Recommended Reading

The bookshelves of my office contain fiction and non-fiction that I have grown to love over the years. Some of the books are directly related to health, and others are not. My patients often look over these shelves before and after their appointments and I happily lend books between appointments.

Though I can’t lend you books via this website, I wanted to create a virtual version of my office shelves. It’s a smaller version to be sure, but one that represents the many facets of health and living well—physically, mentally, and spiritually. Check out my recommended reading list on my Amazon store.

Health and Wellness

Slim, Sane, and Sexy; A Pocket Guide To Natural, Bioidentical Hormone Balancing
Erin T. Lommen N.D. and Jay H. Mead MD
This is an excellent introduction to bioidentical hormones, hormone testing, and aging in general, written by two enormously experienced local doctors. 

Hormone Balance For Men: What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Prostate Health and Natural Hormone Supplementation
John Lee, MD
This short booklet is written by one of the pioneers of bioidentical hormones. It includes essential information for men concerned about an enlarged prostate and/or prostate cancer.

Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms When My Lab Tests Are Normal?
Datis Kharrazian, DHSc, DC, MS
This book is the best-selling thyroid book on Amazon and completely nails down the different aspects of thyroid disease. I have personally received advanced training from Dr. Kharrazian and know him to be a brilliant, compassionate, and very insightful clinician. If you are fatigued, read this book and then make an appointment to be properly diagnosed.

Hypoallergenic Diet: A complete guide to food sensitivities
Saeid Mushtagh, BSc, ND
Food intolerances and sensitivities are a major problem for those who are chronically ill. Lab tests are helpful, but can be expensive. This book details an effective process for diagnosing food sensitivities—eating a clean diet for three weeks followed by systematic reintroduction of avoided foods. The book includes recipes.

Caffeine Blues
Stephen Cherniske, M.S.
Find out why I describe a cup of coffee to my patients as a “cup of fear!” Stephen Cherniske is a researcher and former sleep lab scientist.  I learned an enormous amount about the body-wide effects from caffeine by meeting him and reading this book.  Moderation is one thing, but it’s important to know how excess caffeine can create (and mask) a downward health spiral.

Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health
Gary Taubes
Have you ever wondered how cholesterol and fat were determined to be bad for you? What’s the science behind these pillars of nutritional dogma? Gary Taubes is a relentless investigative science journalist who grabs on to a topic like a bulldog—refusing to let go until he gets the final story. The political story is fascinating, but Taubes’s explanation of the physiology of sugar and weight gain is the real reason to read this book.

The Brain and Mind (not necessarily the same things)

My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey
Jill Bolte-Taylor, Ph.D.
In 1996, Bolte-Taylor suffered a massive stroke that temporarily shut down half of her brain. In this wonderful book, she details, from a human and scientific perspective (she’s a brain scientist, after all), her harrowing experience and unique insights during the stroke. Besides this amazing story (which is also the subject of this 20 minute presentation), her description of the hard work of her full recovery contains valuable information for anyone who is recovering from a stroke.

Human: The Science Behind What Makes Us Unique
Michael S. Gazzaniga
This book is a great description of what makes our brains unique from other animals. Gazzaniga is a teacher and neuroscientist and has a very accessible writing style.

The Illusion of Conscious Will
Daniel M. Wegner
An exploration of the science behind one of my favorite topics: the deceptive nature of our human brains. We think what we perceive is the actually there, but the truth may be more complicated. This is a rather dense book, but has some very illuminating nuggets.

The Biology of Belief
Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D.
This book taught me the physical mechanisms by which our beliefs can change the way our genes are expressed. It is an accessible introduction into the field of epigenetics and is an essential read for anyone who is curious about how much control genes have over our lives and health. 

Spontaneous Evolution:  Our Positive Future (and a Way to Get There From Here)
Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D and Steve Bhaerman
A companion book the “The Biology of Belief,” this book applies the science of epigenetics to the evolution of our human culture.

General Science

Blink:  The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
Malcolm Gladwell
An entertaining read describing the powers of unconscious perception. Gladwell is always worth it.

The Hidden Forest:  The Biography of an Ecosytem
Jon R. Luoma
A beautiful account of the complexity of the forests around us. A wonderful book for those who love trees and hiking in the woods.

The Botany of Desire:  A Plant’s-Eye View of the World
Michael Pollan
This book, by another one of my favorite writers, is comprised of four fascinating stories about the natural and human history of four plants integral to human evolution: the apple, the tulip, marijuana, and the potato. This is a politics-free book that made Pollan famous before he started advocating for a simpler way of eating in his more recent (and also excellent) books, “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” and “In Defense of Food.”

The Spell of the Sensous
David Abram
In this beautifully written book, Abram describes his theory that it was the development of language—especially written language—that separated us from a true experience of the natural world. He explores the intimate connections that our abilities to perceive have with nature and how we might use these to become more fully human.

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down:  A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures
Anne Fadiman
This book taught me the importance of valuing a patient’s background and belief systems in medical treatment. “The Spirit Catches You…” is a journalistic account of the clash between a county hospital and a Laotian refugee family over the care of their seizure-afflicted daughter. Both parties work tirelessly to do what they think is best for the girl, but the cultural differences create a tragic impasse.

Pilgrim At Tinker Creek
Annie Dillard
A classic blend of literature and natural history. I loved the way Dillard explored perception, nature, God, and being human in the intimate setting of her walks along neighboring Tinker Creek.