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NOBODY’S SLEEPING

7 PROVEN SLEEP STRATEGIES FOR BETTER HEALTH AND HAPPINESS

A readable, clinically grounded overview of sleep problems and solutions.

A sleep specialist provides an overview of common sleep disorders.

John opens his nonfiction debut with some observations that have become very familiar in the tech-suffused 21st century: Large numbers of people experience a wide array of sleep-related problems, including the widespread sleep deprivation facilitated by cellphones and social media. But poor sleep health can come from a wide variety of bad habits, as the author, a physician and sleep specialist who runs a private practice in Tennessee, argues. “It is easy to take a pill or try a new hack that you found on the internet,” he writes. “But the road to good sleep is like taking the stairs; there are no quick fixes.” He elaborates on the range of health problems, physical and mental, caused by lack of sleep, and lays out a barrage of sensible and medically sound countermeasures that readers (who are almost certainly themselves sleeping poorly) can use. Many of these tips will be familiar: Banish electronics (particularly cellphones) from the bedroom, block out all light, keep the room cool, eliminate distracting noises, keep a regular schedule, don’t exercise late in the day, avoid alcohol or caffeine anywhere near bedtime, etc. As John emphasizes, many studies show that good sleep not only improves energy and alertness, but it also improves mood and mental resilience. “Sleep is essential for all aspects of health,” the author maintains, and his straightforward delivery and prose style reinforce his authority on every aspect of his subject, from sleep apnea to snoring and teeth-grinding. It’s more and more difficult to establish and maintain good sleep hygiene, and the solutions are as clear now as they’ve always been: darkness, quiet, regularity. There’s a good deal of plainspoken and well-informed advice in these pages.

A readable, clinically grounded overview of sleep problems and solutions.

Pub Date: March 12, 2024

ISBN: 9781636983554

Page Count: 211

Publisher: Morgan James Publishing

Review Posted Online: June 11, 2024

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THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS

Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and...

A dense, absorbing investigation into the medical community's exploitation of a dying woman and her family's struggle to salvage truth and dignity decades later.

In a well-paced, vibrant narrative, Popular Science contributor and Culture Dish blogger Skloot (Creative Writing/Univ. of Memphis) demonstrates that for every human cell put under a microscope, a complex life story is inexorably attached, to which doctors, researchers and laboratories have often been woefully insensitive and unaccountable. In 1951, Henrietta Lacks, an African-American mother of five, was diagnosed with what proved to be a fatal form of cervical cancer. At Johns Hopkins, the doctors harvested cells from her cervix without her permission and distributed them to labs around the globe, where they were multiplied and used for a diverse array of treatments. Known as HeLa cells, they became one of the world's most ubiquitous sources for medical research of everything from hormones, steroids and vitamins to gene mapping, in vitro fertilization, even the polio vaccine—all without the knowledge, must less consent, of the Lacks family. Skloot spent a decade interviewing every relative of Lacks she could find, excavating difficult memories and long-simmering outrage that had lay dormant since their loved one's sorrowful demise. Equal parts intimate biography and brutal clinical reportage, Skloot's graceful narrative adeptly navigates the wrenching Lack family recollections and the sobering, overarching realities of poverty and pre–civil-rights racism. The author's style is matched by a methodical scientific rigor and manifest expertise in the field.

Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and Petri dish politics.

Pub Date: Feb. 9, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4000-5217-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2010

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GREENLIGHTS

A conversational, pleasurable look into McConaughey’s life and thought.

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All right, all right, all right: The affable, laconic actor delivers a combination of memoir and self-help book.

“This is an approach book,” writes McConaughey, adding that it contains “philosophies that can be objectively understood, and if you choose, subjectively adopted, by either changing your reality, or changing how you see it. This is a playbook, based on adventures in my life.” Some of those philosophies come in the form of apothegms: “When you can design your own weather, blow in the breeze”; “Simplify, focus, conserve to liberate.” Others come in the form of sometimes rambling stories that never take the shortest route from point A to point B, as when he recounts a dream-spurred, challenging visit to the Malian musician Ali Farka Touré, who offered a significant lesson in how disagreement can be expressed politely and without rancor. Fans of McConaughey will enjoy his memories—which line up squarely with other accounts in Melissa Maerz’s recent oral history, Alright, Alright, Alright—of his debut in Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused, to which he contributed not just that signature phrase, but also a kind of too-cool-for-school hipness that dissolves a bit upon realizing that he’s an older guy on the prowl for teenage girls. McConaughey’s prep to settle into the role of Wooderson involved inhabiting the mind of a dude who digs cars, rock ’n’ roll, and “chicks,” and he ran with it, reminding readers that the film originally had only three scripted scenes for his character. The lesson: “Do one thing well, then another. Once, then once more.” It’s clear that the author is a thoughtful man, even an intellectual of sorts, though without the earnestness of Ethan Hawke or James Franco. Though some of the sentiments are greeting card–ish, this book is entertaining and full of good lessons.

A conversational, pleasurable look into McConaughey’s life and thought.

Pub Date: Oct. 20, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-13913-4

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2020

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