If you are interested in the how and why behind aging, Borrowed Time: The Science of How and Why We Age will explain current aging research in an easily understandable manner while opening up a whole new frontier of science to lay readers.
Borrowed Time: The Science of How and Why We Age is definitely a popular science book. The definitions of terms and especially acronyms are written in plain English. The science is clearly explained. However, it is the conclusions drawn that are stunning. Experiments in worms have shown it is possible to extend life tenfold. However, it appears that “ageing is the price we pay for protection against cancer.” Unfortunately, many of the proposed aging solutions caused similar issues. Just a note on the worms: the roundworms carried on the space shuttle Columbia for experimentation were the only survivors of the explosion that killed everything else. Some of their descendants were carried eight years later to the International Space Station on the Endeavor.
I found this book to be really interesting because I didn’t know anything about how the aging process works or any of the multitude of research projects trying to stop it. I would recommend not talking to your 20-something daughter about the importance of the FOXO gene variant, where you basically won the old age lottery. My daughter’s eyes glazed over sometime during the first sentence. I should have started with the fact that fruit flies share 60% of our genes and the worms mentioned above only share 33%. I just have to give this book 4.5 stars! I couldn’t put it down!
Thanks to Bloomsbury Sigma and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Posted in New Books, Non-fiction Tagged with: aging, Feb 26 2019
Balance only turns on when a person is standing. In the modern world of smart phones and Uber, people mostly sit. Without regular practice, balance is lost. Better Balance for Life details easy exercises to be done while also doing daily tasks that will prevent this decline in balance.
With literally no time spent, the exercises in this book will prevent falls both now and in later life. Stand on one foot while brushing your teeth and curve like a rainbow while waiting for an elevator are just two of the imaginative exercises here. The exercises begin simply and get progressively more difficult. Four exercises are added each week. Most of the exercises sound deceptively easy but are somewhat challenging like patting your head and rubbing your stomach. However, all are fun.
Better Balance for Life is an enjoyably way to prevent breaking a hip when older. It would make a great gift for a grandfather or an elderly aunt. 4 stars!
Thanks to the publisher, The Experiment, and NetGalley for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
Posted in New Books, Non-fiction Tagged with: aging, exercise, Nov 20 2018
An interesting character study of a lonely police detective forced to retire. The Darkness is another character as is the beautiful isolation of Iceland.
Hulda is 64. She is dreading retiring to her lonely apartment when her superior tells she has been replaced effectively in two weeks. He allows her to investigate one cold case. She selects a drowned Russian girl who was awaiting asylum in a remote hostel. Was her death an accident, suicide or murder?
Telling three alternating stories of an unwed mother forced to give up her daughter in the 1940s, Hulda’s investigation and a mysterious woman’s adventure in the Icelandic winter. The Darkness is a slow-simmering tale rather than a thriller. The mystery was extremely easy to solve. However, Hulda’s story is an interesting one. Plus the exceptional conclusion has to be read to be believed.
The Darkness is recommended for literary fiction fans rather than those readers looking for an exciting thriller or challenging mystery. This is a tale within a tale within a tale. 4 stars!
Thanks to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for an advance copy.
Posted in Literary Fiction, Mystery & Thrillers Tagged with: aging, Oct 16 2018, Police procedural
There are not enough synonyms for fantastic to adequately describe this book. I’ll just stick with awesome and awe-inspiring!
Written in layman’s terms, the Future of Humanity goes from mankind’s move to Mars to its eventual move to a new universe. It discusses what famous science fiction books, television shows and movies got right (surprisingly a lot) and what they got wrong (no fast trips through wormholes or suspended animation in the foreseeable future). The Future of Humanity also contains a brief history of science in tiny easily digestible bites.
The first third of the book talks about what will probably occur by the end of this century. The second part discusses the nut and bolts of how mindless robots, smart artificial intelligence, and nanotechnology will assist the colonization of our universe. It also tells how building a starship could be accomplished (once science solves some mysteries and reduces the price of creating antimatter). The final section discusses long-term travel issues and the changes to Earth and humanity required by the acceleration of the expansion of the universe initially caused by the Big Bang. The pesky problem of extending human life to live long enough to reach a distant planet is described. How humanity may be able to move apart from their physical bodies is investigated. An exploration of the possibilities of extraterrestrials and the string theory of the bubble universe concludes the book.
A enthralling and timely book merging science, pop culture, and intelligent guessing. The Future of Humanity is an intriguing, well-researched look into the future by a beloved scientist. Obviously, the first third is much more likely to occur. As the timeframe lengthens, the odds of prophecy being correct always goes down. However, this is a great peek into mankind’s possible future.
Highly recommended for science-fiction readers and writers. This book contains some great science-based plot ideas. It is also recommended for regular readers who enjoy a great and fact-based story. 5 stars!
Thanks to the publisher, Doubleday, and NetGalley for an advanced copy.
Posted in Diane's Favorites, Non-fiction, Science Fiction Tagged with: aging, Feb 20 2018, Robot, space travel