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FSH Library

The Freshman Science Honors program has a new lending library of books that students in the program may check out to read during their free time!  These books range in topics from medicine to scientific research to Harry Potter.  The FSH library is located in CAS 204.  Students may check out one book for two weeks and extenstions will be granted if there is no waitlist for the book.

Titles include:

Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science

By Atul Gawande

Reader Review: Dr. Gawande is a genius! This is a view into the secret culture of medicine and surgeons. It's an exhilarating read that is a must for anyone who wants a little insight on medical science. He peels away the deception of the perfect doctor. He goes over all the tools doctors use in their decision-making.

(9 Copies)

Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance

By Atul Gawande

Reader Review: The author brings you into his last year of residency through his first few years of practice with interviews of other practitioners. His unflinching examination of the health care system gives an accurate portrayal of how we are in the mess we are in. From his negotiation to joining a surgical practice in the Boston area, to looking at rural health care, this is about a 3-4 (cross country) read on how different areas receive different medical care from a doctor who is willingly publicly to question the system. Yes, it is in an essay format, but that makes it easy to pick up and put down.

(10 Copies + 1 CD version)

The Checklist Manifesto * How To Get Things Right

By Atul Gawande

Reader Review: With a title like The Checklist Manifesto, it would be natural to expect that Atul Gawande is bent on revolutionizing that most loved-hated activity of workers the world over: the to-do list. What you'll find instead is a remarkably liberating and persuasive inquiry into what it takes to work successfully and with a personal sense of satisfaction. The first thing you'll realize is that it takes more than just one person to do a job well. This is a toppling revelation made all the more powerful by Gawande's skillful blend of anecdote and practical wisdom as he profiles his own experience as a surgeon and seeks out a wide range of other professions to show that a team is only as strong as its checklist--by his definition, a way of organizing that empowers people at all levels to put their best knowledge to use, communicate at crucial points, and get things done.

(5 Copies)

The Best American Medical Writing 2009

Edited by Pauline Chen

Reader Review:  This is a well-rounded collection of essays related to the medical field. Read Tom McGrath's story "My Daughter's $29,000 Appendectomy" to get an idea of how medical costs come about, read Jason Zengerle's piece "Going Under" to find out about drug use among Anesthesiologists, read Jessica Sacks' piece on the unintended consequences of the pervasive use of Antibiotics. All stories provide fascinating reading and insight into a field most of us try to have as little contact as possible with. I was unable to put this book down.

(3 Copies)

Final Exam : A Surgeon's Reflections on Mortality

By Pauline Chen

Reader Review: I read this book in one sitting! I HIGHLY recommend this fantastic read to anyone considering going to medical school, everyone IN medical school, and middle-aged readers who find themselves faced with the challenge of caring for aging parents.  Chen's stories, told in a humble and genuinely caring voice, reveal the fascinating--and at times disturbing--realm of end of life care in the emergency rooms and operating rooms of American hospitals. Through her heartfelt accounts, beginning with her first dissection of a human cadaver in med school anatomy lab, through her practice at UCLA as one of the nation's top liver transplant surgeons, Chen tackles the difficult issues of caring for the dying candidly and honestly, often citing her own failures as a young doctor before making certain realizations about how to overcome the depersonalization of death required in medical school. There are also exiting scenes, such as her vivid description of tearing down the Californis coast in a helicopter at 3:00 in the morning to harvest a fresh liver from a child just recently run over by his mother's SUV. The stories are gripping and moving, heart-rending yet touching.

(2 copies)

The Science of Harry Potter: How Magic Really Works


By Roger Highfield

Reader Review: The author of the book considers himself a Harry Potter fan. In fact, the majority of scientists he consults are also supposedly fans of the series. The book, however, is less about Harry Potter and more about science. Essentially, it is a book describing and explaining the realistic possibilities of scientifically creating the "magic" used by the wizards in Harry's world. If anything, the book should be retitled, "The Science of Harry Potter: How Muggles Use Technology to Achieve What Magic Already (Potentially) Does."  It is, however, incredibly well researched and is obviously a labor of love and dedicated interest. I would suggest this book to any Harry Potter fan who also enjoys reading about science. It is not, on the other hand, what the average Potter fan would consider casual reading. This is a science book, discussing topics ranging from quantum physics to ethnobotony.

(3 copies)

The Road to Scientific Success: Inspiring Life Stories of Prominent Researchers

Edited by Deborah Chung  

Description: Authoritative scientists such as Nobel Prize laureates Douglas D Osheroff and Herbert A Hauptman and US National Medal of Science recipients Paul Ching-Wu Chu and Eli Ruckenstein describe their life experiences in relation to how success was attained, how their careers were developed, how their research was steered, how priorities were set, and how difficulties were faced. These keys to success serve as a useful guide for anyone who is looking for advice on how to direct their career and conduct scientific research that will make an impact. The focus on the road to success (rather than scientific findings) and on personal experience aims to inspire and encourage readers to achieve greater success themselves. The objectives of this book series are: • To motivate young people to pursue their vocations with rigor, perseverance and direction • To inspire students to pursue science or engineering • To enhance the scientific knowledge of students, including those that do not major in science or engineering • To help parents and teachers prepare the next generation of scientists or engineers • To increase the awareness of the general public to the advances of science • To provide a record of the history of science.

