A riveting medical mystery about a young woman’s quest to uncover the truth about her likely fatal genetic disorder that opens a window onto the exploding field of genomic medicine When Joselin Linder was in her twenties her legs suddenly started to swell. After years of misdiagnoses, doctors discovered a deadly blockage in her liver. Struggling to find an explanation for her unusual condition, Joselin compared the medical chart of her father—who had died from a mysterious disease, ten years prior—with that of an uncle who had died under similarly strange circumstances. Delving further into the past, she discovered that her great-grandmother had displayed symptoms similar to hers before her death. Clearly, this was more than a fluke. Setting out to build a more complete picture of the illness that haunted her family, Joselin approached Dr. Christine Seidman, the head of a group of world-class genetic researchers at Harvard Medical School, for help. Dr. Seidman had been working on her family’s case for twenty years and had finally confirmed that fourteen of Joselin’s relatives carried something called a private mutation—meaning that they were the first known people to experience the baffling symptoms of a brand new genetic mutation. Here, Joselin tells the story of their gene: the lives it claimed and the future of genomic medicine with the potential to save those that remain. Digging into family records and medical history, conducting interviews with relatives and friends, and reflecting on her own experiences with the Harvard doctor, Joselin pieces together the lineage of this deadly gene to write a gripping and unforgettable exploration of family, history, and love. A compelling chronicle of survival and perseverance, The Family Gene is an important story of a young woman reckoning with her father’s death, her own mortality, and her ethical obligations to herself and those closest to her.
A riveting medical mystery about a young woman’s quest to uncover the truth about her likely fatal genetic disorder that opens a window onto the exploding field of genomic medicine When Joselin Linder was in her twenties her legs suddenly started to swell. After years of misdiagnoses, doctors discovered a deadly blockage in her liver. Struggling to find an explanation for her unusual condition, Joselin compared the medical chart of her father—who had died from a mysterious disease, ten years prior—with that of an uncle who had died under similarly strange circumstances. Delving further into the past, she discovered that her great-grandmother had displayed symptoms similar to hers before her death. Clearly, this was more than a fluke. Setting out to build a more complete picture of the illness that haunted her family, Joselin approached Dr. Christine Seidman, the head of a group of world-class genetic researchers at Harvard Medical School, for help. Dr. Seidman had been working on her family’s case for twenty years and had finally confirmed that fourteen of Joselin’s relatives carried something called a private mutation—meaning that they were the first known people to experience the baffling symptoms of a brand new genetic mutation. Here, Joselin tells the story of their gene: the lives it claimed and the future of genomic medicine with the potential to save those that remain. Digging into family records and medical history, conducting interviews with relatives and friends, and reflecting on her own experiences with the Harvard doctor, Joselin pieces together the lineage of this deadly gene to write a gripping and unforgettable exploration of family, history, and love. A compelling chronicle of survival and perseverance, The Family Gene is an important story of a young woman reckoning with her father’s death, her own mortality, and her ethical obligations to herself and those closest to her.
A riveting medical mystery about a young woman’s quest to uncover the truth about her likely fatal genetic disorder that opens a window onto the exploding field of genomic medicine When Joselin Linder was in her twenties her legs suddenly started to swell. After years of misdiagnoses, doctors discovered a deadly blockage in her liver. Struggling to find an explanation for her unusual condition, Joselin compared the medical chart of her father—who had died from a mysterious disease, ten years prior—with that of an uncle who had died under similarly strange circumstances. Delving further into the past, she discovered that her great-grandmother had displayed symptoms similar to hers before her death. Clearly, this was more than a fluke. Setting out to build a more complete picture of the illness that haunted her family, Joselin approached Dr. Christine Seidman, the head of a group of world-class genetic researchers at Harvard Medical School, for help. Dr. Seidman had been working on her family’s case for twenty years and had finally confirmed that fourteen of Joselin’s relatives carried something called a private mutation—meaning that they were the first known people to experience the baffling symptoms of a brand new genetic mutation. Here, Joselin tells the story of their gene: the lives it claimed and the future of genomic medicine with the potential to save those that remain. Digging into family records and medical history, conducting interviews with relatives and friends, and reflecting on her own experiences with the Harvard doctor, Joselin pieces together the lineage of this deadly gene to write a gripping and unforgettable exploration of family, history, and love. A compelling chronicle of survival and perseverance, The Family Gene is an important story of a young woman reckoning with her father’s death, her own mortality, and her ethical obligations to herself and those closest to her.
