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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Marcy L Brown, MLS (Western Pennsylvania Hospital - Forbes Regional Campus)
Description: This book contains annotated citations to Web resources exploring habits and practices promoting long life. Each citation includes a URL and a brief descriptive paragraph.
Purpose: The author does not cover complex topics such as cancer or cardiovascular diseases. Readers interested in these topics will appreciate her disclosure. Compiling authoritative links on anti-aging practices is difficult. The science is in its infancy, and some practices are supported by conflicting or scant research. The author's selections present the science as it currently exists, but unsophisticated readers may have trouble distinguishing "good" evidence from questionable.
Audience: The resources address readers of all ages interested in fighting the effects of aging. While some links are clearly relevant to seniors, many contain information for younger readers, when anti-aging lifestyle changes become important. The writing is appropriate for readers of all ages and most literacy levels, and only one or two resources seem poor choices for a lay audience. The author, an experienced health sciences librarian, has expertise in finding, evaluating, and writing about health and medical Internet resources.
Features: The author covers all relevant topics. The comparison of search engines and directories is good, but calls for graphical rather than textual presentation. Readers will likely skip the technical information on Web file types and extensions. The checkmark symbol on key resources could be a great tool, but the author never describes the criteria for assigning it and does not use it in some sections. Almost all URLs tested are current, which is refreshing in a book of Internet resources. Only the savviest reader will understand what "bibliographic database" means, and may be disappointed to find only citations or abstracts. The chapter on research offers a good look at existing scientific studies, and the interactive tools chapter describes eye-opening and fun resources.
Assessment: The sheer number of Web sites and published works on anti-aging demonstrates the public's interest in this topic, and demands a structured approach for access. This well-organized book meets that need. It offers novel resources as well as those revered for years, and is a useful reference tool for reference librarians and lay readers alike.