Saturday, December 13, 2014

Book Catch-up

41 by George W. Bush is a touching tribute to his father
I haven't had much time to read in the past few months. My schedule has been crazy with a full-time job and adjunct faculty work on three courses. That means that I've barely had time to keep my head above water. Fortunately, the term ends this week, and winter recess is fast approaching. i should have more time for readings.

I did have time to skim a couple of books. The first was 41: a Portrait of My Father by George W. Bush. I liked George W. Bush as a president, and in his post president years, he has come across as a much more amiable, fun person than I imagined. In 41, George W. gives us a personal picture of his father through his son's eyes. Of course, 41 represents George Bush (the father) who was the 41st president. George W. said that he wrote the book because David McCullogh's daughter had talked to George W. about how McCullogh was disappointed that John Quincy never wrote anything about his father. George W. does not give a political view of his gather, but he does provide a personal view of the man. We learn about the type of man that George Bush is (and was). Of course, the picture is painted through the jaundiced eyes of the son, but it is touching to see the great love that George W. has for his father. My impression of George Bush changed after reading the book. I gained respect for George Bush because he seems to have lived his life with honor and respect for others.
Zoobiquity shows the connection between animal and human health

The other book that I skimmed through was Zoobiquity: the Astonishing Connection Between Human and Animal Health by Barbara Watterson-Horowitz, M.D. and Kathryn Bowers. I got the book because I saw the TED Talk that Watterson-Horowitz gave on the connections she has made between animals and humans. It in that past, animals and humans were treated by the same doctor. However, as we moved away from a farming society, dependent on horses for transportation, the separation between doctors and vets began. Watterson-Horowitz, a cardiologist, was called in to help treat primates at the Los Angeles zoo with potential heart problems. She found that health problems seemed to cross species. As an example, the recent discovery that the human heart can suffer from emotional distress. Well, vets have known for years that animals can die from fright at capture. As Watterson-Horowitz continued to research the connections between animal and human health, she discovered that doctors could learn a lot from vets. Vets routinely read human research journals, while doctors wouldn't even consider looking at veterinary medicine research. That elitist attitude is ridiculous because it's harder to get into vet school than it is to get into medical school. Zoobiquity has plenty of stories to show the connections between humans and animals. You can enjoy the stories Watterson-Horowitz tells of her animal encounters without having a medical degree. Zoobiquity is a fun, thought-provoking book.

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