Chapter by chapter, the book stresses that our lungs are important while neglecting the specifics of why and how they function ... Further undermining the message, Stephen makes some factual slips when he wanders wider afield from medicine ... While not critical to the book’s central point, such errors highlight what can happen when experts wander too far from a fact checker’s gaze ... But there are bright spots. Stephen peppers the chapters with medical anecdotes of various patients whose pathologies underscore how a healthy respiratory system should behave. Breath Taking is not quite advocacy, not quite pop science exploration, but something of an anthology of tidbits on the theme of lungs, never wholly functioning in the harmonious way that our respiratory system does.
Throughout, Stephen emphasizes the role of science in improving humans’ respiratory health ... Readers of Siddhartha Mukherjee and Atul Gawande will appreciate Stephen’s writing. Blending science writing and medical reporting, this is a detailed, yet accessible account that will engage anyone concerned with their respiratory health
Brains and hearts preoccupy science writers, so this rare exploration of lungs fills a need ... Pulmonologist Stephen cannot conceal his enthusiasm for his favorite organ as he mixes evolution, medical history, autobiography, and vivid stories of patients with a skillful account of how lungs operate and how we might take better care of them. Regarding yoga, mindfulness, and breathing exercises, the author delivers unimpressive studies but inspiring anecdotes. Valuable popular science.