Brainy Reads for Summer 2016


Need a book to take with you on your summer vacation? We have six brainy suggestions, all written by members of the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives (DABI) or prominent neuroscientists, that are perfect for a sunny day:

The Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults, by DABI member Frances E. Jensen, M.D., HarperCollins

“Jensen provides her sound scientific expertise and presents experimental brain data, as well as her firsthand practice of parenting through vignettes about her sons’ sometimes questionable behavior—hair dye, a car crash, her response to a son having too much to drink as a college student. Jensen also presents humorous, cliché, and disheartening teen stories and testimonials from parents who have sought her advice.” – Marisa M. Silveri, Ph.D., Cerebrum

Rights Come to Mind: Brain Injury, Ethics, and the Struggle for Consciousness, by DABI member Joseph J. Fins, M.D., Cambridge University Press

“Fins has woven a unique narrative covering both the science of unconsciousness and the lives of brain-injured patients. He offers readers detailed case reports, stories of illness based on extensive interviews with patients’ family members, medical and scientific explanations of coma and the vegetative and minimally conscious states, critical commentaries, and an ethical and legal argument for the importance of advocating for the rights of this group of ignored and disadvantaged patients.” – DABI member James L. Bernat, M.D., Neurology Today

Healthy Brain, Happy Life: A Personal Program to Activate Your Brain and Do Everything Better
, by DABI member Wendy A. Suzuki, Ph.D., Dey Street Books

Healthy Brain, Happy Life is an accessible blend of memoir and science narrative that will transform the way you think about your brain, your health, and your personal happiness. Through both groundbreaking brain research and personal stories, Wendy offers practical and fascinating ways to improve memory, engage the mind more deeply, and learn new skills that will ultimately transform your body and your life.” – from the back cover of the book.

(See also: our blog post on Suzuki’s “Exercise and the Brain” classes.)

Super Genes: Unlock the Astonishing Power of Your DNA for Optimum Health and Well-Being
by DABI member Rudolph E. Tanzi, Ph.D. and Deepak Chopra, M.D., Random House

“In Super Genes, Drs. Deepak Chopra and Rudolph Tanzi illustrate the interplay of nature and nurture using cutting edge genetic science and argue persuasively that adapting one’s lifestyle can maximize the potential to transcend the inherited susceptibilities handed down to us from our parents.” – DABI member James F. Gusella, Ph.D., The Chopra Center

Shrinks: The Untold Story of Psychiatry
, by DABI member Jeffrey A. Lieberman, M.D., Little, Brown and Company

“Lieberman recognizes that many people remain skeptical about his specialty and uncomfortable with the notion of mental illness generally. It’s one thing for somebody to suffer from a malfunctioning of the body’s infrastructure, like thyroid disease or appendicitis. But mental illness targets the mind, the seat of the self, and its symptoms are often disguised as personal defects — laziness, weakness, a bad attitude.” – Natalie Angier, The New York Times

Shrinks, his lucid popular history, is at once skeptical and triumphalist. It shows just how far psychiatry has come from its reliance on dungeon-like asylums, crude treatments such as frontal lobotomy and insulin coma therapy — and even psychoanalysis.” – Julia M. Klein, The Boston Globe

Cerebrum 2015: Emerging Ideas in Brain Science
, edited by Bill Glovin, Dana Press

“A marvelous collection of short essays on the brain–authoritative yet accessible to a general readership. Curl up with one or more of these pieces in a quiet moment and be amply rewarded (via your responsible cerebral centers!) with insights into a wide range of selected topics, spanning normal brain function, therapeutic prospects for brain diseases, and even flaws in the current research enterprise.” – DABI member Dennis W. Choi, M.D., Ph.D.
(See also: our recent blog post on the new Cerebrum anthology, written by the editor.)

– Ali Chunovic

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