book. The last section on resources seems to cover what the "Gear List" should have covered, but could have been more conveniently organized.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable, October 26, 2010
    Been following this devoutly for one month now and have never felt better. Waking up each morning with a renewed fervour, an abundance of energy and optimism I've never possessed (well not since I was a child!). Can't recommend enough.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I feel great!!!!!, September 27, 2010
    I have been on this for 12 days and my energy level is through the roof. I have not had this kind of energy since my twenties, and I am 53. Dropped 6 pounds so far and I feel fantastic. Dan Adkins

    5-0 out of 5 stars Robb Wolf helped change my life!, October 3, 2010
    I always considered myself "healthy" - having been athletically active and with reasonably good blood-work and body weight markers all my life. But after I turned 30 years old 6 months ago, with 9 years of highly stressful desk-jockey jobs behind me; I realized I had slowly accumulated a number of afflictions that could be considered part of normal "aging":
    - joint pain & arthritis (in my knee)
    - hair loss
    - muscle & strength loss
    - slow build-up of spare-tire around my mid-section
    - allergies (to something new every few years)
    - canker sores
    - disrupted sleep
    - chronic tiredness, leading to increased caffeine consumption
    - a growing sweet tooth
    - gum pain

    After doing some basic research on arthritis, I came across the concept of the ancestral diet, primarily through the internet. However, having trained with a scientific background, I was highly skeptical of many of the stunning claims despite all the testimonials.

    Of all the different recognized experts in the arena, it was Robb Wolf's scientific explanations (through his website and his podcast) given freely (with no hidden financial agenda or sketchy corporate relationships) that convinced me to give the ancestral diet a try.

    I have since never looked back.. all the above afflictions disappeared in a few months, and I now am healthier, fitter, stronger, leaner, sharper and more pain-free than I have been in 15 years.

    I owe Robb and his compatriots in the field a huge debt.

    However, I have struggled to explain the concepts to others. This is why I am excited about Robb's book!

    The Paleo Solution brings the right amount of scientific background, complete with associated reference material, while maintaining a conversational, engaging tone. It covers all the right bases of a hugely complex subject (the key apocalyptic "horsemen" of the Standard American Diet) from the perspectives of anthropology (ancestral history), biochemistry, nutrition and actual clinical practice. It scares the reader, while at the same time providing the right solutions and motivation, with enough hope and optimism.

    If asked to bring someone up to speed on the concept of the ancestral diet, I would absolutely recommend this book as the perfect start!!

    So:
    If you've ever been confused by "expert" dietary recommendations (This food is poison! No it's actually good for you! All fat is bad except fat is good from fish or avocados! Have whole grains! Don't have eggs! Have eggs! You need vitamins! Vitamins don't work! etc etc bla bla) and wanted EVERYTHING to just make sense for once - read this book. Even if it's just from a robust scientific perspective, and you don't enact the actual diet, you'll never look back.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Not enough!, October 10, 2010
    What I like about this book:

    1. It explains in a scientific way how the Paleo Diet works from the nutritional point of view.
    2. The book is written "with an attitude" and is fun to read.
    3. The author is passionate about his ideas and this rubs off on the reader getting the reader excited, fired up, and motivated


    What I don't like about this book:

    1. Paleo Diet is nothig new. Loren Cordain published a book of the same title some 8 years ago. If you happened to have read it or anything written by Mark Sisson, then you might as well skip reading this one. There is nothing new in this book. In fact jn my opinion The Primal Blueprint is a better read.
    2. The author doesn't go beyond the basics, the book is very general in nature and lacks in specific how-to's
    3. I am very uneasy about some of the most popular reviews of this book that seem to be "doctored". One reviewer goes on and on about how this book changed his life, only two days after the book has been published (!!!???)
    4. Most importantly, this is yet another diet. We need to understand that unless we change our focus we will never fix the obesity problem. It is not only about what and how we eat, but mainly about living a healthy lifestyle that is in total agreement with nature. Read " Live 150 -- The Body Maintenance Handbook " to properly understand the problem and how to deal with it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars As good as it gets, September 20, 2010
    I'll be honest, I've been a fan of Robb's work for a while so I'm somewhat biased but even considering this I was impressed. He lays out not only why a change in diet, and more importantly lifestyle, is scientifically validated but it also gives you a jumping-off point in a 30 day, meal by meal guide. It doesn't get easier than this folks. Buy it. Now.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent, September 17, 2010
    I definitely didn't expect it to be this enjoyable! Loved all the humor and the geeked-out info as well.

    The information is very concise - with a lot covered in few pages. As someone who already follows a paleo life style, I know it works but wasn't very clear on all the reasoning behind the results. Robb pretty much cleared up every question I could have asked plus I have lots of new recipes to try!

    4-0 out of 5 stars It Just Plain Works, September 20, 2010
    I've been studying carb restriction diets for over 15 years. I've read the Paleo Diet, multiple Zone Diet books, much of the Eades' work, Dr. Atkin's books, read and re-read Gary Taubes' "Good Calories Bad Calories," hundreds of studies, and digested blog posts and podcasts while doing a fair amount of writing and coaching on the topic ([...]). Robb's work is a mixture of the rants of a guy who's too smart for his own good, a clinician who's been tested by working with real clients for over ten years, and a serious competitor in a variety of physical arenas. I know of other approaches that will work, but don't know of any single source with a more dense store of knowledge or a more accessible plan for health, fitness and competitive performance. I by no means agree with all of Robb's editorial temper tantrums outside of this book, but I've competed against him, listened to every podcast, and read most of his entire blog before reading this book. If you want a book that cuts to the chase giving you the yellow brick road for health, performance, longevity and with a detour around the diseases of the West, this is your book. I've been looking for a book that does not cheat on the science, is not too hard to read, and therefore makes the truly common sense of the paleolithic diet accessible to everyone with an IQ of room temperature or better - Robb, thanks for writing that book. ... Read more


    10. 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
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    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


    11. The Men's Health Big Book of Exercises: Four Weeks to a Leaner, Stronger, More Muscular YOU!
    by Adam Campbell MSCSCS
    Paperback
    list price: $24.99 -- our price: $16.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 1605295507
    Publisher: Rodale Books
    Sales Rank: 644
    Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    The Men’s Health Big Book of Exercises is the essential workout guide for anyone who wants a better body. As the most comprehensive collection of exercises ever created, this book is a body-shaping power tool for both beginners and longtime lifters alike. From start to finish, this 480-page muscle manual bulges with hundreds of useful tips, the latest findings in exercise science, and cutting-edge workouts from the world's top trainers.
     
    Inside The Men's Health Big Book of Exercises you'll find:
     
    619 Exercises!
    All expertly demonstrated with color photographs, with dozens of movements for every muscle in your body, including:
    * More than 100 core exercises! You'll never run out of ways to sculpt your six-pack.
    * 74 biceps, triceps, and forearm exercises: Build your arms faster than ever before.
    * 64 chest exercises, and featuring dozens of variations of the pushup and bench press.
    * 103 back exercises, so you can carve a v-shaped torso.
    * 40 shoulder exercises, for a tank-top worthy torso.
    * 99 quadriceps and calves exercises, to help you jump higher and run faster.
    * 62 glutes and hamstrings exercises, for a more powerful, athletic body.
     
    Hundreds of workouts!
    From cover to cover, you'll quickly see that there's a training plan for every fitness goal—whether you want to shrink your hip, find your abs, or shape your arms. Highlights include:
    * The World's Greatest 4-Week Diet and Exercise Plan
    Lose 10 pounds of pure fat in 30 days! This scientifically proven plan, based on research from the University of Connecticut, shows what's truly possible when you combine the right kind of diet with the right kind of exercise. You'll build muscle and lose fat faster than ever.
    * 64 Ways to Add Inches to Your Arms
    You'll learn how to mix-and-match the 12 best biceps exercises to create scores of sleeve-busting routines. The upshot: You'll never get stuck in a muscle-building rut again!
    * The Get Back In Shape (Fast!) Guide
    If you've never even picked up a weight, you'll want to try this plan from Joe Dowdell, C.S.C.S. Joe makes his living training celebrities, cover models, and professional athletes, such as NBA stars Troy Murphy and Mike Dunleavy. And the strategies he uses when designing workouts for his high-profile clientele are the same ones he employs to help you burn fat, build muscle, and get back in shape.
    * The Ultimate Fat Loss Plan
    You might call this the six-pack workout. That's because it's designed to help you finally finish off the flab that's hiding your abs. Created by Bill Hartman, P.T., C.S.C.S., a top fitness advisor to Men's Health, it's based entirely on the new science of fat loss. From the sets to the reps to the rest, every part of this workout is designed to optimize your body's ability to burn away belly-fat.

    And:
    * Boost Your Bench Press by 50 Pounds in 8 Weeks
    World-class powerlifter Dave Tate shares the strategies that helped him lift a personal best of 610 pounds
       
    * Triple Your Chinups in 6 Weeks
    Use this simple routine that to master one of the world's greatest muscle-building exercises
    * Add 4 to 10 inches to Your Vertical Leap
    This high-flying plan from strength coach Kelly Baggett will have you jumping out of the gym in no time
       
    * The Beach Ready Body Workout
    Get-strong to get-big—this 8-week plan shows you how
      
    * The Wedding Workout
    Look great—just in time for the big day (and your honeymoon!)
    * The Best Sports Workout
    Train like an athlete, look like an athlete
    * The Scrawny to Brawny Workout
    Pack on muscle fast: your 4-week plan
       
    * The Best Workouts for a Crowded Gym
    Sculpt a lean, fit body—no waiting!
    * The Best Bodyweight Workouts
    Take your workout anywhere with these no-weight routines
     
    * The 10 Best 15-Minute Workouts
    Bust stress, blast fat, and build muscle in almost no time
    * The 7-Minute Back-Saving Workout
    End low-back pain for good!
     
    Plus:
    Every page of The Men’s Health Big Book of Exercises is filled with the fitness and nutrition tips and tricks you need to sculpt the body you want.
    Throughout the book, you'll discover:
    * The secret to burning 40 percent more fat.
    * The 18 muscle mistakes you should never make
    * The best stretch for every muscle
    * The fastest cardio workout of all-time (just 4 minutes!)
    * The best exercises you've never done
    * The 8 healthiest foods you aren't eating
    * The 4 surprising foods that build muscle
    * The 25 super snacks that keep you lean
    * The 5 biggest nutrition myths, busted
    * The truth about saturated fat
    * The perfect foods to fuel your workouts
    * The complete guide to protein powders
    * The 20 ways lifting weights helps you look great, stay healthy, and live longer
    ... Read more

    Reviews

    4-0 out of 5 stars Lot's of good info, December 24, 2009
    There are an incredible number of exercises in the book. The quality of the photography is great and represents how to do the different exercises. The exercises are presented with multiple variations and easy suggestions such as changing the type of grip to vary the exercises. The only thing I would have improved on would have been to add a brief explanation of what effect on the muscles being exercised the variations provide. However, that is only a minor flaw in my opinion considering the vast amount of useful information the book provides. The book is an excellent buy.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Effective Guide for the Self-Guided Weight Lifter, January 30, 2010
    I have bought a lot of exercise books over the years. The Men's Health Big Book of Exercises is one of the best. This useful book has a fair amount of general information on diet, fitness, and training for specific sports, but what makes it stand out are its descriptions of individual exercises, photos, and versatility. The main part of the book is broken down by muscle group (chest, quads, hamstrings and glutes, upper and lower back, biceps and triceps, core). Each section has several exercises that use barbells, dumbbells, cables, or body weight, with good descriptions of how to do the exercise and good color photos. I don't always trust myself to do a lift without instruction from an expert, but every new exercise I have picked up from this book has felt right and targeted the right muscles. I have used the book to fine-tune an existing workout, adding or swapping out individual exercise, but the Big Book is also packed with suggested workouts, including a series of 15-minute workouts for people who are new to lifting or have no time for elaborate workouts. There is also a section devoted to exercises that work several muscle groups at once. I have liked every workout I have tried, and am impressed that the book targets both the gym (with a section on the best way to get a good workout in when the gym is crowded) and the home. I have a bunch of dumbbells, and have focused on the dumbbell and body-weight exercises, but if you have a barbell set or cable machine at home you should find the book helpful, too. I am a runner and cyclist and drift toward the low-weight, quicker workouts, but there seems to be plenty here for the more serious lifter too.

