The rare book that may help sufferers of poor sleep improve their quality of rest simply by elucidating the context of good...

THE SLEEP SOLUTION

WHY YOUR SLEEP IS BROKEN AND HOW TO FIX IT

A no-nonsense, science-based guide to achieving restful sleep from the doctor Ariana Huffington calls the "sleep whisperer.”

Right off the bat, Winter, a board-certified neurologist and sleep medicine specialist, dispels a powerful sleep myth: he asserts that everyone sleeps. In fact, he argues that insomnia is not an inability to sleep; instead, it reflects a person’s dissatisfaction with the quality of the sleep and, in many cases, an accompanying anxiety about a perceived lack of sleep. This reorientation of the problem casts a long shadow on the crowded market of sleep solutions, and the author cuts through the noise of pharmaceuticals and gimmicks to propose natural, implementable solutions that anyone can try at home. Throughout the book, his tone is refreshingly conversational, and while he backs up his suggestions with established research, he keeps the jargon to a minimum and focuses on clearly laying out a) the most common reasons a person’s sleep is disrupted or unsatisfactory and b) how to train the mind and body to regularly achieve restful, satisfying sleep. This is not to say that everyone can solve their sleep problems by lifestyle modifications alone; Winter examines the medical conditions, such as sleep apnea, that can result in disrupted sleep and long-term poor health. He also recommends an occasional device to help regulate sleep patterns or make bedtime more consistently enjoyable. However, the big takeaway is that sleep conditions are treatable without taking a pill and that, like so many things, a psychological adjustment may be the key to success. Many people will find this fact alone a huge relief from sleep-related stress and will be on their ways to achieving better rest.

The rare book that may help sufferers of poor sleep improve their quality of rest simply by elucidating the context of good sleep and offering the right techniques to achieve it.

Pub Date: April 4, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-399-58360-5

Page Count: 272

Publisher: New American Library

Review Posted Online: Feb. 13, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2017

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The Stoics did much better with the much shorter Enchiridion.

THE LAWS OF HUMAN NATURE

A follow-on to the author’s garbled but popular 48 Laws of Power, promising that readers will learn how to win friends and influence people, to say nothing of outfoxing all those “toxic types” out in the world.

Greene (Mastery, 2012, etc.) begins with a big sell, averring that his book “is designed to immerse you in all aspects of human behavior and illuminate its root causes.” To gauge by this fat compendium, human behavior is mostly rotten, a presumption that fits with the author’s neo-Machiavellian program of self-validation and eventual strategic supremacy. The author works to formula: First, state a “law,” such as “confront your dark side” or “know your limits,” the latter of which seems pale compared to the Delphic oracle’s “nothing in excess.” Next, elaborate on that law with what might seem to be as plain as day: “Losing contact with reality, we make irrational decisions. That is why our success often does not last.” One imagines there might be other reasons for the evanescence of glory, but there you go. Finally, spin out a long tutelary yarn, seemingly the longer the better, to shore up the truism—in this case, the cometary rise and fall of one-time Disney CEO Michael Eisner, with the warning, “his fate could easily be yours, albeit most likely on a smaller scale,” which ranks right up there with the fortuneteller’s “I sense that someone you know has died" in orders of probability. It’s enough to inspire a new law: Beware of those who spend too much time telling you what you already know, even when it’s dressed up in fresh-sounding terms. “Continually mix the visceral with the analytic” is the language of a consultant’s report, more important-sounding than “go with your gut but use your head, too.”

The Stoics did much better with the much shorter Enchiridion.

Pub Date: Oct. 23, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-525-42814-5

Page Count: 580

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: July 31, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

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

THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS

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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