Audie Award Nominee, Nonfiction, 2013
Audie Award Nominee, Nonfiction, 2013
Did you know that breast milk contains substances similar to cannabis? Or that it's sold on the Internet for 262 times the price of oil? Feted and fetishized, the breast is an evolutionary masterpiece. But in the modern world, the breast is changing. Breasts are getting bigger, arriving earlier, and attracting newfangled chemicals. Increasingly, the odds are stacked against us in the struggle with breast cancer, even among men. What makes breasts so mercurial - and so vulnerable?
In this informative and highly entertaining account, intrepid science reporter Florence Williams sets out to uncover the latest scientific findings from the fields of anthropology, biology, and medicine. Her investigation follows the life cycle of the breast from puberty to pregnancy to menopause, taking her from a plastic surgeon's office, where she learns about the importance of cup size in Texas, to the laboratory, where she discovers the presence of environmental toxins in her own breast milk. The result is a fascinating exploration of where breasts came from, where they have ended up, and what we can do to save them.
©2012 Florence Williams (P)2012 Tantor
"[A] remarkably informative and compelling work of discovery." (Booklist)
Let's face it, these authors aren't paying me, so there's no need to lie!!
Every woman should read this, ESPECIALLY if you're going to have children. It goes into great detail about the environmental and dietary pollutants that can poison breast milk. Tells you the things you should stay away from. It also discusses the benefits of different tests you can have done on your breasts, blood, and breast milk.
If you're a guy (like me) and your wife is pregnant, it wouldn't be a bad idea to read this, just to familiarize yourself with all the options out there. It touches briefly on male breast cancer, which I found fascinating--- and scary. In all honesty, if you're a guy, you probably won't enjoy this book. However, it's best to take the approach that you'll be reading it more as a favor to your significant other.
The reader is very good. It's a science book, but written more like satire, which should hold your interest.
I enjoyed parts of the book which were less science and more trivia. Lots of talk about toxins and measuring these toxins in people. Little science to show any real problem despite all the inuendo. Overall it seemed like some one with an agenda who took the word of research she felt had truthiness. I am not saying it might not be true but a more balanced view would be nice, or at least stating how she tried to find alternate opinions but these views were held by a small fringe.
This book presents a lot of great information, but overall lacks the cohesion to make it a great read. Although the author does an excellent job grabbing the readers attention in the beginning of the book, she slowly departs from the main topic and leaves the reader wondering where she is going. Everything she speaks about is loosely relevant to breasts but in certain parts, she focuses far too much on the sub-topics and only touches on how they relate to breasts. While this provides the reader with a great deal of information on topics such as fire retardant materials and plastics, it takes time and attention away from the main topic.
Kate Reading is an interesting choice for narrator. While she is one of my favorite female readers, having her read this book is like talking about breasts with a favorite aunt, slightly awkward.
I believe that the information on breast cancer alone makes this book worth reading. The books agenda in promoting awareness of breast cancer is admirable and a great plus. Unfortunately the chaotic and loosely organized structure of the book bring it down from a great book to simply mediocre.
Americans are obsessed with breasts as sexual signifiers. As a result, their real beauty and purpose become obscured. This delightful, well-written, and carefully researched book examines many facets of our breasts including breast enhancement and the real role of the breast--feeding our young. I particularly enjoyed Williams study of the environmental hazards that we are exposed to on a daily basis. Finally, the narrator's matter of fact reading invited the listener to pause and consider that maginificent orb--the human breast.
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