    5-0 out of 5 stars In a word: Outstanding!, December 23, 2009
    Where to begin? First thing that jumps out right away is the quality of the photography. Absolutely incredible. Next, the number of variations of well-known exercises is unbelievable (just the push-up variations alone are worth the cost of this book). I have been scouring the web for over a year looking for new ways to challenge myself in the gym. There are variations detailed in this book I have not seen anywhere else. This book is so comprehensive, I know I will learn something new every time I pick it up. The sheer volume of exercises shown in this book will keep me busy for quite some time.

    My only regret is that I didn't pre-order the women's version as well. That will be my next Amazon purchase. I am over the moon with this book and highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for new ways to push themselves in the gym. I would give it 10 stars if I could.

    I think this would make a great gift for a personal trainer. What a wonderful resource for them to be able to continue to challenge their clients in new ways.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Boost your gains with the help of this book., January 15, 2010
    While the photography isn't the most important thing in a book, it is of keen value in a book of this type. I don't think you'll be disappointed with what you see in the way of photos that fully explain the exercises. They're most effective.

    You'll also find a large variation of popular exercises that have been around forever and remain valuable. You'll even see the old push-up fully explained. And there's no better exercise than that. But, you'll also find some lesser-used exercises that can be very effective.

    The author also discusses using the Swiss ball and the medicine ball for core exercises.

    Actually, the number of exercises in this book is astounding. And knowing how to adjust your grip to hit different parts of a muscle is great knowledge.

    In truth, most of this information is not new. But it is presented in a very effective way that can help you regain any losses you've had and to boost your gains.

    Highly recommended.

    - Susanna K. Hutcheson

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best fitness books ever., October 30, 2010
    I've been into fitness and healthy lifestyle all my life. I've purchased countless books on the subject and I have to say that this book is in my top 5. Maybe even top 3.

    The photos are outstanding. The exercises are excellent. The information in this book is simply awesome.

    The diet section of this book is also great for a general "good health and weight loss" program. Follow this and you will see results. But, if you really want to "get ripped" and look awesome at the beach come summer time (awesome abs, wicked chest, swooping quads, bulging hamstrings, etc), most people will have to diet harder than this book suggests.

    If you're on the fence on this book, get off of it and buy it. It will help you no matter what stage of fitness you are at.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Get your sexy on!, May 17, 2010
    Good book loaded with lots of exercises and variations that i have never seen. Great plans for eating and workouts for every body type. I like this book because i can keep switching my moves after a month with the same core exercises but work them at different angles. I think the organization could be better since some of the plans list page numbers and they do not match up sometimes but all in all a great book. Every man who hits the gym should have this because if you buy the magazine for the workouts and meal plans, this will save you a good ton of money since its all you need.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great book!, March 19, 2010
    Nice color photos with minimal detail on exercises and repititions. There isnt very much detail on nutrition. This book is for someone who already knows what a set and repitition is. All in all a good book. A definite value for the price. You get more than what you'll pay for in this book.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Okay, March 12, 2010
    I like some of the excersises in the book and there are numerous routines to choose from. Each chapter is titled with the muscle group such as tricep, chest, back ect... But the problem is that with all the variations to the basic exercise, it doesn't tell you how it hits the muscle differently. Like using a thumb grip as opposed to a pinky grip for a bicep curl, what's the difference?

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great!, September 20, 2010
    In this book I found excellent description of exercises,so now before I go to the Gym I red and try exercise and in Gym I have awesome workout. This book I would recommend everyone especially to the beginners. Its great for beginners mainly but is directed to everyone, is very scientific but on the same way shows lots of good exercises and variations that one can perform. I think is a great source of knowledge but that the workouts are a little hard to follow so I'd say get info from here and integrate it to your routine. This is one of the best books on lifting. It gives you the basics and training schedules for the beginner to intermediate to the advanced.

    Leroy Ford
    Build Your Dream Body (Volume 1)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good book, September 17, 2010
    Well as described it is a big book of exercises. It shows you different angles so that you can keep form when doing exercises. I liked the random tips and stats that where given in each chapter. One thing that could be improved; and why i gave it four stars, that each exercises is shown and tips are given; but it doesn't tell you what it is working. for instance, a wider grip on a barbell bicep curl activates the short head of your bicep and a inside shoulder grip activates the long head. Things like that would have been great. ANDDDD it comes with exercise plans for whatever your fitness goal is which was definitely a big bonus ... Read more


    12. I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts On Being a Woman (Vintage)
    by Nora Ephron
    Paperback
    list price: $13.00 -- our price: $7.80
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0307276821
    Publisher: Vintage
    Sales Rank: 931
    Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    With her disarming, intimate, completely accessible voice, and dry sense of humor, Nora Ephron shares with us her ups and downs in I Feel Bad About My Neck, a candid, hilarious look at women who are getting older and dealing with the tribulations of maintenance, menopause, empty nests, and life itself.

    Ephron chronicles her life as an obsessed cook, passionate city dweller, and hapless parent. But mostly she speaks frankly and uproariously about life as a woman of a certain age. Utterly courageous, uproariously funny, and unexpectedly moving in its truth telling, I Feel Bad About My Neck is a scrumptious, irresistible treat of a book, full of truths, laugh out loud moments that will appeal to readers of all ages.
    ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars Enough with denial - embrace it ;-), August 2, 2006
    I've loved Nora Ephron ever since Sleepless In Seattle and You've Got Mail. Heartburn (which she wrote) turned into a hit film, and so I knew when I saw that she wrote another book again, I thought I'd pick it up. It's a collection of amusing essays all about growing older.
    She says that there are so many books out there about what to do after menopause etc, but none addressed your neck change as you age so she thought this was a cute and funny title.
    She talks about maintenance being a second career because a lot of women are pre-empting age. For example, hair dying, botox etc. She talks about her husbands theory of women either being birds, muffins or horses and that is the shape of your face. If you are a muffin, you can have a zillion face lifts and be fine, but other shaped faces - not so much.
    She talks more seriously about reaching 60 and start loosing friends. You have to come to grips with reality and realise that we aren't invincible and won't die - it's getting closer to being on the cards.
    She also mentions things she wishes she'd known; You can't be friends with people who call after 11pm, Write everything down, Back up your files etc. She's very funny (a very dry sense of humour) and it shows through this book. It's a good read that is sometimes serious but overall will be thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining. If you are a fan of her movies, you will definately love I Feel Bad About My Neck ...

    3-0 out of 5 stars Witty, clever but leightweight..., December 15, 2006
    Nora Ephron is witty, clever and has her finger on the pulse of American women everywhere in her delightful book, I Feel Bad About My Neck: and Other Thoughts on Being a Woman. My only complaint is that at 137 pages (and small pages at that), it's a rather lightweight book.

    Ephron writes about so many of the problems we women face: hairstyles, maintenance routines, raising children, empty nesting, reading glasses, cooking, purses, living in New York City, aging, and the death of good friends. Some of her observations are brutally honest. She talks about how a neck is a telltale sign of aging. "The neck is a dead giveaway. Our faces are lies and our necks are the truth. You have to cut open a redwood tree to see how old it is, but you wouldn't have to do that if it had a neck." She has a refreshing list of "What I Wish I'd Known" including "Never marry a man you wouldn't want to be divorced from" and "The empty nest is underrated."

    I' m not real big on make-up routines, I wear glasses all the time and love my poker-straight hair. So some of her musings I found funny but didn't necessarily relate. But where Ephron and I see eye to eye is about reading. "Reading is everything. Reading makes me feel I've accomplished something, learned something, become a better person." One of my favorite chapters is "On Rapture," about the state of rapture she feels when she discovers a good book. She also lists some books that changed her life. The chapters where she discusses reading are the best in the book.

    I Feel Bad About My Neck got raves from most of the book critics that reviewed this book. While I enjoyed it, I just was expecting more from Ephron.

    4-0 out of 5 stars The truth about aging told with honesty and a liberal dose of humor, October 3, 2006
    Never mind the grammatically horrendous title, this is one entertaining book of essays on the subject of aging, most especially as it applies to women. Whether it would be as funny to either: a). men, or b). people too young to know what aging really feels like, is debatable, but I can only say I found it a very deep, thoughtful and quick read.

    It's also one that kept me laughing, that is, when I didn't feel like crying. Ephron doesn't sugar-coat, though she does pour on the humor. She lets out her true feelings on the topic of aging, which feels an awful lot like grief in some of her essays. That would make sense, though, to mourn the passing of youth as you'd mourn just about anything you've had and lost.

    Though she couches things in humor, she's brutally honest. She's at her most poignant while speaking about the loss of her best friend, who died all too soon after discovering she had cancer. One day they were talking about the fickle and finite nature of life, and the next they were struggling to find a way to make sense of things, and to figure out how to say goodbye. Really wrenching stuff, but the uplift is Ephron's unfailing sense of humor. The optimism of that may be real or faked, but there's enough padding there that the reader can still come away with a feeling things aren't SO bad, about her neck or other, bigger things like death and dying.

    This is partly a book about fighting the aging process, but not entirely. All the creams and surgical procedures are mentioned, and Ephron will tell you what she's done and what she hasn't, but that isn't the main point of the book. The point is aging isn't a walk in the park. Not only can an aging person all but feel the world passing on to the next generation, but she must also face that along with losing some of the people she cares about. Aging means time passes, and as time passes both good and bad things happen. You may choose to focus on the good or the bad, but ultimately aging is a struggle, pure and simple. It's a struggle physically, mentally and emotionally, and that's all there is to it.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Not ten bucks worth, November 7, 2006
    I'm annoyed with myself that I paid over ten bucks at Sam's for something that I read in one sitting and that offered minimal humor and little insight into aging or anything else. Just about any woman of a certain age with some writing skill could have written this slim book -- though most could not have written the irrelevant, boring, and overlong section on the travails of owning an apartment in New York. But an unknown author with the same skills and ideas would not have had such a skimpy book published. Nora Ephron is a very funny woman who writes charming screenplays and articles, but as another reviewer pointed out, once you've heard her speak you don't need to read this book.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Not the fun read I expected, September 25, 2007
    Maybe it's just me, but I expected so much more from this book. I thought it would be wittier, more original, and use humor to inspire middle aged women like me. Instead I found it to be a negative read and it just brought me down. Sorry, no recommendation from me on this one.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Hilarious and true, what a combination!, August 21, 2006
    Nora Ephron verbalized my thoughts about purses and especially necks. What happens overnight? Suddenly you look in the mirror and realize, "Omigod, it's my grandmother's neck!Who drew those lines?" Thank God for winter, I used to hate it but how else can you wear turtlenecks everyday? I am considering volunteering for Antarctica for the summer so I can live in polarfleece.This is so humour filled but also validating. We are all in this together and I swear, I will be buried in a turtleneck

    1-0 out of 5 stars I feel bad about buying this book, February 11, 2008
    While the author may be a respected writer, this book is a poor example of her work. She rambles on about nothing, drops names and brags about herself and her finances. Where are her "thoughts on being a woman" when she rambles on about her high priced apartment? It was not insightful, not funny and really not what I expected.

