Hurts So Good, by Leigh Cowart

Staff Pick

Seeking to understand why people voluntarily engage in physically painful activities, Cowart, a science journalist, explores a wide spectrum of experiences, from Medieval self-flagellists to modern ultramarathoners and contestants in hot pepper-eating contests. Merging science with her own sharp and compassionate insight, and writing with vibrant prose, Cowart accompanies the reader on a journey of desire, bliss, brokenness, and grace. (Note, this book explores material some readers may find uncomfortable.)

Hurts So Good: The Science and Culture of Pain on Purpose By Leigh Cowart Cover Image
ISBN: 9781541798045
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: PublicAffairs - September 14th, 2021

The Code Breaker, by Walter Isaacson

Staff Pick

Walter Isaacson is known for his bestselling biographies of such brilliant, innovative figures as Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin, and Steve Jobs. And now to this list he’s added Jennifer Doudna. She may not yet have the the same name recognition as the others, but as Isaacson makes clear, her Nobel Prize-winning work on gene editing ranks among the most significant biological inventions. By developing the gene-editing technology known as CRISPR, Doudna dramatically expanded the role science can play in reshaping the nature of life itself. Isaacson, as usual, tells this story vividly, comprehensively, and insightfully, recounting not just the path-breaking science involved but also examining the moral quandaries raised by the revolutionary ability to revise our genetic structure.

The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race By Walter Isaacson Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982115852
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Simon & Schuster - March 9th, 2021

Stiff, by Mary Roach

Staff Pick

Mary Roach is an expert in demystifying taboos and, in Stiff, the first of her seven popular science books, she pulls back the operating room curtain on what happens to our bodies after we die. With chapters covering everything from extremely realistic crash-test dummies to beating-heart cadavers (exactly what it sounds like), this book is a journey through our ingrained discomfort with death and a survey of the practical, emotional, and medical considerations that surround the disposal and preservation of human remains.

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers By Mary Roach Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393324822
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - May 17th, 2004