Bad Pharma: How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors and Harm Patients by (Dr) Ben Goldacre
If you will ever need to use a prescription drug or medical intervention, and I think that applies to all of us, you need to read this book. Important stuff by a credible author.
This book includes the best bit of writing about synaesthesia that I've read all year. This section hits the spot because the author is herself a synaesthete, so she isn't just groping about in the dark when she writes on the subject, as most non-synaesthete writers do when tackling the subject, even respected synesthesia researchers. I also love Hammond's style of writing. I'm not sure exactly how, but it seems more original and fresh than most pop science writing. Great work Claudia!
I'll forgive the author for mentioning Daniel Tammet without skepticism. There's plenty of more substantial and interesting descriptions of language geniuses in this book, including info on the disabled and probably autistic language savant Christopher, who has been the subject of other books, and the German diplomat, hyperpolyglot and specialist in Chinese languages Emil Krebs, who has also been the subject of speculation about the autistic spectrum. A very readable and interesting book.
If you are fascinated with diagnosing famous people with diseases of the body and conditions of the mind, this book will be right up your alley. The author is a doctor, and it seems pretty sensible. Many of the famous people discussed in this book can also be found in my lists of famous possible autistics and famous synaesthetes.