    1-0 out of 5 stars What Happened Nora?, August 10, 2006
    I am sorry I wasted my money on this book. I looked forward to reading this book and bought it the first day it was available. I am fifty and thought I could use a light read and a little laughter. What I ended up with were the boring ramblings of Nora's life. I felt like she threw together a few days of journaling and published it. I didn't laugh out loud once. Let's be real we have all heard funny stories about hair in wrong places and mid life short term memory. I kept waiting for something funny and it just went on and on and on.......

    4-0 out of 5 stars WE ARE NOT GETTING OLDER; WE ARE GETTING BETTER...AND MORE TOLERANT OF OURSELVES, August 5, 2006
    I liked this book from start to finish. It is a fairly quick read but filled with an unusual tongue-in-cheek style of wit and humour. After all, we cannot change the aging process, so why not come to terms and make the best of it. I, too, am approaching that big 60 year and as I was reading this book, kept saying to myself, "Yep, that's me!" The book will win the hearts of female readers, especially those who are going through or already beyond the menopausal years. You are bound to find a part of yourself in here somewhere. Growing older may bring a few wrinkles and a lot of things that once worked now leak, creak and squeak, but life is only what you make it. The author has a way of making you feel that growing old is not all that bad after all. You can't recapture youth, but you can get more than a few laughs from this book - go for it!

    1-0 out of 5 stars Now I feel bad too., August 29, 2007
    I wish I had read some of the reviews before wasting valuable summer reading time and money on this. It seemed like endless pages (amazingly only 139) of complaining about things that are well within someone of her means control. If it is such a burden to keep your hair dyed, stop dying it and learn to love it gray. Hey, you know what, if you're over 60 we all know that its not your real hair color anyway. No one cares if you hate the time it takes to get a manicure, most of us don't care or will never see your manicure, please don't bore us any further with your petty whining. This book depressed me. Thankfully the next book on my reading list was Jen Lancaster-now she was funny, same topics, appartment hunting in the big city, hair dying, but way, way funnier. ... Read more


    13. Younger Next Year: Live Strong, Fit, and Sexy - Until You're 80 and Beyond
    by Chris Crowley, Henry S. Lodge
    Paperback
    list price: $12.95 -- our price: $10.36
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 076114773X
    Publisher: Workman Publishing Company
    Sales Rank: 735
    Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    "I have lost 50 pounds over the last nine months by eating less, moving more, and changing the way I think. I am 62 and look better and feel better and have more energy than in the last 15 years."—Ron T.

    " I read the wisdom put forth by Chris and Harry . . . [and] my next physical blew my doctor away. I am 74 and in better shape than when I was 50."—Jack S.

    "Not a week goes by that I do not utter a silent prayer of thanks that Younger Next Year came into my life. You guys are saving the world one body at a time."—T. G.

    Announcing the paperback edition of Younger Next Year, the New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and Publishers Weekly bestseller, co-written by one of the country’s most prominent internists, Dr. Henry "Harry" Lodge, and his star patient, the 73-year-old Chris Crowley. These are the books that show us how to turn back our biological clocks—how to put off 70% of the normal problems of aging (weakness, sore joints, bad balance) and eliminate 50% of serious illness and injury. The key to the program is found in Harry's Rules: Exercise six days a week. Don't eat crap. Connect and commit to others. There are seven rules all together, based on the latest findings in cell physiology, evolutionary biology, anthropology, and experimental psychology. Dr. Lodge explains how and why they work—and Chris Crowley, who is living proof of their effectiveness (skiing better today, for example, than he did twenty years ago), gives the just-as-essential motivation.

    Both men and women can become functionally younger every year for the next five to ten years, then continue to live with newfound vitality and pleasure deep into our 80s and beyond. ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars Younger Is as Younger Does, January 5, 2008
    Of all the anti-aging books I've seen, this is one of most laid back and entertaining. It's written by two guys. Harry, the doctor, covers the science aspects of aging, while the other guy, Chris, talks about applying the info.

    The book is centered around "Harry's Rules." These are seven rules for the reader to follow. They include such things as "Quit eating crap" or "Exercise six days a week for the rest of your life." While they might seem to be basic pieces of information, they are sound advice and have some science behind them.

    All-in-all, I found this to be a very informative and amusing book and I'd recommend it to anyone who is looking for a book on aging. The realistic key here is not to go into things thinking you're going to STOP the aging process, rather think of SLOWING DOWN the aging process. Aging readers may also find Treat Your Own Rotator Cuff helpful as 54% of people over the age of 60 get a torn rotator cuff.

    5-0 out of 5 stars What did you do with my husband?, May 14, 2007
    I have been trying for years to get my husband interested in exercise and eating better. I gave him this book just before he went on a trip and he actually read it. He is now a changed person - he rides his bike regularly and purchased a heart monitor. This weekend he bought a set of weights and starting this week he is going to my personal trainer for three sessions to get a schedule he can follow at home. I saw him the other day rereading sections of the book. Nothing has worked to motivate him until he read this book! Thanks so much to the authors.

    5-0 out of 5 stars It's about time....in more ways than one!, May 7, 2005
    Time is running out, but most of us aren't out running...or bicycling, or skiing, or lifting weights, or dozens of other things we can do to extend the quality years of our lives. Aging should be the same as with food...about getting better, not getting old and rotten. The authors provide a diagram (a blueprint can't be made to fit everybody) for improving the quality of your coming years, and for improving the possible quantity of those years as well. Written with men in mind, it is true for both men and women. As is sometimes said, "A must-read"!

    3-0 out of 5 stars Excellent primer for entering the last 3rd., January 16, 2005
    First of all, this book is funny and well written. The thing that really stood out for me in this book was that it gives you an accurate idea on what to expect from age 50 on. Being in my late 50s, I can see from personal experience that these authors know what they are talking about. Living in Las Vegas I see men with what we call in Las Vegas "buffet bellys" (huge gut) I seen old people so overweight and out of shape that the only pleasure they have left is gorging themselves at buffets. The science in this book makes very good sense. This book should be a "must read" for anyone entering their 50s-60s who is intrested in staying alive, possibly missing some of the scairest of the diseases and being able to have a sex life in their later years. I cant recommend the book enough for that age group of men and women. I meant to give this book 5 stars, but I cant seem to change the ratings

    5-0 out of 5 stars Many scientific articles on-line, November 9, 2005
    Several people have criticized this book because it doesn't list referances or medical reviews of the statements it makes about C-6 and C-10. I did a Google search and found hundreds of articles that support what they say in this book about exercise. Yes, they fail to list these studies, but they are on-line from top researchers. Do more reading, if you want more proof.
    I was disappointed that they did not mention Jack LaLanne, who is now 91 and the Godfather of Fitness. He has taught since 1931 that exercise is the key to a long healthy life. He takes no medicine and has no heart disease or mental decline.
    This book is worth reading just for what they explain is the cause of artery disease. They make it very easy to understand.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Just do it!, April 3, 2005
    Maya Angelou said of Oprah's Book Club, 'I don't like all of the books she recommends (Winfrey) but at least she gets people out to read.'

    Sage advice. If it takes the glibness and sarcasm of Chris to get you off the couch, feeling sorry for yourself, riddled with extra pounds while you wheeze your excuses for not exercising, out the door and on the track, Good Lord man, that's OK.

    We don't all respond to the platitudes of wise Medical Practitioners citing stories of cholesterol and the C-6 C-10 Mambo. Hell. I'm still trying to figure out the good cholesterol and the baddies. But I do know this. If I do what they say (I've worked out all my life but have been doing it THEIR way for 3 months) I end up feeling awfully good.

    Let me repeat that. I don't know if I'm holding back the tide, if I'm Horatio at the bridge or if I'm fooling my body into exchanging decay for more aerobic muscle. I just know that I feel good.

    I also appreciate the effort they direct towards our relationships. It's not mush. For men, we forget the axiom of 'dancing with the girl that brought us.' Have fun. Work on your relationship while you work on yourself. Like Chris says. Be a guy. Suck it up. Do it.

    I think it's a lifesaver. I bought two more copies for my brothers. Like Ms. Angelou says . . . well, you know what I mean. A great anthem to go into your 50's and 60's with. 5 stars. Larry Scantlebury

    3-0 out of 5 stars Science or Anecdotal Junk?, February 26, 2005
    This book repackages a number of well known recommendations - exercise - eat right - and don't drink too much, into a highly readable and pursuasive format. It also contains some newer information regarding the role of exercise and the production of Cytokine 6, the master chemical for inflammation and decay, which in turn triggers the production of Cytokine 10, the master chemical for repair and regrowth of the body. C-6 and C-10 are described by author Lodge as "just shorthand for chemical cascades involving hundreds of proteins in a dance of such complexity that we are just beginning to understand the details". (p.71).

    The mechanism for the triggering of the production of C-10 leads the authors to recommend vigourous exercise for 45 minutes a day, six days a week, in order to overcome the biological decay that comes with the inactivity associated with aging. There is nothing wrong with this advice. In the healthy it can do no harm and such excercise will no doubt enhance feelings of well being and assist in getting a good night's sleep. But does it have the biological effect claimed by the authors?

    Lodge states that the details in the book are drawn from hundereds of articles, papers and reference books (p312). However there are absolutely no references to peer reviewed scientific literature in support of any of his theories, so there is no means by which to verify whether he is on sound scientific ground or just another pop-culture health writer dabbling in common sense anecdotal evidence and junk science.

    This is not a book for those who wish to be guided by scientific knowledge - additional research will be required. Having said that, since reading this book I have increased the frequency of my execise regime to that recommended by the authors. (just in case they have the science correct).

    5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent book for major lifestyle issues., May 19, 2007
    As a practicing physician, I strongly agree with the main points made in this book, namely, the need for frequent, aerobic excercise and the importance of eating the right foods. The strong points of this book are its humorous, easy-to-read style, and the emphasis on the fact that exercise and what we eat will not just make us feel better and look younger, but will really help us to live longer. The authors provide ample factual material to bolster their case, and then outline in detail what you have to do to get on board, in terms of the types and amount of excercise, and details about the right foods. I have read several books on health and aging, and this one is probably the best. I don't agree with the underlying world view of the authors, which is decidedly evolutionary, but the basic tenets of the book are certainly valid. The book should inspire you to take better care of your body and to live a longer, healthier, and happier life. There is plently of helpful information in this book to help anyone who is serious about doing this. We only have one body, so why not take care of it?

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Book!, January 9, 2007
    A "guy at the gym" told me that this book changed his life- and so I bought it to find out why. The authors recommend that men over 50 engage in serious exercise six days a week- but promise that doing so will stop and even reverse the physical deterioriation that starts to set in ever so gradually as men age. The authors base their recommendations on some recent scientific research and their own observation. The writing style is concise and encouraging- even inspirational- and their recommendations are very straight-forward and uncomplicated. I started following their program six months ago, and have to say that I think I look and feel better. I'm recommending it to other men my age, and I'm also recommending that personal trainers who work with older guys need to read it, too, to get a better understanding of their customer's concerns and needs.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Change Your Life, July 24, 2005
    I read the book when it first came out. To put it simply, Younger Next Year has changed my life. I am a 43 year old male who considered himself "active" but certainly not fit. Boy was I wrong. I have modified my diet, exercise 6 days a week, and can run farther today than I could when I was 18.

