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review 2018-10-08 16:04
Sleepyhead
Sleepyhead: Narcolepsy, Neuroscience and the Search for a Good Night - Henry Nicholls

[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.]

There’s a wealth of information in this book, sometimes in the text, and sometimes through the references it offers—I’ve picked in those a couple of books I’ll need to read at some point.

“Sleepyhead” is probably more interesting if one is already suffering from sleep-related troubles, maybe not as bad as narcolepsy, but even temporary troubles, such as acute insomnia caused by stress. It goes through a certain amount of factors that trigger narcolepsy and other “X-somnias”, providing details about how misdiagnosed those used to be historically, and helping understand what they entail. For instance, I always thought that narcolepsy was about people falling asleep at any time of the day, but it had never occurred to me that their sleep at night was highly disturbed, and not the peaceful slumber one would imagine from that very basic description. I’m glad I know more about it now.

The book was also interesting for its insights about sleep in general, though the focus remains on the dysfunctional parts: it seems that over the centuries, lots of superstitions (like “incubi”) were in fact descriptions of parasomnia-induced symptoms, such as night terrors. I also didn’t know about the two-time sleep people seemed to have had before artificial lights: sleeping early for a few hours, then being awake for 1-2 hours in the dead of night, then sleeping again for a few more hours.

While note a bona fide scientific book, “Sleepyhead” is useful no matter what: for the journey it describes (Henry Nicholls went to meet and interview many people while researching), and for the information it provides. It could be beneficial for people who suffer from such troubles, sleep apnea for instance, if only to alert them in a “hey, that sounds exactly what -I- am going through!” way.

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review 2018-10-05 23:50
Alice in Wonderland meets Gotham..
Alice - Christina Henry

 

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~BOOK BLURB~

Alice

Christina Henry

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In a warren of crumbling buildings and desperate people called the Old City, there stands a hospital with cinderblock walls which echo the screams of the poor souls inside.

 

In the hospital, there is a woman. Her hair, once blond, hangs in tangles down her back. She doesn’t remember why she’s in such a terrible place. Just a tea party long ago, and long ears, and blood…

 

Then, one night, a fire at the hospital gives the woman a chance to escape, tumbling out of the hole that imprisoned her, leaving her free to uncover the truth about what happened to her all those years ago.

 

Only something else has escaped with her. Something dark. Something powerful.

 

And to find the truth, she will have to track this beast to the very heart of the Old City, where the rabbit waits for his Alice.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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A very dark, twisted and decidedly adult twist on Alice in Wonderland.  It really reminds me of the TV show Gotham.  All, or at least some, of the usual suspects, were there including the Jabberwocky.  Some of them have variations of names like Hatcher instead of Hatter.   While I didn't like this as much as The Mermaid or Lostboy, it was a decent story, except for that anti-climatic ending.  The most disappointing aspect of this was the narrator, most of the voices she did for other characters were sadly pathetic.  The narrator is supposed to put you in the story...not take you out of it.

 

๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏

~MY RATING~

3.5STARS - GRADE=B-

๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏

 

 

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 3.8/5

Main Characters~ 3.7/5

Secondary Characters~ 3.2/5

The Feels~ 3/5

Pacing~ 3.7/5

Addictiveness~ 3.5/5

Theme or Tone~ 3/5

Flow (Writing Style)~  3.7/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 3.7/5

Originality~ 4/5

Ending~ 3/5  Cliffhanger~ It has closure, but it does end sort of abruptly.

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Book Cover~ Meh…

Narration~ 2 for Jenny Sterlin

Series~ The Chronicles of Alice #1

Setting~ The Old City

Source~ Audiobook (Scribd)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

I used this for Gothic Square in Halloween Bingo 2018

 

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review 2018-10-02 13:30
FRONTLINE LIVES OF AVIATORS ON CANVAS, 1914-1918
Sky Fighters of France: Aerial Warfare, 1914-1918 - Henry Farré
  The greatest value that comes from "SKY FIGHTERS OF FRANCE" is that it is Henry Farré's account of the 4 years he spent (on attachment with the French Aviation Militaire) with a variety of aviation units (bombardment, reconnaissance/artillery spotting, and 'chasse' or fighter squadrons) on the Western Front --- and with a seaplane unit in the coastal city of Dunkerque.

Farré's remit, as an accomplished artist, was to capture on canvas various aspects of the lives of pilots in frontline settings. And judging from the reproductions of his paintings scattered throughout the book, the reader gets a palpable feel of what the thrills and perils of combat flying were like 100 years ago. For instance, there are paintings of nighttime bombing raids far behind enemy lines (Farré flew several missions as an observer with a night bomber squadron), a couple of crews from damaged seaplanes (referred to in the book as 'hydroplanes') barely above the waves being rescued by a French destroyer, and individual fighter planes engaged in 'mano-a-mano' aerial combat. There are also individual portraits that Farré drew of some of the aviators he met and with whom he established friendships. For example, one of the war's most famous and skilled aviators, Georges Guynemer, who, before his death on September 11, 1917, was credited with shooting down 53 German planes.

For me, as a First World War aviation enthusiast, "SKY FIGHTERS OF FRANCE" is a prized book that was easy to read. It enriched my understanding of what life at the Front was like for those aviators who took part in history's first air war. Merci, Monsieur Henry Farré.

 

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text 2018-09-05 15:16
Another Missing Son of York

The Princes in the Tower are not the only sons of York to disappear from the Tower of London. Henry Pole suffered the same fate as his cousins sixty years later.

 

Source: samanthawilcoxson.blogspot.com/2018/09/another-missing-son-of-york.html
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review 2018-08-23 02:20
Chasing Embers by James Bennett - My Thoughts
Chasing Embers (A Ben Garston Novel) - James Henry Bennet

DNF

 

This book held a lot of promise.  Sounded like a fun read with a really interesting twist of a premise. Sadly, it wasn't that.

I could only make it 40% in before giving up.  The thing is SO overwritten.  I mentioned on Twitter that I don't think the author, James Bennett, ever met an adjective that he didn't like.  And use!  Dear GOD, the man needs an editor with a store of red pencils. 

Reading became like wading through mud.  Thick, sticky mud. 

It became really unpleasant and that's when I decided to set it aside.  Too bad.

But on the upside, that's a series I don't need to add to the "get it" list. :)

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