may 2019 books

As I mentioned in a recent goals update, I haven’t been able to devote as much time as I’d like to reading lately. However, I did manage to finish two books, both coincidentally recommended by John and Sherry on their podcast.

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty

This author’s claim to fame is Big Little Lies, which has been turned into a wildly popular TV show (that I’ve never seen). This book tells the tale of a cohort of, well, strangers who all happen to attend a weird little wellness resort for the same period. The author does an exceptional job of developing each of these nine characters before amping up the drama in the last third of the book. I don’t want to risk revealing any spoilers, so I’ll avoid disclosing any further details. I thoroughly enjoyed this reprieve from all the non-fiction I’ve been consuming lately, such that I think I’ll request a few more books by this author in the future. As a side note, I think part of why I liked this book is due to its setting at a health resort; as a dietitian, I always think it’s interesting to see why people (fictional or not) choose to take this sort of vacation!

5/5 stars.

Sleep: The Myth of 8 Hours, the Power of Naps, and the New Plan to Recharge Your Body and Mind by Nick Littlehales

As the parent to an almost five-month-old who clearly has no intention of sleeping through the night any time soon, I have become fixated on sleep and the consequences of not getting enough. Increasingly, I come across research indicating that sleep is monumentally important in the achievement of overall health. Indeed, Nick Littlehales emphasizes that public health messaging should contain three elements: nutrition, exercise, and sleep. This author is a sleep expert, seemingly due to working many years in the mattress industry. His academic credentials seem a little flimsy to me, but his methods must work, as he has sleep-coached some of the world’s best athletes. Littlehales’s methods center around 90-minute sleep cycles, in which you enter all four phases of sleep; he recommends getting 35 cycles per week. I found all this very fascinating such that I started an online sleep diary to track bedtimes, caffeine intake, and other variables that can affect sleep. The author also provides handy little summaries at the end of each chapter with key recommendations for better sleep hygiene. That being said, I don’t think I’m in the right phase of life to implement these recommendations (see above comment re: five-month-old). So, I’m filing these recommendations away for the future.

4/5 stars.

What did you read in May?

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