    My wife and 2 sons are also "Living Lodge." We love this book som much we have given away over 20 copies for Christmas and birthdays. If you want to feel great and improve the quality of your life, buy this book and take it to heart. ... Read more


    14. 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
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    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


    15. Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy
    by Mayo Clinic
    Paperback
    list price: $21.99 -- our price: $14.48
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0060746378
    Publisher: Harper Paperbacks
    Sales Rank: 777
    Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    This new Mayo Clinic book on pregnancy provides you with practical information and reassurance on pregnancy and childbirth. Compiled by Mayo Clinic experts in obstetrics, it offers a clear, thorough and reliable reference for this exciting and sometimes unpredictable journey. This comprehensive book includes:

    • A month-by-month look at mom and baby
    • In-depth "Decision Guides" to help you make informed decisions on topics such as how to select a health care provider, prenatal testing options, pain relief for childbirth, and many others
    • An easy-to-use reference guide that covers topics such as morning sickness, heartburn, back pain, headaches and yeast infections, among others
    • Information on pregnancy health concerns, including preterm labor, gestational diabetes and preeclampsia, along with an overview on being pregnant when you have pre-existing health conditions such as asthma, diabetes or hyperthyroidism
    ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars Superior to "What to Expect...", August 14, 2005
    Back when babies were just daydreams, I recieved "What to Expect When You're Expecting" (3rd ed.) from a pregnant friend who had an extra copy. Not knowing any better, I was quite pleased. Once I became pregnant and actually needed a guide, however, that changed. I found the book to be poorly organized, overly conversational and condescending in tone (especially given my plans to be a stay-at-home mom), and generally useless for anything other than instilling fear and paranoia. Most exasperating, though, was the "organization." Symptoms that can arise during varying parts of pregnancy are scattered haphazardly amongst the monthly chapters. This means that the book must be read cover to cover and all material retained in memory if hunting through the index and flipping back and forth between sections doesn't sound appealing.

    Enter the "Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy." Hallelujah! Not wanting to suffer through another mediocre guide to pregnancy, I looked through every book I could get my hands on, and this was the only one that satisfied my criteria. It is written by trustworthy professionals in clear yet -professional- language, it provides information on "pregnancy, childbirth and your newborn" in chronological order, and best of all, it contains separate sections entitled, appropriately, "decision guides for pregnancy, childbirth and parenthood," "pregnancy reference guide," and "complications of pregnancy and childbirth," each with a table of contents at the beginning of the section. Instead of having to take a wild guess at which chapter (or, more likely, chapters) cramping might have landed in in "What to Expect" or searching the entire index, I could find it, along with all the other things I might be wondering about, in the reference guide. Blessed simplicity!

    The "Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy" was the only book I needed. Once I found it, "What to Expect When You're Expecting" went back on the shelf and stayed there.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best pregnancy book ever, May 6, 2005
    When we started trying, I bought a lot of pregnancy books. I am now towards the end of my first trimester and this book has been by far the best book I own on this topic.

    This book is extremely well organized, very informative and objective, and covers a wide range of topics from pregnancy to birth to breastfeeding.

    It is very easy to find what you are looking for. For each week, it explains what your body is going through, how your baby is growing and what emotional changes you could expect. In each month, there is a summary page that lists the problems you may have in that period and tells you when you should call your doctor. There are very nice drawings that show what your baby looks like and how big it is. (Some pictures are real size, for others the book tells what percentage of the real thing the picture is.)

    This book had answers to all my questions so far - and I should say, being a very curious first time mom, I had a lot of questions.

    Thanks and congratulations to Mayo Clinic.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Saved my Baby, October 10, 2005
    This is the best book out there by far. I had 3 other pregnancy books in addition to this one. This book answered every question I had during pregancy. And I had lots of them. At the week 38, I wasn't feeling great but I wasn't dying either. Just not feeling too well. I was having some minor chills, and NO fever. No other symptom. I opened the book and it said to call my OBGYN right away. I did so and my OBGYN wasn't too sure that it was urgent. My OBGYN then changed her mind 5 min later called me back and told me to go to the hospital for a quick checkup. My babies heartrate was over 200/min. They managed to stabilize him and 15 min his heartrate dropped to 80/min. Needless to say, my OBGYN did and emergency C-section. Had I not had this book and been so persistent with my doctor, my baby might be not be alive. Well worth every penny it costs.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Better than "What to Expect When You're Expecting", May 4, 2005
    This was the first book I got from the library when I found out that I was pregnant. Unfortunately, after numerous renewals, the library wants it back (the nerve!). I'm currently 15 weeks pregnant with my first child and so far this book has been great. It's from a trusted source and the week by week information on what's happening to the baby and possibly to me is more informative and detailed than other books that I have (i.e. "What to Expect...," "Your Pregnancy Week by Week," etc.) While this book has a lot of information dealing with specific circumstances, I just skipped the sections that didn't pertain to me. This book didn't scare the hell out of me like some of the others did. I am purchasing this book for my own "library."

    5-0 out of 5 stars The ONLY book you need, January 21, 2006
    I had bought several pregnancy books, including the Mother of All Pregnancy books and a couple of others, shortly after finding out I was pregnant. I kept getting disappointed by them - either the tone of the book would be off, or the information wouldn't be complete enough, or the book would be too cutesy for me to stomach. I got a recommendation from someone for this book, and after I read it I was sorry that I had wasted any money on other books. This is the only pregnancy book I need.

    It's hard to describe just how comprehensive the information is. If you, as a pregnant woman, need to know about something, it's discussed in this book. There's a large section on pregnancy discomforts and problems, but it's written in such a way that it's not depressing at all. The book is very straightforward about common pregnancy symptoms - if something hurts, they don't pussyfoot around, they say "this hurts" - but yet not negative about the experience of pregnancy either. The tone of the book is very straightforward, but yet upbeat at the same time. There are great week-by-week descriptions of what's happening with your baby, complete with illustrations, and in the week-by-week chapters there are also discussions of issues relevant to your pregnancy and suggestions about things you might want to think about or make some decisions about at that stage. There is VERY extensive information about prenatal testing, complete with great diagrams (this was the first book that showed me what really happens during CVS testing) and the information is presented in a neutral, nonbiased way that really aids decision-making when it comes to prenatal tests.

    One of the most helpful features of this book are the "decision-making guides" in the middle. These are short articles about things like breastfeeding, deciding to have another child, etc. that present the pros and the cons in a very balanced and neutral way, so that you as a parent can make decisions for yourself. The book recommends breastfeeding and provides detailed instructions on breastfeeding, but also provides plenty of information on formula feeding, complete with instructions on how to formula feed, which is something I have not seen in many other books. I plan to breastfeed but if you are not planning to, or find you cannot, this book has some great information for you about formula feeding.

    One other extremely helpful feature of the book are the charts for each trimester that help you decide when you should talk to your doctor about certain kinds of symptoms. I was surprised to find that some things I would think would be not that serious are actually things that warrant an immediate call to the doctor. I know I will be referring back to those tables over and over my entire pregnancy.

    Overall, I can't recommend this book highly enough. Loads of information to help you make the best decisions you can in your pregnancy. Don't bother buying any other book. This is the one you will go back to for information and reassurance over and over throughout your pregnancy.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Real great book!, October 17, 2005
    I borrowed many pregnancy books at the library and found this book from far the best and I decided to buy it! It is written by doctors and explains everything simply but also scientifically. Do not buy "what to expect when you are expecting" which is too alarmist and not as complete as the Mayo Clinic Guide.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best of the bunch!, April 14, 2005
    I wanted a book written for intelligent adults that provided all the necessary information without the hype that this pregnancy will be an event around which the universe will revolve. (I've got plenty of time after my child is born to believe that.) After staring down the dizzying array of books on pregnancy, this was my pick. Not only do I love it, but my husband thought it was great and not too "jr. high sex ed class" oriented like many of the picture-heavy books. It's packed with information presented in a no-nonsense format that really lays out all your options for every aspect of pregnancy without taking sides. The organization is terrific with charts, graphs, and sidebars on all the things you want to know. The decision guides make you feel like you can handle anything that comes up. And it lets you easily find what you want whether it's weekly updates on how you and your baby are doing, guides for the big decisions about breastfeeding and circumcision, or specialized advice based on medical difficulties or multiple pregnancies. Great book from the Mayo Clinic!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Finally...A book for First timers and repeat moms!!!, January 11, 2005
    I am in my 3rd pregnancy, and bought the tried and true copy of 'What to expect when you're expecting.' Boy..was I dissapointed. It was so basic, missing so much info I wanted. AFter some research I heard about this book and went to take a look at my local store. All I can say is...WOW WOW WOW. It's not only a monthly guide to your body, emotions and baby..but a weekly. There is so much wonderful information..everything from snoring to in depth analysis of birth control for after delivery. They have a great section on dealing with depression before, during and after pregnancy. NOT JUST BABY BLUES. I was so impressed. I'd never read such great and easy to understand material. They have a huge reference guide for all the little and not so little aches and pains in pregnancy. Each month has a 'how soon to call your doctor' section for possible problems. It was nice that it didn't spend the whole time speaking only about working moms and prenancy (although it is covered) or insult my intelligence as a repeat mother. I highly recommend this to repeat and new moms alike. You will be so much more prepared than with the others I've read.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Very informative-not my favorite though, March 31, 2005
    I really liked this book and I think it is a wonderful reference tool. I am glad I had the book on hand. However, my favorite book during pregnancy was "Pregnancy Week By Week". I think it went more into detail as each week passed. And being a first time mom, I wanted to know every detail that was going on developmentally with my baby.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This is the book to get!, November 30, 2005
    During my last pregnancy, I bought "What To Expect When You're Expecting," but lent it to a friend afterwards. So, now, for this pregnancy I bought this book. I like this one much better! It is well-organized, easy to reference, and has consistent categories month-by-month. I would definitely recommend this as the book to get!!! ... Read more


    16. Pretty Little Liars #8: Wanted
    by Sara Shepard
    Hardcover
    list price: $16.99 -- our price: $9.93
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0061566179
    Publisher: HarperTeen
    Sales Rank: 926
    Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    In Rosewood, majestic estates sprawl for acres, and Tiffany toggle bracelets dangle from every girl's wrist. But not all that glitters is gold, and the town harbors secrets darker than anyone could imagine—like the truth about what really happened the night Alison DiLaurentis went missing. . . .

    Back in middle school, Ali plucked Emily, Hanna, Aria, and Spencer from obscurity and turned them into the beautiful, popular girls everyone wanted to be. Ali was the best friend they ever had. But she also made them do terrible things and taunted them with their worst secrets. Now, three years later, all their questions about Ali have finally been answered and they can put this awful chapter of their lives behind them. Or so they think.

    Not every story has a happy ending, especially when four pretty little liars have done so many wicked things. In the dramatic conclusion of Sara Shepard's bestselling Pretty Little Liars series, Emily, Hanna, Aria, and Spencer could get everything they've ever wanted—unless A has one more horrifying twist in store.

    ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars A is for Advanced StAlking, B is for Bitchery and C is for Conclusion!, June 12, 2010
    I admit that I love chick lit and I also love a wickedly riveting series, such as the Pretty Little Liars Series. It is a pleasant departure from the usual mean girl cliches like the "Cliques," "Sweet Valley High" and other series portraying girls at their cattiest.

    Dramatis Personae

    Alison "Ali" DeLaurentis: a bright, popular girl who led a clique of other rich, indulged girls. The others are more like satellites than actual friends as they know Ali is a powerful ally to have. They drop designer names every chance they get. They live in Rosewood, a suburb of Philadelphia on the Main Line. Ali, known for insidious cruelty has plenty of secrets. So do the other girls, all of whom have good reason to want Ali to do a permanent disappearing act.