"[Kolata] is a gifted storyteller. Her account of the Baxleys... is both engrossing and distressing... Kolata's book raises crucial questions about knowledge that can be both vital and fatal, both pallative and dangerous." —Andrew Solomon, The New York Review of Books New York Times science reporter Gina Kolata follows a family through genetic illness and one courageous daughter who decides her fate shall no longer be decided by a genetic flaw. The phone rings. The doctor from California is on the line. “Are you ready Amanda?” The two people Amanda Baxley loves the most had begged her not to be tested—at least, not now. But she had to find out. If your family carried a mutated gene that foretold a brutal illness and you were offered the chance to find out if you’d inherited it, would you do it? Would you walk toward the problem, bravely accepting whatever answer came your way? Or would you avoid the potential bad news as long as possible? In Mercies in Disguise, acclaimed New York Times science reporter and bestselling author Gina Kolata tells the story of the Baxleys, an almost archetypal family in a small town in South Carolina. A proud and determined clan, many of them doctors, they are struck one by one with an inscrutable illness. They finally discover the cause of the disease after a remarkable sequence of events that many saw as providential. Meanwhile, science, progressing for a half a century along a parallel track, had handed the Baxleys a resolution—not a cure, but a blood test that would reveal who had the gene for the disease and who did not. And science would offer another dilemma—fertility specialists had created a way to spare the children through an expensive process. A work of narrative nonfiction, Mercies in Disguise is the story of a family that took matters into its own hands when the medical world abandoned them. It’s a story of a family that had to deal with unspeakable tragedy and yet did not allow it to tear them apart. And it is the story of a young woman—Amanda Baxley—who faced the future head on, determined to find a way to disrupt her family’s destiny.
This gripping story of the doctors at the forefront of Alzheimer’s research and the courageous North Dakota family whose rare genetic code is helping to understand our most feared diseases is “excellent, accessible...A science text that reads like a mystery and treats its subjects with humanity and sympathy” (Library Journal, starred review). Every sixty-nine seconds, someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Of the top ten killers, it is the only disease for which there is no cure or treatment. For most people, there is nothing that they can do to fight back. But one family is doing all they can. The DeMoe family has the most devastating form of the disease that there is: early onset Alzheimer’s, an inherited genetic mutation that causes the disease in one hundred percent of cases, and has a fifty percent chance of being passed onto the next generation. Of the six DeMoe children whose father had it, five have inherited the gene; the sixth, daughter Karla, has inherited responsibility for all of them. But rather than give up in the face of such news, the DeMoes have agreed to spend their precious, abbreviated years as part of a worldwide study that could utterly change the landscape of Alzheimer’s research and offers the brightest hope for future treatments—and possibly a cure. Drawing from several years of in-depth research with this charming and upbeat family, journalist Niki Kapsambelis tells the story of Alzheimer’s through the humanizing lens of these ordinary people made extraordinary by both their terrible circumstances and their bravery. “A compelling narrative…and an educational and emotional chronicle” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review), their tale is intertwined with the dramatic narrative history of the disease, the cutting-edge research that brings us ever closer to a possible cure, and the accounts of the extraordinary doctors spearheading these groundbreaking studies. From the oil fields of North Dakota to the jungles of Colombia, this inspiring race against time redefines courage in the face of this most pervasive and mysterious disease.
"Born into a family ravaged by genetic disease, Darcy Leech shares a coming of age story as much about beginnings as endings in exploring the life lessons learned in losing her brother and mother to myotonic muscular dystrophy. Leech narrates a moving meditation of the enduring mysteries of what dormant harbingers of genetic disease lurk within, the surprising possibilities in loss, and the deep resilience of the human spirit. The narrative highlights the relationship between diseased mother and healthy daughter, revealing Jo Lyn as a woman of strength, a caretaker who quietly marched toward her own degenerative weakness, someone grappling for identity while ostracized by an invisible disease, and a resilient spirit who endured holding the child who inherited her genetic misfortune as he took his last breath. From My Mother is the honest story of finding joy through loss, living fully within limitations, and the universal struggle of grappling for identity against the device of innate genetic code through invested love and personal choice"--darcyleech.com
The author, part of the Jewish refugee community in Shanghai, tells of his experiences growing up in the ghetto under Japanese occupation.
