10 new Health books to check out this September

This month we have a variety of new Health books for your reading pleasure. Perhaps start with the mysteries of the mind and explore new research on behavior, mental illness, anxiety and the power of mind over matter. If memoirs are your thing, check out the unbelievable stories of a veteran New Zealand pathologist, a former model turned health & fitness writer and a critically ill musician turned musical healer.

Syndetics book coverBehave : the biology of humans at our best and worst / Robert M. Sapolsky.
“From the celebrated neurobiologist and primatologist, a landmark, genre-defining examination of human behavior, both good and bad, and an answer to the question: Why do we do the things we do? Wise, humane, often very funny, Behave is a towering achievement, powerfully humanizing, and downright heroic in its own right.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA beginner’s guide to losing your mind / Emily Reynolds.
“Living with mental illness is isolating, infuriating and painful – but also very boring and, sometimes, kind of gross. A Beginner’s Guide to Losing Your Mind is a companion to make the journey feel a little less lonely. A blackly funny, deeply compassionate and extremely practical book. A candid exploration of mental illness that is both a personal account of what it’s like to live with mental illness and a guide to dealing with and understanding it.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCure : a journey into the science of mind over body / Jo Marchant.
“A rigorous, skeptical, deeply reported look at the new science behind the mind’s extraordinary ability to heal the body. While we accept that stress or anxiety can damage our health, the idea of ‘healing thoughts’ was long ago hijacked by New Age gurus and spiritual healers. Drawing on the very latest research, Marchant explores the vast potential of the mind’s ability to heal, acknowledges its limitations, and explains how we can make use of the findings in our own lives.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBeautiful bodies : a memoir / Kimberly Rae Miller.
“What is the ideal body? Knowing she’s far from alone in this struggle, Kim sets out to find the objective definition of this seemingly unattainable level of perfection. Warm, funny, and brutally honest, Beautiful Bodies is a blend of memoir and social history that will speak to anyone who’s ever been caught in a power struggle with his or her own body…in other words, just about everyone.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWild Mediterranean : the age-old, science-new plan for a healthy gut, with food you can trust / Stella Metsovas.
“The key to great digestive health lies in rewilding the gut and keeping the diverse microbes that inhabit it happy and thriving. In Wild Mediterranean Stella Metsovas breaks down the complex science behind digestive health and shares a deceptively simple and down-to-earth plan for ending the digestive issues that can have far-reaching effects on our everyday lives.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe cause of death / Dr Cynric Temple-Camp.
“Strange and shocking stories of death and murder in provincial New Zealand. You won’t believe these stories happened in New Zealand… Forensic and coronial pathologist Dr Cynric Temple-Camp lifts the lid on some of the most fascinating cases he’s worked on during his 30-year career as a pathologist.  This book will shock and entertain, make you squirm but also occasionally pull at the heartstrings.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNatural defense : enlisting bugs and germs to protect our food and health / Emily Monosson.
“For more than a century, we have relied on chemical cures to keep our bodies free from disease and our farms free from bugs and weeds. We rarely consider human and agricultural health together, but both are based on the same ecology, and both are being threatened by organisms that have evolved to resist our antibiotics and pesticides.  Fortunately, scientists are finding new solutions that work with, rather than against, nature.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAnxiety for beginners : a personal investigation / Eleanor Morgan.
“Combining her own experiences, with extensive research, experts (neurologists, psychiatrists, psychologists and fellow sufferers), Morgan explores not just the roots of her own anxiety, but also investigates what might be contributing to so many of us suffering around the world. Anxiety for Beginners is a book about acceptance, as Morgan discovers the ways in which people can live a life that is not just manageable but enjoyable, learning to accept anxiety, rather than spending a life fighting and being ashamed of it.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverYou are getting sleepy : lifestyle-based solutions for insomnia / Paul Glovinsky PhD & Arthur Spielman PhD.
“Good sleep is an elusive goal: the harder you try, the less likely you are to be successful. Insomnia is stoked by different habits, schedules, stresses, beliefs, and even personality types, but there is no single pill or therapy to reverse it. While insomnia treatments can set the stage, the best thing a person can do to ready themselves for sleep is “getting sleepy.”  True sleepiness is the only reliable portal to sleep and You Are Getting Sleepy will guide you there.” ( Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWaking the spirit : a musician’s journey healing body, mind, and soul / Andrew Schulman ; with an afterword by Marvin A. McMillen, M.D., FACS, MACP.
“The astounding story of a critically ill musician who is saved by music and returns to the same hospital to help heal others. Schulman expertly weaves cutting-edge research on neuroscience and medicine, as well as what he’s learned as a professional musician, to explore the power of music to heal the body and awaken the spirit. ” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

8 Non-Fiction Health Books worth checking out in August

From analyzing the science and looking at the evidence to listening to memoirs and personal experiences we recommend that you check out this list of 8 non-fiction health books new to the collection!

