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Heart of the Comet, Gregory Benford and...

Heart of the Comet, Gregory Benford and David Brin (Bantam), looks at the struggle for survival of a small group of colonists on Halley’s Comet. “A scary, poetic, exciting novel that will be on recommended reading lists long after Halley has returned to the remote outer reaches of the solar system” (John G. Cramer).

Great and Desperate Cures: The Rise and Decline of Psychosurgery and Other Radical Treatments for Mental Illness, Elliot Valenstein (Basic), is “a wholly accessible, compelling and authoritative . . . history of prefrontal lobotomy.” In this “cautionary tale,” the author ventures several reasons for the ascendancy of lobotomy in the United States (Daniel J. Kevles).

A Country Year: Living the Questions, Sue Hubbell (Random House). The author was 47 when her husband quit their farm, the beekeeping business and their 30-year marriage. In these essays, she recounts her efforts to rebuild her life through working on the farm until, “eventually, nature itself completed her healing . . . . Like a pane of glass, (the author’s) prose reveals without distortion or sentimentality” (Doris Betts).

America’s Health Care Revolution, Joseph A. Califano (Random House). “I know of no comparable introduction to the problem of our health-care system. (The book) indicates the reasons for our constantly accelerating costs, which, if not controlled, can place the system and our population at mortal risk” (Eli Ginzberg).

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