Reviewer Lois C. Henderson: Lois is a freelance academic editor and back-of-book indexer, who spends most of her free time compiling word search puzzles for tourism and educative purposes. Her puzzles are available HERE and HERE Her Twitter account (@LoisCHenderson) mainly focusses on the toponymy of British place names. Please feel welcome to contact her with any feedback at LoisCourtenayHenderson@gmail.com.
Author: Lynn M. Collins
Publisher: Lynn Collins
ISBN-10: 0996520309; ISBN-13: 978-0996520300
Lynn M. Collins’ carefully constructed guide to infertility management not only has a catchy and intriguing title, Sperm Tales: An Informative Guide through the Challenges of Infertility, but is also highly accessible, no matter how scant your medical background. Sperm Tales is, nevertheless, extremely well informed, with Collins referencing her sources well, focusing on the professionally sound, such as the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC), without drowning her audience in a plethora of unnecessary detail.
Collins’ professional expertise in the field is indubitable. As she states: “I have managed an infertility laboratory for over 12 years and have been closely involved with physicians and nurses on a day-to-day basis, as well as with the couples participating in the program.” Consequently, not only does she have the professional expertise that is required to write a book of this nature, but she also has the requisite level of compassion and empathy to reach out on a personal level to her audience, no matter their background.
The probing nature of the questions that she asks (such as: “When should I have my baby?”, “Do I need infertility counseling?”, and “What to expect – What is ART (otherwise known as Assisted Reproductive Technologies)?”) reveal that Collins is truly on top of her game. Never afraid to handle the trickier issues, Collins covers such contentious and problematic matters as fertility during cancer treatments and same sex couples and ART.
Despite the four-page index being less detailed than some would, no doubt, like, it is, nevertheless, a helpful guide to the work when combined with the contents pages, with the chapter titles clearly indicating the relevant content, such as “How To Choose A Fertility Center” and “The Initial Consult”.
The rationality and logic of Collins’ common sense approach, which is comforting and reassuring, is bound to instill a spirit of trust in the reader that is likely to make them believe what she has to say, and to follow the steps to overcoming infertility that she recommends.
Collins encourages and motivates, rather than prescribing set actions. She is intimately aware of the diversity of causes that can lead to infertility, and she discusses them thoroughly and cogently. Her one-on-one approach to the reader not only lends an air of familiarity to the message that she wishes to convey, but it also fosters a spirit of fluidity and balance in the text, so that Sperm Tales, unlike many other works on infertility, is highly readable and easily understandable. The readability of her text is enhanced still further by her good sense of humor, which is especially marked in her introduction of a character and friend, named Spanky, who is the mascot of Collins’ infertility clinic. Spanky makes timely interjections throughout the text, all sourced from the funny comments that Collins’ patients have made over the years―after all, she believes that learning should be fun. So don’t expect a dry as dust tome that puts you to sleep after the second paragraph, but one that will, at times, most likely tickle your funny bone, as well as covering your nether regions. In short, enjoy!