New Books This Week

We have something of interest for everyone!

Health Science students:

  • The 21st Century Guide to Writing Articles in the Biomedical Sciences by Shiri Diskin: “We live in an unprecedented era of flourishing of scientific publishing. However, many professionals in the biomedical sciences find writing articles to be a daunting task. Through her experience of teaching professionals in this field and editing their work, Dr. Diskin has become aware of their unique set of challenges and needs. This book aims to help writers in the field of biomedical sciences address these challenges and meet their needs. This book is a practical writing guide that covers the writing process from the project’s inception to the online distribution of the published article. It includes an in-depth discussion of the expected content of each article section in accordance with the IMRAD format (Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Results and Discussion), as well as many details concerning the preparation of additional submission materials. The characteristics of papers reporting on specific types of research (retrospective, prospective, clinical and non-clinical) are presented, together with article types other than the general full research article, such as case reports and reviews. Importantly, throughout the book, Dr. Diskin discusses and explains the practicalities of writing articles in today’s interconnected environment. Topics such as coordinating the writing in a multinational team, use of different types of software in the writing process and resources available online to support the writer are fleshed out in detail. The book is full of references to external resources for additional reading and learning.”–Back cover
  • Breathtaking: Asthma Care in a Time of Climate Change by Alison Kenner: “Asthma is not a new problem, but today the disease is being reshaped by changing ecologies, healthcare systems, medical sciences, and built environments. A global epidemic, asthma (and our efforts to control it) demands an analysis attentive to its complexity, its contextual nature, and the care practices that emerge from both. At once clearly written and theoretically insightful, ‘Breathtaking’ provides a sweeping ethnographic account of asthma’s many dimensions through the lived experiences of people who suffer from disordered breathing, as well as by considering their support networks, from secondary school teachers and coaches, to breathing educators and new smartphone applications designed for asthma control. Against the backdrop of unbreathable environments, Alison Kenner describes five modes of care that illustrate how asthma is addressed across different sociocultural scales. These modes of care often work in combination, building from or preceding one another. Tensions also exist between them, a point reflected by Kenner’s description of the structural conditions and material rhythms that shape everyday breathing, chronic disease, and our surrounding environments. She argues that new modes of distributed, collective care practices are needed to address asthma as a critical public health issue in the time of climate change.”–Publisher description
  • Infiltrating Healthcare: How Marketing Works Underground to Influence Nurses by Quinn Grundy: “It was once common for pharmaceutical companies and medical device makers to treat doctors to lavish vacations or give them new cars; companies would do virtually anything to buy influence so that their medications or devices would be used in a doctor’s office or hospital. But with growing public scrutiny of kickbacks to doctors, the huge giveaways have disappeared. In ‘Infiltrating Healthcare,’ Quinn Grundy shows that sales representatives are working instead behind the scenes. It is to nurses that these companies now market. Nurses, Grundy argues, are the perfect target for sales reps: their work is largely invisible and frequently undervalued, yet they wield a great deal of influence over treatment and purchasing decisions. Furthermore, there are no legal restrictions on marketing to most nurses. Grundy describes how, under the guise of education or product support, and through gifts and free samples, sales representatives influence nurses in the course of day-to-day clinical practice. Grundy argues that the very presence of sales reps in operating rooms, purchasing committee meetings, and patient care units blurs the boundaries between patient care and medical sales. Helpfully, she also describes ways that nurses can be aware of (and resistant to) their influence. ‘Infiltrating Healthcare’ is a call to action to protect the clinical spaces where we are at our most vulnerable–and the decisions that take place there–from the pursuit of profit at any cost. This is a timely book that shines a light on a practice that often goes unseen and which has tangible implications for healthcare policy and practice.”–Book jacket
  • Code Blue: Inside America’s Medical Industrial Complex by Mike Magee, MD: “Why has the United States, with more resources than any nation, developed a healthcare system that delivers much poorer results, at near double the cost of any other developed country? The answer is a profit prioritized over health care. Mike Magee, M.D., who worked for years inside the medical system administering a hospital and then as a senior executive at the giant pharmaceutical company Pfizer, has spent the last decade deconstructing the often shocking way that the pillars of our health system–Big Pharma, insurance companies, hospitals, the American Medical Association, and anyone affiliated with them–have built a web of connections that Magee refers to as the Medical Industrial Complex. With an eye first and foremost on the bottom line rather than on the nation’s health, each sector has for decades embraced cure over care, aiming to conquer disease rather than concentrate on the cultural and social factors that determine health. This decision Magee calls the ‘original sin’ of our health system. ‘Code Blue’ is a riveting, character-driven narrative that draws back the curtain on the giant industry that consumes one out of every five American dollars such that legendary seer Warren Buffett calls the Medical Industrial Complex ‘the tapeworm of American economic competitiveness.’ Making clear for the first time the mechanisms, greed, and collusion by which our medical system was built over the last eight decades–and arguing persuasively and urgently for the necessity of a single-payer, multi-plan insurance arena of the kind enjoyed by every other major developed nation–Mike Magee gives us invaluable perspective and inspiration by which we can, indeed, reshape the future.”–Book jacket

