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 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.

Rectangular photo of Ann Parson’s office book shelf showing works on explorers’ travels, natural history, and the development of technologies. Photo credit: Ann Parson.

Ann B. Parson—The Birds of Dog: An Historical Novel Based on Mostly True Events

Ann Parson drew on news reports and other records to illuminate the awakening of the sciences in this country in the 1800s. In The Birds of Dog: An Historical Novel Based on Mostly True Events, she highlights growing efforts to protect birds and other wildlife from hunters’ “kill-and-collect” methods, explorers’ travels, and the repercussions of inventions such as photography and the telegraph.

Maggie Jackson—Uncertain: The Wisdom and Wonder of Being Unsure

Every writer facing a blank screen struggles with uncertainty. Embrace it, Maggie Jackson suggests in Uncertain: The Wisdom and Wonder of Being Unsure. Our uncertainty, she maintains, “equips us to envision the unimaginable, adjust to the unexpected, and value a question as deeply as an answer.” Jackson explores uncertainty in diverse realms: basic science, medicine, politics, space, AI, & more.

Rectangular photo of Stacey Colino’s office bookshelf with titles on dogs, happiness, and well-being. Photo credit Stacey Colino.

Jen Golbeck and Stacey Colino (NASW Member)—The Purest Bond: Understanding the Human-Canine Connection

Dog adoptions have doubled since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. “Dogs are comfort animals for all of us,” Jen Golbeck & NASW member Stacey Colino say in The Purest Bond: Understanding the Human-Canine Connection. They tell how dogs help us connect with our families and communities, encourage us to go outside, help children learn and grow, and stabilize our lives. Recipe for pupcakes included!

Rectangular photo of Women’s March in Washington DC, January 21, 2017, with signs reading “Facts Matter.” Photo credit Brooke Borel.

Brooke Borel—The Chicago Guide to Fact-Checking, Second Edition

Since facts can be slippery, fact-checking is a vital part of the journalistic process. In The Chicago Guide to Fact-Checking, 2nd ed, Brooke Borel describes the types of information that require fact-checking and explains what fact-checking involves. She tells how to judge a source and think like a fact-checker. She also offers exercises to help readers assess their newly acquired skills.

Rectangular photo of David Nolte’s office bookshelf showing works on physics, space, mathematics and geometry. Photo credit David Nolte

David D. Nolte—Interference: The History of Optical Interferometry & Scientists Who Tamed Light

“Light is one of the most powerful manifestations of the forces of physics because it tells us about our reality,” David Nolte asserts in The History of Optical Interferometry and the Scientists Who Tamed Light. Nolte illuminates work leading to the detection of exoplanets orbiting distant stars, discovery of the first gravitational waves, capture of images of black holes, & much more.

Rectangular photo of Karen Pinchin’s office bookshelf showing books on ocean life and fishing in general and bluefin tuna in particular. Photo credit Karen Pinchin.

Karen Pinchin—Kings of Their Own Ocean: Tuna, Obsession, and the Future of Our Seas

“In the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, the sky is a dome over a dinner plate,” Karen Pinchin proclaims in Kings of Their Own Ocean: Tuna, Obsession, and the Future of Our Seas. The choice entrée: bluefin tuna. In tracking the transatlantic travels of a tagged tuna named Amelia, Pinchin explores new tuna management policies that aim to keep fish healthy worldwide and still let you enjoy your sushi.

Rectangular photo of Lisa M. Pinsker Munoz’s office bookshelf showing books about and by women in science and challenges they faced in progressing in their careers. Photo credit Lisa M. Pinsker Munoz.

Lisa M. Pinsker Munoz—Women in Science Now: Stories and Strategies for Achieving Equity

Over 5000 elementary school children took part in a 1970s classic “Draw a Scientist” study. Only 28 drawings, all by girls, showed a female scientist. While many hurdles remain, growing research on bias in STEM has fostered tools and policies to boost representation and make science more just and inclusive, Lisa M.P. Munoz reports in Women in Science Now: Stories and Strategies for Achieving Equity.

Rectangular photo of Deborah Kasdan’s office bookshelf showing books on chronic mental illness topics including treatment as well as memoirs. Photo credit Deborah Kasdan.

Deborah Kasdan—Roll Back the World: A Sister’s Memoir

Deborah Kasdan’s sister Rachel was diagnosed with schizophrenia at age 22 in 1965. The challenges her family faced in finding helpful treatment and community resources for her prompted their father to help start the National Alliance on Mental Illness, now a widely used family support group. In Roll Back the World: A Sister’s Memoir, Kasdan illuminates her family’s experiences.

Rectangular photo of Kenneth Miller’s office bookshelf showing titles on sleep, sleep disorders, chronobiology, and dreams. Photo credit Kenneth Miller.

Kenneth Miller—Mapping the Darkness: The Visionary Scientists Who Unlocked the Mysteries of Sleep

Sleep, once viewed as a passive state, now is recognized as a time when the brain is as active as it is in waking. We need sufficient sleep to consolidate & retain memories, fight infections, maintain a healthy weight & more. In Mapping the Darkness: The Visionary Scientists Who Unlocked the Mysteries of Sleep, Kenneth Miller illuminates the work of 20th-21st century trailblazers in sleep science.