    Aria, an attractive, athletic brunette who was glad to escape Rosewood for Iceland. She has a yak-fur bag to which she is inordinately attached. In every installment in the series, you can count on her to reach into that damn yak-fur bag for something. I admit I did get rather sick of that damn yak-fur bag. Aria's father accepts a teaching position there and for 3 years, Aria and her younger brother by 2 years Mike, learn Icelandic and absorb Icelandic culture. Unlike Mike, Aria wants to remain in Iceland. She has a painful non-Ali related secret - she caught her father cheating with another woman. Early in the series, Aria had an affair as well and her mother was involved with a man who tried to seduce Aria. She moves in with her father, new stepmother and sibling-to-be.

    Spencer, the grind who sputters at the drop of a designer hat. She earns As and other academic plaudits for real. She has long been eclipsed by her favored older sister, Melissa and has a history of bird dogging Melissa's boyfriends. The second time she does this, her cold-hearted family ostracizes her. To make a bad thing even worse, they even canceled her credit cards without telling her and stopped inviting her to meals. Melissa, a pompous Drama Queen has long reveled in her Favored Daughter status and you just want to kick her in the shins.

    Hanna, the former fat girl now turned femme fatale is the weakest link in the chain. Bulimic and insecure, she clings to whoever's wardrobe is most in vogue. These girls all drop designer names and flaunt fashion like it's going out of style. Hanna's relationship with her divorced mother is more like business associates than family. (Hanna's mother works for a company called McManus & Tate, which sounds like a spoof of the advertising firm of McMann & Tate in "Bewitched" [1964-72]). Her father's fiancee Isabel has a daughter Kate who is Hanna's age and Hanna feels that she has been replaced by Kate. In this installment, Hanna receives tickets to a high end fashion show that she believes her mother sent. She invites Kate and Kate's two satellites to join her, only to discover the tickets were a hoax. A is back in town, messing with the girls' minds again. Kate and the Satellites drop Hanna, which turns out to be a good thing in the long run because Hanna is then able to reconnect with the mother she thought had jumped her ship.

    Emily is still discovering that love comes in the most unexpected places. A bisexual, she finally accepts that part of her life and it is possible that Alison might have shared her feelings? As the mysterious A continues to tamper with the girls' minds, Emily is all the more convinced that A is telling her that it is past time to come out. Perhaps Alison has something to do with whoever A is?

    More mysteries abound. The DiLaurentis family trots out yet another family secret, one who has devastating repercussions on the lives of all of the girls as well as the casualties from the previous installments and the man who was arrested as being A, the Advanced Stalker.

    But was he? In the penultimate book, a man was arrested for stalking the girls as A, but the question of his guilt remains. The DiLaurentis' family secret leads to clues and even more questions about to do with the A incidents. Over time, readers will ride the A train to find out who A really is and what this secret means to the Pretty Little Liars, as the Rosewood 4 are called.

    The Eagles' 1976 classic "Hotel California" is the town of Rosewood's Anthem as Rosewood and this series is a place where you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave. I loved the series and the conclusions (yes, conclusions) are very cataclysmic!

    5-0 out of 5 stars AMAZING... A True Work of Art by Shepard, June 9, 2010
    i have been a fan of thes ebooks since day one! my friend got m ehooked and since then, i simply have not put the series down! I had alwyas foundthis book to have all the elements to a greatseries! humor, realistic situations and characters, suspense, scary moments, and a mystery. this book in particular was so good because sara shepard tied the series in into a perfect knot. what a sigh of relief it was to know what TRUELY happened on the night that Ali disappeared. i will notspoil the ending but i can tel you it was a good one, one that the reader will never expect! but what made me REALLy like this book, aside from the above, was the fact that i feel like even i was teased by ali, took a video with aria, been an acomplicein 'the jenna thing', and had a sister that i felt i needed to impress. throughout the series, i have felt like a true member of the pretty little liars series.
    on a separate note, i would like to add how much i am enjoying the show on abcfamily! i reccomend it to all the pretty little liars fans out there. and ignore th appearance of the actresses they are doing a great job of portraying their characters!
    i hope hat you find this review helpful!
    xo
    emma ;)

    4-0 out of 5 stars A good finish, June 8, 2010
    I just finished this book and thought it wrapped up the series well. I'd recommend it, although it would be a good idea to read the other ones first. There were some really good plot twists and you didn't really know how the book would end until it did. I'm upset the series ended, and I hope the television show does it justice.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wanted, July 21, 2010
    *******TREAD WITH CAUTION. MAJOR SPOILERS LIE AHEAD.*******

    This entire series has been such a treat. Having a Y chromosome and all, it's kind of embarrassing to say that I have read, much less immensely enjoyed, this entire series. Wanted is no exception. Even though it was bittersweet having to see this series end, its time had come. Only so many people can die and be framed for murders they didn't commit. It ended at the perfect time, too: right before it started getting annoying.

    This is by far the most twisted, convoluted, and mind-boggling book in the series. But, when we are first introduced to "Courtney," and Sara Shepard went with the "the evil twin did it!" angle, I was pretty disappointed. Then, when she revealed that she is actually Ali, I was actually angry with this book. I was thinking the series would end with Courtney actually being the sister who was dead, Ali being alive and well this whole time, and everyone living happily ever after, and that would have been a terrible ending. Of course, in Rosewood, nothing is ever, ever, as it seems. I should have known that by now.

    I was actually very pleased with how Sara Shepard twisted the evil-twin thing into something much more than that. I had to read the note from the-real-Ali at the end three or four times before I really digested what was going on. The whole "the Ali that Aria, Spencer, Emily, and Hanna were best friends with wasn't really Ali at all, but really a twin named Courtney posing at Ali. And then the real Ali was thrown into a mental hospital, and then came out posing as Courtney. So the four main characters were never friends with Ali, but Courtney-as-Ali, and Courtney isn't Ali at all, but Ali-as-Courtney, and she's trying to kill them all," was definitely convoluted, but was probably the most ingenious conclusion to a series this complex. I applaud Sara Shepard for even being able to come up with a solution to all the crazy things that have been happening throughout this series.

    It was also nice seeing how all the girls, pretty much, got a happy ending. They're all moving on with their lives and what-not. Emily has always been my favorite of the four, probably because she's the most tragic of them all. It was almost heartbreaking seeing how much she was clinging on to Ali's (or Courtney-as-Ali...oh, screw it) memory, and how she just couldn't accept that her first love really is gone, and how she finally had to come to terms with the fact that the-real-Ali wasn't the Ali she knew, but a girl trying to kill her. Phew, run-on sentences, anyone? Anyway, Hanna was probably my least favorite, even though I had a special fondness for her, anyway. I would want to feel sorry for her so bad, and when you finally did, she'd turn around and be such a bitch that you'd forget liking her in the first place. However, she was still an interesting character, popularity-obsessed bitch that she is.

    However, I did notice a major plot hole. It's completely unbelievable that a ring marked "A" or "C" was the only thing that could possibly tell the two sisters apart. The fact that Mrs. DiLaurentis mistakes Ali for Courtney simply because she's wearing a ring with a "C" on it instead of an "A" is pretty unrealistic. However, it didn't ruin the idea for me; it was just something I noticed.

    Also (am I rambling?), the one part of this book that made no sense to me was the epilogue. I milled it over three times and still don't know what it means. Is Ali alive and gone to another school, where she can wreak havoc there? That's the only conclusion I can come to.

    Overall, I'm going to miss this series so much. It's unlike anything I've ever read, especially since I never read books like this. Sigh. At least I still have the TV show, hot mess that it is. And, of course, Sara Shepard's new series is coming out this December.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Can't believe it's over :(, July 8, 2010
    I really didn't want this series to end. I couln't put the book down and ended up reading the entire book in one day. Was dying to know how everything turned out in the end (the suspense was too much). I felt that a few story lines were left unfinished, and felt that some parts were a little cliche. Although, I do think Sara Shepard did a great job of concluding the series. Loved the outcomes for each of the girls in the end. I would like to see spin-offs for some of the characters and storylines that were just touched upon. She is a fantastic writer and storyteller. I highly recommend this series. I cannot wait to read her next series "The Lying Game".

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great bookseries!, July 13, 2010
    This was just an great ending to an even greater bookseries! I'm so sorry that this is the last part, I wish there where more to come. But I loved every minute of Pretty Little Liars!
    Greets from Holland!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Pretty little liars wanted, July 11, 2010
    I read this book in less that a day I just couldn't put this hard cover down. While it was my suspect that Ali might of been alive all along I wasn't ready for the twists in the story Sara Shepard created. This isn't the typical mean girls story that I normally dislike. The characters are complex and makes the reader care what happens to him. The story was a nice wrap that makes one see the whole series of book differently than when one was on book 1 as the final book becomes a matter of life and death for the girls with more lives at stake than I would of expected. I really like the final chapter with Emily getting some closure of her own.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I still have chills..., June 19, 2010
    Ever since book number 1, Pretty Little Liars has kept me at the edge of my seat. Sara Shepard truly has a unique style of writing. I was in the book. I was Aria, I was Spencer, I was Emily, and unfortunately, I was also Hanna. Every emotion that these girls felt, I felt. The longing to be popular, the feeling of being left out, the excitement of experiencing something new, & the struggle for perfection, been there, done that. And then reality hits me, and I realize I haven't done any of these things. I'm thinking, "Damn, this is a really good book!"
    The eighth book picks up where the seventh book left off. Ali's murderer has been caught & things in Rosewood are returning to normal...Or are they? If life is supposed to be normal again, then why do neighbors still cringe when they hear even the slightest sound? Why do we keep having nightmares about a certain blondie with blue eyes? And why is there appearing to be flaws in the supposed "airtight" conclusion of what really happened that night Alison died? This is Rosewood however, and nobody can be trusted. Watch your back, you never know who may try to stab it.
    By far, the best book in the series. Now whenever I read a book, I tend to analyze every single detail, just to make sure I don't miss anything. This series is a mystery, so of course the challenge is on for me. I got about half of the ending right. The other half never even crossed my mind, which of course pisses me off because now it seems so obvious. Overall, a truly great book. I would recommend it to anyone mature enough to realize that when things seems too good to be true... they're probably not true at all. Kudos to Sara Sheppard, for the writing the best book series I have ever read. :)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too, June 18, 2010
    Sadly, the PRETTY LITTLE LIARS have come to an end. WANTED is the 8th and final installment in this highly addicting and twisted series.

    As with the previous books in the series, WANTED is filled with mysteries and twists and turns that leave the reader wondering how it will play out. Being the final part of this series, it's hard to write a review without giving too much away.

    Another potential suspect in the murder of Alison DiLaurentis is named. But as experienced in the past, there are holes in the theory with this suspect, as well. Hanna, Aria, Emily, and Spencer want to believe that this is the true killer, but even these four have their doubts.

    The story fills the reader in on the continuing lives of the four "Pretty Little Liars." Hanna has her relationship with Aria's brother, Mike. Aria is happily dating Noel Kahn. Spencer is finally getting along with her family and is content with her relationship with Andrew. And Emily is the swim captain and dealing with her sexual orientation.

    As WANTED builds towards the climax, a new and unexpected character is introduced who helps to weave all of the past clues from "A" into that one final "ah" moment. You know that moment. When everything you've read in the previous books all comes together and the light bulb goes off - and you realize that Ms. Shepard brilliantly wove the story that could keep you guessing literally right up until the final chapters.

    I've looked forward to each new installment of this series, and though I'm happy with the way the story ended, I'm sad to part with the rich and spoiled of Rosewood, PA.