(1 copy)

The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2009

Edited by Elizabeth Kolbert and Tim Folger

Reader Review: The very best way to find out the truth about anything is by applying the methods of science - despite human failings in its application. I look forward to reading this collection of articles every year. With this brush stroke, I get a journalist's kaleidoscopic display of what different groups of scientists are doing with our world. This year's 26 selections, chosen by guest editor Elizabeth Kolbert, came from 16 different magazines - the best represented being Harper's, National Geographic, Discover, and New Yorker, all with three articles each.

(1 copy)

Stories Matter: The Role of Narrative in Medical Ethics

Edited by Rita Charon & Martha Montello

Reader Review:  Many of the contributors to Stories Matter are major players in [the] narrative movement. Here, they practice what they preach, building their essays on stories of patients...This collection provides a fascinating introduction to the field of narrative ethics. It points readers in myriad directions....It should prove useful to ethicists, health care professionals, patients' advocates, and patients themselves, as they collaboratively write a new story of ethical behavior.

(1 copy)

A Primate's Memoir: A Neuroscientist's Unconventional Life Among the Baboons

By Robert M. Sapolsky

Reader Review: Anyone who begins a book by telling us that he "had never planned to become a savanna baboon when [he] grew up" deserves a read. Such an opening promises witticisms and wisdom and A PRIMATE'S MEMOIR doesn't disappoint. The story is captivating whether Mr Sapolsky is telling us about his experiences in Kenya or about the interesting life of...his extended family? The book is only part scientific study: the effect that stress has on primate social behavior; it is also a travelogue, a little bit of cultural anthropology, a comment on globalization and economic inequality, a memoir of course, and finally, a pure joy to read.

(1 copy)

Monkeyluv and Other Essays on Our Lives as Animals

By Robert M. Sapolsky

Reader Review: Monkeyluv is worth reading for seven reasons. The first (1) is that you will finally understand how genes work. The first third of the book is all about dispelling the nature vs nurture debate. Once you get the picture on genes, there are some other really interesting reasons to read this book. Reasons two through seven: (2) the articles are on subjects as vast and interesting as Münchhausen by Proxy (where a mother intentionally makes her child ill, like the Sixth Sense), aging, and brain controlling parasites. (3) All the articles appeared before in general-reader publications, like Discovery Magazine, so a non-scientist can understand the ideas. (4) The author does a superb job of applying his neurobiology lens (biology of human brains) to a variety of interesting topics. (5) The reader can zip through this book over a weekend and pick up some wow-I-didn't-know-thats to impress his or her friends, neighbors, and colleagues. (6) The essays are concise and (7) sprinkled with popular humor, which remain from their magazine days.

(1 copy)

Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers

By Robert M. Sapolsky

Reader Review:  This is possibly the best anatomy-phys book I've ever read! Now don't get stressed out here!  The author has the knack--no let's call it for what it really is, a rare gift--for taking the dry facts of biological functioning and making an amusing but clearly informative tale of it all. Dr Sapolsky has a purpose beyond the mere dissemination of information on anatomy physiology of humans, zebras, lab rats, or baboons to the lay person. His intention is to show that the modern lifestyle, and how the individual reacts to it, can have a major impact on health and even on the economy of the country.

(1 copy)

The Trouble with Testosterone and Other Essays on teh Biology of the Human Predicament

By Robert M. Sapolsky

Reader Review:  The same qualities that make Sapolsky one of the most popular teachers at Stanford come through in his writing. Although I was an English major, I took his human behavioral biology class because the man has a well-deserved reputation for being entertaining and thought-provoking. If you attend one of his lectures, you'll find students from all disciplines, all wide-awake. Sapolsky makes the biology of the human condition come to life without compromising the integrity of its scientific underpinnings. This book is especially recommended to those with an interest in biology or psychology, but the appeal is universal.

(1 copy)

The Unnatural History of the Sea

By Robert M. Sapolsky

Reader Review:  Callum Roberts has crafted an excellent overview of the history of human exploitation of the sea. The title chosen for the book is excellent. If it were titled "The Natural History of the Sea" you could expect to read about marine bio-diversity, and how marine species interact with each other.

The title, "The Unnatural History of the Sea," however, is a good indicator of the content of the book. The book is divided into three main sections.

Section one introduces the reader to the history of human exploitation of the sea for food and profit. That overview includes references to historical documents that give insight into the diversity and densities of marine species. It includes chapters on what happened in European waters, the lure of largely unexploited fishing grounds in the new world, and the development of the global commercial fisheries for groups including cod, whales, and seals, as well as the advent of industrialized fishing.

Section two of the book is titled "The Modern Era of Fishing." In this section you are provided with example after example of the pattern of overharvesting, moving to new fishing grounds, and the subsequent development and application of new fishing technologies. This section details decimated fisheries, fish population crashes, the decline of coral reefs, and the ongoing rush to capture all we can while there is still something left to fish.

Finally, the third section of the book presents an overview of current fisheries policies, and a proposal for a new direction that could save global fisheries.

The book deserves and demands to be read by anyone interested in the sea, as well as by those involved in developing and implementing fisheries policies.

By the way, if you are like me, you will be hooked by the first story in the first tells about of the discovery and subsequent demise of the Stellar Sea Cow, a large, docile marine mammal that once lived along the northern Pacific coast of North America. Sadly, that mammal didn't survive more than a few decades after its discovery. Get a copy of the book and find out why.

(1 copy)