Syndetics book coverDirt is good : the advantage of germs for your child’s developing immune system / Jack Gilbert, Ph.D., and Rob Knight, Ph.D. with Sandra Blakeslee.
“From two of the world’s top scientists and one of the world’s top science writers comes a Q&A-based guide to everything you need to know about kids & germs. “Is it OK for my child to eat dirt?” is just one of the many questions authors Jack Gilbert and Rob Knight are bombarded with every week. The internet is rife with speculation and misinformation about the risks and benefits of what most parents think of as simply germs. Dirt Is Good is a comprehensive, authoritative and accessible guide you’ve been searching for to answer these questions.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Harvard Medical School guide to yoga : 8 weeks to strength, awareness, and flexibility / by Marlynn Wei, MD, JD and James E. Groves, MD.
“While there are many yoga books available, most are based on an individual yogis expertise. This book relies on modern medical science to illustrate the benefits of yoga;and offers a practical, easy-to-implement plan. This 8-week program features step-by-step sequences that are easy to learn and practice at home with minimal equipment. The book also offers poses and sequences targeted to improve arthritis, cardiovascular health, type 2 diabetes, weight loss, sleep issues, chronic pain, neurological disorders, as well as depression, anxiety, stress, and more.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe boy in 7 billion : a true story of love, courage and hope / Callie Blackwell and Karen Hockney.
“True story,  Deryn Blackwell is a walking, talking miracle. At the age of 10, he was diagnosed with Leukaemia. Then 18 months later he developed another rare form of cancer called Langerhan’s cell syndrome. Only five other people in the world have it, he is the youngest of them all and the only person in the world known to be fighting it alongside another cancer, making him one in seven billion. This is the true story of the extraordinary lengths that a mother went to, to help her dying son.” (Adapted Syndetics Review)

Syndetics book coverLifted : 28 days to strengthen your body, focus your mind + elevate your spirit / Holly Rilinger with Myatt Murphy.
“There’s a secret to a successful fitness program: you won’t feel truly satisfied with your results until your mind and spirit are as strong as your body. That’s why Holly Rilinger created LIFTED , the first program to combine the mental and emotional benefits of meditation with the amazingly fast results of HIIT (high-intensity interval training ).  This 28-day program will show you how to focus on your goals and commit to daily movement and meditation.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBoys don’t cry / Tim Grayburn.
“Meet Tim. For nearly a decade he kept his depression secret. It made him feel so weak and shameful he thought it would destroy his whole life if anyone found out. And Tim is not alone. After finally opening up he realised that mental illness was affecting many men around the globe, and he knew that wasn’t ok. A brutally honest, wickedly warming and heart-breaking tale about what it really takes to be a ‘real man’, written by one who decided that he wanted to change the world by no longer being silent. This is Tim’s story, but it could be yours too.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe wellness project : how I learned to do right by my body, without giving up my life / Phoebe Lapine
“After she was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease in her early twenties, Phoebe Lapine bounced among every fat diet and new health program on the bestseller list in her attempt to get well, only to experience mixed results and a life of deprivation that seemed unsustainable at best. The Wellness Project is the insightful and hilarious result of a 12 year exploration. Part memoir and part health and wellness primer, it’s a must-read not just for those suffering from autoimmune disease, but for anyone looking for simple ways to improve their health without sacrificing life’s pleasures.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMy lovely wife : a memoir of madness and hope / Mark Lukach.
“With compassion and candour, in My Lovely Wife, Mark takes us through years with his wife and her battle with mental illnesses. A story of the fragility of the mind, and the tenacity of the human spirit, this is, above all, a love story that raises profound questions: How do we best care for the people we love? What and who do we live for? Breath-taking in its honesty, radiant with compassion, written with dazzling lyricism, this intensely personal odyssey offers much-needed insight into the caregiving side of mental illness, and affirms the power of love.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRigor mortis : how sloppy science creates worthless cures, crushes hope, and wastes billions / Richard Harris.
“Bad science doesn’t just hold back medical progress, it can sign the equivalent of a death sentence. Often, research institutes and academia emphasize publishing results over getting the right answers, incentivizing poor experimental design, improper methods, and sloppy statistics. In Rigor Mortis, award-winning science journalist Richard F. Harris reveals these urgent issues with vivid anecdotes, personal stories, and interviews with the nation’s top biomedical researchers. We need to fix our dysfunctional biomedical system-now.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