    Reviewed by: Jaglvr

    5-0 out of 5 stars brilliant, June 11, 2010
    these books can be so addicting and shepard is an amazing writer. the books are not cheesy like other teen books can be. the last one was incredable. i look forward to future books by her. ... Read more


    17. The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby from Birth to Age Two (Revised and Updated Edition)
    by William Sears, Martha Sears, Robert Sears, James Sears
    Paperback
    list price: $21.99 -- our price: $14.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0316778001
    Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
    Sales Rank: 1027
    Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Brought thoroughly up-to-date-with the latest information on everything from diapering to daycare, from midwifery to hospital "birthing rooms," from postpartum nutrition to infant development-THE BABY BOOK remains the one must-have resource for today's new parents.

    In this perennially bestselling and encyclopedic guide, Dr. Bill and Martha Sears draw from their vast experience both as medical professionals and as parents to provide authoritative, comprehensive information on virtually every aspect of infant care. THE BABY BOOK focuses on the essential needs of babies-eating, sleeping, development, health, and comfort-as it addresses the questions of greatest concern to parents today. ... Read more

    Reviews

    4-0 out of 5 stars Parent by their principles, not all the details, June 28, 2004
    I'm a full-time working mom of a 2.5 year old, incredible boy.
    Initially when I read Sears my reaction was that to be a good parent I would have to quit working, spend my whole day breastfeeding and wearing my baby and never get a solid's night sleep again. (And, I've have to grind my own wheat, grow my organic vegetables and move to an unpolluted island...well, not quite, but that seemed to be the general drift.)

    But, what the Sear's approach or Attachment Parenting approach to me comes down to this:

    Know your baby.
    Respond to your baby's cues.

    Understand that your baby isn't a mini-adult who just happens to live in a diaper. Understand that your child comes with his own personality and developmental timetable. Understand that when he cries he needs you. Understand that cuddling, holding, touching your baby is good for him and is not "spoiling" him. Understand that being given a brand new soul to nurture can be exhausting, but that everything you do which demonstrates empathy will come back to you 10 fold in the bond you will have with your child.

    I do wish that the AP "movement" was less associated with "crunchy granola" types of parents. AP (and the Sears as the best known proponents) is really doing what comes naturally: We are hardwired to pick up our babies and care for them when they cry. We are hardwired to feel the intense desire to protect them from discomfort. This isn't a "movement" this is how we are made, and Mother (and Father) Nature are brillant!

    5-0 out of 5 stars An EXCELLENT book..., January 10, 2000
    My wife and I have used this book as a reference over and over again and I am always amazed at the relevance of the Sears' advice. But rather than go into specifics about the book's virtues (plenty of people have done that below), I would just like to comment on some of the negative criticism that other users have given this book. First of all, let me make it clear that (obviously) everyone is entitled to their opinions; I'm not trying to say that anyone HAS to like this (or any) book. But if you are going to publicly critique it, it's only fair that you present the information accurately and comment on real shortcomings, not imagined ones.

    A reader from Dallas states: "Use this book with great caution. If you want nightly habitual feedings, crying for response, and other stressful habits built into your child, use this book." That's pretty scary sounding, but let me present another scenario: My wife and I have let our child (now two years old) share the bed with us since he was born and it has been an unmitigated pleasure throughout. Except for rare occasions, he has always slept through the night, has never needed a bottle to get to bed, and has never shown any signs of being unusually "needy". Also, my wife did not have to get out of bed to breastfeed him when he was still feeding at night [Newsflash: Pretty much ALL babies feed during the night when they are very young infants - don't blame that on co-sleeping]. Now that my wife is pregnant again, we have transitioned him into his own room with absolutely no fuss. In contrast, my sister has never let her baby sleep in bed with her and the baby used to get up twice a night for a year and a half. The point is this: there is no right or wrong way, and there are no guarantees; babies are all very different, they're not little robots. We let our baby sleep with us because we LOVED it, and we will do it with our next one. The Sears state very clearly that you should do what you are comfortable with and that there is no right or wrong way. They just ask people to be OPEN to the idea of co-sleeping and to question those who so confidently state that it is wrong.

    [By the way, those who condemn it have zero scientific evidence to support their claim. Think about it: Modern day humans have been around for 2.5 million years. For 99% of that time we have been foragers and hunter-gatherers. Do you think we would have survived if sleeping with your children was "wrong"? Foraging and hunting tribes don't carry around cribs with them.]

    Anyway, my point is that the Sears definitely do NOT say that there is only one way to put your kid to sleep.

    A reader from New York asks: "Will co-sleeping wane in popularity as parents tire of sleeping with twin 5 years olds and an 8 year old and word gets around on the difficulty of ever getting the children out of your bed?"

    That's a good question. I have a few questions of my own. Have you ever tried it? Do you know for a fact that it is difficult to get kids out of bed and into their own beds? Do you think that the Sears really suggest that all of your kids should sleep in the parents' bed, regardless of age? Did you see the part in the book where they say that you should do what you are comfortable with and what makes the most sense to you?

    The bottom line is that the authors clearly and refreshingly state that mothers and fathers know a lot more about raising their children than they are given credit for. Rather than telling prospective parents that YOU MUST sleep with your baby or YOU MUST breastfeed, the overall effect of their book is to say YOU CAN sleep with your baby regardless of what society tells you and YOU CAN breastfeed if you want to maximize your baby's health and the bond between mother and child. Of course, no one HAS to do anything, but it's nice to have alternative sources of information.

    Thanks for listening.

    5-0 out of 5 stars What a relief!, October 20, 2000
    To read a book that reinforces my instincts! I am only sorry I did not buy this book in the first few weeks of motherhood. I read books that gave all kinds of advice that just didn't seem right. I have never let my baby "cry it out" even though parents, in-laws, and grandparents have all at some point told me I'm spoiling my child. At five months old, she is happy, well adjusted, and easily falls asleep on her own. Mothers and fathers take note-attachment parenting works!! I can actually sense how much trust my baby has in me. This book will be especially helpful to parents of colicky babies. It replaces the feelings of frustration and helplessness with compassion and understanding. I read a few negative reviews from those who found the Dr. Sears to be extreme. Attachment parenting can be incorporated into every lifestyle. I'm a stay at home Mom, but I don't ALWAYS wear my baby in a sling. And though I slept with her for the first few months, she now sleeps in her crib, and takes a morning nap with me. It's just a matter of knowing your baby and following his/her cues rather than following some ridiculous formula that is supposed to work for all babies. Yes, the book almost always puts the baby first. Isn't that the way it's supposed to be? Every aspect of parenting should be cherished rather than looked upon as an inconvenience. For those who truly want to bond with their babies-this is the book for you! And just a note to new, first time moms: I spent many nights in the first few weeks crying right along with my colicky baby. So many well-meaning moms gave me advice. Because I was new at the whole thing, I always doubted myself. Was I ever going to have a happy baby? Was she ever going to sleep through the night? What was I doing wrong? Well, any mom who has practiced attachment parenting for a few months will tell you this. After a few weeks, when friends and family tell you you're holding the baby too much, you're spoiling the baby too much, you should let the baby "cry it out" instead of feeling unsure, you will laugh to yourself. Because you'll know inside. You'll know that the parents who are not wearing their babies, not holding their babies, not soothing their babies, not cuddling through the night with their babies, are really missing out on moments they'll never have again. That's when you'll know how wonderful attachment parenting is.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Great Ideas but PLEASE get other views as well, March 11, 2004
    I started my pregnancy with the Dr. Sears pregnancy book and also read the breastfeeding book and I loved his natural, gentle approach to everything so I registered for The Baby Book. I devoured this book and loved everything I read. I felt so confident going into parenthood! Then I had my baby and I was shocked to find I was completely unprepared in some ways. I followed some dangerous advice about not supplementing her with formula while my milk was coming in and she ended up in the hospital dehydrated and with dangerously low blood sugar. The day we left the hospital I bought the American Academy of Pediatrics book "Caring for Your Baby and Young Child," and this is my new bible for illnesses in my baby. It is much more thorough, and I feel comfortable knowing this is what is reccomended by a community of professionals instead of one Dr with one philosophy. Another example, we tried the family bed until she was five months and we never let her cry for a second. At four months old she was fussy, clingy, and was sleeping less that ten hours a day. I finally broke down and bought "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child." After some gentler approaches and limited crying it out she will only sleep through the night (12 hours) in her own bed because our moving wakes her, and she gets about 13-15 hours of sleep a day. She is happy every morning and much more playful and engaging, and our bond is even stronger. My point is that you really need to find your own approach to problem solving the ups and downs of parenthood, and this book will only present you with one method. I still practice attachment parenting, but I also respect my child's needs to sleep and to play on her own. I love Dr. Sears and Martha's loving approach to parenthood, but I have developed my own loving approach now thanks to the input I have gained from other professionals in the field.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Astounded by other reviews, December 13, 1999
    I'm kind of surprised at some of the negative reviews of this book. Peole keep saying that co-sleeping and attachment parenting encourage undisciplined children, but if you read the follow-up book, "The Discipline Book," you'll see that's not necessarily the case. If a child knows she can trust you (through early experiences), she will be much less likely to have discipline problems later. Anyway, I got "The Discipline Book" before "The Baby Book" and was pleasantly surprised that it encourages setting limits APPROPRIATE TO THE CHILD and sees discipline as a continuum and not a one-time, spanking kind of thing. Their method of childrearing just seems totally natural to me, the kind of things mothers and fathers did for thousands of years before the medical establishment and society started butting in on childrearing. I think the book is a must for any new parent!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book. If buying just one baby book - this is it., June 10, 1999
    I read through the other reviews. I am a full time working mom. I went back to work at 9 weeks. Because my child was MOSTLY bottle fed during her 3 week stay in the hospital after birth (She had meconium aspiration induced pneumonia), she ended up with nipple confusion. So i'd say she gets 50% breast milk and 50% formula. Yet, despite the fact that i'm a working mom who doesn't exclusively breastfeed, I did NOT find this book to be annoying or lacking in compassion. Sears paints one version of an ideal parenting style. I don't believe anyone has all the answers. We have to go by instinct, experience, and of course, solid sound advice. I follow attachment parenting as best I can under my particular circumstances, because my MOTHER did so. They didn't call it that in 1965, nor did they really advocate it - but she did it, and she continues to do it as my child's care provider during my work-day. I found Dr. sears's ideas to be a cold refreshing drink of water. He encouraged me to follow my instincts as a parent. So much of the literature that i've read has made me feel badly about things that instinctively seem *right* (co-sleeping, picking up baby whenever she cries, spending lots of time holding baby) and whenever I get into that funk, I pick up his book and I feel great. I think my sister brother and I are excellent products of attachment parenting. I hope my daughter feels that way about herself when she grows up!

    FWIW - I am a full time working mom who partially breastfeeds, and who is an atheist. Yet I am able to read through this book and find common ground without finding Sears to be judgemental or lacking in compassion.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Classic. Independent Free-Thinking Mind Required., June 25, 2002
    There is not much that one can say that hasn't already been said. This book has stood the test of time; other know-it-all one-size-fits-all infant care books have not.

    One observation that I have made is that you will not find this book promoted by popular baby stores such as "Babies R Us". Having visited many branches of such stores, I have never seen this book promoted in the book section. It dawned on me why. Dr. Sears' approach is decisively anti-consumerist. He strongly recommends breast feeding - nothing to buy here. He strongly recommends co-sleeping - no crib or sheets to buy. He recommends the use of a baby sling or baby carrier - OK, you can find such items at "Babies R Us", but this is meant as a replacement for a much more expensive stroller.

    Bottom line: following the recommendations in this book means going against the grain set by product-dispensing corporations that are the center of a society centered around consumption. Read this book and think long and hard about what you believe and what you value in the role of a parent, and tune out all the noise around you including well-meaning family members.

