Smart Read

Book Reviews for Health and Human Interest

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Why recommend books anymore?

Does anyone read? A friend of mine said frankly, “I don’t have time to read. I get my information from the Internet and TV.” Many people evidently feel that way, since the print circulation of newspapers and magazines has fallen dramatically in recent years, and many once robust publications have gone out of business.

Despite these trends

We thought it would be fun and informative to share recommended book reviews on this blog. Summer is a great time to think about bringing a book to the pool or beach and soaking up information while listening to water sounds in the background. We hope to review books that will positively impact your health, nutrition, and fitness.

Carrots as Medicine

When my patients tell me that their blood pressure has been running high, the first thing I ask them is what they have been eating. After a careful discussion, it often becomes clear that the blood pressure increased after a meal high in sodium. We then focus on the diet, rather than medications alone, to…
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“Hillbilly Elegy” by J.D. Vance

“Hillbilly Elegy” has been on the New York Times bestseller list for weeks. The author is a 31 year old Yale law school graduate who grew up in “Rust Belt” Ohio, but whose roots are from Appalachian Kentucky. He explains the culture and circumstances of poor working class whites. As he puts it, “Americans call…
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The Death of Cancer: After Fifty Years on the Front Lines of Medicine, a Pioneering Oncologist Reveals Why the War on Cancer is Winnable–and How We Can Get There By Vincent T. DeVita, Jr. M.D

The first book review I wrote for this website focused on The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee. I absolutely loved that book. Critics agreed, since it won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction. It is hard to top such a sweeping drama in terms of the breadth and depth of cancer research. Therefore, this book…
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Life Reimagined: The Science, Art, and Opportunity of Midlife by Barbara Bradley Hagerty

When I saw the subtitle of this book, I immediately felt hope. It is good to think of the opportunity that lies with midlife. Often being in this time of life brings stress with aging parents, growing children and health issues. So often the word “midlife” goes along with the word “crisis”. Not so in this book. The author, a…
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Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates, published by Spiegel & Grau, an imprint of Random House, in 2015

This book is written as a letter from the author, an African-American journalist to his teenaged son, in this era of frequent discussions about racial relations and the recent killings of black people, by law enforcement officers. The book is a gift, a gift to his son, as the author explains his view of the…
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Recently I had the opportunity

To tour the Evergreen House in Baltimore, which is the restored 19th century home of the Garrett Family, of B&O Railroad fame. If you get a chance to see this unique place, do visit! http://www.museums.jhu.edu/evergreen.php

The Garretts were significant patrons of artists, dancers, and actors, and their home is full of BOOKS! The books date back to the 1500s, fill at least 5 rooms floor to ceiling, and are used by scholars of rare books today. This display emphasized the significant role books had on everyday life for those who could read in the 1800s. Because there was no internet, TV, or other forms of communication, people spent a significant amount of their day thinking of and pondering the written word. Although life has changed significantly since that time, we hope that reading a few great books every year will improve your intellectual, as well as physical, well-being. Enjoy summer and enjoy reading!

Linda Yau, M.D.

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