10 Booklist July2016 www.booklistreader.com
distracting) cross-references to related and
complementary strategies. Reischer summarizes psychological research and her clinical
experience in a simple, straightforward manner mostly free of jargon. She is at her best
in the “Try This” section at the end of each
chapter, which includes real-life examples
and step-by-step instructions for applying
the strategy in a challenging parenting situation. Like many authors of parenting books,
Reischer wrote the one book she was unable
to find when her first child was born. She has
ensured that parents of young children no
longer have that problem. —Lindsay Harmon
Health & Medicine
The Alzheimer’s Prevention & Treatment
Diet: Using Nutrition to Combat the
Effects of Alzheimer’s Disease.
By Richard S. Isaacson and Christopher
July 2016. 320p. Square One, paper, $17.95
(9780757004087); e-book (9780757054082). 616.8.
It’s hard to argue with a book that espouses
eating a dinner of salmon, roasted red potatoes, and green beans or a morning snack of a
hard-boiled egg and an apple. So even skeptics
who question whether diet can truly prevent
dementia will find it tough to object to this
guide. Isaacson, a medical doctor and neurologist who specializes in Alzheimer’s disease,
and Ochner, a clinical scientist who focuses
on nutrition, present a plan that is “satisfying
to both the brain and the belly.” The authors
suggest reducing carbohydrate intake, limiting fast foods and fried foods to no more than
one meal a week, and eating omega 3–rich
fish at least twice a week and leafy greens every day. They also make a compelling case for
staying slim, noting that overweight people
are considered to be at greater risk of developing hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes,
and cancer. Isaacson and Ochner can get a bit
wonky, but overall, the reasonable diet they
recommend certainly won’t cause harm and
may, indeed, reduce the risk of getting this irreversible, memory-destroying brain disorder.
Glow Kids: How Screen Addiction Is
Hijacking Our Kids—and How to Break
By Nicholas Kardaras.
Aug. 2016. 288p. St. Martin’s, $25.99 (9781250097996).
Kardaras, an addictions expert and profes-
sor of neuroscience, uses scientific studies
and examples from his own practice to show
the addictive powers of electronic gaming
and social media, calling them “electronic
cocaine.” He cites cases about teens who are
avid gamers losing touch with reality and
tests showing that attention and memory are
shrinking in school children. Although not
completely against the computer (he admits
to writing his book electronically), his main
concerns are the effects games have on the
developing brains of younger users and the
explosion of electronics in education. The
constant reward seeking and escalating chal-
lenges cause an increase in dopamine, which
translates into addiction, leading Kardaras
to speculate on links to ADHD and waning
sensory awareness as well as the influence of
cyberbullying on rising crime and suicide
rates. His tone is conversational rather than
threatening, and his commonsense sugges-
tions for combating this epidemic (public
awareness, full disclosure by tech companies,
emphasis on critical thinking in schools) are
reassuring. Kardaras’ eye-opening study is
sure to spark discussions among parents and
educators. —Candace Smith
By Elizabeth Lesser.
Sept. 2016. 320p. Harper/Wave, $25.99
Looking for lessons in sibling harmony?
One need look no further than Lesser’s
fine and moving memoir. Cofounder of the
Omega Institute and author of the best-selling Broken Open (2004),
Lesser was caught in a loop
of preprogrammed relationship roles with her three
sisters, and she had given
scant thought to challenging the die cast in their
early family life. This one
was the smart one, this one
the impetuous one, this one the baby of the
family, and so forth, and this was the accepted standard by which all behaved. Not
for lack of imagination but for lacking the
need to change—until Maggie is diagnosed
with cancer and needs a bone marrow transplant. Lesser is a perfect match. This is when
we learn what Thoreau really meant when
he said he wanted to “suck out all the marrow of life.” Marrow holds the very essence
of life, and a transplant cannot be taken too
seriously. What the two sisters endured illuminates what should be at the core of our
linkage to family. Lesser presents a road map
that follows their soul-searching and spiritual stamina and gives new meaning to the
phrase, no greater love. —Donna Chavez
The Mind-Gut Connection: How the
Hidden Conversation within Our Bodies
Impacts Our Mood, Our Choices, and Our
By Emeran Mayer.
July 2016. 320p. Harper Wave, $27.99 (9780062376558).
Microscopic life—bacteria, viruses, fun-
gi—teems and thrives within our bodies.
Gastroenterologist Mayer estimates that
“there are 100,000 times more microbes
in your gut alone as there are people on
earth.” And be amazed (or repulsed) by his
calculation that the weight of all your gut
microorganisms combined is in the range
of two to six pounds. Mayer elucidates the
intricate biochemical dialogue that occurs
between the brain, digestive tract, and tril-
lions of bacteria residing in the gut. He
dubs this form of communication “microbe-
speak” and speculates on its implications
for social behavior, decision making, emo-
tional well-being, and maybe mental health.
Microbes can signal the brain via neurotrans-
mitters such as serotonin, metabolites, and
hormones. Mayer hypothesizes that some
gastrointestinal bacteria might produce
substances that can dampen anxiety (giving
greater meaning to the term “gut feelings”).
He suggests approaches to maintaining the
health of gut microorganisms, including
feeding them organically grown foods, pro-
biotics, and naturally fermented products.
Even more than a complex ecosystem, the
human microbiome is a miniature universe.
Only recently have we commenced its explo-
ration. — Tony Miksanek
Painkillers: History, Science, and Issues.
Ed. by Victor B. Stolberg.
2016. 293p. illus. Greenwood, $60 (9781440835315).
Chronic pain and the abuse of and addiction to drugs that alleviate it are major health
problems. There are news stories about them
daily. This book, part of the new Story of a
Drug series, provides readers with an overview
of these drugs and the issues related to them.
The author, a substance-abuse counselor
and professor, offers a multidisciplinary
approach to the subject. He begins by discussing the different classes of painkillers:
opiates, opioids, nonsteroidal anti-inflam-matories, COX- 2 inhibitors, and others.
There is information about nonpharmaceutical pain-relief techniques, such as
acupuncture, chiropractic, and hypnosis, as
well. The volume then presents a history of
these drugs with interesting cross-cultural
information about their use in many parts
of the world (readers will learn that Bayer
manufactured heroin in 1809). A definition
of pain and a discussion of how painkillers
work, their effects, and the potential for misuse and overdose follows. Information about
the production, distribution, and regulation
of these drugs; the social issues (addiction,
treatment); and thoughts about their future
complete the work. A glossary, directory of
resources, and a bibliography provide further information for readers. Several primary
source documents supplement the text. This
is an excellent resource for school and public
libraries. —Barbara Bibel
YA/C: A fine overview of a hot topic,
suitable for high-school-level current-events projects. RV.
The Book of Spice: From Anise to Zedoary.
By John O’Connell.
July 2016. 288p. illus. Pegasus, $26.95
More than just culinary reference, this