Book Reviews

During my journey into the world of nutrition, I have found the best source of information to be books. While the internet has undoubtedly provided a voluminous repository of worthy data and ideas, there is something about a well written book that I feel is magical, and which cannot be replicated on a web site. Of course journals are the de facto primary source of observational data, but often this data is analysed by specialists within a narrow field and the broader meaning becomes lost. Synthesising this data into secondary sources such as books, which have less rigid academic criteria, allows the discussion and encroachment upon topics and ideas that would be off limits within academic circles. While science is the search for truth though the collection of observational data, the chains which bind the discussion of the results are shackled to the bodies that award the grant money for research. And as we all know too well, he who pays the piper calls the tunes.

The less rigidly defined academic boundaries of books can therefore often mean that the exploration of alien concepts and principals can be undertaken with more freedom. This can provide inspiration and new thinking to the reader, and allow a broader understanding of the academic literature. Of the books I have read, a number have resonated with me and taken my thinking off in new directions. While today many of these books would be considered to contain information that is self evident, at the time they were written they broke new ground. Some of the information they contain may have subsequently proven to be erroneous, but despite this their general ideas were revolutionary, and this makes them genuinely priceless. The intention is not to review new books that come to print, but to highlight some of the gems that should be in every nutrition library. Some of these books have been purchased second hand and are quite old. Finding them may be difficult. I wish you luck in your search.