2009 Bestseller list

It’s time for the 2009 bestseller list.  These are books purchased last year through this website from readers either going through the Amazon portals on the page (more about which later) or clicking on Amazon links appearing in many of the posts when books are mentioned. As always, these are all the books purchased that are not books MD and I wrote or co-wrote.

The number one winner going away was Lierre Kieth’s brilliant The Vegetarian Myth.  If you haven’t read it, grab a copy ASAP.  For those of you who don’t know, Lierre was recently the victim of an assault at a San Francisco reading.  Masked thugs came out from behind the stage and smashed her in the head and face with pies laced with cayenne pepper.  After the assault took place, while Lierre was trying to get the burning pepper out of her eyes, the audience (of mainly vegetarians) cheered.  It was truly disgusting.  Richard Nikoley and Tom Naughton reported on the assault here and here.  Jimmy Moore has a  interview with Lierre about the attack here. Tom Naughton proposes a rationale for such behavior here.

It appears that militant vegans have secured  Lierre’s name and other versions of her name on Twitter and are mounting a vicious smear  campaign against her.  Purchase her book to fight back.  Success is her best revenge.

Here are the books in descending order.

#1 The Vegetarian Myth by Lierre Kieth.  My review here.

#2 Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me) by Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson.  My review here.

#3 Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes.  My review here.

#4 Lucy: The Beginnings of Humankind by Donald Johanson. My review here.

#5 Control Theory by William Glasser My review here.

#6 The Brain Trust by Larry McCleary, M.D. My review here.

#7 500 Low-Carb Recipes: 500 Recipes from Snacks to Dessert, That the Whole Family Will Love by Dana Carpender

#8 Natural Hormone Balance for Women by Uzzi Reiss.  A mention here.

#9 How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman.  MD’s review here along with her entire list of essential cookbooks.

#10 Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High by Kerry Patterson et al.  My review here.

#10 Primal Body-Primal Mind by Nora Gedgaudas

#10 The Great Cholesterol Con by Malcolm Kendrick.  My review here.

#10 The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt My review here.

The last four books on the list sold exactly the same number of copies, so they all tied for 10th on the list.  I listed them alphabetically.

Although not a book, sales of the DVD of Tom Naughton’s brilliant film Fat Head would have put it at #2 on the list.  If you haven’t seen this film, order it today.  Here’s my review.

I want to thank all of you who have ordered not just books but all kinds of things through this site.  And I want to encourage you to continue.  The small commission I make on each order helps underwrite the maintenance on this site, which is much higher than I would have thought it would be.  Plus, I’m still paying off the recent redesign.

For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, any time you order a book or a DVD or a CD or anything (groceries, supplements, tee-shirts, whatever) through Amazon.com, I get a small commission on your order.  But I get this only if you go through one of the Amazon portals on this blog or MD’s blog or anywhere on the website.  What is an Amazon portal?  If you click the picture of The Six-Week Cure for the Middle-Aged Middle at the upper right of this post, you will be taken to the Six-Week Cure page on Amazon.  If you’re looking for something else, just type it in the search window, click the ‘Go’ button to the right, and you will be taken to wherever you want to go, and anything you purchase once you get there will earn me a tiny commission.

This whine for help with Amazon is my own version of those awful PBS fundraising telethons.  The difference is that here it doesn’t cost you anything; you simply have to purchase whatever you were going to purchase through Amazon anyway by going through one of the portals on this blog.  And your free programming will continue.

As some of you may have noticed, I finally removed the tacky Google ads that were at the bottom of each post.  I didn’t even realize they were there until I was having lunch with Mark Sisson one day, and he asked me what my relationship with Atkins Nutritionals was.  I told him I had no relationship with them.  He told me he figured I did because a fairly prominent banner ad for Atkins Nutritionals appeared at the bottom of each of my posts.  I checked myself, and, sure enough, there were the ads.  I looked into it and found out that I was making about $45 per month for these ads (not all were Atkins, but most were) so I ditched them altogether.  Had I been making $1500 per month on these ads, I may have had second thoughts, but as it was, I had no problem giving them the ax.

