This Week’s Hottest Good Books
This Week’s Hottest Good Books
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Every week we highlight some of the most-talked about and most-interesting good books currently making noise.
March roars in like a (literary) lion with a fresh batch of big books to get you psyched for warmer weather and plenty of outside reading time, preferably in some sort of hammock situation. This week, we have a fresh look at what to eat from Mark Hyman, a defense of progressive ideals from a Harvard professor, a new thriller from one of the masters, Brad Meltzer, and the novelization of the latest Star Wars film with input from the Director that makes it one of the most necessary novelizations of all-time. Go shop for hammocks and then get reading!
Hyman returns with his usual common-sense approach to diet and health; as the title suggests, this book gets right down to business, first suggesting a 10-day detox regimen to flush toxins, then offering a robust “Pegan” diet that surprisingly combines the best of the Paleo approach (meat-centric) with the most effective aspects of a vegan diet. The result is a diet that concentrates on real whole foods, with as little processed food as possible. As anyone who has ever dieted knows, the fancier and more complex a diet is, the less likely you are to stick without. Hyman’s diets are more lifestyle changes than diets, and thus can have a lifelong impact.
Pinker takes on the seemingly pervasive notion that things are worse than they’ve ever been, and always seem to be. Defending progressive ideas with science, math, and statistics, the Harvard professor explores how the media and politicians seize on isolated incidents to make a case for anxiety and panic despite the facts that things really aren’t as bad as they seem—and that the relative prosperity and justice seen around the world are due, in fact, to progressive ideals. Pinker discusses cognitive bias and political polarization and makes a case for humanism over nationalism and offers plenty of research and fact to back up his claims, making this the ideal book for anyone who wants to enter their next argument well-armed.
Meltzer offers up a riveting launch of a new series starring Jim “Zig” Zigarowski, a mortician working top-secret cases for the government at Dover Air Force base. When a military plane crashes in the Alaskan wilderness without explanation, he gets the body to examine, and is shocked to hear that it’s Nola Brown, a woman who saved his daughter’s life when they were children. When Zig examines the body, however, certain identifying marks are missing—and there’s a note in the woman’s stomach addressing a warning to Nola, convincing him that this isn’t Nola Brown at all. Zig sets off to find out where the real Nola is, leading him into a maze of government conspiracy that goes back a century—and possibly into more danger than he bargained for.
The novelization of the most recent entry in the stories franchise is more than your average page-to-screen affair. Writer Jason Fry worked with director Rian Johnson to deepens the story and incorporate scenes deleted from or not present in the theatrical film, to the point that the book is billed as an “expanded edition.” Yes, it’s going to tell the same story as the film—Rey’s training with Luke Skywalker, Finn heist-style adventure to help the desperate Resistance, and Kylo Ren’s continuing issues with hating everything and everyone—but it is more than just a the same flavors in a new package, offering greater insights into the events depicted in the film. That’s more than enough to make it a must-read for every Star Wars—and the exclusive Barnes & Noble edition also includes a 16-page photo insert you’ll find nowhere else.