Communications & Literature students:

  • Linguistics For Non-Linguists: a Primer with Exercises by Frank Parker, Kathryn Riley: “‘Linguistics for Non-Linguists,’ Fifth Edition, makes linguistics accessible to beginners by providing a clear understanding of both the basic and more complex aspects of this challenging subject. This newly revised edition continues to be a readable and user-friendly introductory text that presents the basic elements of linguistics clearly and concisely. Beginning with recognizable topics and gradually moving readers into unfamiliar, technical territory, this text makes the subject matter approachable and understandable for all readers. Including summaries of complex topics, supplemental readings, and hundreds of supplementary and exploratory exercises throughout the text that reinforce the material covered, ‘Linguistics for Non-linguists’ offers students a complete understanding of the basics of this critical field. Specialists in language-related fields including Speech-Language Pathology, Experimental Phonetics, Communication, Education, Psychology, and English as a Second Language will find this text an essential resource and reference.”–Back cover
  • Don’t Read Poetry: a Book About How to Read Poems by Stephanie Burt: “In ‘Don’t Read Poetry,’ award-winning poet and literary critic Stephanie Burt offers an accessible introduction to the seemingly daunting task of reading, understanding, enjoying, and learning from poems. Burt dispels preconceptions about poetry and explains how poems speak to one another–and how they can speak to our lives. She shows readers how to find more poems once they have some poems they care for and how to connect the poetry of the past to the poetry of the present. Burt moves seamlessly from Shakespeare and other classics to the poems of our own day, responsive to current events, or discovered online. She challenges the assumptions that many of us make about ‘poetry,’ whether we think we like it or think we don’t, in order to help us cherish–and distinguish among–individual poems. A masterful guide to a sometimes confounding genre, ‘Don’t Read Poetry’ will instruct and delight newcomers, cognoscenti, and those in between.”–Book jacket

Other interests:

