Sunday Post – 28th January, 2018


This is part of the weekly meme over at the Caffeinated Reviewer, where book bloggers can share the books and blogs they have written.

I am now getting the hang of fitting in my extra Creative Writing class on Tuesday evening, which is now starting to feel like routine. That said, I can’t remember when so many students were absent with illnesses. I’m hoping the coming week will see everyone recovered and back attending the classes. On Thursday, my sister came shopping with us as Himself had the day off and then later she joined us for a meal in the evening. The wonders of technology had Himself and my son Rob, who is currently in the States, playing Bloodbowl together via their computers after our meal.

Yesterday was a special day I won’t forget in a hurry – I got to see my unborn granddaughter on screen in such amazing detail that I wept. My daughter decided to go for a gender scan and invited us grannies along, with the rest of the family. A magical experience. Today I shan’t be around much, because we are off to celebrate my lovely stepfather’s 70th birthday. We are taking him to one of his favourite restaurants and hopefully the rain and gloom will ease up sufficiently so that the drive is less slog in the mirk and more of an enjoyable drive in the countryside. In the meantime, I hope you all have a lovely day and that the weather is at least bearable, if not kind.

This week I have read:

Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew P. Walker
Sleep is one of the most important but least understood aspects of our life, wellness, and longevity. Until very recently, science had no answer to the question of why we sleep, or what good it served, or why we suffer such devastating health consequences when we don’t sleep. Compared to the other basic drives in life—eating, drinking, and reproducing—the purpose of sleep remained elusive. An explosion of scientific discoveries in the last twenty years has shed new light on this fundamental aspect of our lives. Now, preeminent neuroscientist and sleep expert Matthew Walker gives us a new understanding of the vital importance of sleep and dreaming. Within the brain, sleep enriches our ability to learn, memorize, and make logical decisions. It recalibrates our emotions, restocks our immune system, fine-tunes our metabolism, and regulates our appetite. Dreaming mollifies painful memories and creates a virtual reality space in which the brain melds past and present knowledge to inspire creativity.

Walker answers important questions about sleep: how do caffeine and alcohol affect sleep? What really happens during REM sleep? Why do our sleep patterns change across a lifetime? How do common sleep aids affect us and can they do long-term damage? Charting cutting-edge scientific breakthroughs, and synthesizing decades of research and clinical practice, Walker explains how we can harness sleep to improve learning, mood, and energy levels; regulate hormones; prevent cancer, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes; slow the effects of aging; increase longevity; enhance the education and lifespan of our children, and boost the efficiency, success, and productivity of our businesses.

Yes… I know – this has to be one of the longest blurbs in history, but it also nicely sums up this entertaining and rather frightening non-fiction read. If you regularly don’t get between eight to nine hours of sleep a night and have kidded yourself it really doesn’t much matter than you don’t – then this book is required reading.


Keeper by Kim Chance
When a 200-year-old witch attacks her, sixteen-year-old bookworm Lainey Styles is determined to find a logical explanation. Even with the impossible staring her in the face, Lainey refuses to believe it—until she finds a photograph linking the witch to her dead mother.

After the rather disturbing read earlier in the week, this is just what I needed – lots of magical mayhem around a sympathetic protagonist and a completely dastardly villain. Great stuff! Review will be following in due course.


My posts last week:

Sunday Post – 21st January, 2018

Teaser Tuesday featuring Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew P. Walker

Can’t-Wait Wednesday featuring Keeper by Kim Chance

Review of Netgalley arc We Care For You by Paul Kitcatt

Friday Face-off – The grass is always greener over the septic tank… featuring The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter

My 2017 Reading Year – the Statistics


Interesting/outstanding blogs and articles that have caught my attention during the last week, in no particular order:

Space Features of the Week (27 January) Steph brings another wonderful roundup of all that is going on – I love the idea of the Tesla on Mars and do check out that NASA video of the unfurling solar panels…

Chai Break: How positively have authors responded to your negative reviews? The bad behaviour of some authors when confronted by bad reviews is a frequent hot topic on book blogging sites, so I really enjoyed reading this more uplifting take on the subject.

The Difference Between Young Adult and New Adult…And Why It’s Important This is a particularly gnarly issue if you have young teens keen to read anything they can get their hands on – and I agree with Lillian, it’s important.

Sandy Denny – Who Knows Where The Times Goes? Once again, the marvellous Thom Hickey takes me to a place I didn’t know I wanted to go – from this haunting song, he transitions to a wonderful passage from the Old English writings of Bede, which then had me hunting for the translation… Magical and moving. I’m now going to be looking for the writings of Bede. Thank you Thom!

31 brand new animal species discovered by amateur naturalists – This quirky blogger has an offbeat sense of humour and this item had me laughing out loud – and wishing that some of these names actually existed…

Thank you very much for taking the time and trouble to visit, like and comment on my site and may you have a wonderful week.

42 responses »

  1. How fun to be there for that gender scan! It’s such an amazing thing. I still remember both my scans for both my daughters. They were delightful experiences.

    • I had a scan for my daughter as she was breech – it was hardly ever done back in those days – but it was out of the question to print off the image as they do now… What blew me away were the actual pictures of her in colour – she was crossing her ankles – that was the detail that had me sobbing into my hanky!

