A WRITER'S WIT
My Book World
Transforming Your Life, One Night at a
Time. New York: Harmony, 2016.
I’m not sure why I stayed through to the end on this one. Huffington does provide interesting anecdotes as well as convincing arguments as to why contemporary life (with at least a hundred-year history) does not allow for good sleep habits—including the introduction of devices into our lives. Yet when one reads through her bibliographic notes, one sees many of the sources are more popular-culture in nature rather than hard science. Or if she does cite a strong source, she fails to build a case for its importance. When speaking of dreams, for example, she quotes from an e-mail she’s received from Mary Hulnick, “chief creative officer of the University of Santa Monica, who teaches dream incubation” as part of a “Spiritual Psychology course” (159). Hmmm. Even so, the book managed to hold my attention to what I believe the climax of the book may be, which is Huffington’s discussion of how lack of sleep affects athletic performance. She uses a number of top professional athletes, among scientific sources, to build her case. The rest of the book is a quiet recap of what has come before: sleep is right up there with diet and exercise. In fact, Huffington asserts, the other two don’t mean a thing unless you get the zzzzzs as well, and I would tend to agree with her.
NEXT TIME: New Yorker Fiction 2017