So, at this point, no ads are cluttering the pages of my blog or MD’s blog.  Other, of course, than those for our own books, which are the previously mentioned Amazon portals.  Order early and order often.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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72 thoughts on “2009 Bestseller list

  1. Dr. Eades,

    I envy your ability to earn commission on Amazon sales! As of last week, I’m no longer able to so, thanks to the wildly tax-and-red-tape-happy Colorado legislature and governor. They passed a terrible new law that saddles out-of-state online retailers and their customers with crazy patchwork of state and local taxes, plus a costly mess of red tape and stiff penalties for non-compliance.

    We’re fighting the measure — hoping to repeal it after the 2010 election. For the time being, however, Amazon has shut down all of its Associates accounts in Colorado to protect itself. I support Amazon completely: they’re the primary victim. I hope they challenge the law as unconstitutional in court. Colorado has no business regulating out-of-state companies.

    Even worse, other states are considering similar measures. Perhaps those politicians ought to think about reigning in spending before hiking taxes… but that seems unlikely. These Democrats seemed determined to kill business as quickly as possible. (The Republicans aren’t much better… they prefer to kill business slowly.)

    For anyone interested in more information, I put together a quick web site last week:


    I was hoping to make my just-launched “Modern Paleo” web site pay for itself with commissions from Amazon and the like. That seems highly unlikely… until and unless we can get the law repealed. And wow, I’m really mad!

    Oy, I’ll calm down now. Thanks for indulging my only slightly-on-topic political ranting!

    • totally, it’s so frustrating that online retailers are forced to play by the same rules that brick-and-mortars are.

      but seriously, why give online retailers the unfair advantage over stores you’d walk into?

      • Ian, The great thing about online is it allows “We the people” another choice in the market place that allows us to save some money instead of have to pay it to the GOV coffers. It also give us flexibility in buying and the ability to save time and money by not having to drive to the brick and mortar places.

  2. Just wanted to say Hi and thank your for all your hard work on this forum. I have spent many hours learning lots of new stuff here. I’m in the UK and ordered a couple of your recommendations from an earlier bestseller list. I am assuming that purchases through Amazon.co.uk don’t count, so I guess I will have to go and buy one of your books (no hardship doing that for sure!).

  3. I’ve been wanting to read Keith’s book for awhile know. This would be a great time to do it. I get the book, she get’s some support.

    The attack was reprehensible, but not surprising. I went to a very liberal university in the early nineties and shouting down those who disagree was SOP (one of my roommates was head of the Progressive Student Network, so I got some inside scoops). Very contrary to an ideology that espouses free speech. It was sad to see the shouting-down brand of censorship back then and disturbing to see it taken to the physical level here.

    Congrats to Lierre for the success of what I understand to be a well written, well reasoned, and well researched work. I look forward to reading it.

  4. Thanks for your bestseller list. I have read some of these, and will look into the others. I always enjoy your book reviews. I think it’s how I originally found your blog!

    I am relatively new to blogging and affiliate links. In the past 4 months, I have earned a total of $5 in commissions. And I don’t get a payment until my account reaches $10. I’m in California, so I at least I don’t have my links shut down!!

    I totally support buying The Vegetarian Myth in support of Lierre Keith. Since I already had a copy, I bought one and gave it away on my blog this week.

    • It takes a while to get your affiliate commissions up so that you get regular checks. It took me a few months to get to the $10 limit.

      Good for you for purchasing The Vegetarian Myth. I wish everyone would. It’s a shame what happened to Lierre.

  5. What?! No porn report? That’s my favorite part of the annual report!

    (snickering in the back of the class with the other 7th graders)

    OK, got that out…

    Because of your reviews, I bought (through the portal) and read: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 10c, and the FatHead DVD.

    Thanks for the time you put into the reviews – we’re listening.

  6. Hi, Do you know of any clinical trials in the works for treating dementia, depression or psychosis with a ketogenic diet? There is some help I know for epileptics on a ketogenic diet. Horrifying though is the trend to put them on a high PUFA vegetable fat diet. EGAD. I have an elderly relative with dementia, and I know a mentally ill person and I used to suffer with depression BT (before Taubes). My heart goes out to the mentally ill. They could stay on their meds and eat more sat fat and maybe function better. The dementia suffering relative is getting more fat because I have some control over what she eats.