  • Why Superman Doesn’t Take Over the World: What Superheroes Can Tell Us About Economics by J. Brian O’Roark: “Economics and comics may seem to be a world apart. But in the hands of economics professor and comic book hero aficionado Brian O’Roark, the two form a powerful alliance. With brilliant deadpan enthusiasm he shows how the travails of superheroes can explain the building blocks of economics, and how economics explains the mysteries of superhero behavior. Spider-Man’s existential doubts revolve around opportunity costs; Wonder Woman doesn’t have a sidekick because she has a comparative advantage in everything; game theory sheds light on the battle between Captain America and Iron Man; the Joker keeps committing crimes because of the Peltzman effect; and utility curves help us decide who is the greatest superhero of all. ‘Why Superman Doesn’t Take Over the World’ probes the motivations of our favorite heroes, and reveals that the characters in the comics may have powers we don’t, but they are still beholden to the laws of economics.”–Book jacket
  • Small Arms: Children and Terrorism by Mia Bloom with John Horgan: “Why do terrorist organizations use children to support their cause and carry out their activities? ‘Small Arms’ uncovers the brutal truth behind the mobilization of children by terrorist groups. Mia Bloom and John Horgan show us the grim underbelly of society that allows and even encourages the use of children to conduct terrorist activities. They provide readers with the who, what, when, why, and how of this increasingly concerning situation, illuminating a phenomenon that to most of us seems abhorrent. And yet, they argue, for terrorist groups the use of children carries many benefits. Children possess skills that adults lack. They often bring innovation and creativity. Children are, in fact, a superb demographic from which to recruit if you are a terrorist. ‘Small Arms’ answers questions about recruitment strategies and tactics, determines what makes a child terrorist and what makes him or her different from an adult one, and charts the ways in which organizations use them. The unconventional focus on child and youth militants allows the authors to, in essence, give us a biography of the child terrorist and the organizations that use them. We are taken inside the mind of the adult and the child to witness that which perhaps most scares us.”–Book jacket
  • Good Music: What it is and Who Gets to Decide by John J. Sheinbaum: “Over the past two centuries Western culture has largely valorized a particular kind of ‘good’ music–highly serious, wondrously deep, stylistically authentic, heroically created, and strikingly original–and, at the same time, has marginalized music that does not live up to those ideals. In ‘Good Music,’ John J. Sheinbaum explores these traditional models for valuing music. By engaging examples such as Handel oratorios, Beethoven and Mahler symphonies, jazz improvisations, Bruce Springsteen, and prog rock, he argues that metaphors of perfection do justice to neither the perceived strengths nor the assumed weaknesses of the music in question. Instead, he proposes an alternative model of appreciation where abstract notions of virtue need not dictate our understanding. Good music can, with pride, be playful rather than serious, diverse rather than unified, engaging to both body and mind, in dialogue with manifold styles and genres, and collaborative to the core. We can widen the scope of what music we value and reconsider the conventional rituals surrounding it, while retaining the joys of making music, listening closely, and caring passionately.”–Back cover
  • The Fate of Food: What We’ll Eat in a Bigger, Hotter, Smarter World by Amanda Little: “Is the future of food looking bleak–or better than ever? Climate models show that global crop production will decline every decade for the rest of this century due to drought, heat, and flooding. Water supplies are in jeopardy. Meanwhile the world’s population is expected to grow another 30 percent by midcentury. So how, really, will we feed nine billion people sustainably in the coming decades? Amanda Little, a professor at Vanderbilt University and an award-winning journalist, spent three years traveling through a dozen countries and as many U.S. states in search of answers to this question. Her journey took her from old apple orchards in Wisconsin to new remote-controlled farms in Shanghai, from teeming fisheries in Norway to famine-stricken regions of Ethiopia. The race to reinvent the global food system is on, and the challenge is twofold: We must solve the existing problems of industrial agriculture while also preparing for the pressures ahead. Through her interviews and adventures with farmers, scientists, activists, and engineers, Little tells the fascinating story of human innovation and explores new and old approaches to food production while charting the growth of a movement that could redefine sustainable food on a grand scale. She meets small permaculture farmers and ‘Big Food’ executives, botanists studying ancient superfoods and Kenyan farmers growing the country’s first GMO corn. She travels to places that might seem irrelevant to the future of food yet surprisingly play a critical role–a California sewage plant, a U.S. Army research lab, even the inside of a monsoon cloud above Mumbai. Little asks tough questions: Can GMOs actually be good for the environment–and for us? Are we facing the end of animal meat? What will it take to eliminate harmful chemicals from farming? How can a clean, climate-resilient food supply become accessible to all? Throughout her journey Little finds and shares a deeper understanding of the threats of climate change and encounters a sense of awe and optimism about the lessons of our past and the scope of human ingenuity.”–Book jacket

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