June 27, 2013

Fun Science Books from #scio13

Way back in February, ScienceOnline motivated me to read some great science books. Thanks to the publishers, I won / received copies of David Quammen's Spillover and Barbara Natterson-Horowitz / Kathryn Bowers' Zoobiquity. Both were terrific. I reviewed them on Goodreads & would like to share the reviews here too.

Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic

it was TERRIFIC - great investigation, great writing, scary topic. Quammen's writing is amazing. I'm not really a non-fiction girl, but this was interesting, science-y, and moved along quickly. Like a Michael Crichton novel, only real and better written.

Zoobiquity: What Animals Can Teach Us About Health and the Science of Healing
This was a great, relatively easy read. It covers how similar diseases occur in both humans and animals. Each chapter reads like a good, long magazine article about a topic - like STDs, adolescence, cancer, obesity, and more. I won my copy at ScienceOnline 2013 and had the great fortune to befriend co-author Kathryn Bowers, who signed my copy. There's some good neuroscience in here too!

Think Like a Cat: How to Raise a Well-Adjusted Cat--Not a Sour Puss
I'm skimming through this - I got the first edition on Interlibrary Loan & liked it so much that I bought it. :-) I consider myself a kitty whisperer, but I'm learning some fun new things in this book. The tips about how to play with your cat (and how often: 1-2x per day, for 10-15 minutes each) are useful. Finally learned what the whiskers on the forepaws are for: "to sense any movement of prey trapped under the cat's front paws." The book gives good tips on how to desensitize cats to the scary experience of going to the vet. Most of these involve food. :-) While my kittehs aren't scared of the vet, reading this section made me appreciate my vet more, because they do some of the non-food tips to make my cats feel more comfortable while in the examining room. The book is full of good information for new & old-timey cat owners!