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Emeran Mayer - The Gut-Immune Connection
June 17, 2021 11:11 AM PDT
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From one of today’s leading experts on the emerging science of the microbiome comes a ground-breaking book that offers, for the first time, evidence that the gut-microbiome plays a pivotal role in the health crises of the twenty-first century.

In his acclaimed book, The Mind-Gut Connection, physician, UCLA professor, and researcher Dr. Emeran Mayer offered groundbreaking evidence of the critical role of the microbiome in neurological and cognitive health, proving once and for all the power and legitimacy of the “mind-body connection.” Now, in The Gut-Immune Connection, Dr. Mayer proposes an even more radical paradigm shift: that the gut microbiome is at the center of virtually every disease that defines our 21st-century public health crisis.

Cutting-edge research continues to advance our understanding of the function and impact of the billions of organisms that live in the GI tract, and in Dr. Mayer’s own research, he has amassed evidence that the “conversation” that takes place between these microbes and our various organs and bodily systems is critical to human health. When that conversation goes awry, we suffer, often becoming seriously ill.

Combining clinical experience with up-to-the-minute science, The Gut-Immune Connection offers a comprehensive look at the link between alterations to the gut microbiome and the development chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, as well as susceptibility to infectious diseases like Covid-19. Dr. Mayer argues that it’s essential we understand the profound and far-reaching effects of gut health and offers clear-cut strategies to reverse the steady upward rise of these illnesses, including a model for nutrition to support the microbiome.

But time is running out: a plague of antimicrobial resistance is only a few decades away if we don’t make critical changes to our food supply, including returning to sustainable practices that maintain the microbial diversity of the soil. To turn the tide of chronic and infectious disease tomorrow, we must shift the way we live today.

Joshua Henkin - Morningside Heights
June 17, 2021 11:09 AM PDT
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Thirty years later, something is wrong with Spence. The Great Man can’t concentrate; he falls asleep reading The New York Review of Books. With their daughter, Sarah, away at medical school, Pru must struggle on her own to care for him. One day, feeling especially isolated, Pru meets a man, and the possibility of new romance blooms. Meanwhile, Spence’s estranged son from his first marriage has come back into their lives. Arlo, a wealthy entrepreneur who invests in biotech, may be his father’s last, best hope.

Morningside Heights is a sweeping and compassionate novel about a marriage surviving hardship. It’s about the love between women and men, and children and parents; about the things we give up in the face of adversity; and about how to survive when life turns out differently from what we thought we signed up for.

Melissa Scholes Young - The Hive
June 16, 2021 12:17 PM PDT
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The Fehler sisters wanted to be more than bug girls but growing up in a fourth- generation family pest control business in rural Missouri, their path was fixed. The family talked about Fehler Family Exterminating at every meal, even when their mom said to separate the business from the family, an impossible task. They tried to escape work with trips to their trailer camp on the Mississippi River, but the sisters did more fighting than fishing. If only there was a son to lead rural Missouri insect control and guide the way through a crumbling patriarchy.

After Robbie Fehler's sudden death, the surprising details of succession in his will are revealed. He's left the company to a distant cousin, assuming the women of the family aren't capable. As the mother's long-term affair surfaces and her apocalypse prepper training intensifies, she wants to trade responsibility for romance.

Facing an economic recession amidst the backdrop of growing Midwestern fear and resentment, the Fehler sisters unite in their struggle to save the company's finances and the family's future. To survive, they must overcome a political chasm that threatens a new civil war as the values that once united them now divide the very foundation they've built. Through alternating point-of-views, grief and regret gracefully give way to the enduring strength of the hive.

Rebecca Schwarzlose - Brainscapes: The Warped, Wondrous Maps Written in Your Brain—And How They Guide You
June 16, 2021 12:15 PM PDT
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Your brain is a collection of maps: detailed representations, scrawled across your brain’s surfaces, of the sights, sounds, and actions that hold the key to your survival. Although scientists began discovering these maps over a century ago, we are only now beginning to unlock their secrets—and comprehend their profound impact on our lives. Brain maps distort and shape our experience of the world, support complex thought, and make technology-enabled mind reading a modern-day reality. They shine a light on our past and our possible futures. In the process, they invite us to view ourselves from a startling new perspective.

In Brainscapes, Rebecca Schwarzlose combines unforgettable real-life stories, cutting-edge research, and vivid illustrations to reveal brain maps’ surprising lessons about our place in the world—and about the world’s place within us.

Brandy Schillace - Mr Humble & Dr. Butcher
May 26, 2021 02:36 PM PDT
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In the early days of the Cold War, a spirit of desperate scientific rivalry birthed a different kind of space race: not the race to outer space that we all know, but a race to master the inner space of the human body. While surgeons on either side of the Iron Curtain competed to become the first to transplant organs like the kidney and heart, a young American neurosurgeon had an even more ambitious thought: Why not transplant the brain?

Dr. Robert White was a friend to two popes and a founder of the Vatican’s Commission on Bioethics. He developed lifesaving neurosurgical techniques still used in hospitals today and was nominated for the Nobel Prize. But like Dr. Jekyll before him, Dr. White had another identity. In his lab, he was waging a battle against the limits of science, and against mortality itself—working to perfect a surgery that would allow the soul to live on after the human body had died.

Mr. Humble and Dr. Butcher follows his decades-long quest into tangled matters of science, global politics, and faith, revealing the complex (and often murky) ethics of experimentation and remarkable innovations that today save patients from certain death. It’s an enthralling tale that offers a window into our greatest fears and our greatest hopes—and the long, strange journey from science fiction to science fact.

