Counter Clockwise: My Year of Hypnosis, Hormones, Dark Chocolate, and Other Adventures in the World of Anti-Aging
By Lauren Kessler
(Rodale, $25)

Readers will wish their doctors had half the bedside manner of writer Lauren Kessler. Her humorous, knowledgeable examination of the burgeoning anti-aging movement deftly encapsulates the science and scams that drive this $88-billion-a-year industry. Kessler undertakes a wide range of regimens — from a 14-day detox to a $900 blood test to a compassion workout, among others — to recharge her inner and outer youthfulness. Yes, the recurring theme that diet and exercise are key is a familiar one. But Kessler’s approach is refreshing, and her book provides a rewarding workout for the brain and funny bone alike.