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The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger ISBN 978-0156029438 – Read by William Hope (Reader), Laurel Lefkow (Reader)

 

Have you ever listened to a book which was a little confusing in audio but thought that if read from a page would have made much more sense?  I do not know about anyone else but this book fell into that category for me.  I really enjoyed the book and the lovely twists and turns and back and forth; the idea of love that transcends time and place.  Maybe my confusion was something that every reader felt, but I believe that this is one book to be read.

cover art from The Time Traveler's Wife

cover art from The Time Traveler’s Wife

Each chapter opens with a time date and age of Henry and Clare.  The audio book has two readers – one reads Henry perspectives and the other reads Clare’s.  They are excellent readers and my complaint has nothing to do with the readers, but unless you have an eidetic memory, very few people as they are driving down the road can remember “Christmas Eve 1991 (Clare is 20, Henry is 28)”

Henry has a condition.  With no control or planning he will all of a sudden leap from this life into a scene from the past, usually a scene with great emotion.  He has seen the car crash where his mother died on any number of occasions, he goes back to when he meets Clare for the first time.  As he ages, the condition is worsening and he has less and less control.  He has found a doctor who is trying to help and found a friend who concocts drug combinations to try and help him stay in one place; but there comes a point when nothing helps.

Clare is a studio artist and Henry is a librarian in a special collection.  A fitting occupation for one who travels through time.

Henry takes nothing from one time to another and arrives naked. So he has had to adapt — find clothes quickly, be able to pick locks and has a loose moral code to allow himself to survive.  Though I may not agree with theft, I might think otherwise if I continually ended up in a strange place in winter with lots of snow on the ground.

This is first and foremost a love story.  Henry and Clare are truly an amazing couple.  Yet this is also a story of fantasy and the magical “what-if”.

I would highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys literature with a hint of romance and fantasy.  It is a very well written work with some great characters.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This highly original first novel won the largest advance San Francisco-based MacAdam/Cage had ever paid, and it was money well spent. Niffenegger has written a soaring love story illuminated by dozens of finely observed details and scenes, and one that skates nimbly around a huge conundrum at the heart of the book: Henry De Tamble, a rather dashing librarian at the famous Newberry Library in Chicago, finds himself unavoidably whisked around in time. He disappears from a scene in, say, 1998 to find himself suddenly, usually without his clothes, which mysteriously disappear in transit, at an entirely different place 10 years earlier-or later. During one of these migrations, he drops in on beautiful teenage Clare Abshire, an heiress in a large house on the nearby Michigan peninsula, and a lifelong passion is born. The problem is that while Henry’s age darts back and forth according to his location in time, Clare’s moves forward in the normal manner, so the pair are often out of sync. But such is the author’s tenderness with the characters, and the determinedly ungimmicky way in which she writes of their predicament […] that the book is much more love story than fantasy. It also has a splendidly drawn cast, from Henry’s violinist father […] to Clare’s odd family and a multitude of Chicago bohemian friends. […] It is a fair tribute to her skill and sensibility to say that the book leaves a reader with an impression of life’s riches and strangeness rather than of easy thrills.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar, and Survival by T.S. Wiley with Bent Formby, Ph.D. ISBN 978-0671038687

Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar, and Survival

cover art to "Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar, and Survival"

 

I heard about this book from reading Robb Wolf’s “Paleo Solution” — and some of this is nothing new.  Firemen, factory workers, nurses, doctors and others who work night shifts are more likely to get cancer, diabetes, and other diseases.  I had heard of this — why I never knew exactly why.  Now I know too much.

Pediatricians tell parents children need 9 to 10 hours of sleep a night because they grow when they sleep.  Well I had heard this too — and have tried valiantly to get my kids to sleep the appropriate amount of time.  Also there are different kinds of sleep and we all know the REM is more than just a musical band of the ’80’s.

But what I had not heard that much about is that we heal when we sleep.  This makes sense — when you are sick you try and get your vitamins and try to sleep more and you feel better, usually.  When you lack sleep you need more caffeine and sugar to keep your energy up.  Snagging sugar at 3 or 4 PM keeps you awake at night and messes up your hormone levels and leads you down the slippery sloop of illness.  You need 9 hours of sleep at night to get to the period of sleep in which you heal for long enough to help your body.  This I find an impossible task to accomplish — but I do get 8 hours of sleep after reading this book and anecdotally I can say that I feel better and can control my snacking (well for the most part!)  Did I read every end note and check every study — no.  Am I going to look for more books about sleep studies?  Yes.  The fascinating thing was at a luncheon recently I spoke to a woman who has had breast cancer twice and worked at night as a nurse for 40 years.  She recently took part of a sleep study in Stamford and we had a really interesting conversation.  So is there something to this?  Could be — I know that after turning off my lights earlier and getting more sleep I am happier and my kids like that!

 

From Library Journal

This fascinating, thought-provoking study discusses the central role of sleep in our lives. After probing the scientific literature, Wiley and Formby, researchers at the Sansum Medical Research Institute, conclude that “the disastrous slide in the health of the American people corresponds to the increase in light-generating night activities and the carbohydrate consumption that follows.” Our internal clocks are governed by seasonal variations in light and dark; extending daylight artificially leads to a craving for sugar, especially concentrated, refined carbohydrates that, in turn, cause obesity. More seriously, lack of sleep inhibits the production of prolactin and melatonin–deranging our immune systems and causing depression, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. The authors prescribe sleeping at least nine and a half hours in total darkness in the fall and winter and switching to a diet low in carbohydrates and high in protein, vegetables, and healthy fats. They support their arguments with 100 pages of notes and by tracing the progression of disease from hunter-gatherers to our high-tech society. Despite its somewhat strident, all-knowing tone, this illuminating work is highly recommended for academic and public libraries.
—Ilse Heidmann, San Marcos, TX
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. –This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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