    5-0 out of 5 stars We're completely "attached" to Attachment Parenting!!, April 5, 1999
    As a 4th-time-around mom, my only regret about buying this book in 1993 was not buying hardcover--our copy is completely dog-eared and falling apart from use! Back then, as first-time parents, my husband and I happened upon the Sears' book and were so relieved to find a parenting guide which combined medical expertise with extensive personal experience and, on top of that, actually reinforced the use of our instincts as parents. It's extremely comprehensive and well-organized. We love the presentation of "the facts" balanced with the narrative/personal examples which Mrs. Sears has contributed. We are often complimented on how out-going, well-adjusted and secure our children appear to be. Time and again, we find ourselves giving a great deal of credit to "The Baby Book" for guiding our parenting choices. Reading the reviews on this book here, I found the majority of readers couldn't say enough wonderful things about it...so many "5 stars"!!! Then there were a few "1 stars." These people seemed very concerned with the supposed "guilt trip" Dr. and Mrs. Sears were unloading on them. I guess I just didn't see it...my husband and I have coined the term "convenience parenting" for those wishing to parent "the easy way" (ie. sleeping through the night at two months after birth, the "cry it out" philosophy and the very notion that a baby can actually be spoiled by too much attention!) Any way you look at it, parenting is NOT an easy venture, but at the same time is so incredibly important...maybe a little bit of well-placed guilt isn't such a bad thing. Granted, everyone's parenting situation is different. Because of this, there will never be a perfect parenting book...glean what you can from this one. So you can't do 24/7 "baby wearing" because you both work--have your child-care provider read that chapter!!...etc., etc. Take what the book says with a grain of salt and tailor it to your needs. At any rate, both my husband and I have gained a great deal from "The Baby Book." As a physician, he readily recommends it to his new-parent patients. And I buy it for every baby shower I attend. I would truly like to thank the Sears for all they have given us through this book...how wonderful it must be to have him as a pediatrician! Give this book a try...I doubt you will be sorry!

    5-0 out of 5 stars You'll use this book almost every day., September 25, 2002
    689 pages that cover nearly everything you'll want to know in the first two years. I find myself looking things up constantly for a tidbit of information. I've found answers to simple questions like when to start my baby drinking from a cup to more complex issues like what solid foods to start with first and how to guage my baby's reactions to first foods.

    This book certainly has an Attachment Parenting twist to nearly every topic, so it is best if you follow this type of parenting. (AP = following your baby's cues; sleeping close to your baby; carry your baby a lot; don't use rigid structure or sleep training.)

    The book is easy on the eyes - broken up into readable chunks so you don't have to wade through pages of text like many baby books.

    There are three "must have" books for the first two years - this book, The No-Cry Sleep Solution and The A to Z Medical Handbook. Get these three and you're covered for nearly everything.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Working mom takes Sears' advice with poise and maturity, July 9, 1999
    This is my main reference for childcare and certainly heads and shoulders above useless crap like the What To Expect series. I rejected more from those books than I learned.

    I think Dr. Sears' main point is that when parents listen to their instincts and treat their children lovingly you probably won't go wrong. Not all AP parents co-sleep or even breastfeed -- but all APers do their best to honor their children and work with them, not against them. As for medical differences -- including vaccinations -- you need many sources to make intelligent choices and he's simply following APA recommendations. I think dredging up the tired vaccination debate in this book would have made it too radical to make a difference in mainstream America.

    I found his breastfeeding advice helpful and encouraging. As a formula-supplementer and working mom I don't feel offended by his pro-bf and SAHM statements. We all make our choices and there is no way one doctor can automatically see everyone's individual situations and soothe their consciences. It's our job as adults and parents to take the good advice and toss the rest with poise -- humans adapt.*duh*

    For the record, I'm a working mom who breastfeeds, co-sleeps, doesn't let her babies cry it out and wears them in slings. Yes, I can be tired sometimes, but that is probably more of a function of new parenthood, not my parenting method. Besides, I'm in it for the long-haul -- I didn't become a parent just to cop out! PS -- the co-sleeping give you *more* sleep than cribbing, take it from someone who has done it both ways..

    Also for the record -- there is less bottlefeeding information because there is less to say! Breastfeeding can be tricky business, which is probably why many moms end up bottlefeeding in the first place.

    Working moms, bottlefeeders and cribbers can still get alot out of this book *if* they are comfortable with their choices and don't already feel guilty. I work, my daycare uses formula and I have put my kids in a crib and I still find this book very useful.

    The message of compassionate parenting and servicable medical advice makes this a good choice for parents. Nothing is perfect -- if you want a parenting book to suit your exact opinion, write one yourself! ... Read more


    18. Baby 411: Clear Answers & Smart Advice for Your Baby's First Year (Baby 411: Clear Answers and Smart Advice for Your Baby's First Year)
    by Denise Fields, Ari Brown
    Paperback
    list price: $14.95 -- our price: $10.17
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 1889392340
    Publisher: Windsor Peak Press
    Sales Rank: 859
    Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    You are having a baby! Congratulations! Now the reality hits you: what the heck am I doing? What if you could bottle the wisdom of all those parents who've come before you and mix it with the solid medical advice from an nationally-renowned pediatrician? Baby 411 is the answer! Think of it as the ultimate FAQ for new parents.

    Baby 411 hits today's hot-button issues head-on. Inside the revised and updated 3rd edition, you'll find info on: picking a pediatrician, with savvy questions to ask and insider tips; finding the best way to get your baby to sleep through the night; deciding what to do when baby gets sick, including when to worry and when not to; discovering secrets to soothing a fussy baby; breastfeeding your baby and introducing new, improved formulas and solid food, with detailed nutritional information and step-by-step guide. ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars Pediatrician recommended!, March 2, 2009
    I am a pediatrician, and when I was pregnant with my daughter (my first) I was looking for a medical advice book for all those things they DON'T teach you in medical school. Also I like to read the books that my patients' parents are reading. I guess you could ask why a pediatrician would need to read an advice book.... and I will tell you that most of the parenting skills and ideas you need to survive everyday life with your child are not a part of medical training. This book is an excellent combination of the very latest medical evidence and practical parenting advice. I find myself turning to it each time we enter a new "phase" (sleeping training, introducing solids, etc.)

    The book is not meant to be read cover to cover in one sitting, but I did read the entire book on a vacation to see if I agreed with Dr. Brown's medical advice. I find her approach to complex medical issues to be balanced and backed by scientific evidence which is lacking in many books.

    Baby 411 is a modern-day "Dr. Spock" advice book that every parent should have on their shelf for middle of the night symptom searching and for everyday parenting questions.

    4-0 out of 5 stars My "go-to" book for minor baby health crises, September 21, 2007
    This is my go-to book for basic health questions about my baby. Unlike a number of other baby books on my shelf, the information is presented in just enough detail to be helpful in a minor crisis (A whole chapter on poop and vomiting? Yay!) Most sections about common symptoms and illnesses are very reassuring, but contain a useful "Red Flags" list immediately following that lets you know when you need to push the speed-dial number for your pediatrician. I find the reference section really helpful, particularly when I don't feel the need to wake my pediatrician at 1A.M. to ask a basic question about medication or illness. The authors do express strong opinions about some controversial issues, like circumcision and vaccination, which will turn some readers off; and I've seen a few parents who susbscribe to the attachment-parenting theory complain that some of the behavioral advice (specifically regarding co-sleeping and sleep training) is harsh or closed-minded. If you have your own strong opinions about these issues, ignore these sections of the book--there's lots of other useful information here.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, except form factor, April 4, 2009
    This is a wonderful book for parents. It provides a lot of useful information to help put first time parents at ease. The sections on birth and the first few weeks of feeding helped us understand whether we were on track with quantities of breast milk.

    The book continues with good information on hygine, pooping/peeing, vaccinations, and has become a frequently-accessed reference. Many sections are organized in a way that you can find information on your baby according to his/her current age, which is helpful.

    I would give this book 5 stars except for one issue I consider significant - it's almost impossible to read while holding your baby! The book measures 10x5x1.5 inches, and if you try to keep it open with one hand, it slaps shut. And, it won't stay open by itself on a flat surface.

    Ability to read the book while taking care of the baby would have been a huge plus.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Must Have Book for first time parents!!, July 18, 2008
    I can't say enough good things about this book! It has helped me with so many questions since my son was born. I bought this book during pregnancy but didn't get around to reading it. Once I brought my baby home, I had a million questions and no time to read. The format of this book (Q&A style) made it possible to find the answers I needed quickly and with thorough but concise explanations. The authors are great at balancing info so that you feel assured and informed. As many other readers have said, I love that they give "red flags" so that you know when something is hands-down an emergency or time to call the doctor. This book is the only one my skeptical husband will read when he wants to find something out for the baby. If you buy only one baby book, make it this one. PS- Better than "Mother of All Baby Books"

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent, easily read advice and information, January 27, 2009
    I am a new mom and an Emergency physician, and I bought this book after reading some other reviews on amazon. Well, I can't agree more with the positive reviews. This book is worded in simple and clear language and gives frank and detailed advice. After reading it cover to cover, ( I couldn't get enough), I thought, why didn't I think to get this before? So many of my patients ask these questions and I give the advice that is easily accessible for less than 20 dollars- in a book- while they are spending time and money to go to the ED to relieve their worries. I will definitely recommend this book to friends, family and patients.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best baby guide out there!, December 11, 2007
    I'm so glad that i had this as a reference guide when raising my first baby (now my toddler). It had the most information in the most condense format. It was wonderful to read through cover to cover and to also use just as a look-up reference when ear infections, bumps, illness, or diaper rashes cropped up. The authors are funny, sympathetic, informative, and realistic. They recognize that when they give the stock doctor's answer of "take your child to the pediatrian's office -- again", it's aggravating for parents b/c of all the co-pays and time involved, but they justify themselves. They guarantee that this book will pay for itself by saving you the co-pay of at least one doctor's visit, and it definitely did so for me. After seeing my daughter's diaper rash get progressively worse after airing it out, using Aquaphor, Balmex, and Triple paste, we looked it up and found she had a yeast infection type rash. OTC athlete's food ointment and (ta da!) no more rash. They saved me $25. I have the Baby 411 and the Toddler 411 and I just want to thank them again and again. The one wish I have is that they would detail their child development section more thoroughly since it is what EVERY parents seems to be most concerned about. I know I poured over it again and again.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent advice for new parents!, May 5, 2008
    I love this book. It's great for when we feel like we don't know what we're doing or what to expect. (We have 4 1/2 month old twin boys.) We often refer to this and even re-read sections. I purchased this copy as a gift for my cousin and his wife who are expecting their first baby next month.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great for first-time parents!, August 22, 2007
    This book is especially helpful for first time parents. The information is delivered in a clear and easy-to-understand format, with a little bit of humor thrown in. You almost feel like you are talking directly with the authors. Ever since this came out, I've made it a point to give the latest edition as a gift to new parents.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Informative, Well-Balanced, Straight to the Point, & Entertaining, June 3, 2008
    I should have bought this book when I realized how incredible "Baby Bargains" was. I waited until my daughter was 4 months old before I bought this book and I wish that I had not waited so long. I will be giving this to everyone that I know that is expecting moving forward.

    This is very well-written. There is a wide variety of information that is up-to-date and straight-forward. It offers balanced information on hot topics without getting caught up in emotion. Too often author's of baby books get caught up in the political hype. However, if you are ever in doubt with anything regarding your child- check with your pediatrician.

