Tuesday, 29 September 2009

What I've been reviewing

You may notice a small change to the title of this post: instead of "What I've been reading" it's "What I've been reviewing". This is because sometime last year I applied to join the Oxford University Press Biosciences Panel, and was accepted.

What this involves is choosing a textbook from a short list, and then when they send me the book I have to review it, providing promotional soundbites as well as comments and feedback on its design, content and readability, and how it compares with other textbooks and resources.

This was the first book, and it's a cracker. I even get to keep it, as well as accruing credits that I can spend on OUP books.

Image of the book cover
The Human Body: An introduction for the biomedical and health sciences
by Gillian Pocock and Chris Richards

"The human body is an intricate assembly of organs and systems, whose development and ongoing well-being is tightly regulated. An understanding of these biological systems and processes is central to the biomedical and healthcare sciences - in understanding how the body works in health and disease. The Human Body spans human physiology and anatomy, histology, cell biology, pharmacology, and genetics and immunology, to give a complete overview that forms the perfect foundation to any biomedical or healthcare science course."
When it arrived I was delighted - it's a great-looking fat paperback textbook, and I couldn't wait to get stuck in. I've been reading it on and off over the summer, dipping into various sections that are either relevant (the digestive system) or looked interesting (reproduction).

I've looked at sections where the course has been particularly difficult (like immunology) to see if this text explains it any better, and it's quite good. One particular highlight has been an example showing clearly how the body regulates blood volume and concentration (osmolality) entirely separately. I may not sound so very exciting, but I was delighted!

They've sent me a second book now which isn't half as thrilling, but I need to get on with reviewing it because proper university coursework is already starting.

1 comment:

aims said...

Ahem - my idea of a thrilling read does not include books about 'histology' or anything that involves how the human body actually works. A reference here and there is good enough for me especially if it involves a crafty type of murder or a twist of some sort.