Tuesday, January 13, 2009

New (to me) Book

I love books and often peruse the book sections of thrift stores or second hand bookstores for gems. I just finished reading a book called The Body's Edge: Our Cultural Obsession with Skin by Marc Lappe. Ph.D.

It's an older book, published in 1998, so some of the attitudes and information is a little outdated. But anatomy info doesn't go out of date in 10 years. We just aren't evolving that fast. While I haven't learned anything radically new in regards to the skin's anatomy, I have gained a deeper understand of it's form and function. A fascinating correlation between the skin and the immune system was riveting. The theory vacillated between the idea that the skin had it's own immune response system and the skin as being part of the immune system. Also, the section on Psoriasis was very interesting, especially where he delves into possible reasons why psoriasis was once a valuable adaptation.

Unfortunately, it has a terrible bias against popular American culture trends in tattooing and body piercings, while being respectful and deferential of other tribal cultures' practices in the same vein. Here is where I confess that I didn't read the last few chapters, the bias became annoying. My recommendation would be to skip the last third of the book. The first half to two thirds was incredibly informative.

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