Tuesday, September 22, 2009

What is Carol Kaesuk Yoon reading?

The current featured contributor to Writers Read: Carol Kaesuk Yoon, author of the newly released Naming Nature: The Clash Between Instinct and Science.

Her entry begins:
I recently finished a book called Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain and Illness by Jon Kabat-Zinn. It's the third of his books I've read now, all about the use of meditation and the art of being, as opposed to doing, toward improving a person's physical health. What I really like about his books, especially Full Catastrophe Living is that he takes on the subject of meditation which is often dealt with in a religious, woo-woo, spiritual and mystic manner (which doesn't fit with my personal world view) and he deals with them very straightforwardly, empirically and in a way that I find very intellectually comfortable. Turns out Dr. Kabat-Zinn isn't a medical doctor but a Ph.D. who was trained as a laboratory scientist and I think that's what why his general outlook on the subject consistently works for me, makes sense and never grates. That and he's a really wonderful writer. And because he deals in actual observations, studies and practices and he leaves mysticism and religion at the door, I find the book and its message - that there is a lot of physical healing that can come from working with the mind through meditation - especially hopeful. It's...[read on]
Carol Kaesuk Yoon received her Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Cornell University and has been writing about biology for the New York Times since 1992. Recent stories covered the sensory capabilities of plants and the field of “evodevo,” or evolution and development. Her articles have also appeared in Science, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times. Dr. Yoon has taught writing as a Visiting Scholar at Cornell University’s John S. Knight Writing Program, working with professors to help teach critical thinking in biology classes. She has also served as a science education consultant to Microsoft.

Read an excerpt from Naming Nature, and learn more about the author and her work at Carol Kaesuk Yoon's website.

Among the early praise for Naming Nature:
"A sensuous delight...”
--Oprah Magazine

“In this bracing and brilliant book, Yoon ... delivers a thrill ride.”
--Boston Globe

“Wondrous ... rivets unsuspecting readers to the page. Superb.”
--Kirkus (starred review)
Writers Read: Carol Kaesuk Yoon.

--Marshal Zeringue