I'll post quick thoughts about each of the advance copies of books I picked up at Book Expo, as I read them. On the flight back to NY, I read "Sweet Deception," a book coming out this fall by Dr. Joseph Mercola, who may or may not actually be a doctor, but definitely accepts PayPal.
The book, on its face, is scary. Like, absolutely nausea-inducing scary, all about how eating sugar -- really, pretty much any sugar at all -- will kill you. And eating artificial sweeteners like Equal and Splenda will kill you ever faster. And damage your children's brains and give you cancer and make you glow in the dark and that even one drop of artificial sweetener, ever, can make you a mutant, immediately and without any recourse.
I started reading the book having no idea who Dr. Mercola was. Lots of legitimate doctors write legitimate books, about all sorts of things. So I didn't necessarily assume he was the Carleton Sheets of medicine.
But two problems with the book. And they're kind of big.
First, while I suppose the writing reads fairly credibly in the parts about the artificial sweeteners and how they haven't been tested enough and the tests we do know about all have scary results that the FDA is covering up (**I say it reads credibly -- obviously I don't know the real facts to judge it against; I'm just going by whether I thought it was plausible as I read it**), there are things he says that don't sound credible at all, and they make you start to doubt everything else. Like when he says that fruit juice concentrates are horrible for you because fruit doesn't grow as fruit juice concentrate and we should only eat and drink things that grow naturally. Or when he says that Nutrasweet can possibly make you start to see things literally upside down. Or when he says that browning, roasting, and baking food are all bad for you because they create sugar, and you should boil or steam all of your food in water.
Second, I got home and looked up this guy's website, and, really, any ounce of credibility he might have had even ignoring the fruit juice concentrate stuff, is out the window, because the guy's pretty clearly a huckster who's probably no closer to a doctor than Dr. Pepper (which will kill you if you drink even a drop of it, no matter how much they say Diet Dr. Pepper tastes like regular Dr. Pepper). The page with products he's selling is so preposterously long and only tangentially related to anything you would trust a legitimate doctor to be involved with -- Himalayan Crystal Salt and Green Tea Sunblock and an Anti-Radiation Headset and, my favorite, a $29 set of cruets to hold your oil and vinegar, because "if you aren't careful when storing olive oil and vinegar, you may easily damage them both and lose many of their nutritional benefits" -- that I feel like an idiot for even reading a single page of this book and considering that he might actually be saying something worth reading.
And that concludes my first Book Expo book review.