Every family has secrets; only some secrets are lethal. In Victoria Costello’s family mental illness had been given many names over at least four generations until this inherited conspiracy of silence finally endangered the youngest members of the family, her children. In this riveting story—part memoir, detective story, and scientific investigation—the author recounts how the mental unraveling of her seventeen-year-old son Alex compelled her to look back into family history for clues to his condition. Eventually she tied Alex’s descent into hallucinations and months of shoeless wandering on the streets of Los Angeles to his great grandfather’s suicide on a New York City railroad track in 1913. But this insight brought no quick relief. Within two years of Alex’s diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia, both she and her youngest son succumbed to two different mental disorders: major depression and anxiety disorder. Costello depicts her struggle to get the best possible mental health care for her sons and herself, treatment that ultimately brings each of them to full recovery. In the process, she discovers new science that explains how clusters of mental illness traverse family generations. Artfully weaving the scientific into the personal, Costello takes a journey to the far reaches of neuroscience and reports back on the startling findings it is yielding about the complex interplay between genes and environment that drives mental illness, and what it now tells us about how parents can trump a lethal inheritance. She shares the results of long-term U.K. and European family studies identifying the earliest signs of mental illnesses that can be passed on from grandparents to parents and grandchildren. She tracks ongoing clinical trials to reverse the courses of these diseases through early intervention with the latest evidence-based treatments and offers brain-healthy choices individuals and families can make to prevent mental illness—freeing future generations to live healthier, happier lives. From the Trade Paperback edition.
The acclaimed, poignant story of a boy with Williams syndrome, a condition that makes people biologically incapable of distrust, a “well-researched, perceptive exploration of a rare genetic disorder seen through the eyes of a mother and son” (Kirkus Reviews). What would it be like to see everyone as a friend? Twelve-year-old Eli D’Angelo has a genetic disorder that obliterates social inhibitions, making him irrepressibly friendly, indiscriminately trusting, and unconditionally loving toward everyone he meets. It also makes him enormously vulnerable. On the cusp of adolescence, Eli lacks the innate skepticism that will help him navigate coming-of-age more safely—and vastly more successfully. In “a thorough overview of Williams syndrome and its thought-provoking paradox” (The New York Times), journalist Jennifer Latson follows Eli over three critical years of his life, as his mother, Gayle, must decide whether to shield Eli from the world or give him the freedom to find his own way and become his own person. Watching Eli’s artless attempts to forge connections, Gayle worries that he might never make a real friend—the one thing he wants most in life. “As the book’s perspective deliberately pans out to include teachers, counselors, family, friends, and, finally, Eli’s entire eighth-grade class, Latson delivers some unforgettable lessons about inclusion and parenthood,” (Publishers Weekly). The Boy Who Loved Too Much explores the way a tiny twist in a DNA strand can strip away the skepticism most of us wear as armor, and how this condition magnifies some of the risks we all face in opening our hearts to others. More than a case study of a rare disorder, The Boy Who Loved Too Much “is fresh and engaging…leavened with humor” (Houston Chronicle) and a universal tale about the joys and struggles of raising a child, of growing up, and of being different.
Affecting 1 in 10,000 people worldwide, Williams syndrome is a genetic condition caused by a spontaneous deletion of one pair of a few dozen genes on chromosome 7. Individuals with Williams syndrome often have severe cardiovascular issues, developmental delays, and difficulties living independently. At the same time, they generally have outgoing personalities, enormous empathy, and a strong affinity for music.Extraordinary Gifts, Unique Challenges is a collection of essays written by parents, family, and friends of children with Williams syndrome. In their own words, they tell stories of challenges and triumphs. They share their own heartaches and moments of bliss. In addition, nine adults with Williams syndrome give advice to younger people with the diagnosis, while reflecting on what their own parents did that helped them the most.The collection is poignant, funny, authentic, and heart-warming. It will make you recognize the gifts and challenges in your own children, whether they have Williams syndrome or not.Please note that all proceeds from the sale of this book go to the Williams Syndrome Association. Thank you for supporting a wonderful cause!
