Advance Copy: Backstories on books by NASW members

For this column, NASW book editor Lynne Lamberg asks NASW authors to tell how they came up with the idea for their book, developed a proposal, found an agent and publisher, funded and conducted research, and put the book together. She also asks what they wish they had known before they began working on their book, what they might do differently the next time, and what tips they can offer aspiring authors. She then edits the A part of that Q&A to produce the author reports you see here.

NASW members: Will your book be published soon? Visit www.nasw.org/advance-copy-submission-guidelines to submit your report.

Publication of NASW members' reports in Advance Copy does not constitute NASW's endorsement of their books. NASW welcomes your comments and hopes this column stimulates productive discussions.

Library stacks with ladder

Sara Hendren—What Can a Body Do? How We Meet the Built World

A prosthesis for a one-armed rock-climber, a ramp enabling wheelchair-dancers to reach a stage, a portable lectern for a short-statured speaker: Sara Hendren and her engineering students designed these assistive tools. Hendren’s book, What Can a Body Do? How We Meet the Built World, tells why homes and public spaces need to be accessible to all. It earned a NASW 2021 Science and Society award.

Wynne Brown—The Forgotten Botanist: Sara Plummer Lemmon's Life of Science and Art

For many Tucson visitors, a trek up the 9,157-foot Mount Lemmon is the trip’s literal high point. In 1881, botanist Sara Plummer Lemmon, for whom the peak is named, became the first white woman known to reach its top. She collected, identified, preserved, and painted 100s of new Southwest plant species, Wynne Brown reports in The Forgotten Botanist: Sara Plummer Lemmon's Life of Science and Art.

Chris Hoofnagle and Simson Garfinkel—Law and Policy for the Quantum Age

“We are at the cusp of a quantum technology revolution, one where technologists master the special physics of the smallest particles,” Chris Hoofnagle and NASW member Simson Garfinkel write in Law and Policy for the Quantum Age. They explain how quantum technologies work, explore potential benefits and challenges for nations and individuals, and urge making public policy decisions now.

Sarah Scoles—Astronomical Mindfulness: Your Cosmic Guide to Reconnecting with the Sun, Moon, Stars and Planets

“Looking at the night sky brings you into the here and now,” Christopher De Pree and NASW member Sarah Scoles assert. In Astronomical Mindfulness: Your Cosmic Guide to Reconnecting with the Sun, Moon, Stars and Planets, they provide a scientific and cultural history of human assessment and use of the world above us plus guided exercises to boost your perception and well-being. Just look up!

Emily Willingham—The Tailored Brain: From Ketamine, to Keto, to Companionship, A User's Guide to Feeling Better and Thinking Smarter

How can you best improve your cognition, creativity, attention, memory, and mood? Don’t rely on weird diets, drugs, or listening to Mozart, Emily Willingham says. To boost brainpower, interact with others, seek new experiences, and get enough sleep and exercise, she asserts in The Tailored Brain: From Ketamine, to Keto, to Companionship, A User's Guide to Feeling Better and Thinking Smarter.

Matt Bille—Of Books and Beasts: A Cryptozoologist's Library

Cryptozoology has a bad rep. Wikipedia calls it a pseudoscience fixated on Bigfoot and other fantasy creatures. Think instead, Matt Bille says, of Alan Rabinowitz, Robin Baird, and others who use established zoological methods to study “hidden” animals and identify new species. In Of Books and Beasts: A Cryptozoologist's Library, he reviews 400 books exploring scientific research in the field.

Alice Callahan—The Science of Mom: A Research-Based Guide to Your Baby's First Year, 2nd Ed

Is it safe for babies to share their parents’ bed? Do pacifiers interfere with breastfeeding? Are organic baby foods better than those that are conventionally grown? Which vaccine information sources are most trustworthy? In The Science of Mom: A Research-Based Guide to Your Baby's First Year, 2nd Ed., Alice Callahan provides authoritative answers to these and other parenting questions.

Natasha Vizcarra—Spikeys, Prickles & Prongies: A Coronavirus Discovery Story

To teach kids about Covid, use familiar scenes, activities, and characters, Natasha Vizcarra suggests. In Spikeys, Prickles & Prongies: A Coronavirus Discovery Story, she traces the path of one woman’s infection to explain what the coronavirus is, how it spreads, how it’s treated, and why we need vaccines. Jamie Bauza’s illustrations complement the Filipino and English text for readers aged 9+.

Lina Zeldovich—The Other Dark Matter: The Science and Business of Turning Waste into Wealth

Innovative upcycling methods can transform human excrement into fertilizer, electricity, and biofuels, Lina Zeldovich reports in The Other Dark Matter: The Science and Business of Turning Waste into Wealth. Fecal transplants can benefit people with C difficile infections and other disorders. Sewage treatment plants, Zeldovich predicts, soon may be known as resource recovery facilities.