Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The Sleep Solution, Why Your Sleep Is Broken and How to Fix It by W. Chris Winter, MD

    The Sleep Solution: Why Your Sleep Is Broken and How to Fix It

 In my family, out of the four of us, only my daughter sleeps well. I knew the importance of good sleep for both physical and mental health and wanted to make some positive changes, so I picked this book up.  I was immediately impressed--it is funny and presents the scientific information in an easily readable, interesting way.  I was wary though, because a lot of nonfiction books start that way and quickly become wordy and boring, but not this book.

     If I was concerned about sleep before, I really am now.  The author really stresses how important sleep is to our health and in ways that I didn't know about.  I work in an elementary school and I see day after day, children coming to school with HUGE black and red tired eyes.  I've seen children sent home from school because they kept falling asleep in class.  Parents need to know the information presented in this book and structure their children's days so they can get the sleep they need.  This does also apply to adults, so many adults don't want to follow a routine be disciplined enough to do what needs to be done to get a good night sleep, but then they complain they are tired.  My advice--READ THE BOOK AND FOLLOW W. CHRIS WINTER'S ADVICE.  It will change your life.

     Before I read the book, I had a home sleep study and was diagnosed with Sleep Apnea.  While I was reading the book, I started CPAP therapy.  I can not stress what a difference therapy made in my life.  I spent years in a tired fog, struggling to get through my days.  I feel so much clearer headed, I no longer wake up with headaches every morning (I thought it was allergies and went through years of, probably unnecessary, injections.) and have the energy I need to, not just get through my days, but to enjoy them!  Even though I was diagnosed before I read the book, I still was able to gain a lot of good and useful knowledge.

     A great, informative book that everyone should read!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

A Dance with Dragons, A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 5 by George R.R. Martin

A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, #5)

I finally finished this one all 959 pages!  I actually started it a year or more ago and stopped about half way through.  What's the hurry I thought, it's not like George R.R. Martin is going to release the next book anytime soon?  I originally wanted to read the book before I watched the show it was based on, but that didn't happen, finally I decided that I was going to finish it during summer break. A problem I had reading this is that it is just so HUGE!  I had trouble holding it upright while reading in bed and it was too heavy to bring to appointments and on trips, so it sat at home unread.

I love this series!  I love George R.R. Martin and his complex, detailed wonderful world!  I do wish there was a bit less misogyny, but I do understand that it is a medieval world and like our own medieval history, women were treated that way.  It doesn't make it any more pleasant to read about however.

Anyone who enjoys the show should read the books, they are so much better.  There is so much in the books that they just couldn't put on screen.  Well worth the time spent reading it.  This book represents, for me, why I read.  It takes us away to a different, time and place and immerses us in a detailed, interesting story.  I spend a lot of time just thinking about the story--a true sign of a good book!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Self-Help Read! You are a Badass--How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero

You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life
I picked this book up at Target on a post-Christmas shopping trip.  (Yes, that does, in fact, mean that it took me 7 months to read.)  The New Year's timing and the catchy title both caught my interest and I fell prey and picked it up.  I was, of course, in that New Year's self-improvement mood and thought that I should try to make some positive changes in my life and the book would be a good place to start.  I took a while to read this book for several reasons, one is that I intended to take it slow.  I wanted to think about what she wrote and maybe have a chance to internalize the suggestions before I moved on.  

I both liked and disliked the book.  I liked the love your self theme and think positive thoughts advice that are the main stay of each chapter.  I disliked the new age Source Energy prosperity doctrine.  A lot of the Source Energy advice reminded me of what Christians are advised to do by preachers every Sunday in church, just substituting Source Energy for God and Jesus.  I don't believe we all are willed by God to be rich or that everyone can be rich or that everyone needs to be rich to be happy.

In addition, a lot of the advice seemed like the same old advice handed out since Normal Vincent Peale wrote The Power of Positive Thinking in 1952, just presented in fun, hipster, quirky way.

In the end, not a total waste of time, but not quite what I hoped it would be either.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

August Read! The Light of Paris by Eleanor Brown

The Light of Paris

I bought this as my backup vacation book (it wouldn't be much of a vacation if I ran out of things to read).  My parents took me to Paris when I was in my 20's, so the book intrigued me enough I picked it up, plus I read the author's other book The Weird Sisters and enjoyed it.

I liked the book okay.  It switched back and forth from the 1920's to 1999 timeline.  That didn't bother me (which it often does).  I enjoyed both timeline's stories and characters and the descriptions of Paris were great and fun to read.  What I didn't like was the constant, endless, and very repetitive self-doubt and self-criticism of both main characters.  ENOUGH ALREADY!

The author has an anthology of short stories about Paris and a Paris travel book coming out, but I couldn't find anything about a follow-up book.  I think there is another book that could be told about Madeleine's trip to Paris and her self-discovery.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

July Read--The Vampire Chronicles, Prince Lestat and The Realms of Atlantis by Anne Rice

Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis: The Vampire Chronicles

My vacation read!  I purchased a paperback for my electronic-free camping and beach trip.  It is now beat up and dog eared after being drug all over Wisconsin!

I love Anne Rice--another great book!  I inadvertently skipped the book before it, Prince Lestat, now I need to go back and read that one.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

July Books! Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

Image result for easton press uncle tom's cabin

I picked this book up for two reasons:  one, it is a great, historical novel and a book that I have heard about a lot, but have never read and two, because it is one of the books in the Easton Press 100 greatest books ever written.  I am collecting these gorgeous books and this one is one of 19 that I own, as of now.  I don't want these books just for show, I want to read them and learn from them.

As with all books written long ago, it took me a while to get used to the writing style, but it wasn't too difficult.  The book is an piece of our country's' history and I'm glad I read it.  The character's stories were interesting and tragic, all told with an aim to expose the true horror that was slavery.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

June Reads! A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman


I devoured this book!  It really touched me, I laughed out loud, I identified with Ove at times, and I was sad at times.  It did all the things a book should do.  I can't praise it enough!

My mom recommended this book it wasn't the type of book I normally read, but it sounded interesting.  Right after that I saw that the book club I attend, when I am able, to is reading it, so I decided it was fate and requested it from the online library for my Kindle app. Unfortunately, it took months to come in and I missed the book club meeting. Well, it finally came in and I happily started reading and pretty much didn't put it down until it was finished.

Ove intrigued me right away with his organized, persnickety ways.  The things that annoyed him seemed both funny and fairly reasonable, if not a bit over the top.   The story of Ove's life unfolded slowly a bit at a time through going back and forth between the present and flash backs of the past. Normally this would annoy me, but in this book I wanted to learn more about Ove, so the flashbacks were interesting to me as well.  To me, Ove seemed like he was on the high-functioning end of the Autism spectrum and I loved the relationship he had with his wife.

The author's style of writing tragic, unhappiness in a way that makes you laugh reminded me a bit of Angela's Ashes.  (Although, that book was a true story and this is fiction.)  I finished the book with a satisfied sigh, a bit sad at the end, but not unbearably so.  A great book about our relationships with other people and how we persevere after tragedy.      

I have heard there is a Swedish language movie of the book out.  I'm off to figure out how to watch it.