    I think PUFAs, sucrose and grains are a doubly whammy disaster. They cause problems in themselves, but they also REPLACE saturated fat in the diet.

    I’m rambling. I’ve ordered 4 more copies of ‘The Vegetarian Myth’ and I just got wind of Uffe Ravenskov’s new book “Fat and Cholesterol are Good for you”. I’ve ordered 2. I’m giving these out like no-sugar candy.

    • Unfortunately, I don’t know of any studies looking at these issues. That doesn’t mean there aren’t such studies – just that I don’t know about them if they do exist.

      Dr. McCleary goes into this subject in some detail in his book (listed in the post), so you might want to pick that up if you haven’t read it.

  7. Appalled but not surprised at the attack on Ms. Keith by radical vegans. Hell hath no fury like a vegetarian scorned! What a group of craven cowards, I hope they enjoy the fruits of their ecologically devastating, health compromising diets. The Vegetarian Myth is a book that simply everyone should read.

    Keith recommends reading Overshoot by William Cattron which I then searched out. It is arguably the most important book one will ever read (except for GCBC) and certainly enables me make sense of the way things are unfolding on this beleaguered planet.

  8. Wow, I am shocked to hear militant vegetarians attacking a carnivore. In their forums, vegetarians accuse carnivores of being violent and aggressive due to meat but it seems they are the violent and aggressive ones.

    Vegetarians should really be careful bullying carnivores. The last time a carnivore got bullied, he and his army got out of Mongolia and conquered half of the world.

    It would be such a spectacle, seeing a grain fed vegetable powered army going up against Genghis Khan’s milk dairy meat powered cavalry.

    I think this is the best way to settle the debate regarding vegetarian vs carnivore debate. Each side select a fighter who follows their eating lifestyle. Put them in the ring and let them fight to the end. He he, I got my money on the carnivore warrior.

  9. Hi Dr. Eades,

    Dr. William Davis had a post yesterday (3/17) recommending the consumption of less red meat and more vegetables and other plant-sourced foods due to the “association” between red meat intake and cancers of the colon and GI tract. I would love to know your opinion of this association, as tends to contradict the “evolutionary logic” that I try to use to guide my dietary selections.

    Also, the post touches on the fact that butter (and other dairy products) is a potent insulinotropic food and should also be limite. Butter from grass-fed cows is one of my go-to fats! What say you of this?

    Thanks for all you do.

    • In my opinion Dr. Davis is dead wrong on this one. There is no “strong association” between red meat consumption and cancers of the colon and GI tract. All such associations are from observational studies, which, as we all know, are useless for determining causality. In addition, these observational studies are offset by other observational studies showing no such correlation or even that red meat consumption protects against colon and other GI cancers.

      You have to eat to live. And you need protein. Protein usually comes packaged with fat, so you’ve got to make the determination of which fat you want to get with your protein. If you go the animal protein track, you get saturated fat, monounsaturated fat, and a little polyunsaturated fat. If you go the plant protein track, you get your polyunsaturated fat as primarily omega-6 fat. Plus, you typically get much more carb from the plant foods than you do the animal foods. So, my choice is to avoid the omega-6 fats and the extra carbs by getting most of my protein from animal sources.

      Here is what Gary Taubes points out in his great Science article The Soft Science of Dietary Fat:

      …consider a steak — to be precise, a porterhouse, select cut, with a half-centimeter layer of fat, the nutritional constituents of which can be found in the Nutrient Database for Standard Reference at the USDA Web site. After broiling, this porterhouse reduces to a serving of almost equal parts fat and protein. Fifty-one percent of the fat is monounsaturated, of which virtually all (90%) is oleic acid, the same healthy fat that’s in olive oil. Saturated fat constitutes 45% of the total fat, but a third of that is stearic acid, which is, at the very least, harmless. The remaining 4% of the fat is polyunsaturated, which also improves cholesterol levels. In sum, well over half — and perhaps as much as 70% — of the fat content of a porterhouse will improve cholesterol levels compared to what they would be if bread, potatoes, or pasta were consumed instead. The remaining 30% will raise LDL but will also raise HDL. All of this suggests that eating a porterhouse steak rather than carbohydrates might actually improve heart disease risk, although no nutritional authority who hasn’t written a high-fat diet book will say this publicly.