September Health

Inspiring stories of healing and positive lifestyle advice will set you on the road to good health as the season turns brighter & warmer. Spring is a time of new shoots and with them, hope, stamina and a renewed sense of purpose seem to emerge. Nothing better to adopt healthier food habits, spruce up the bike or the walking shoes and get out in the brisk, refreshing, rejuvenating spring air.

A dog walks into a nursing home
“A layabout mutt turned therapy dog leads her owner to a new understanding of the good life. At loose ends with her daughter leaving home and her husband on the road, Sue Halpern decided to give herself and Pransky, her under-occupied Labradoodle, a new, leash-, lease on life by getting the two of them certified as a therapy dog team. Smart, spirited, and instinctively compassionate, Pransky turned out to be not only a terrific therapist but an unerring moral compass. In the unlikely sounding arena of a public nursing home, she led her teammate into a series of encounters with the residents that revealed depths of warmth, humor, and insight Halpern hadn’t expected. And little by little, their adventures expanded and illuminated Halpern’s sense of what virtue is and does – how acts of kindness transform the giver as well as the given-to. Funny, moving, and profound, A Dog Walks into a Nursing Home is the story of how one faithful, charitable, loving, and sometimes prudent mutt – showing great hope, fortitude, and restraint along the way (the occasional begged or stolen treat notwithstanding)–taught a well-meaning woman the true nature and pleasures of the good life.” (Syndetics)

syndetics-lcDo you believe in magic? The sense and nonsense of alternative medicine
“Medical expert Paul A. Offit, M.D., offers a scathing exposé of the alternative medicine industry, revealing how even though some popular therapies are remarkably helpful due to the placebo response, many of them are ineffective, expensive, and even deadly.
Dr. Offit reveals how alternative medicine, an unregulated industry under no legal obligation to prove its claims or admit its risks, can actually be harmful to our health.
Using dramatic real-life stories, Offit separates the sense from the nonsense, showing why any therapy – alternative or traditional – should be scrutinized. He also shows how some nontraditional methods can do a great deal of good, in some cases exceeding therapies offered by conventional practitioners.
An outspoken advocate for science-based health advocacy who is not afraid to take on media celebrities who promote alternative practices, Dr. Offit advises, “There’s no such thing as alternative medicine. There’s only medicine that works and medicine that doesn’t.”” (From amazon.com)

syndetics-lcWhat to eat when you are pregnant and vegetarian
“As a vegetarian you already know how important it is to maintain a healthy, balanced diet. But being pregnant aswell can make it seem even harder to eat and drink in a way that will keep you healthy, your baby safe and provide the ideal fuel for growth and development. What to Eat When You’re Pregnant and Vegetarian is your no-nonsense companion. This handy, compact book is the definitive healthy-eating guide for vegetarians who are expecting and provides expert guidance on what foods are safe and what you should steer clear of.” (From amazon.com)

syndetics-lcThe Reason I jump
“You’ve never read a book like The Reason I Jump. Written by Naoki Higashida, a very smart, very self-aware, and very charming thirteen-year-old boy with autism, it is a one-of-a-kind memoir that demonstrates how an autistic mind thinks, feels, perceives, and responds in ways few of us can imagine. Parents and family members who never thought they could get inside the head of their autistic loved one at last have a way to break through to the curious, subtle, and complex life within.
Using an alphabet grid to painstakingly construct words, sentences, and thoughts that he is unable to speak out loud, Naoki answers even the most delicate questions that people want to know. Questions such as: “Why do people with autism talk so loudly and weirdly?” “Why do you line up your toy cars and blocks?” “Why don’t you make eye contact when you’re talking?” and “What’s the reason you jump?” (Naoki’s answer: “When I’m jumping, it’s as if my feelings are going upward to the sky.”) With disarming honesty and a generous heart, Naoki shares his unique point of view on not only autism but life itself. His insights — into the mystery of words, the wonders of laughter, and the elusiveness of memory — are so startling, so strange, and so powerful that you will never look at the world the same way again.” (From amazon.com)

