51 books like An Epidemic of Absence

By Moises Velasquez-Manoff,

Here are 51 books that An Epidemic of Absence fans have personally recommended if you like An Epidemic of Absence. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Blue Zones: 9 Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who've Lived the Longest

Mary T. Newport Author Of Clearly Keto: For Healthy Brain Aging and Alzheimer's Prevention

From my list on healthier aging of body and brain through diet and lifestyle changes (by a doctor).

Why am I passionate about this?

At just fifty-four, my husband Steve was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease in 2004. After practicing as a physician specializing in newborn intensive care for thirty years, I found myself at the opposite end of the spectrum, learning everything I could about Alzheimer’s. In 2008, Steve had a dramatic improvement in his symptoms lasting nearly four years from consuming ketogenic coconut oil and MCT oil, a low-carb whole food diet, and later a ketone ester developed at the NIH. I knew that if Steve improved many others would as well, and have been compelled to share this information by speaking and writing about ketones as an alternative fuel for the brain.

Mary's book list on healthier aging of body and brain through diet and lifestyle changes (by a doctor)

Mary T. Newport Why did Mary love this book?

The Blue Zones by Dan Buettner is a fascinating look at populations around the world with high concentrations of centenarians, including detailed interviews with these very elderly people, to learn what factors might explain their longevity and good health—what they eat and how they go about their daily lives.

I found it interesting and inspirational to get such an intimate peek into the lives of individuals from different cultures who have lived much longer than most of us can hope for.

By Dan Buettner,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Blue Zones as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A long, healthy life is no accident. It begins with good genes, but it also depends on good habits. If you adopt the right lifestyle, experts say, chances are you may live up to a decade longer. Buettner has led teams of researchers across the globe--from Costa Rica to Sardinia, Italy, to Okinawa, Japan and beyond--to uncover the secrets of Blue Zones. He found that the recipe for longevity is deeply intertwined with community, lifestyle, and spirituality. People live longer and healthier by embracing a few simple but powerful habits, and by creating the right community around themselves. In The…


Book cover of Burn: New Research Blows the Lid Off How We Really Burn Calories, Stay Healthy, and Lose Weight

John B. Arden Author Of Rewire Your Brain 2.0: Five Healthy Factors to a Better Life

From my list on life-style health.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have lectured in 30 countries and all US States. Previously, I was the Director of Training in Mental Health for Kaiser Permanente in the Northern California region. In this capacity, I oversaw training programs in 24 medical centers where over 150 postdoctoral residents and interns are trained each year, the largest mental health training program in the US.  I am the author of 15 books (translated into over 20 languages). The second edition of my book, Rewire Your Brain 2.0, came out last year. My book, Mind-Brain-Gene: Toward the Integration of Psychotherapy, encompasses the fields of psychoneuroimmunology, Epigenetics, Neuroscience, Nutritional Neuroscience, and psychotherapy research.    

John's book list on life-style health

John B. Arden Why did John love this book?

This timely book reveals how many of the food fads are not based on coherent and sensible science.

One of the hot fads that the book reveals does not make historical sense is the so-called paleo diet, which is based on the no-carb diet. Actually, our ancestors, who were all hunter-gatherers, did not eat primarily meat and avoid carbohydrates. In fact, these ancestors ate complex carbohydrates. The point that the author raises is that complex carbs are critical for metabolism.  

By Herman Pontzer,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Burn as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Pontzer's findings have huge implications for our attitudes to exercise, diet and public health' Mark Webster, Sunday Times

A myth-busting tour of the body's hidden foundations from a pioneering evolutionary biologist

'Public health strategies stubbornly cling to the simplistic armchair engineer's view of metabolism, hurting efforts to combat obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and the other diseases that are most likely to kill us'

Herman Pontzer's ground-breaking research has revealed how, contrary to received wisdom, exercise does not increase our metabolism. Instead, we burn calories within a very narrow range: nearly 3,000 calories per day, no matter our activity level.…


Book cover of Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body's Most Underrated Organ

Bryn Nelson Author Of Flush: The Remarkable Science of an Unlikely Treasure

From my list on the real scoop on poop, waste, and sanitation.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a trained microbiologist who received my doctorate from the University of Washington and who has long been fascinated by the natural world—whether microscopic or gigantic, within us or all around us. For more than 20 years, I’ve also been an award-winning science writer who has written for publications like The New York Times, Nature, Wired, and Scientific American. Ever since I wrote about the incredible ability of fecal transplants to cure a deadly bacterial infection, I’ve been obsessed with books that explore how the seemingly gross or ordinary things we often dismiss as lacking value have the power to transform both us and the planet.   

Bryn's book list on the real scoop on poop, waste, and sanitation

Bryn Nelson Why did Bryn love this book?

