Reviewer Conny Withay:Operating her own business in office management since 1991, Conny is an avid reader, volunteers reading the Bible to the elderly, and makes handmade jewelry. A cum laude graduate with a degree in art living in the Pacific Northwest, she is married with two sons, two daughter-in-laws, and one granddaughter.
Editor: Tom Jackson
Publisher: Shelter Harbor Press
“These brain detectives have discovered many amazing things, but there are many mysteries that still need to be solved,” Tom Jackson states in the introduction of his book, The Brain – An Illustrated History of Neuroscience.
This one hundred and sixty-eight page hardbound is one of the Ponderables series dedicated to trying to answer some of the oldest and important subjects in history. Each series discusses one hundred breakthroughs that changed history and who did what and when in a particular topic. This book caters to one hundred milestones that changed the way we perceive and understand our brain.
Unlike like its predecessors, the book contains a chronological listing of brain topics. Each breakthrough discussed is from a half page to two pages long, mentioning the year discovered, by whom, and how with tidbits of interesting particulars and pictures or diagrams.
After the topics, the book explains the basics of the brain. Next there are eleven interesting “Imponderables” that are yet to be ascertained. Finally, there are short biographies of thirty-nine neuroscientists, resources, index, and acknowledgments along with an extensive fold-out timeline history of neuroscience on one side and a dozen visual teasers on the other side.
Covering the one hundred ponderables, discussions range from Ancient Theories of Sleep, the Nature of Knowledge, and Neurotransmitters to the Limbic System, Brain Machines, and Persinger’s God Helmet. Some of the great scientists include Avicenna, Franz Joseph Gall, Paul Broca, David Ferrier, and Georges Gilles de la Tourette.
Readers are immediately
drawn to the colorful, detailed photographs, artworks, and diagrams,
learning about our amazing brains and their capabilities, strengths,
Jackson’s series is impressive and in-depth. Having owned several of his books, I find the most interesting part being the unanswered eleven “Ponderables” such as being right-handed, crying, understanding, minimal brain functioning, time, recalling memory, predicting, and learning to talk.
Some readers may not enjoy books that educate and test the brain, so this one would not be for them.
Author Jackson has spent over twenty years specializing in recasting science and technology into historical narratives. He and his family live in the United Kingdom.
I hope the author continues to produce more of these types of educational, engaging books. I find them so fascinating every time I open one.
If you are looking for a great gift for the “brainiac” in your life, this would be an excellent choice. It would also be good for those wanting to go into medicine, brain surgery, or psychiatry.
Thanks to Shelter Harbor Press for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s honest opinion.