New York Times Bestseller Comedy legend Carol Burnett tells the hilarious behind-the-scenes story of her iconic weekly variety series, The Carol Burnett Show. In In Such Good Company, Carol Burnett pulls back the curtain on the twenty-five-time Emmy-Award winning show that made television history, and she reminisces about the outrageously funny and tender moments that made working on the series as much fun as watching it. Carol delves into little-known stories of the guests, sketches and improvisations that made The Carol Burnett Show legendary, as well as some favorite tales too good not to relive again. While writing this book, Carol rewatched all 276 episodes and screen-grabbed her favorite video stills from the archives to illustrate the chemistry of the actors and the improvisational magic that made the show so successful. Putting the spotlight on everyone from her costars to the impressive list of guest stars, Carol crafts a lively portrait of the talent and creativity that went into every episode. With characteristic wit and incomparable comic timing, she details hiring Harvey Korman, Vicki Lawrence, Lyle Waggoner, and Tim Conway; shares anecdotes about guest stars and close friends, including Lucille Ball, Roddy Mcdowell, Jim Nabors, Bernadette Peters, Betty Grable, Steve Lawrence, Eydie Gorme, Gloria Swanson, Rita Hayworth, and Betty White; and gives her take on her favorite sketches and the unpredictable moments that took both the cast and viewers by surprise. This book is Carol's love letter to a golden era in television history through the lens of her brilliant show. Get the best seat in the house for "eleven years of laughter, mayhem, and fun in the sandbox."
"For many days we had been tempest-tossed - and our stash was soaked. Six times had the darkness closed over a gnarly scene, and returning light as often brought a renewed jones while the storm raged on and after seven days all hope was lost of finding that magical island to grow our free-range weed unnoticed by narcs." Forget the classic you knew as a child; you've never seen the Robinsons have so much fun being shipwrecked - until now. In this "highlarious" update of the beloved family adventure, you can smoke up with the whole Robinson family while they are shipwrecked on an uncharted tropical island. From constructing a home made entirely of weed and sampling the millions of strains of pot they find on the island to trying to make a bong out of a coconut, this book will leave you jonesing for more!
"An eloquent memoir of a 27 year old actress who suffered a massive brain aneurysm onstage at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and awoke to discover that she had aphasia, a rare condition in which one loses the ability to speak, read and write"--Provided by publisher.
Animal Planet’s favorite herpetologist reveals his most terrifying encounters with dangerous animals and reptiles—documented with his very own photos! Hit shows on Animal Planet, the Discovery Channel, and the National Geographic Channel established Austin Stevens as the original “Snakemaster.” Now, the incredibly smart—yet incredibly insane—animal lover shares his most deadly run-ins with the fanged and the venomous. From wrestling with a reticulated python to panicking after being bitten by the infamous Gaboon viper, Stevens brings you into his world of wildlife and tells the story of how a boy from Pretoria, South Africa, became one of the most widely known herpetologists in the world. With incredible photographs taken by Stevens himself, you’ll be able to place yourself in his world—including the deserts of Africa and the jungles of Borneo. This one-of-a-kind story collection will make you laugh, cry, and shiver with fear! “Austin Stevens’s account of his adventures perfectly captures the thrill of hunting and handling snakes in the wild and will appeal to anyone who loves the outdoors and is fascinated by reptiles.” —Chris Mattison, world-renowned photographer and author of Snake and Chameleons
Dear Amy, First my husband told me he didn't love me. Then he said he didn't think he had ever really loved me. Then he left me with a baby to raise by myself. Amy, I don't want to be a single mother. I told myself I'd never be divorced. And now here I am--exactly where I didn't want to be! My daughter and I live in London. We don't really have any friends here. What should we do? Desperate Dear Desperate, I have an idea. Take your baby, get on a plane, and move back to your dinky hometown in upstate New York--the place you couldn't wait to leave when you were young. Live with your sister in the back bedroom of her tiny bungalow. Cry for five weeks. Nestle in with your quirky family of hometown women--many of them single, like you. Drink lots of coffee and ask them what to do. Do your best to listen to their advice but don't necessarily follow it. Start to work in Washington, DC. Start to date. Make friends. Fail up. Develop a career as a job doula. Teach nursery school and Sunday School. Watch your daughter grow. When she's a teenager, just when you're both getting comfortable, uproot her and move to Chicago to take a job writing a nationally syndicated advice column. Do your best to replace a legend. Date some more. Love fiercely. Laugh with abandon. Grab your second chance--and your third, and your fourth. Send your daughter to college. Cry for five more weeks. Move back again to your dinky hometown and the women who helped raise you. Find love, finally. And take care. Amy
