Breath Taking: The Power, Fragility, and Future of Our Extraordinary Lungs

Brilliance Audio. Jan. 2021. 1,055p. ISBN 9781713554240. $24.99. HEALTH
Stephen (medicine, Thomas Jefferson Univ.; director, Adult Cystic Fibrosis Center) presents a fascinating analysis of the importance of our lungs. Stephen reminds listeners that even though humans breathe approximately 7.5 million times per year and 600 million times in an average lifetime, most people take breathing for granted until the function is impaired. He also delves into some spiritual understandings of the healing power of breathing; connects the function of the lungs to immunity; and expands on the still-developing science involving lung transplants and cutting-edge medical research. While the audiobook covers many bases, Stephens occasionally wanders too far afield from his medical expertise in segments about anthropology and evolution that contain minor errors, which will be apparent to specialists in those fields. Tom Parks provides superb narration.
VERDICT Will appeal to listeners who enjoy popular science about human anatomy, such as Bill Bryson’s The Body, James Nestor’s Breath, and Alice Roberts’s Don’t Die Young. Recommended mostly for public libraries; academic libraries supporting medical school curricula may prefer to stick with textbooks.
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