22 Booklist September 1, 2016 www.booklistreader.com
dom, and acknowledging slip-ups. Hartwig, a
certified sports nutritionist, expands the original Whole30 structure by offering customizing
options while still insisting on strict adherence
to the chosen program. Hartwig supports her
approach by citing scientific studies she interprets as demonstrating that the brain thrives on
limited options. Promised results include less
stress, better sleep, improved digestion, and
more energy. What make this book particularly
valuable are Hartwig’s emphasis on non-scale-oriented victories and her practical strategies
for handling inevitable backslides, naysayers,
and stubborn old habits. The prospect of food
freedom is appealing, and Hartwig’s conversational style and no-nonsense stance make her
plan seem doable. This is sure to be a popular
purchase. —Candace Smith
How to Survive a Plague: The
Inside Story of How Citizens and
Science Tamed AIDS.
By David France.
Nov. 2016. 640p. Knopf, $30 (9780307700636). 616.
Safe sex, the rainbow motif, AZT and protease inhibitors, GLAAD, scientific squabbles,
donment, terror—that gripped those infected
and those not. He concludes, “Nobody left
those years uncorrupted.” France focuses on
the heroes of the epidemic, primarily AIDS
activists whose names are mostly unknown to
the general public. Groups (such as the AIDS
Coalition to Unleash Power) and individuals
alike committed themselves to political advocacy, community outreach (self-help programs
and education), fundraising for research, and
protest. Their battle wasn’t only against the
complex, rapidly mutating HIV retrovirus
that melted immune systems and destroyed
lives (mostly young gay men) but also ignorance, prejudice, and fear. France identifies
“the foul truths that a microscopic virus had
revealed about American culture: politicians
who welcomed the plague as proof of God’s
will, doctors who refused the victims medical
care, ministers and often even parents themselves who withheld all but a shiver of grief.”
American history, memoir, public health, and
a call-to-action are perfectly and passionately blended here. Spectacular and soulful.
— Tony Miksanek
Leaving the OCD Circus: Your Big Ticket
out of Having to Control Every Little
By Kirsten Pagacz.
Oct. 2016. 264p. Conari, paper, $18.95
It wasn’t until her future husband heard a
public service announcement on NPR describ-
ing OCD that Pagacz was able to put a name
to her condition. After 20 years of rechecking
locked doors, straightening computer cords,
redoing school projects, and hearing threaten-
ing voices, Pagacz finally gets treatment. Her
description of her escalating illness is irrever-
ent, brutally honest, and compelling. With
the help of her doctor, she is able to gradually
control her obsessive thoughts and compulsive
acts using strategies that include observing her
actions and facing down “Monkey,” her mental
tormentor. While triggers remain just below
the surface, and Pagacz admits to relapses in
stressful times, such as her wedding and starting
her own business, her successes are inspiring.
Excerpts from her poetry as well as thought-
provoking quotes are scattered throughout the
book, and important information is recapped
in “Key Points to Remember” sidebars. There
are no cures or quick fixes for the condition,
according to Pagacz, but her practical strategies
offer hope to others facing similar struggles.
YA/S: Teens struggling with OCD will be
encouraged by Pagacz’s accessible story. CS.
Navigating Life with Epilepsy.
By David C. Spencer.
Oct. 2016. 304p. illus. Oxford, paper, $19.95
Epilepsy, a chronic neurological disorder
distinguished by recurring and unprovoked
seizures, is a challenging disease to handle.
Even a partial list of prominent personalities
afflicted by the disease is notable: Aristotle,
Julius Caesar, Dostoyevsky, Napoléon, and
Vincent van Gogh. Neurologist and epilepsy
specialist Spencer covers lots of ground in a
small book that details essential aspects of
living with the disease. He likens a seizure to
“an electrical storm in the brain” due to an
aberrant discharge of neurons. He reviews
different types of seizures, how they occur,
their causes, diagnosis, testing, and first aid.
Concerns about driving, safety, work, and
independent living are addressed. Treatment
choices—medication, surgery, and medical
devices—are clearly explained. More than 20
different antiepileptic drugs are approved by
the FDA, and Spencer summarizes the indications for using each of them, their side
effects, monitoring, and even when they
might be stopped. It’s a fact that patients
who are more informed about their illnesses
garner improved outcomes. This easy-to-un-derstand book successfully provides ample
and useful information on managing epilepsy.
— Tony Miksanek
A Plague on All Our Houses: Medical
Intrigue, Hollywood, and the Discovery
By Bruce J. Hillman.
Oct. 2016. 248p. ForeEdge, $29.95 (9781611688757);
e-book, $24.99 (9781611688757). 614.5.
Thirty-five years ago, Michael Gottlieb, a
young UCLA doctor, first recognized AIDS
as a mysterious new disease and published
articles in the Centers for Disease Control’s
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report and in
the prestigious New England Journal of Medi-
cine. In this tale of medical and academic
intrigue, his medical school classmate, Hill-
man (The Man Who Stalked Einstein, 2015),
looks at the early history of AIDS research,
fundraising, and politics. It’s a tale filled with
larger-than-life personalities, including stars
like Elizabeth Taylor. It’s also a tale filled with
academic intrigue and jealousy. After all, Got-
tlieb became a media celebrity for being Rock
Hudson’s doctor. Rather than getting kudos
from his UCLA superiors, however, he was
denied tenure. Hillman interviews many key
players, from Gottlieb’s ex-wife to many for-
mer colleagues. He also reminds us that biases
against homosexuals affected the initial medi-
cal responses to the array of abnormalities we
now know as AIDS but was originally called
GRID, for gay-related immune deficiency.
This fascinating, behind-the-scenes look
at the early days of AIDS reveals just how
much has changed medically and socially.
The Thyroid Connection: Why You Feel
Tired, Brain-Fogged, and Overweight—
and How to Get Your Life Back.
By Amy Myers.
Sept. 2016. 304p. Little, Brown, $28 (9780316272865);
e-book, $14.99 (9780316272841). 616.4.
People who feel overweight, sluggish, or
depressed can find solace and advice in this
holistic look at disorders of the thyroid, the
hormone-secreting gland that effects metabolism. Myers ( The Autoimmune Solution, 2015),
an MD who practices functional or integrative medicine and specializes in autoimmune
problems, writes from her own expertise as
both a doctor and a patient. When she was
in medical school, she suffered from a form
of hyperthyroidism known as Graves’ disease,
and conventional medicine failed her. She is
dedicated to helping the estimated 12 percent
of Americans who will suffer from thyroid
dysfunction in their lifetimes to avoid a similar fate. She suggests many dietary approaches:
avoid gluten, alcohol, dairy, fast food, and caf-feinated beverages; get out into natural light;
and keep the temperature cool for sleeping.
Myers can get a bit too technical, and readers
may be wary of detoxing with supplements
with names like acetyl glutathione. But most
of her advice is sound and doable, including buying chemically untreated organic
bedsheets, and aimed at being kinder to an
overwhelmed body. —Karen Springen
Adventures in Chicken: 150 Amazing
Recipes from the Creator of
By Eva Kosmas Flores.
Oct. 2016. 288p. illus. HMH, $30 (9780544558205);
e-book (9780544558212). 641.6.
You’ll never look at a chicken the same way