Lee Durkee - The Last Taxi Driver
May 26, 2021 02:34 PM PDT
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Hailed by George Saunders as “a true original—a wise and wildly talented writer,” Lee Durkee takes readers on a high-stakes cab ride through an unforgettable shift. Meet Lou—a lapsed novelist, struggling Buddhist, and UFO fan—who drives for a ramshackle taxi company that operates on the outskirts of a north Mississippi college town. With Uber moving into town and his way of life vanishing, his girlfriend moving out, and his archenemy dispatcher suddenly returning to town on the lam, Lou must finish his bedlam shift by aiding and abetting the host of criminal misfits haunting the back seat of his disintegrating Town Car. Lou is forced to decide how much he can take as a driver, and whether keeping his job is worth madness and heartbreak.

Shedding nuts and bolts, The Last Taxi Driver careens through highways and back roads, from Mississippi to Memphis, as Lou becomes increasingly somnambulant and his fares increasingly eccentric. Equal parts Bukowski and Portis, Durkee’s darkly comic novel is a feverish, hilarious, and gritty look at a forgotten America and a man at life’s crossroads.

Kate Lebo - The Book Of Difficult Fruit
May 20, 2021 09:18 AM PDT
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A is for aronia, berry member of the apple family, clothes-stainer, superfruit with reputed healing power. D is for durian, endowed with a dramatic rind and a shifting odor—peaches, old garlic. M is for medlar, name-checked by Shakespeare for its crude shape, beloved by gardeners for its flowers. Q is for quince, which, when fresh, gives off the scent of “roses and citrus and rich women’s perfume,” but if eaten raw is so astringent it wicks the juice from one’s mouth.

In a work of unique invention, these and other difficult fruits serve as the central ingredients of twenty-six lyrical essays (with recipes). What makes a fruit difficult? Its cultivation, its harvest, its preparation, the brevity of its moment for ripeness, its tendency toward rot or poison, the way it might overrun your garden. Here, these fruits will take you on unexpected turns and give sideways insights into relationships, self-care, land stewardship, medical and botanical history, and so much more. What if the primary way you show love is through baking, but your partner suffers from celiac disease? Why leave in the pits for Willa Cather’s plum jam? How can we rely on bodies as fragile as the fruits that nourish them?

Kate Lebo’s unquenchable curiosity promises adventure: intimate, sensuous, ranging, bitter, challenging, rotten, ripe. After reading The Book of Difficult Fruit, you will never think of sweetness the same way again.

Sarah Ruden - The Gospels: A New Translation
May 20, 2021 09:17 AM PDT
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For millennia, the first four books of the New Testament have not only supported the central tenets of Christianity but have also proved to be formative texts for the modern Western world.

The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John tell of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ—but they are perhaps best understood as four separate versions of the same story, showing complex origins, intricate interweavings, and often inherent contradictions.

Faithfully pointing the reader back to the original Greek, this masterful new translation from the renowned scholar and acclaimed translator Sarah Ruden is the first to reconsider the Gospels as books to be read and understood on their own terms.

Mediating between the authors of the Gospels and present-day readers with unprecedented precision and sensitivity, Ruden gives us the most accessible version of the text available to date. Illuminating footnotes and a discursive glossary explain new word choices and phrasings, and present the Gospels as they originally were: grounded in contemporary languages, literatures, and cultures, full of their own particular drama, humor, and reasoning, and free from later superimposed ideologies.

The result is a striking and persuasive reappraisal of the accounts of these four evangelists, and presents a new appreciation of the ancient world as the foundation of our modern one. This robust and eminently readable translation is a welcoming ground on which a variety of readers can meet, and a resource for new debate, discussion, and inspiration for years to come.

Andy Weir - Project Hail Mary
May 04, 2021 11:55 AM PDT
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Soon to be a movie!

Ryland Grace is the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission—and if he fails, humanity and the earth itself will perish.

Except that right now, he doesn’t know that. He can’t even remember his own name, let alone the nature of his assignment or how to complete it.

All he knows is that he’s been asleep for a very, very long time. And he’s just been awakened to find himself millions of miles from home, with nothing but two corpses for company.

His crewmates dead, his memories fuzzily returning, Ryland realizes that an impossible task now confronts him. Hurtling through space on this tiny ship, it’s up to him to puzzle out an impossible scientific mystery—and conquer an extinction-level threat to our species.

And with the clock ticking down and the nearest human being light-years away, he’s got to do it all alone.

Or does he?

An irresistible interstellar adventure as only Andy Weir could deliver, Project Hail Mary is a tale of discovery, speculation, and survival to rival The Martian—while taking us to places it never dreamed of going.

1Q1A with Andy Weir - Project Hail Mary
May 04, 2021 11:52 AM PDT
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Ryland Grace is the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission—and if he fails, humanity and the earth itself will perish.

Except that right now, he doesn’t know that. He can’t even remember his own name, let alone the nature of his assignment or how to complete it.

All he knows is that he’s been asleep for a very, very long time. And he’s just been awakened to find himself millions of miles from home, with nothing but two corpses for company.

His crewmates dead, his memories fuzzily returning, Ryland realizes that an impossible task now confronts him. Hurtling through space on this tiny ship, it’s up to him to puzzle out an impossible scientific mystery—and conquer an extinction-level threat to our species.

And with the clock ticking down and the nearest human being light-years away, he’s got to do it all alone.

Or does he?

An irresistible interstellar adventure as only Andy Weir could deliver, Project Hail Mary is a tale of discovery, speculation, and survival to rival The Martian—while taking us to places it never dreamed of going.

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