  2. Pregnancy ultrasounds have definitely improved over the years! When my grandchildren were born (some are now in their twenties), we could see a somewhat elusive image. Now features can even be noticed. Congrats on the new granddaughter.

    The book on sleep does look like a must read, as I am one who tries to put off sleep as long as possible. However, I enjoy the occasional afternoon nap, now that I’m retired.

    Thanks for visiting my blog, and have a great week.

    • Oh yes – do get hold of that sleep book, it has lots of very interesting things to say about the whole process of sleep and why it matters so much. And you’re right about the ultrasound – I had no idea at the details we would see…
      I hope you have a great week, too, Laurel:)

  3. What a good week you had, for the most part. The weather you described matches today’s (Sunday’s) weather here…a slog. This kind of weather wreaks havoc on my arthritic hands, feet, spine, shoulder, neck–you name it, it HURTS! I am out of black cherry concentrate, so I guess I’ll have to drink some pickle juice to get relief of some kind. Am supposed to go to a concert here in town tonight, but will wait until the last minute to decide if I’m up to going!

  4. Hope you had a wonderful birthday dinner with your stepfather! And congrats on the baby scan. Those are so amazing. 🙂

    Keeper sounds awesome. And I have to go read Lillian’s post too- sounds fascinating.

    Have a wonderful week!

    • Thank you, Greg – the dinner was lovely, we had great fun. My parents are such wonderful role models. And as for the baby scan – I’m still buzzing… Yes – Keeper was a really enjoyable read – I’ll be reviewing it in due course.

  5. Congrats on the new baby granddaughter on the way! Aren’t those first looks just the most amazing thing? How lovely that you all got to be there 🙂 Now I need to check out the ‘New Adult” vs ‘Young Adult’ article- someone just asked me the difference and I had no answer- thanks for providing it!

    • Thank you, Evelina:). I was blown away by seeing her so clearly. Oh yes – I think if anyone has sleep issues, or is at all interested in the process, then this book is required reading. It is certainly engrossing.

  6. I can imagine how lovely it was to see your unborn grandchild because I got to do the same thing before Annie joined us on the planet. What fun!

    I’m fascinated with sleep. I will check this out. Thank you!

  7. So lovely to be there for the gender scan, Sarah. I had to have one every month during my pregnancy because of my RH Negative factor and I knew what my son looked like before he was born! Sounds like a wonderful week.

  8. Oh, what a special moment to be there for the gender scan. Times have changed so much from even when I was in the womb for what they can do. I am still on the fence about when the day comes if I want to know before the baby is born. I am surprised I haven’t had more students out. I had more kids out last January (and May when strep was going around) than I have so far. I’m going to have my kids Clorox everything again this week so we aren’t recontaminating. I’m going to do the same in my car and around the houses, too. I hope you have a great week!

    • Thank you, Charlie – I think it was as much has my grandson was very firm that he wanted a BROTHER, not another sister, and it was as much to haul him to a halt, before that one became too much of a refrain…
      As regards the illnesses, it’s not just the flu, but sadly, a whole range of disabling ailments that have laid my classes low:(. Good for you on the decontamination efforts – they are clearly working!

  9. Everyone here has been hit hard by illness recently as well. And it’s taking its time to pass through everyone’s system. Hopefully your students will be back up to dull health soon. How wonderful that you got too see your unborn grandchild! That really is a special moment. Happy birthday to your stepfather!

    The sleep book sounds interesting. It’s a subject I’ve read about quite a bit over the last several years. I find it fascinating. I am glad you enjoyed The Keeper. I hope I will too!

    I hope you have a great week, Sarah!

  10. Oh, I know what you mean about the emotion of seeing a detailed ultrasound image of a baby: I remember when I saw my nephew for the first time, and it seemed he was pouting… I could not drag my eyes aways from that image and I still can feel that powerful wash of emotion. 🙂

  11. That must have been so exciting, to see your new / unborn granddaughter in that way! How many grandchildren will you have once she’s here?

    The sleep book sounds wonderful, actually. Maybe because good sleep has been hard to come by for me in the past week or so… and I know from past experience that not getting enough is detrimental to your health in so many ways, so I’m trying to remedy that as best as I can. Are you planning to review the book here once you finish reading it?

    Hope this week is just as wonderful as last week was. 🙂

    • Thank you, Sara:). It was very, very emotional to see her in such detail – and to be honest, I didn’t mind what her gender is, so long as she’s okay and she looked wonderful… Oh yes – I will definitely be reviewing Why We Sleep. Have a great week!

  12. It seems a lot of people are getting sick lately, sorry to hear you missed so many students. That’s good to hear you’re adjusting to the extra class. That sounds great that you got to see your unborn granddaughter. Happy birthday to your stepfather and have a great week!

    • Thank you, Lola:). Indeed, it was a momentous week! I suppose it is the time of year and this winter, we seem to be having a LOT of rain and gloomy weather, which must help spread the germs. So I hope everyone manages to recover and stay fit for the duration! Thank you for swinging by and I hope that you also stay well.

  13. I’m here because I’m catching up, but let this comment remind you of the wonderful experience you had that week. I can only imagine how moving it was to see your unborn granddaughter. I hope this memory will put a smile on your face!

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