Stephen Heywood was twenty-nine years old when he learned that he was dying of ALS -- Lou Gehrig's disease. Almost overnight his older brother, Jamie, turned himself into a genetic engineer in a quixotic race to cure the incurable. His Brother's Keeper is a powerful account of their story, as they travel together to the edge of medicine. The book brings home for all of us the hopes and fears of the new biology. In this dramatic and suspenseful narrative, Jonathan Weiner gives us a remarkable portrait of science and medicine today. We learn about gene therapy, stem cells, brain vaccines, and other novel treatments for such nerve-death diseases as ALS, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's -- diseases that afflict millions, and touch the lives of many more. "The Heywoods' story taught me many things about the nature of healing in the new millennium," Weiner writes. "They also taught me about what has not changed since the time of the ancients and may never change as long as there are human beings -- about what Lucretius calls 'the ever-living wound of love.'" This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.
In Strangers Tend to Tell Me Things--her follow-up memoir to the NYT bestselling The Mighty Queens of Freeville--America's most popular advice columnist, "Ask Amy," shares her journey of family, second chances, and finding love. By peeling back the curtain of her syndicated advice column, Amy Dickinson reveals much of the inspiration and motivation that has fueled her calling. Through a series of linked essays, this moving narrative picks up where her earlier memoir left off. Exploring central themes of romance, death, parenting, self-care, and spiritual awakening, this touching and heartfelt homage speaks to all who have faced challenges in the wake of life's twists and turns. From finding love in middle-age to her storied experience with stepparenting to overcoming disordered eating to her final moments spent with her late mother, Dickinson's trademark humorous tone delivers punch and wit that will empower, entertain, and heal.
Fifth-generation New Yorker, third-generation bartender, and first-generation author Tara Clancy was raised in three wildly divergent homes: a converted boat shed in working-class Queens, a geriatric commune of feisty Brooklyn-born Italians, and a sprawling Hamptons estate she visited every other weekend. From scheming and gambling with her force-of-nature grandmother, to brawling with eleven-year-old girls on the concrete recess battle yard of MS 172, to hours lounging on Adirondack chairs next to an immaculate croquet lawn, to holding court beside Joey O'Dirt, Goiter Eddy, and Roger the Dodger at her dad's local bar, Tara leapfrogs across these varied spheres, delivering stories from each world with originality, grit, and outrageous humor. Chock-full of characters who escape the popular imaginings of New York City, it offers a bold portrait of real people, whose stories are largely absent from our shelves. Most crucially, it captures--an inimitable prose--the rarely heard voices of New York's working-class women. --
Discusses the reckless annihilation of fish and birds by the use of pesticides and warns of the possible genetic effects on humans.
One of Entertainment Weekly's 25 most anticipated books of 2016—Matt Haig’s accessible and life-affirming memoir of his struggle with depression, and how his triumph over the illness taught him to live Like nearly one in five people, Matt Haig suffers from depression. Reasons to Stay Alive is Matt’s inspiring account of how, minute by minute and day by day, he overcame the disease with the help of reading, writing, and the love of his parents and his girlfriend (and now-wife), Andrea. And eventually, he learned to appreciate life all the more for it. Everyone’s lives are touched by mental illness: if we do not suffer from it ourselves, then we have a friend or loved one who does. Matt’s frankness about his experiences is both inspiring to those who feel daunted by depression and illuminating to those who are mystified by it. Above all, his humor and encouragement never let us lose sight of hope. Speaking as his present self to his former self in the depths of depression, Matt is adamant that the oldest cliché is the truest—there is light at the end of the tunnel. He teaches us to celebrate the small joys and moments of peace that life brings, and reminds us that there are always reasons to stay alive. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Best Books