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Welcome! The ultimate luxury for me is curling up with a good book and a warm blanket. The next best thing is reviewing books and sharing them with others.

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30 09, 2016

Review: The Human Superorganism by Rodney Dietert

By | September 30th, 2016|Categories: Biological Sciences, Disorders & Diseases, Health, Mind, & Body, Nonfiction, Personal Health, Science & Math|Tags: , , |1 Comment

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human superorganism book coverReviewed by Poppy Johnson

Rodney Dietert, author of The Human Superorganism, focuses on explaining significant developments around chronic diseases, also called non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as allergies, cancer, heart disease, and obesity, as well as psychological disorders like depression. He is right–these diseases rule how we live and die, determine the quality of our lives and our limits, and measure our challenges. The author feels these NCDs are an epidemic in our modern society. He’s right again, but what can we do?

In The Human Superorganism, we get the long answer to this question. The book is broken down into three main sections: Part I – A shift in how we think about biology and understanding the mighty microbe; Part II – A revolution in medicine; and, Part III – Caring for yourself. Within those sections, Dietert discusses the new regard for biology, the importance of human superorganisms and genes, immune system malfunctions, the nature of epidemics, making over superorganisms and finally, understanding microbes.

8 11, 2015

Review: The Human Age by Diane Ackerman

By | November 8th, 2015|Categories: Biological Sciences, Human Geography, Nonfiction, Science & Math, Social Sciences|Tags: , , |2 Comments

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the human age book coverReviewed by Marcus Hammond

If we all stop for a second and look around at our surroundings we probably won’t see anything that would strike us as having a dramatic effect on our planet. Right now, I look around and see my computer, stacks of literature, an iPad, multiple empty cups that need to go to the dishwasher and some pillows. None of that seems overly unusual, right? To Diane Ackerman, these human inventions have made an indelible mark on our natural world. The Human Age: The World Shaped By Us is a collection of intertwined narratives that uncover the ways in which humans have altered the planet.

Ackerman begins with small, recurring anecdote about orangutans that are allowed to play games on iPads. Her perspective of such an unnatural occurrence serves as a thematic reminder of the impact humans

23 06, 2015

Review: 10% Human by Dr. Alanna Collen

By | June 23rd, 2015|Categories: Biological Sciences, Evolution, Health, Mind, & Body, Nonfiction, Personal Health, Science & Math|Tags: , , |2 Comments

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10% human book coverReviewed by Alyssa Katanic

In recent years we have learned that antibacterial soaps are bad for us and that hand sanitizers contain triclosan. So, we have found “natural” ways to kill these germs: cloths laced with silver, essential oils promising to kill bacteria and other microbes, but what if not all microbes are our enemies? What if our health and sanity are dependent on these microbes that we kill off every day? In her new book, 10% Human: How Your Body’s Microbes Hold the Key to Health and Happiness, evolutionary biologist Dr. Alanna Collen explores just that and explains that the cells that make up our bodies and help us to function are not 100% human cells. In fact, our bodies are merely 10% human.

By hitting on health concerns that seem new to those of us in 20th century

26 02, 2015

Blog Tour: The Way of Tea and Justice by Becca Stevens

By | February 26th, 2015|Categories: Agricultural Sciences, Human Rights, Law, Nonfiction, Science & Math, Women's Studies|Tags: , , , |2 Comments

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tea and justice book coverPlease welcome author Becca Stevens who is touring the blogosphere with her new book, The Way of Tea and Justice!

Reviewed by Sarah McCubbin

Through the course of human history, we find a weaving together of events and culture, including people and food, in all manner of combinations. In her book, The Way of Tea and Justice, Becca Stevens paints a picture of the role tea has played as a companion to significant events through the ages, as well as a catalyst for change today. Anyone who loves tea will likely enjoy this book. Her writing is soothing and almost poetic in the way she tells a story painted through the lense of a teacup.

As the founder of Thistle Farms and Thistle Stop Cafe, Stevens has been actively involved in helping women caught as victims and participants

22 09, 2014

Review: Mother Nature Is Trying to Kill You by Dan Riskin, Ph.D.

By | September 22nd, 2014|Categories: Animals, Biological Sciences, Nature, Nonfiction, Science & Math|Tags: , , , |3 Comments

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mothernatureistryingtokillyouReviewed by Carrie Ardoin

I was initially quite excited to read Mother Nature Is Trying to Kill You because from the way the synopsis made it sound, it was supposed to be about all the devices (be they animal, weather, disease, etc.) that nature has waiting around every corner to lead to your possible demise. After I got past the introduction, in which the author describes the experience he had with a botfly larvae living in his scalp, it became clear that this wasn’t really what the book was about at all.

The author lays out each of his chapters with a theme. The theme is “the seven deadly sins”, so there are chapters on greed, lust, envy, and so on. Within each chapter, the author showcases several animal behaviors that reflect on the specific chapter title. For example, in the chapter on lust,

1 03, 2014

Review: Mother of God by Paul Rosolie

By | March 1st, 2014|Categories: Biological Sciences, Memoirs, Nature, Nonfiction, Science & Math, Travel|Tags: , , , |2 Comments

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mother_of_god_select_7.11Reviewed by Lauren Cannavino

In a society where everyone is told to get and education and get a good job, Paul Rosolie never felt much at home. School was a struggle and at times the relationship with his parents was strained. The only place that Paul felt content and alive was in nature and in the presence of animals. Once he reached the point of realizing that a conventional education was not for him, Paul, with the support of his parents, took his GED and began taking college courses and working. During this time, he contacted countless researchers, environmental organizations and scientists with the hope that a team would take an inexperienced kid with the love of the wild on. Luckily for Paul, one did. This incredible chance lead Paul into the heart of the Amazon in Peru.

Once in the Amazon, Paul