This book not only provides a fascinating look at how we actually digest food, pluck out essential nutrients, and produce poop from the leftovers passing through the gut, but also includes charming and witty illustrations of many of these steps by the author’s sister, Jill.

An entire book about the gut? Yes, and it’s so interesting, with some gentle humor and well-thought-out analogies that help demystify what you’ll come to believe is a superhero of an organ.

I made notes, highlighted particularly illuminating sections, and found myself saying, “Wow! I didn’t know that!” throughout the book. It definitely gave me a new sense of wonder and appreciation for the intricate abilities of my own body.

By Giulia Enders, Jill Enders (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Gut as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

“Everything you ever wanted to know about the gut (and then some).”
—SELF

Discover the secrets of your digestive system—and how to hone a healthy gut—plus new research on the mind-gut connection.

With quirky charm, science star and medical doctor Giulia Enders explains the gut’s magic, answering questions like: What’s really up with gluten and lactose intolerance? How does the gut affect obesity? What's the connection between our microbiome and mental health? Why does acid reflux happen? In this revised edition of her beloved bestseller, Enders includes a new section on the brain-gut connection,…


Book cover of If Our Bodies Could Talk: Operating and Maintaining a Human Body

Tamara Duker Freuman Author Of The Bloated Belly Whisperer: A Nutritionist's Ultimate Guide to Beating Bloat and Improving Digestive Wellness

From my list on science books to make yourself health-fad proof.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an evidence-based dietitian who’s worked in gastroenterology practices for over a decade and have seen countless patients defrauded by modern-day snake oil salespeople and unqualified influencers trying to hawk fad diets, unregulated supplements, pseudoscientific lab tests, and more. Knowledge is power, and scientific literacy—understanding how our bodies actually work—is the best defense against being led down a harmful rabbit hole of health misinformation. I love popular science books, and I especially love it when people can write about science with humor and intelligence without ‘dumbing it down’ or oversimplifying; these books all meet that criteria!

Tamara's book list on science books to make yourself health-fad proof

Tamara Duker Freuman Why did Tamara love this book?

I first picked up this book years ago for the appeal of its short, science-based chapters took on novelty, quirky questions about why our bodies are so weird: why do we have dimples? Why do stomachs rumble? Why do men have nipples? What happens to weight when it’s lost? (Spoiler alert: you breathe it out!)

But Hamblin also takes on some more serious topics, the (mis)understanding of which is even more important in the era of COVID and social-media-fueled wellness culture: how do vaccines work? Can you really boost your immune system? Do probiotics work? What about multivitamins? Are we made to eat meat? What is gluten, anyway? What causes cancer? Hamblin’s humor, straight-talk and lack of any agenda to sell you anything but the state of the science is a refreshing balm in a world fueled with health disinformation that thrives on our lack of scientific knowledge.

By James Hamblin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked If Our Bodies Could Talk as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"If you want to understand the strange workings of the human body, and the future of medicine, you must read this illuminating, engaging book." —Siddhartha Mukherjee, author of The Gene

In 2014, James Hamblin launched a series of videos for The Atlantic called "If Our Bodies Could Talk."  With it, the doctor-turned-journalist established himself as a seriously entertaining authority in the field of health. Now, in illuminating and genuinely funny prose, Hamblin explores the human stories behind health questions that never seem to go away—and which tend to be mischaracterized and oversimplified by marketing and news media.  He covers topics…


Book cover of Framing Disease: Studies in Cultural History

Carol R. Byerly Author Of Fever of War: The Influenza Epidemic in the U.S. Army During World War I

From my list on how diseases shape society.

Why am I passionate about this?

Carol R. Byerly is a historian specializing in the history of military medicine. She has taught American history and the history of medicine history at the University of Colorado, Boulder, was a contract historian for the U.S. Army Office of the Surgeon General, Office of History, and has also worked for the U.S. Congress and the American Red Cross. Byerly’s publications include Fever of War: The Influenza Epidemic in the U.S. Army during World War I and Good Tuberculosis Men: The Army Medical Department’s Struggle with Tuberculosis. She is currently working on a biography of Army medical officer William C. Gorgas, (1854-1920), whose public health measures, including clearing yellow fever from Panama, enabled the United States to construct the canal across the Isthmus.

Carol's book list on how diseases shape society

Carol R. Byerly Why did Carol love this book?

One of the editors of this volume is a pioneer in the history of medicine, Charles Rosenberg, who theorizes that diseases are powerful “actors” in society. The book uses fourteen case studies to demonstrate how diseases can “frame” people in various ways, defining their lives with pain, disability, or stigma. Diseases also give rise to various institutions such as sanitariums, research laboratories and stimulate the development of medical specialties. As our scientific and social understanding of individual diseases changes over time, how a society responds to or “frames” those diseases changes as well.

