The Dalai Lama on Climate Change, Paul Farmer on Ebola, & More: Science/Medicine Previews, Nov. 2020, Pt. 1 | Prepub Alert

Science from the medieval era to today’s black holes, plus battling specific illnesses/conditions.

Science Views

Barrett, Lisa Feldman. Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain. Houghton Harcourt. Nov. 2020. 192p. ISBN 9780358157144. $24. COGNITIVE SCIENCEcover of Colapinto's This Is the Voice

Colapinto, John. This Is the Voice. S. & S. Nov. 2020. 320p. ISBN 9781982128746. $28. SCIENCE/PHYSIOLOGY

Dalai Lama & Franz Alt. Our Only Home: A Climate Appeal to the World. Hanover Square: Harlequin. Nov. 2020. 192p. ISBN 9781335218469. $19.99. NATURE/CONSERVATION

Falk, Seb. The Light Ages: The Surprising Story of Medieval Science. Norton. Nov. 2020. 320p. ISBN 9781324002932. $30. SCIENCE/HISTORY

Godfrey-Smith, Peter. Metazoa: Animal Life and the Birth of the Mind. Farrar. Nov. 2020. 352p. ISBN 9780374207946. $28. SCIENCE/EVOLUTION

Levin, Janna. Black Hole Survival Guide. Knopf. Nov. 2020. 240p. ISBN 9780525658221. $22. Downloadable. SCIENCE/ASTRONOMY

A University Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Northeastern University, Barrett (How Emotions Are Made) gives us Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain, explaining the origin, structure, and function of that blobby gray mass (50,0000-copy first printing). In This Is the Voice, New Yorker staffer Colapinto, author of the New York Times best-selling As Nature Made Him, explains how this most efficient means of communication defines humans individually and as a whole (75,000-copy first printing). The Dalai Lama’s Our Only Home calls on politicians—and encourages the younger generation—to save our planet (50,000-copy first printing). Cambridge historian Falk’s The Light Ages shows that the so-called Dark Ages were actually lit up by a keen scientific culture, as universities, eyeglasses, and mechanical clocks got their start. Having explored the mental life of octopuses in Other Minds, Godfrey-Smith, a scuba-diving professor of the history and philosophy of science at the University of Sydney, now looks more deeply into animal consciousness in Metazoa. Barnard astrophysicist Levin, a PEN/Bingham Prize–winning novelist and director of sciences at the arts-and-sciences center Pioneer Works, has the wherewithal to provide a Black Hole Survival Guide explaining the cosmos.

Fighting Illness

Farmer, Paul. Fevers, Feuds, and Diamonds: Ebola and the Ravages of History. Farrar. Nov. 2020. 672p. ISBN 9780374234324. $40. MEDICAL/INFECTIOUS DISEASEScover of Farmer's Fever, Feuds, and Diamonds

Fung, Jason, M.D. The Cancer Code. Harper Wave. Nov. 2020. 288p. ISBN 9780062894007. $27.99. HEALTH/CANCER

Karlawish, Jason. The Disease of the Century: How Alzheimer’s Became a Crisis and What We Can Do About It. St. Martin’s. Nov. 2020. 320p. ISBN 9781250218735. $27.99. HEALTH/ALZHEIMER’S

Tassone, Shawn. The Hormone Balance Bible: A Holistic Plan To Create Lifelong Health. Dey Street: HarperCollins. Nov. 2020. 272p. ISBN 9780062958532. $28.99. WOMEN’S HEALTH

The Kolokotrones University Professor and chair of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard University, public health giant Farmer offers an account of the 2014 Ebola crisis that should be especially revealing for us today (20,000-copy first printing); as suggested by the title, Fevers, Feuds, and Diamonds, there’s sociopolitical context here. Fung follows up his internationally best-selling The Diabetes Code and The Obesity Code by discussing not just the origin and treatment of cancer but its prevention in The Cancer Code (100,000-copy first printing). A professor of medicine, medical ethics and health policy, and neurology at the University of Pennsylvania and codirector of the Penn Memory Center, Karlawish contextualizes The Disease of the Century—that is, Alzheimer’s—by explaining not just why the number of afflicted has grown but how we can prevent it, treat it, and live with it (50,000-copy first printing). From leading integrative women’s health specialist Tassone, The Hormone Balance Bible explains how women can achieve better health by managing hormonal imbalance with his six-step SHINES Protocol: Spiritual Practice, Hormones, Infoceuticals, Nutrition, Exercise, and Supplements (100,000-copy first printing).

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Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (, @BarbaraHoffert on Twitter) is Editor, LJ Book Review; past chair of the Materials Selection Committee of the RUSA (Reference and User Services Assn.) division of the American Library Association; and past president of the National Book Critics Circle, to which she has just been reelected.

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