December 15, 2015 Booklist 7 www.booklistonline.com
tory buffs, she covers the German V- 2 rocket,
that technology’s capture and transferal to the
U.S. after WWII, and a passel of American
high-altitude projects in the 1940s and 1950s.
More than describing each flying machine, be
it a rocket plane, balloon, or ballistic missile,
Teitel centers on the person closely associated
with its development. Of course, Wernher
von Braun equals the V- 2 (and later, the Jupiter missile), but the designers of the X- 15
balloon gondolas, rocket sleds, and the first
space capsules are not Braun-scale celebrities.
Giving them their historical due endows Teitel’s history with general-interest value, while
her attention to bureaucratic rivalries generated by competing ideas for getting above
the earth’s atmosphere provides illuminating
backstory to how the Mercury space capsule, rather than the X- 15 hypersonic plane,
became the first American manned space vehicle. Concluding with the Sputnik panic and
creation of NASA in 1958, Teitel makes a fine
authorial debut. —Gilbert Taylor
HomeMade Modern: Smart DIY Designs
for a Stylish Home.
By Ben Uyeda.
2015. 224p. illus. Running Press, paper, $24
(9780762455072); e-book, $24.00 (9780762456079).
Does DIY mean “loving hands at home”
construction, which can result in lopsided,
wobbly, somewhat off-center creations? Not
necessarily, and not if readers consult designer
Uyeda’s debut book. He fervently believes in
the reuse, recycle, or do-without doctrine, and
his 30 designs for every room in the house
(and outside as well) prove it. Some items are
more refined than others, varying between
student specials (i.e., a bookcase of plywood
and iron-pipe fittings) to a well-thought-out
geometric doghouse. Yet the patterns do cater, for the most part, to novice woodworkers;
many feature straightforward uses of plywood,
concrete, and iron-pipe fittings, with occasional fillips such as a knitted bench cover. The
instructions are detailed and illustrated, complete with tool icons for each step and answers
to such questions as: What can go wrong? Are
there alternatives? What if you don’t want it
anymore? Smart and practical DIY household
ideas from an entrepreneur who started with a
how-to You Tube video. —Barbara Jacobs
Health & Medicine
Always Hungry? Conquer Cravings,
Retrain Your Fat Cells, and Lose Weight
By David Ludwig.
Jan. 2016. 304p. Grand Central, $28 (9781455533862).
In this ode to whole, natural foods, Ludwig,
Big Girl: How I Gave Up Dieting and Got
professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical
School and professor of nutrition at the Har-
vard School of Public Health, criticizes the
dieting tradition of counting calories. “Al-
though a bottle of cola and a handful of nuts
may have the same calories, they certainly
don’t have the same effects on metabolism,”
he writes. Good point. He urges people to go
easy on processed foods and simple carbohy-
drates and go big on healthy fats and proteins.
A recipe for a power shake even calls for some
heavy cream. Why? “What drives the pancreas
to produce too much insulin [which causes
weight gain]?” he writes. “Carbohydrates.” He
intersperses his general advice with patients’
stories. Like Ludwig himself, these folks lost
weight without dieting. Expect to find charts
with the glycemic load of carb-containing foods
and the phases of his program. He ends with
an arresting epilogue titled “Ending the Mad-
ness,” which reveals how the U.S. government
essentially subsidizes the production of grains
with low nutritional quality over nutrient-
rich vegetables, fruits, and nuts. Now that’s
food for thought. —Karen Springen
By Kelsey Miller.
Jan. 2016. 288p. Grand Central, paper, $14.99
(9781455532636); e-book, $9.99 (9781455532643).
Over many years, Miller, creator of the online Anti-Diet Project, sampled every diet from
Weight Watchers to Eat 4 Your Type. In this
frank, often laugh-out-loud memoir, she digs
deeply into her childhood, searching for the
origins of her overeating habit. She remembers
food as a reward for doing well and a consolation for disappointments. She remembers
being teased about her weight as a child and
being typecast as the sidekick in acting roles
because she didn’t have the right body type
for the lead. Her struggles included a troubled
relationship with her alcoholic, distant mother
and sexual abuse by a family friend. Hope arrives in the form of an intuitive eating plan that
allows her to recognize food as nourishment,
not entertainment, and a blog that follows her
transformation from calorie obsession to comfortable (not comfort) eating. Along the way
she learns (and shares) some important lessons
on living mindfully. Miller’s style is breezy, but
her keen insights, commonsense advice, and
honesty will resonate with other troubled eaters.
YA: Teens struggling with the same issues
will connect with Miller’s brazenly honest
The Joy of Half a Cookie: Using
Mindfulness to Lose Weight and End the
Struggle with Food.
By Jean Kristeller and Alisa Bowman.
Jan. 2016. 288p. Perigee, $24.95 (9780399172151). 613.
Being able to eat what you want to sounds
too good to be true for most of us. But Kristell-
er presents a convincing case for controlling
obsession with food by mindful eating. Eating
mindfully means eating without judgment,
noticing when we’re full (and stopping), and
experiencing how the taste of food changes
as we eat. Although Kristeller doesn’t ignore
calories (you need to check the price tag on
purchases, right?), she encourages readers to
make good choices and small changes to their
eating habits rather than relying on strict di-
ets and banned foods. In the second half of
the book, the author outlines practices for fo-
cusing on the present and raising awareness.
Beginning with meditation, she moves on to
specifics on gauging actual hunger, tuning the
taste buds, strengthening the powers of choice,
and balancing emotional eating. A “Keep It Off
Checklist” offers a way to chart progress in key
areas. Filled with practical ideas and sound the-
ories, this very positive, reassuring book will be
a popular library purchase. —Candace Smith
By Rob Roberge.
Feb. 2016. 272p. Crown, $26 (9780553448061); e-book
Depending on where your life is at the moment, has been, or never will be, Roberge’s
memoir is a depressing, tough, engrossing read.
He’s bipolar, he’s a junkie, he’s an alcoholic.
He’s also a professor, an author, and a guitar
player. In this thoughtful exposition of his life,
he jumps from year to year, from youth to current day and everywhere in between. With
his medical condition, his brain is not always
under control, and it’s spooky to read about,
especially when Roberge writes in the second
person (“You’ve had, more or less, a nervous
breakdown”). Interspersed with his own tales
are extinctions of animals, suicides of people
famous and not, and CTE, the controversial
brain problem caused by concussions and suffered by football players, boxers, and Roberge.
Yet somehow he survives, he cleans up, he
marries, he becomes a success. He is so much
more than an addict, yet it’s easier for him to let
people believe that than to admit he is bipolar;
it’s a question of control versus no control. A
fascinating book that will remain with readers
for some time. —Eloise Kinney
My Confection: Odyssey of a Sugar Addict.
By Lisa Kotin.
Jan. 2016. 264p. Beacon, $16.95 (9780807069257);
e-book (9780807069264). 613.2.
It was more than sugar that induced Kotin
• Young adult recommendations for
adult, audio, and reference titles
reviewed in this issue have been contributed by the Booklist staff and by
reviewers Michael Cart, Carol Haggas,
Kristine Huntley, Jesse Karp, Susan
Maguire, Cortney Ophoff, Candace
Smith, and Snow Wildsmith.
• Adult titles recommended for teens are
marked with the following symbols: YA,
for books of general YA interest; YA/C,
for books with particular curriculum
value; YA/S, for books that will appeal
most to teens with a special interest in
a specific subject; and YA/M, for books
best suited to mature teens.