By Charles E. Rosenberg, Janet Golden (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Framing Disease as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In some ways disease does not exist until we have agreed that it does, by perceiving, naming, and responding to it, "" writes Charles E. Rosenberg in his introduction to this stimulating set of essays. Disease is both a biological event and a social phenomenon. Patient, doctor, family, and social institutions-including employers, government, and insurance companies-all find ways to frame the biological event in terms that make sense to them and serve their own ends. Many diseases discussed here-endstage renal disease, rheumatic fever, parasitic infectious diseases, coronary thrombosis-came to be defined, redefined, and renamed over the course of several centuries.…


Book cover of Soteria

Will Hall Author Of Outside Mental Health: Voices and Visions of Madness

From my list on psychosis from someone who has schizophrenia.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was an imaginative and sensitive kid – growing up in the confusing oppressions of the US south and raised by parents who are themselves trauma survivors. When I started to go into altered states, hear voices, withdraw in frightened isolation and drift towards strange beliefs, I was forcibly locked up at Langley Porter Psychiatric Hospital in San Francisco. I was drugged, put in restraints and solitary confinement, and told I was schizophrenic and would never live a normal life. Today I don’t take medication, work as a therapist teacher, and advocate, and have joined the international patients’ movement working to change an abusive and misguided mental health system. I am not anti-medication, but I see psychiatric meds for what they are – tranquilizers, not treatments, tools not solutions. We need compassionate approaches and caring communities for individuals suffering from a psychotic crisis like I was. I am also the author of the Harm Reduction Guide to Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs.

Will's book list on psychosis from someone who has schizophrenia

Will Hall Why did Will love this book?

What would happen if instead of throwing people into jail-like mental wards and hammering them with tranquilizing drugs, we instead welcomed them into home-like settings and spent time listening and caring, patiently giving them time and space to explore the emotional roots of their crisis? Psychiatrist Loren Mosher did just that in the Soteria House research project in the 1970s and 80s, and the results were clear: people do better without medications and with listening and caring in a safe environment instead.

Mosher was the first chief of the Center for Studies of Schizophrenia of the National Institutes of Mental Health but you’ve probably never heard of him – his innovative project proved that psychosis can be healed more effectively without medication and outside of  hospitals, but came at a time when biological and pharmaceutical solutions – and the profits they generate – came to dominate psychiatry, so he was…

By Loren R. Mosher, Voyce Hendrix Fort,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Soteria as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is the story of a special time, space, and place where young people diagnosed as


Book cover of Yoga for Depression: A Compassionate Guide to Relieve Suffering Through Yoga

Deirdre Fay Author Of Becoming Safely Embodied: A Guide to Organize Your Mind, Body and Heart to Feel Secure in the World

From my list on to heal trauma with yoga and meditation.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am someone whose trauma history came out of the blue…while living in a yoga ashram, meditating, and training for triathlons. After almost seven years of ashram life I left, went to graduate school, and explored trauma, attachment, and wisdom traditions in inpatient and outpatient hospital settings, my private practice, and beyond.  I amassed skills sets in trauma treatment (as a supervisor under the guidance of Bessel van der Kolk and Janina Fisher), attachment theory (with Daniel Brown, PhD), compassion (Compassion Focused Therapy & Mindful Self-Compassion), body therapy (as a trainer for Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, practitioner in LifeForce Yoga and Self-Awakening Yoga), and Internal Family Systems.

Deirdre's book list on to heal trauma with yoga and meditation

Deirdre Fay Why did Deirdre love this book?

It was hard to pick just one of Amy’s books. She’s written a fabulous novel called Temple Dancer and a great book teaching Yoga Skills for Therapists. I had to go with her original groundbreaking book though, Yoga for Depression. Amy was the first person to actively advocate using yoga to treat mood issues like anxiety and depression. Her work, integrating the practices of yoga with contemporary research on yoga and psychology, make it an important – practical book for your bookshelf. 

By Amy Weintraub,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Yoga for Depression as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Take the natural path to mental wellness

More than 25 million Americans are treated with antidepressants each year, at a cost in excess of $50 billion. But the side effects of popular prescription drugs may seem nearly as depressing as the symptoms they’re meant to treat. Veteran yoga instructor Amy Weintraub offers a better solution—one that taps the scientifically proven link between yoga and emotional well-being as well as the beauty of ancient approaches to inner peace.

Addressing a range of diagnoses, including dysthymia, anxiety-based depression, and bipolar disorder, Yoga for Depression reveals why specific postures, breathing practices, and meditation…


Book cover of Do You Believe in Magic?: Vitamins, Supplements, and All Things Natural: A Look Behind the Curtain

Nina Burleigh Author Of VIRUS: Vaccinations, the CDC and the Hjacking of America’s Response to he Pandemic

From my list on understanding the COVID vaccine.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a journalist and author who has been lucky enough to follow my curiosity wherever it led – from politics and presidents to climate change and crime. Most of my books explore a theme that fascinates me – the tension between science and religion, faith and reason, that is a defining challenge of our era. I have a deep respect for science, but, like most, an amateur’s understanding of it. The global pandemic has confirmed the need for accessible science writing to help us bring our understanding in line with what’s going on in the labs.