    There is so much unnecessary "stuff" out there for new parents that it can be overwhelming. Marketers of baby items often times prey on the vulnerability of new parents. This author does not do that. In my opinion, the reviewers who thought that this author has a hidden agenda are clouded by their own agendas. This book offers parents easy to read information so that you can make the best decisions for you and your family.
    This is a must have for any parent who wants straight forward advice. I can't wait to read the follow-up book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Helpful for First Time Parents!, September 13, 2007
    I received a promotional copy of this book for free from my OB/GYN's office while I was pregnant earlier this year. My husband and I have found it invaluable, especially for those first few weeks after bringing our first baby home! It is well written and easy to understand. We find ourselves referring to this book first when we have any questions, and have found that the baby's pediatrician has agreed with all the advice in here so far! Highly recommended and I'll be giving this as a gift at baby showers from now on. ... Read more


    19. 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


    20. The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective Teens
    by Sean Covey
    Paperback
    list price: $15.99 -- our price: $10.87
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0684856093
    Publisher: Fireside
    Sales Rank: 1090
    Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    Being a teenager is both wonderful and challenging. In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, author Sean Covey applies the timeless principles of the 7 Habits to teens and the tough issues and life-changing decisions they face. In an entertaining style, Covey provides a step-by-step guide to help teens improve self-image, build friendships, resist peer pressure, achieve their goals, get along with their parents, and much more. In addition, this book is stuffed with cartoons, clever ideas, great quotes, and incredible stories about real teens from all over the world. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens will engage teenagers unlike any other book.

    An indispensable book for teens, as well as parents, grandparents, and any adult who influences young people, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens is destined to become the last word on surviving and thriving as a teen and beyond. ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars Teen Angst ?, March 13, 2000
    At the ripe age of 23, I borrowed my 18 year old brother's copy of this book and was enthralled.I cant help but wonder what a difference this book would have made in my life if I had read it at age 14 and not ten years later. The layout of the book is fun and appeals to readers of any age. This makes it easier to read. One thing I have to say, is that this book is one of the most powerful positive thinking books on the market. Although it's aimed at teens, the values and tips can apply to anyone. I loved the little excercises which are still applicable. Sean's frankness on matters really inspired me. My favourite part of the book though is the real life stories he relates on how teenagers have overcome difficulties and still succeed in the end. A great read, highly recommended !

    5-0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended, February 14, 2002
    I keep having to buy copies of this book because I give them away to people I want to share the book with.

    I found this book (at the age of 40-something) a little more reader friendly than Stephen Covey's book. I tell the teens I work with that Covey, Sr's book is a little more executive oriented and I had trouble connecting with it. This is easier to connect with and I don't find it preachy because Sean Covey so often tells stories on himself.

    It's easy to peruse over and over again and to integrate little by little into your life. At least when my time management fails, I can name what I could have done better (put the big rocks in first). When I've spent the day dithering time away at some no-where project, I know I'm spending too much time in Q4. Little by little, it helps improve your life.

    I guess I want to comment on the reviewer who thought Sean was trying to encourage reader to always be thinking of something nice to say (ie always kissing up to people). I don't feel Sean was trying to tell you not to be yourself, but well-placed, positive comments can sew wonderful seeds of cooperation and friendship. Externalize your positive thoughts by sharing them with people; it makes a difference.

    Great book for teens, young adults and adults.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book For Adults Too--Forget His Father's Book, October 1, 2000
    What Sean has done here hopefully has taught his father a lesson or two about simplicity. I don't think "how to" books have to be so complicated and Sean Covey proves it with this wonderful book. It has the exact same message as Stephen Covey's book but is a lot more fun and relaxing to read. I recommend that all adults buy it instead of Stephen Covey's book, "7 Habits of Highly Effective People". Stephen Covey's wordy,proud and know it all writing style really got on my nerves. Sean's book on the other hand is humble, straight forward, simple, easy and fast to read. You get the point without having to read through a bunch of mental masturbation. I bought it for my teenage daughter and then ended up reading the whole book and buying another copy for another teenager. They both really liked it. My husband is a crisis counselor who works with teens. He has been using the ideas in Sean Covey's book for his "Rites of Passage" work with teens and has really gotten some great insights and practical tools for his workshops. I wish there were more books like this on the market. If your teen is resistent to reading the book then read it yourself. You'll find that it will still be helpful when guiding them or talking to them about the immense stress and issues facing them in today's highly chaotic society.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Love it or hate it... the choice is yours, October 16, 2005
    After reading through the reviews on this website and others on different websites I've come to this conclusion- either people think that it was (1)a fantastic book which distilled sound advice and changed their lives for the better [5 stars] or, (2)a bunch of cliched, useless material exhorting teens to be mama's boy/ teacher's pet/ goody-two-shoes/ (name your case)[1 star]. If there are people out there who haven't read the book and are getting confused by all the conflicting, contradictory messages up on the web, I honestly don't blame them. Who wouldn't be?

    I've read the book and all I can say is that the book does not deliver miracles from heaven that can brilliantly transform your life and make it oh-so-fabulous. It didn't promise that either, by the way.

    What it does is to offer tried-and-tested, reliable advice, the kind that your mother or teacher would have given you. Call it rehashed common sense, but the cartoons and quotes make it easier to digest and not-so-painful to internalise. Yes it's naggy, yes it's authoritarian, yes it's condescending at some parts... I don't doubt that. The thing is that in the end, it's still well-intentioned, useful advice. It's perfectly okay to just pick out one chapter, or one quote etc. that means something to you and ditch the rest. Really. Or if you really think that none of it can help you in your life, then take it as a few hours of harmless entertainment, forget about the book and get on with your life. Case closed.

    As for those who haven't read the book yet, give it a chance. You might just be able to pick up one or two things here and there which, when put into practice, may just make your life that little bit more sane and less messed-up. Best of luck to you.

    3-0 out of 5 stars 7 Habits of Highly Effective Pre-Teens, January 8, 2006
    I read this book in 7th grade at the age of 12, and I loved it. I thought it was very well-written and witty.
    Now, as a 19 year old, I recently finished rereading this book just because I found it as I was cleaning out my bookshelf, and I have to say...it's not bad, but it's not that good. I think, perhaps, as the author was aiming for a lower age bracket, he accidentally aimed a little too low.
    Here's my breakdown:

    Pros:
    - Book is much shorter than the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People yet still conveys the same ideas.
    - The writing style is pretty straightforward.
    - It offers a lot of examples from teens and a lot of illustrations.

    Cons:
    - Book becomes more and more condescending as it goes on.
    - At some points, there are just too many examples, and many are rather impersonal--they don't offer the kind of detail that would make a reader actually care. Some of the examples even contradict the Habits.
    - A lot of the illustrations are kind of lame (I remember thinking this back at the age of 12, as well). The charts are fine, but most of the cartoons on the side just aren't funny.
    - The information in the book is all very intuitive.

    I think I will read the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People to see how I feel about it. As for the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, I have to say...
    1) Do not force a teen to read a self-help book. I've seen that in most of the negative comments, people were forced to read this book for a class in school. I think doing so even goes against the Habits. If you genuinely care about someone's problems, maybe read through the Habits yourself and practice them. Then, you might be able to get your little friend to play along. This book is not that inspiring, and anyone who is forced to read it will easily find a thousand things ridiculous about it.
    2) Although the book's subject matter is intuitive, I agree that it is nice to be reminded of the right way to live your life and how to reach an "effective" life.
    3) However...because of the book's pseudo-spunky and somewhat condescending style, I see it gaining more acceptance among people right on the brink of teenagedom than actual teens. Pre-teens will probably get more of a kick out of reading a book for teens, and they may not notice the condescending writing since society has yet to tell them that they deserve to be treated as adults. There are points where Covey talks about eating disorders and suicide, but, as far as I can remember, middle schoolers have already been well introduced to these topics.

    Conclusion:
    This is not a good book for the people it was meant to help, but it would be a very good book for a slightly younger age group. That way, you have a better chance of getting through to them before the pressures start to pile on.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A very interesting, and lifechanging book, April 23, 2001
    I have personally read this book, and ( as a 13 year old), it has drasticly changed my life. There are passages in this book that told me things about myself I never knew. Like this " I'f who I am, is what I have, and what I have is lost, who am I ?" I no longer feal that money or impotance should matter in my life. I should live it accourding to my life, and not by the will of others.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fabulous book!, August 17, 2000
    This book is wonderful! If you have the perfect life you need not read it, but if you're life is far from perfect read on! The 7 Habits help you improve your life and help you succeed! It gives great tips and it's fun to read. Sean Covey makes you want to read more and there are sections where he encourages you to write in the book. I'm really glad I bought this book. You will be happy too. The funny cartoons and relaxed style of writing is so great. I let my friends borrow this book and they loved it too! It's a great buy for any teen from 12 to 19.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This is the very best guidence book in the world, December 12, 1999
    With this book I don't know where to begin, everytime I feel my life not going in the direction I should be going or when I feel my self getting off track I just pick up this book and it gets me straight again. I love to read different self help books and motavational books, and I would have to say this is the easiest to read. This book contains many cool pictures and side quotes that make it clearer to understand. It starts with the chapter get into the habit and the quote for the chapter really sums things up when it says "We first make our habits then our habits make us." The next chapter is paradigms and principles. This chapter talks about the philosophy, "what you see is what you get". Another great chapter is begin with the end in mind which says it best when said "you need to have the blueprints before you build the house." The best parts of the book I feel is when it talks about making deposits in your personal bank account and to always think win-win in any situation. I would recomend this book to anyone and everyone that actually cares about what path in there future to take.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Saved me from a Bad path, March 24, 2008
    I come from a horrible background, my family has no moral structure, they're either on drugs or selling drugs.

    My freshmen year of high school was really hard for me, my moms drug use escalated and I felt trapped. I was about to give up and go towards the bad stuff my family did/does. I just wanted to be accepted, I was too weird for the normal kids, but not hardcore enough the kids that let me hang with them.

    I had no support, and I felt like I couldn't reach out, after a suicide attempt, I was put into a leadership class and the Curriculum was the Seven habits of highly effective teens

    This book helped me:
    Over come my family (I moved out when I was 16)
    Get better grades (I went from a 1.6-3.8 in one year and graduated with a 2.5)
    It helped strengthen my moral goals (and give me some also)
    and It helped me take care of myself

    I am now 19 a freshmen in college and working towards becoming an abnormal Child Psychologist.

    A few good teachers and this book saved me from a life of crime and drugs.

    I feel like there are a lot kids out there that need this book, and a few good teachers.


    P.s. I still have my copy from my freshmen year, all beat up and highlighted and I re-read it every so often to remind myself of all the awesome stuff in there.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This is it...a must read!, March 11, 2002
    We all know what the meaning of teenage means. Late-night parties, cheating on tests, and sneaking into movie theatres. It's a golden age in our life when we can just wild out and simply have fun! I have to admit the person I am now, is quite a different character from what I was before I read the book, "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens". A bit like a mentor who taught me to see the light, I've learned to appreciate so much more in life. The book really reaches out and touches each person individually, and helps them find the best in themselves. Sean Covey has created 7 "habits" to help teenagers make the most out of their teenage life. Illustrated with funny cartoons, easy to read fonts, and simple language, not once was I ever bored when I read the book. Speakin from the heart, Covey brings back memories of his own personal past and shows us how we can change things before they actually happen. For example, he spends a chapter talking about the importance of being a good friend. After reading that chapter, I tried using some of the tips he mentioned into my real life senerio. And guess what? It really works! I've learned to become a much better listener, a better advice giver, and better at keeping secrets. All that was deprived from one chapter. I was just surprised to find out that a lot of the things he said related directly to me, therefore it made it really personal. If Covey was able to make a personal connection with me, I'm sure he can do so with everyone else. I speak as a teen to a teen; read it. This'll be the most memorable peice of writing you'll remember throughout your teenage career. ... Read more


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