  10. Thanks for letting me know about your portal. I purchase books regularly through Amazon and I will be sure to go through your portal from now on.

    Thanks so much for writing such a great blog! It is the best one I have found so far on health and nutrition. Thanks too for the book reviews. I am an avid nutrition reader and always looking for more recommended sources.

  11. Dr. Eades, you provide a valuable free service here. I know it can be expensive, especially when your personal time commitment is considered.

    We should support you by clicking through your portal.

    I’ll probably get “The Brain Trust” and “Mistakes Were Made.”


  12. Let me repeat what others have said: thanks for all your hard work. I was surprised to discover that since finding this blog in January, I’ve managed to buy five of the books listed, bought two of yours, and plan to get the rest–through your portal. Great work on your part.

    Keith’s book is brilliant! And beautifully written. What happened to her is revolting, frightening, but not surprising. I’ve been reading the comments posted on Tara Parker Pope’s blog entry, “The Stigma of Being ‘Fat.'” (New York Times, March 15, 2010, for those of you who want to waste time). There are now 507 (and counting) comments, over half of which are denigrating, disgusting, and outright cruel. (Think Anthony Colpo.) They’re also filled with the “fat kills” manta and more than a few that credit ONLY strict vegetarianism with keeping people thin. Very enlightening, in a bad way. Your blog is a pleasurable, intelligent relief from such vitriol.


    • Thanks for the support, and I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog.

      I can’t stand vitriol and try to fight it as much as I can. People can disagree in civil ways. I don’t know what happens to many folks when they can hide behind the anonymity of the internet. It seems to turn them into monsters.

  13. Dr. Eades — Many thanks for the post! I had no idea I could support your work, which has helped me in profound ways, simply by routing to amazon through your blog! I really want to support you by buying the Sous Vide machine — but I’m still saving for that. In the mean time I will focus on books! Your reviews and blogs are of such value as is all of your work and MD’s!

  14. Thanks for the support. Hope you end up with the Sous Vide Supreme. When we first started using it, we figured we would use it occasionally, but it has turned out to be our most indispensable kitchen appliance. Others are discovering the same thing.

  15. We use our Sous Vide Supreme nearly every day too! (Chicken, steak, pork chops, fish, chicken, steak, steak, steak, chicken … YAY!) And can you imagine? We haven’t even tried eggs in it yet! (And Dr. Mary Dan is right — ideally, you’d want two in your kitchen: one for meat, one for veg… {sigh} maybe next xmas for a second one..)

    I’m off tomorrow to the Sur la Table demonstration of the SVS… (I know you don’t like to advertise on your blog Dr Mike, but please let me. I was so excited to get the email describing it because I’m on the Sur la Table mailing list.) All the Sur la Table stores (except a couple in California) are demo-ing the SVS on the 20th and the 27th at 11 .a.m. — so if you haven’t seen one yet — now’s your chance!) I’m psyched to learn more tips and tricks with the best kitchen machine ever!

    • I didn’t realize they were demoing on March 27, but most Sur La Table stores are demoing on March 20. I would go to one, but I’m traveling on the 20th so I’m out of luck.

      I’m glad to hear you’ve had such a great experience. Most people, once they get over the it’s-something-different hump, become devotees.

  16. Hi Mike,

    I share the others’ appreciation for the work you put into your blog, and also hosting of the forum … but sorry, I can’t say the same for whoever is doing your web site build and maintenance. Whatever you are paying, it is too much!

    Seven years and counting (for me) and still no international shipping (well actually, I think you used to have it, but with outlandish shipping – now not at all). And maintenance? – a properly set up site shouldn’t require it – I assume (although I probably shouldn’t) that you can add new products, change details and of course add blogs without assistance? If not shoot the guy(?)! There is also at least one missing link (to the 6W blog from the forum page) – all of which should be fixed before you spend another one of (your) dimes!

