NEW BOOKS: Science. Medicine.

The Diagnostic System; Why the Classification of Psychiatric Disorders Is Necessary, Difficult, and Never Settled by Jason Schnittker. Columbia University Press, 2017. The DSM, its complicated authority, and the many determinants of the naming business.

Mistreated; Why We Think We’re Getting Good Health Care and Why We’re Usually Wrong by Robert Pearl. The CEO of Kaiser Permanente argues that we are receiving substandard care and need to demand more from the dispensers of health care.

Eclipse; Journey’s to the Dark Side of the Moon by Frank Close. Oxford University Press, 2017. A natural phenomenon that over the eons has provoked many different human responses.

In the Shadow of the Moon; The Science, Magic, and Mystery of Solar Eclipses by Anthony Aveni. Yale University Press, 2017. An anthropologist looks at the effects that cosmic events such as eclipses have hand on human history.

Mask of the Sun; The Science, History and Forgotten Lore of Eclipses by John Dvorak. Pegasus, 2017.  How and why eclipses occur and various explanations throughout history. In anticipation of the total eclipse of the sun this coming fall.

Darwin’s First Theory; Exploring Darwin’s Quest for a Theory of Earth by Rob Wesson. Pegasus, 2017. The landscape that absorbed Charles Darwin and led him to conceive of his theory of plate tectonics and then onto evolution.

How the Zebra Got Its Stripes; Darwinian Stories Told Through Evolutionary Biology by Léo Grasset & Barbara Mellor. Pegasus, 2017. Explains why elephants prefer dictators and buffaloes democracy. Long-necked giraffes and zebra stripes.

Weird Dinosaurs; The Strange New Fossils Challenging Everything We Thought We Knew by John Pickrell. Columbia University Press, 2017. New fossils and new thoughts about these ancient animals.

The Age of Lone Wolf Terrorism by Mark Hamm & Ramon Spaaji. Columbia University Press, 2017. The authors find that there is a combination of personal and political grievances involved. These lone wolves then turn to online sympathizers and await their opportunity to impress that audience with their prowess.

Ordinarily Well; The Case for Antidepressants by Peter Kramer. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017 paper. He asks Why this growing distrust of antidepressants among his colleagues in the medical establishment and the broader public?

The Paper Trail; An Unexpected History of a Revolutionary Invention by Alexander Monro. Vintage, 2017 paper.  How this Chinese invention two thousand years ago has facilitated our communications over generations.

The Grid; The Fraying Wires Between Americans and Our Energy Future by Gretchen Bakke. Bloomsbury, 2017 paper. Our national power grid is ageing rapidly. On the other hand its continued existence discourages us from a massive – but very expensive – shift to other energy alternatives.

The Death and Life of the Great Lakes by Dan Egan. W.W. Norton, 2017. One of our great natural resources faces ecological calamity.

Making It; Why Manufacturing Still Matters by Louis Uchitelle. The New Press, 2017. The loss of an industrial base means also the loss of a skill set and a skilled laboring class.

Collecting Evolution; The Galapagos Expedition That Vindicated Darwin by Matthew James. Oxford University Press, 2017. A collecting expedition from the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco that proved much of Charles Darwin’s evolutionary thesis.

The Story of Be; A Verb’s-Eye View of the English Language by David Crystal. Oxford University Press, 2017. This verb is packed with different meanings, forms, and uses than any other very be the English language.

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