syndetics-lcTouching a nerve, the self as brain
“What happens when we accept that everything we feel and think stems not from an immaterial spirit but from electrical and chemical activity in our brains? In this thought-provoking narrative, drawn from professional expertise as well as personal life experiences, trailblazing neurophilosopher Patricia S. Churchland grounds the philosophy of mind in the essential ingredients of biology. She reflects with humor on how she came to harmonize science and philosophy, the mind and the brain, abstract ideals and daily life.
Offering lucid explanations of the neural workings that underlie identity, she reveals how the latest research into consciousness, memory, and free will can help us reexamine enduring philosophical, ethical, and spiritual questions: What shapes our personalities? How do we account for near-death experiences? How do we make decisions? And why do we feel empathy for others? Recent scientific discoveries also provide insights into a fascinating range of real-world dilemmas — for example, whether an adolescent can be held responsible for his actions and whether a patient in a coma can be considered a self.” (From amazon.com)

syndetics-lcEveryday Cycling in Aotearoa
“If you want to use a bike in your daily life, to get to work, play, school and the shops, this is the book you have been waiting for, an informative, comprehensive and inspiring guide that helps beginners get started and experienced cyclists ride more confidently, safely and enjoyably” (Syndetics)

syndetics-lcPain-free sitting, standing and walking
“Most of us take the acts of sitting, standing, and walking for granted, but for those suffering from back, muscle, and joint pain, even these seemingly simple actions can be extremely uncomfortable. Poor body alignment or habitual movement patterns that crop up when we compensate for a bad back or painful neck can only further exacerbate existing issues—and create new problems.
In this accessible workbook, Craig Williamson demonstrates how by just doing these three basic actions with optimal body alignment and attention, you can help free yourself from existing pain and prevent further injury. The protocol is simple but extremely effective, and step-by-step photos guide you through every exercise. Williamson’s approach has been praised by physicians, physical therapists, coaches and sports trainers, yoga instructors, and patients. “(from amazon.com)

syndetics-lcMusical Encounters with dying
“Music therapy can be a profound physical, emotional and spiritual support at the end of life. This book looks at a wide variety of cases, explaining how music therapy can be used effectively. It highlights particular components of working with this group, such as creating a therapeutic relationship, helping patients to reach final goals, working within cultural contexts and dealing with difficult emotions, all within the parameters of the musical experience. It also explores the unique needs of people with disabilities or mental illness, and how to support the families of the dying. Therapeutic and philosophical insights related to the dying process are included. This will be a supportive and insightful guide for anyone working with people who are at the end of life, especially music therapists and other complementary therapists, caregivers, hospice workers and medical professionals.” (From amazon.com)

syndetics-lcInner weather
“A lucid, honest and deeply searching account of the author’s struggle to come to terms with anxiety and depression. Jenny Stewart shows how, over many years, with considerable help from others, she was able gradually to take control of her depression, not by focusing on its causes, but by understanding how best to fight it.” (Syndetics)

syndetics-lcSecond Suns
“From the co-author of Three Cups of Tea comes the inspiring story of two very different doctors—one from the United States, the other from Nepal—united in a common mission: to rid the world of preventable blindness.
In this transporting book, David Oliver Relin shines a light on the work of Geoffrey Tabin and Sanduk Ruit, gifted ophthalmologists who have dedicated their lives to restoring sight to some of the world’s most isolated, impoverished people through the Himalayan Cataract Project, an organization they founded in 1995. Tabin was the high-achieving bad boy of Harvard Medical School, an accomplished mountain climber and adrenaline junkie as brilliant as he was unconventional. Ruit grew up in a remote Nepalese village, where he became intimately acquainted with the human costs of inadequate access to health care. Together they found their life’s calling: tending to the afflicted people of the Himalayas, a vast mountainous region with an alarmingly high incidence of cataract blindness.
Second Suns is the moving, unforgettable story of how two men with a shared dream are changing the world, one pair of eyes at a time.” (from amazon.com)