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Somehow, it is already September. Soon, clocks will turn back and afternoons will turn into night even sooner. Throw blankets will become part of the household wardrobe and a warm mug of tea a necessity. Here are some titles to help you ignore the dying of the light. 

DR. MüTTER’S MARVELS
BY Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz

Mutter
Any regular reader of this site knows I am a sucker for anything about early medicine. I am fascinated by those who were brave enough (doctors and patients) to investigate dangerous methods in the name of science. I am intrigued, with the benefit of hindsight, by what they thought and how they arrived at what are now considered harebrained ideas. 

Dr. Mütter’s Marvels traces some of this early work through the American physician and teacher Thomas Dent Mutter (he added the umlaut later in his life). Recognized as a talented doctor at a young age, Mutter spent years perfecting his craft in Europe (primarily Paris). He brought back not only dextrous fingers and considerable knowledge, he defined his own desire to ensure procedures and surgeries were more respectful and (ultimately) pain-free than before.

He became a popular lecturer in Philadephia during the two decades leading up to the Civil War. The city had become a pantheon of learning and industry and with Mutter and his colleagues help it also became the center of medical training in the New World.

Many of the women who came to Mutter were monsters. That is how they were seen on the streets, how strangers would describe them, and how they saw themselves when they were confronted with the horror of their own reflections.
In the nineteenth century, women were largely dependent on men. While there were always exceptions to this rule, for the most part, to have a roof over her head, food in her stomach, or a life worth living, a woman needed a man to provide it — in one way or another. And for a woman to find a husband and leave her father’s house, it was said she needed to be beautiful and pure, modest and obedient.
So what could the future hold for a woman whom the world saw as a monster? ~Pg. 139

In his short and flamboyant life, Mütter revolutionized surgery and patient care. Today, his legacy can be further explored at the world-famous Mütter Museum. Their collection boasts such curiosities as a specimen from John Wilkes Booth’s vertebra, the jaw tumor of President Grover Cleveland, the tallest skeleton on display in North America and Einstein’s brain.

Many thanks to Gotham Books for the review copy.
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Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Gotham (September 4, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1592408702
ISBN-13: 978-1592408702
Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.3 inches


DAD IS FAT
By Jim Gaffigan

DadIsFatThis cry for help perfectly sane and well-balanced book on parenting is hysterical even for someone (like me) who doesn’t have children. Between munching on Hot Pockets, Gaffigan makes observations about the things every parent does and the things that us non-parents assume about child-rearing. 

And because it’s broken down into small chapters, it’s perfect for the adult who can’t get ten minutes — IS TEN MINUTES SO MUCH TO ASK OF YOU KIDS?! — to themselves to read a grown-up book.

Once your baby starts to walk you’ll realize why cribs are designed like prisons from the early 1900s. This is clearly because toddlers are a danger to themselves. the main responsibility for a parent of a toddler is to stop them from accidentally hurting or killing themselves. They are superclumsy. If you don’t believe me, watch a two-year-old girl attempt to walk up stairs in a long dress. It looks like a Carol Burnett sketch. Also, toddler judgment is horrible. they don’t have any. Put a twelve-month-old on a bed, and they will immediately try and crawl off headfirst like a lemming on a mindless migration mission. But the toddler mission is never mindless. They have two goals: find poison and find something to destroy. ~Loc. 899

Thank you to Blogging For Books for the e-review copy.
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Price: $15.99
ISBN: 978-0-385-34907-9
Release: Apr 22nd, 2014
Format: Trade Paperback
Category: Humor – Topic – Family


INTRODUCING WALTER BENJAMIN: A GRAPHIC GUIDE
By Howard Caygill, Alex Coles, Andrzej Klimowski

WB(Yes, I do read an interesting smattering of things.)

I first came across Walter Benjamin in college in an overview philosophy course. It wouldn’t be until my courses for my masters in Cinema Studies that I would really have a chance to approach his work again, specifically by reading The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction. I am fascinated by philosophy in general, because (for me at least) it is so intangible. While in the midst of a discussion and the positing of theories, one constructs a basic framework for the conversation. But it crumbles as soon as the bell rings or the party ends.

This book contextualizes Benjamin’s work within in his own life experiences. It marries biographical moments with quotes and ideas. This is not a CliffsNotes with pictures. It is a guidebook that suggests where the tourist should visit to learn more about the area. it takes complex ideas and gives condensed version, a basic starting point for a larger, fuller understanding of the concepts.

Though I’ve only read this one, I imagine the other titles in the Introducing Books series is equally instructive. I look forward to exploring even more.

A huge thanks to Henry at Icon Books for the review copy.


Series: Introducing
Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: Icon Books; Third Edition edition (October 14, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1848316925
ISBN-13: 978-1848316928
Product Dimensions: 4.6 x 6.6 inches

 

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