by Jennifer Ackerman

Twelve, $22.99, 244 pages

Throughout your lifetime you will spend 1 year in bed and roughly 5 years plagued by cold symptoms. You know them well – coughing, sneezing, itchy eyes and a sore throat. Unfortunately, colds are here to stay so you might as well get to know them. Health and science writer Jennifer Ackerman introduces readers to The Cold in Ah-Choo! The Uncommon Life of Your Common Cold. After reading the first chapter you will know more about colds than you ever thought possible. Ackerman seamlessly combines facts and anecdotes to inform readers about that pesky virus that affects us all. The book is split into several sections including the medical aspects of the cold. She uses non-medical terms and explains scientific data in a way that is fun and easy to understand.

Ackerman also answers frequently asked questions. What causes a sore throat? Are day care centers safe? What about planes and hotels? She debunks myths using data from experts in the field. Finally, she covers prevention techniques and offers ways to treat symptoms including some good recipes to soothe and calm.

This is an entertaining read. If you follow some of her suggestions, maybe this year’s cold will blow right past you.

Elizabeth Franklin