Around the human body…in 13 impressive books

The human body is a great mystery. It is a marvel of excellence from top to bottom, an awe-inspiring figure from inside out. It has an astonishing construction which is matched only by its amazing function. It possesses a breathtaking physiology which is as intricate as the ominous pathophysiology that constantly threatens it.

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It is to this wonder of creation (or design, if that is your inclination), that our next series of book reviews turns. As usual, it has not been an easy task winnowing down the seemingly infinite number of remarkable books that explore the human body. But winnow I had to, down to 13 books which, discounting the apprehensive number, do justice to the theme.

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So what are the impressive guides which will be taking us on our spectacular expedition around  the human body? We will start with 6 exceptional books that open a window into the human body at the threshold of life. We will begin at the very beginning when two contrasting cells come together at conception to begin what is simply an unbelievable transformative process. We will follow their course as they self-execute a complex blueprint which culminates at birth and the early post-natal period. Here they are:

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The Dance of Life

by Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz

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Life Unfolding

by Jamie A. Davies

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The Making of You

by Katharina Vestre

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Birth

by Tina Cassidy

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The First Breath

by Olivia Gordon

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Small

by Catherine Musemeche

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We will then take an adventure with 7 outstanding books that reveal the complexity of our organs and bodily systems. We shall exalt in their magnificent exploits, and empathise with their travails. Here they are:

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Heart

by Sandeep Jauhar

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Gut

by Giulia Enders

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Aroused

by Randy Hutter Epstein

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An Elegant Defense

by Matt Richtel

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The Emperor of All Maladies

by Siddhartha Mukherjee

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And we will finish on a high note with a personal favourite, the truly inspiring:

Hundreds of Interlaced Fingers

by Vanessa Grubb

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It will be a remarkable journey, so hold on tight to your seats as we kick off next week with The Dance of life!

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