If you can’t sleep or breathe, call 911!

Guest post by Pat Oey, Santa Clara County Library

Disclaimer: The headline is not intended to be taken completely seriously--it is an attempt to tie together the three books described here. Although if you are having trouble breathing, calling 911 is a very sensible option.

The first two books below have been enjoying top-10 ranking for weeks on The New York Times Nonfiction Bestseller List. The third is one that a friend recommended whose title belies the intensity of its subject. Each of the books has a 2016 copyright, so they are fairly new. Enjoy!

Arianna Huffington (editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post) talks about many fascinating aspects of sleep in The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time. Of particular interest is how important and restorative naps can be, as well as the need to turn off electronic devices well before bedtime.

Paul Kalanithi speaks to us from beyond the grave in When Breath Becomes Air. I am still on the waiting list for this one, but the topic sounds heartbreaking and inspirational. Kalanithi, who is on the brink of finishing his training as a neurosurgeon, learns he has lung cancer. The tale of his journey from becoming a doctor to adjusting to the news of his imminent mortality is probably well worth the wait.

The events of 9/11 affected Kevin Hazzard in a profound way. In A Thousand Naked Strangers, he describes the consequences of his decision to become an Emergency Medical Technician in Atlanta. All pretense is stripped away in the paramedic's world, where the playing field between life and death is leveled and humanity is at its most vulnerable.

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