Intriguing New Science. For much of human history and even for much of the last few hundred years – when our scientific knowledge has seemingly gone into warp drive itself, sleep was said to be nothing more than the land of dreams, that humans could work at peak efficiency without much of it at all. Forgetfulness, even in many circles now, has been seen as a negative of various extremes, from embarrassing to debilitating.
But what if we’ve had it all wrong, and forgetting is actually one of our more *useful* adaptations? What if sleep actually plays a significant part of this process?
Here, neuroscientist Small examines what we’ve learned – in many cases, much of it over the last decade in particular – about just how imperative forgetfulness is to the very existence of the human body and human society more generally. From the social/ societal benefits all the way to the molecular, intra-cranial benefits, Small examines it all in a text that is clear enough to work in the “popular science” realm while still giving plenty of technical and precise details. Very much recommended.
This review of Forgetting by Scott A Small was originally written on March 14, 2021.
This week, we’re changing things up a bit because I noticed that a release wasn’t getting the attention it deserves and the book that was going to go in this spot has a fairly powerful marketing machine behind it. This week, we’re looking at When It’s Time For Leaving by Ang Pompano.
This book is really as laid back as its setting, along the gently flowing waters of the Savannah River just outside Savannah, Ga. It opens in a similar setting in coastal Connecticut, and also has a scene at the edge of the Okefenokee Swamp in southern Georgia and northern Florida. It even references a region upriver from Savannah at Augusta, GA/ Aiken, SC (the two towns are on opposite sides of the River) known to locals as the Central Savannah River Area, or CSRA. Since starting this book blog I’ve lived in the northern Florida area, but I lived in and near the CSRA for several years before that and have been in the Savannah region several times. Since this book is one of few I’ve seen not named Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil set in the region, it had my attention from the beginning.
The mystery and action are just enough to keep the plot driving along – starting with our hero being involved in a major car crash in Connecticut that kills a suspect he is chasing and flowing with dead bodies, people being attacked, mysterious notes being left, and concluding with an epic showdown in the River itself. But the real star here is the area itself, and despite being a Yankee himself, the author really nails the actual feel of the region. Yes, we have our hot summer nights both on the water and not. We have our animals dead set on killing us if we don’t leave them alone. We have our crazy neighbors and our hot coworkers with high libidos. And we have our family members slowly losing their minds to Alzheimer’s.
Truly a great mystery, even if not in the action packed vein of a Reacher novel or the crazy whodunit plot twists every other page Gone Girl mold. But when you’re in the mood for a more relaxed yet enjoyable time, reach for this one. You won’t be disappointed. Very much recommended.
And as always, the Goodreads/ Amazon review:
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