Nina's book list on understanding the COVID vaccine

Nina Burleigh Why did Nina love this book?

Dr. Offitt invented one of the most important vaccines introduced in recent years, against a common childhood illness rotavirus, that was deadly in developing countries. In this engaging and sometimes very funny book, he takes on the alternative medicine world and makes a strong case for relying on the scientific method. This is a fact-based book you can share to help people assess false claims.

By Paul A. Offit,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Do You Believe in Magic? as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Medical expert Paul A. Offit, M.D., offers a scathing exposé of the alternative medicine industry, revealing how even though some popular therapies are remarkably helpful due to the placebo response, many of them are ineffective, expensive, and even deadly.

Dr. Offit reveals how alternative medicine—an unregulated industry under no legal obligation to prove its claims or admit its risks—can actually be harmful to our health.

Using dramatic real-life stories, Offit separates the sense from the nonsense, showing why any therapy—alternative or traditional—should be scrutinized. He also shows how some nontraditional methods can do a great deal of good, in some…


Book cover of Freeing Your Child from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: A Powerful, Practical Program for Parents of Children and Adolescents

Mark E. Crawford Author Of The Obsessive Compulsive Trap: Real Help for a Real Struggle

From my list on obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a practicing clinical psychologist for over thirty years. I’ve seen many patients who have suffered from OCD – some to the point of being debilitated by their symptoms. Few things are as gratifying as helping someone overcome OCD and live a normal life. While the disorder can be confusing, once people understand what OCD is and how to treat it, they can literally change their lives for the better. This is why I went into this field to begin with, and after thirty years, I still feel privileged and grateful when I can help someone escape the prison of OCD symptoms. 

Mark's book list on obsessive-compulsive disorder

Mark E. Crawford Why did Mark love this book?

If you have a child who suffers from OCD, this is the only book you really need. Dr. Chansky is one of the nation’s experts in pediatric OCD, and this book is the most informative and practical book I have read on the subject. This book with help you understand OCD (how it presents, what causes it) and how to help your child overcome this disorder. 

By Tamar Chansky,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Freeing Your Child from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

If you're a parent of one of the more than one million children in this country with obsessive-compulsive disorder, you know how confusing, even frightening, the symptoms of OCD can be. You're terrified of losing your child and angry about the havoc this disorder has wreaked in your family. More than anything, you want to be able to unlock the secrets of OCD, understand the cause of your child's bizarre symptoms, and help your child break free of these disruptive, relentless thoughts and actions.

In her landmark book, Freeing Your Child from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Dr. Tamar E. Chansky creates a…


Book cover of The Yoga Effect: A Proven Program for Depression and Anxiety

Laura Staton Author Of Yoga Bones: A Comprehensive Guide to Managing Pain and Orthopedic Injuries Through Yoga

From my list on helping you reflect and reset.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a lifelong asthmatic I’ve been working with the body for as long as I can remember. Childhood activities included getting lost in the woods, camping, and roller-skating, and grown-up life has included the professions of a modern dancer, choreographer, yoga therapist, and occupational therapist. If you can learn to slow down and find safety in your body, you can always manage to find your way home.

Laura's book list on helping you reflect and reset

Laura Staton Why did Laura love this book?

I love The Yoga Effect because it is based on the cutting-edge findings of NIH-funded studies at Boston University School of Medicine and shares poses and breathing techniques that are proven to help the body and mind release fear, worry, and sadness. Not dissimilar to my book, The Yoga Effect offers a customizable prescription for maintaining centeredness, confidence, and balance with short, well-rounded practices that include breath work, visualizations, and clear explanations of how yoga contributes to emotional wellness.

By Liz Owen, Holly Lebowitz Rossi, Chris C. Streeter

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Yoga Effect as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Discover inner calm and balance with a programme designed to help you overcome the debilitating effects of depression and anxiety.

"An evidence-based yoga program that is easy to follow... with calming, empowering and balancing imagery to accompany the accessible poses. Every practice invites a self-affirming attitude of courage...I love this book...and I highly recommend it..." -Amy Weintraub, founder, LifeForce Yoga, and author, Yoga for Depression and Yoga Skills for Therapists

'Inspirational. Forges new ground for how yoga can be researched and validated within the Western medical framework..." -David Emerson, Director, The Center for Trauma and Embodiment at JRI; Author, Trauma-Sensitive…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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