10 Booklist October 1, 2017 www.booklistreader.com
tists who study jellies. She swam with jellies,
watched how quickly they disintegrate in fishers’ nets, ate them in Japan, and kept them in
a home aquarium, and as she revels in these
spineless animals, she teaches us to delight in
them, too. —Nancy Bent
Total Cat Mojo: The Ultimate Guide
to Life with Your Cat.
By Jackson Galaxy and Mikel Delgado.
Oct. 2017. 384p. illus. TarcherPerigee, paper, $17
(9780143131618); e-book, $11.99 (9781524705268).
Dedicated cat trainer, host of the hit TV
show My Cat from Hell, and author of previous books (Cat Daddy, 2012; Catification,
begins with an in-depth look at what “mojo”
means to our pets, and how owners of cats
can help them achieve their confident lives.
Those who believe cats are self-sufficient and
easy to care for (read: ignore) will get a thorough education in all things catified—that is,
ensuring a comfortable environment and mutually affectionate relationship. He delves into
cat-personality archetypes (“Mojito,” “
Napoleon,” and “Wallflower”), talks about best
methods of parenting (forget Kitty Jail and
punishment), and gives step-by-step instruction for introducing another animal, a baby,
or additional human into the mix. Readers
will enjoy “Cat Nerd Corners” and giggle at
Galaxy’s cat-entertainment creations like Cat
TV, sundials, and jackpots. This will get two
paws up from anyone living with a feline
friend. —Barbara Jacobs
The Zoomable Universe: An Epic Tour
through Cosmic Scale, from Almost
Everything to Nearly Nothing.
By Caleb Scharf.
Oct. 2017. 224p. illus. Farrar/Scientific American, $27
Exponents frame this illustrated tour from
the largest astrophysical structure—the
observable universe—to the smallest scientifically meaningful size—the Planck length.
Descending by orders of magnitude of 10,
Scharf begins with the diameter of the universe, helping readers visualize this huge
number in conjunction with artist Ron Miller’s image of a sphere containing filaments,
which, when the focus descends down a few
orders of 10, is revealed to be clusters of galaxies. In this manner, Scharf’s inquisitive text,
allied with Miller’s beautiful illustrations,
conveys fundamental physics and astronomy.
Upon zooming down to Earth and its ever-evolving cargo of life, they delve into life’s
operating code, DNA. Proceeding to atomic
scales, Scharf observes (and Miller visualizes)
how empty an atom is, as empty as intergalactic space. Scharf acquaints readers with a
physical reality that exists at all scales of 10 but
becomes most apparent at the quantum-me-chanics level. This brilliant author-illustrator
collaboration is a worthy, must-have successor
to the title that inspired it, the classic Powers
of Ten (1990), by Philip Morrison and Phylis
Morrison. —Gilbert Taylor
YA/C: Science-entranced YAs and those
for whom art will provide a welcome
portal into science will all delight in this
elucidating volume. GT.
The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon,
Apple, Facebook, and Google.
By Scott Galloway.
Oct. 2017. 320p. Penguin/Portfolio, $28
(9780735213654); e-book, $14.99 (9780735213661).
Galloway, a professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business, writes about
four tech giants that have become today’s
digital-age influential powerhouses: Amazon,
Apple, Google, and Facebook. In common,
these four companies share their accessibility
and daily use by millions of people seeking
their services and products. Galloway describes the rapid rise of “the four” through
their strategic business models, and how each
company has refined new services and products to serve more people around the world
than any other company. Galloway also addresses setbacks that these giants have faced
in their journeys, providing useful lessons
for business leaders. In discussing how the
four have defended their markets carefully
and strategically against competitors, Galloway explores the rise of new retail giants in
the field, such as Alibaba and Netflix. Readers interested in innovation and strategies in
technology and business management will
find this book to be a provocative and insightful look at four powerful forces that dominate
our social, psychological, and economic states
today. —Raymond Pun
Health & Medicine
The Art of Misdiagnosis: Surviving
My Mother’s Suicide.
By Gayle Brandeis.
Nov. 2017. 264p. illus. Beacon, $26.95
Not many books begin with a line as arresting as “After my mom hangs herself, I
become Nancy Drew.” But not many authors
write as hauntingly as Brandeis (Delta Girls,
2010) or live through such a disturbing trag-
edy. In 2009, just one week after Brandeis
gives birth, her delusional mother commits
suicide in a parking garage closet. In this
memoir named after a documentary her
mom was producing, she gives heartbreak-
ing, sometimes creepy, details. For example,
she notes that her mother’s black pants smell
like urine and that she was wearing a tiger-
striped bra (“this touches me, somehow, this
touch of wildness she car-
ried beneath her clothes”).
As Brandeis switches back
and forth in time, she recalls
1994, when her mother at-
tacked her father with a
stun gun to try to give him
a heart attack. Her par-
ents didn’t speak for three
years. How does Brandeis wrap up this tale
of grief? She remarks that the Mayans be-
lieved suicide by hanging was an honorable
way to die, notes that more than 800,000
people worldwide kill themselves each year,
and gives suicide-prevention resources. Like
other memoirs about mental illness and
suicide, Brandeis’ is upsetting. But with its
warts-and-all honesty about flawed people,
including the author, it is also illuminating
and redeeming. —Karen Springen
The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister’s
Quest to Transform the Grisly World of
By Lindsey Fitzharris.
Oct. 2017. 304p. illus. Farrar/Scientific American, $27
In the nineteenth century, surgery was not
exactly science or art but rather a dicey and
gruesome affair. Prior to the discovery and
widespread use of anesthetic agents, patients
were awake during their operations, enduring unimaginable pain and horror. And if
they survived the surgical procedure, death
from postoperative infection remained a
big risk. Medical historian Fitzharris captures the chaos, personalities, and bumpy
evolution of surgery during the Victorian
period. The star of the story is the man who
devoted much of his life searching for the
source and solution to the problem of hospital infections. Born in 1827, Joseph Lister
was religious and driven by scientific curiosity. He contracted a mild case of smallpox,
suffered from depression, and was a bit of
a hypochondriac. He experimented on frog
legs and corresponded with Louis Pasteur.
He was interested in how wounds healed.
Lister’s advocacy of antiseptic principles in
surgery was revolutionary but a hard sell. He
traveled across Europe and America, arguing
for the acceptance of germ theory and promoting disinfection. Hygiene had its hero.
— Tony Miksanek
The End of Breast Cancer: A Virus and
the Hope for a Vaccine.
By Kathleen T. Ruddy.
Oct. 2017. 296p. Skyhorse, $24.99 (9781510723016).
Ruddy, a breast-cancer surgeon, knows
how to wield a pen, not just a scalpel. Does
a virus cause breast cancer in women? Maybe.
Skeptics will justifiably think Ruddy’s declarative oversells this idea. Yet she clearly and
eloquently explains why she believes scientists