    Hope that helps.

    Oh and sadly while I have bought books through your Amazon portal before, I have now ceased to use Amazon at all (again shipping issues but also delivery times and basic communication) – so I use a local outfit, Fishpond, who are much better).

  17. on PBS in detroit right now they’re using neal barnard as their telethon draw (???), selling his curing diabetes book for $90 and his dvd showing you how to use a supermarket for $75, or a steeply discounted $150 for both!

    its a multi-hour long infomercial with him lecturing to a crowd of fat presumably diabetic people who are taking notes writing down the fiber content of bananas.

    it’s truly something to behold, worse than watching ornish speak.. he just said not to eat olive oil because its 13% saturated fat. ditto for fish… etc.

    he’s recommends everyone with diabetes eats pasta because its gi index is only 40 !

    just now he’s launching into how dangerous protein is and ‘did you know it causes kidney disease?’ … etc

    holy cow its such a train wreck of mind-numbing bullshit.

    i highly recommend watching this if its going to be on in your area or getting a recording of it just for the yell-at-the-fucking-outrage-on-the-tv factor.

    something tells me they timed this intentionally with the healthcare bill vote so it wouldn’t surprise me if it’s on everywhere.

  18. books make for strange bedfellows. the low-carbers and paleo diet fans (of which i am included) love the book written by lierre keith, despite her having left politics that i’m guessing most readers of this blog (and clearly its author) would detest. it’s an interesting mix.

    i’m curious how people reconcile the contrast. or does it not matter if you just focus on the parts of the book you like? i’m not just trolling either, but am interested to hear people’s thoughts.

  19. Following up on your Twitter post re: krill oil, have you posted your thoughts on how much krill oil vs. fish oil one should take daily? Thanks.

  20. Remember that Israel diet study of low carb vs low fat vs mediterranean – they came out with another study based on those diets – have you seen it? Matt did a post on it:

    “I’ve written before about the lack of studies showing any benefits to low-carb diets in the long-term. Now a brand new study on heart disease compares low-fat, low-carb, and Mediterranean diets for two years. Guess what? There was no significant differences between the three diets. On average, the diets reversed artery thickness by 5%.

    Let’s see, Dr. Atkin’s book was first published in 1972. Now it’s 2010, so that’s been almost 40 years. And yet there are still no long-term studies showing low-carb is more effective than any other diet combination. 40 years, that’s a long time to keep saying something is true without any evidence, right?

    Anyways, it looks like the weight loss was minimal on this diet. I am in the process of getting the full-text of the study. I’m sure some will say that this wasn’t a true low-carb diet for some reason, that people didn’t comply, etc. Same excuses.”

  21. What happened to Lierre Keith was unconscionable. Thank you for drawing attention to it, because it got surprisingly little coverage in the media.

    I was wondering if I could get your take on this new study from Harvard: Effects on Coronary Heart Disease of Increasing Polyunsaturated Fat in Place of Saturated Fat: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials:

    I strongly suspect that there are problems with the methodology and conclusions, but your take on it would be a lot more valuable than mine.

      • Thank you, that is indeed precisely what I was looking for, and it definitely confirmed my intuitions. I appreciate it, because the link your provided will be a useful tool when some Ornish types inevitably cite that study in their never ending quest to demonize saturated fat.

        One good link deserves another, so I thought you might appreciate this link to the site for Holistic Management International, who are doing amazing things using cattle to revitalize the soil and improve our environment, while helping small farmers, and people in impoverished regions of the world to develop greater food security. Among other things, they train people for Heifer International, which is another wonderful organization.

  22. Hi Dr. Eades,
    I really liked your recent posts on metabolic advantage but it led me to thinking. If the average body requires 200g of glucose a day and I’m eating Paleo with very little fruit and no starches, I’m getting somewhere around 75g to 100g of carbs a day (carrots and other veggies pretty much). I usually only get around 0.5 to 0.65 grams per pound of bodyweight in protein. Should I be worried about losing muscle or is it pretty trivial and it’s better to stay lower in carbs rather than eating extra fruit and yams to hit 200g? If you have addressed this before, please let me know. I don’t know if it makes a difference but I’m 26 years old and I do mostly heavy lifting a couple of time a week for exercise.
    Thanks for what you do.

  23. Hi there – were you planning a review of the Primal Body book as well? Seems the only one you didn’t get to. Thanks,


  24. Sorry for being off-topic, not sure how to reach you otherwise than in the comments. :)

    I’ve seen your twitter post about the HFCS rat-study. I don’t know if you read the whole story, but this sentence got my attention : “Rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained significantly more weight than those with access to table sugar, even when their overall caloric intake was the same. ”

    Hmmm, so all cohorts of rats ate the same amount of calories, yet some gained weight while other didn’t. Is it just me or is this little fact a major piece of evidence against the “a calorie is a calorie is a calorie” crowd?

    Am I missing something? Isn’t this huge?

    • It is indeed proof, so to speak, of the idiocy of the calories in, calories out theory. But this isn’t the first. There are many such studies in rats. It’s harder – but not impossible – to prove in humans because they can’t be locked down and fed in precise amounts as can rats.

  25. Forgive the off topic post, but your contact button doesn’t seem to be responsive. Just wanted to point out the latest, which I’m sure you’ve already seen on the new meta-analysis which claims benefits to PUFAs


    The editors in their Summary seem to be trying to cover their asses for publishing it by claiming that while the evidence is weak, some observational studies support it. Made me laugh

    Stephan Guyanet does his typical great job on it


    But of course, here’s how the media is treating it:


    One of those perfect examples, eh?

  26. Doc, I agree 100% on L. Keith’s book. I am an agricultural consultant and my speciality is pasture management. You betcha I eat only grass fed beef! Lierre is dead on. She did her homework. My other favorites are: Death by Supermarket and your “The Six week Cure for the Middle-aged Middle”, My wife and I just finished the 6 week program and I now have a middle like I had 50 years ago. My 68 yr old wife is proud of her new slim waist. Good program and I’ve recommended it to friends.

  27. Great meeting you today at the ASBM conference in Seattle, Dr. Mike.

    While I’m a little late to the party regarding this post, I do have a couple of recommendations.

    Regarding “Natural Hormone Balance for Women,” I have to say I strongly recommend “The Natural Homone Makeover” by Dr. Phuli Cohan over Dr. Reiss’ book, having read both. Dr. Cohan takes a much more integrative approach and I found her to be much more readable and comprehenseive at the same time.

    Along a similar vein to ” Lucy: The Beginnings of Humankind,” I’d recommend “Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human” by Richard Wrangham. Makes a fascinating argument that a major contributor to our adapting to prefer our big brains was the corresponding reduction of our digestive system made possible by the advent of ‘cooking.’ You’d be all over that one, I should think.

    Thanks for all your work. Hope our paths cross again soon.


    • Great meeting you, too, Keith.

      I’ll take a look at the Cohan book. Thanks for the tip. I have already read Catching Fire and found it to be excellent.


  28. I have no sympathy for someone who espouses the same philosophy – acceptance of destruction of property and attacks on individuals. Too bad she got a taste of her own views in application. Maybe she will stop being a “radical” leftist? Doubt it.

  29. Eating simply protien and not eating any carbs is so hard. I really prefer using sugar-free gum and popcicles to help ease cravings. But if you are able to get over that, it’s totally a effective way to cut down lbs

  30. Fat Head – fantastic film, regularly shown on Sky here; congratulations on your part in it. It makes all the most important points in unsubtle enough ways to get them through the thickest skull. Brilliant.

  31. Dr Eades,

    Hope your flight to Iowa went well. And coming from the west hope you brought a warm coat! With wind, It’s cold in the mid-west today.

    Thought to mention, we, or maybe I, have a problem. You might not be aware of this so thought to mention. You might have picked up that I was the subject of an editorial in the NYT the other day, for what ever reason.

    You probably didn’t notice, but I did – the negative review of Gary Taubes book in the same paper was very similar to another writing I had done recently.

    I know that the NYT is a favorite sight of yours to link with Twitter. Just wanted to mention, with what has happened, I no longer feel comfortable with the NYTs articles.

    Obviously, do what is best for you, of course.