Stephen King’s Insomnia

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Stephen King’s Insomnia was first published in 1994 and like a number of King’s other novels, it is set in the state of Maine and in the fictional town of Derry. The genre of this book is not traditional horror but rather a supernatural or sci-fi thriller. Other aspects of the book are also somewhat unfamiliar to King’s normal offerings, firstly the book is very long at over 800 pages in length and also the main characters are all in their 60’s and older.

Even though Insomnia is in the supernatural or science fiction genre, King still manages to address a number of important issues whilst continuing uninterrupted with the book’s main story. Subjects such as abortion, domestic violence and women’s rights are all covered in such a way as not to detract from the entertaining storyline.

The plot of Stephen King’s Insomnia is rather slow to get going and things don’t really pick up pace until at least 100 pages in but this allows King to really create a cast of believable characters that the reader can empathize with throughout the novel. Ralph Roberts who is a retiree starts to have problems with insomnia and the condition deteriorates as he manages to get less and less sleep until he can’t sleep at all. Ralph starts to see things that aren’t able to be seen by other people such as people’s energy fields or ‘auras’ and alien beings that he calls ‘little bald doctors’ as a result of their appearance. Ralph also discovers that Lois Chasse, a woman he has feelings for is also able to see these alternate planes of reality and the alien creatures.

As with many of King’s books, one of the main themes of Insomnia is the fight of good versus evil and in this particular case the hero is Ralph Roberts who is a retired widower and a very ordinary and believable character who faces up against the Crimson King and his followers. There are a number of highly entertaining twists as King develops the plot, one in particular where Ralph is shown a piece of the future and has to make a life altering decision based on the vision, prompting the reader to question individual morality against self-preservation. As with many of King’s novels the ending isn’t all happiness however as the main protagonist is killed and is accompanied by the consoling remark that at last Ralph can rest.

Stephen King’s Insomnia had a very important part to play in the progression of King’s series of books because when Ralph defeats the Crimson King ultimately saving the life of the young boy Patrick Danville, it sets the direction for King’s Dark Tower series. Although the first novel in the Dark Tower series was published in 1982 and there were 3 books before Insomnia was even written, Insomnia introduces the reader to the pivotal character of Danville in the future Dark tower books.

Insomnia may not be a traditional Stephen King novel, it’s length, character composition and storyline pace are somewhat different to many of his other books, it is undoubtedly an enjoyable and thoroughly entertaining read.

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Swimming With Maya – A Story of Resilience and Love

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Swimming with Maya appeared on my TBR (to be read) pile toward the end of my pregnancy. The memoir was said to be “heartbreaking and heart-healing,” but I was pretty sure I would never be able to handle the heartbreaking part under the circumstances. I picked up Swimming with Maya and put it down after a few pages. I loved the story but was fearful of how I might deal with the loss and heartache Eleanor had to endure. Vincent’s writing and her triumphant spirit kept pulling me back in. I was so drawn in by the heart-healing part of the story that I found myself enjoying the memoir so much I couldn’t put it down.

No parent wants to think of the unthinkable death of a child; and yet each of us does. We don’t want anything to happen to our children, and yet as we carry them we fear miscarriage, after they are born we worry about sudden infant death syndrome, then there are school shootings, traffic accidents, etc… since death is a fact of life, we encounter thoughts and fears of loss each and every day. Eleanor Vincent raised her two daughters, Maya and Meghan, virtually as a single-parent and in my opinion this makes the mother-daughter bond even stronger.

It’s impossible to imagine what Eleanor Vincent was feeling when her 19 year old daughter, Maya falls from a horse and is left in a coma which eventually took her life. Eleanor’s made the courageous decision to donate Maya’s organs. Eleanor uses her difficult situation and Maya’s death to tell an inspirational and motivational story and Eleanor is even stronger (as is the reader) at the end of the story.

Swimming with Maya was more about triumph than I had imagined. I was thankful to have read through the difficult times to see the memorable and motivational message. I admire Eleanor Vincent for being able to put her story down on paper for all to read. I cannot imagine the tears that were shed as she relived those moments that would forever change her life. Thank you to Eleanor, Maya, and Dream of Things Publishing for sharing this triumphant story with readers everywhere. My personal thanks to Eleanor for writing in such a way the healing is more pronounced than the hurt – it was this reason alone I was able to read and finish Swimming with Maya.

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Cactus Diet Plan

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Who wants to eat a cactus? Just about everyone in the world wants this particular cactus. You may not have heard about the Cactus diet but most people have heard about Hoodia.

The basis of the Cactus diet is a substance called Hoodia. Several diet pills on the market claim to contain the substance. Hoodia is the name of a rather ugly cactus that grows in the Kalahari region of Africa. The Bushmen that live there use the Hoodia cactus, specifically Hoodia Gordonii, to keep them from getting hungry on long hunting trips.

The native tribes eat the plant and can survive for days on little or nothing to eat while they search for food. The Hoodia cactus suppresses their desire to eat. It fools the brain into thinking that they are already full.

The discovery of this plant sent pharmaceutical companies after the secret to stopping the obesity epidemic. Taking Hoodia is supposed to suppress the appetite and therefore lead to weight loss. When hunger does start to kick in, Hoodia users can eat healthier foods to fuel the body.

Taking Hoodia and following an exercise plan leads to weight loss according to those who swear by the substance. Natural Hoodia has no side effects and can affect the appetite after the first pieces are eaten. Pharmaceutical companies are trying to synthesize Hoodia for market to the rest of the world.

The cactus diet plan is still not perfected. The Cactus diet involves taking supplements that contain Hoodia. There are many types of Hoodia and you may be buying a pill that claims to suppress the appetite but may not. The amount of Hoodia may not be enough to cause the same effects that the Bushmen experience from eating the actual plant. Since this plant has not been found outside of this desert-like region of Africa, to follow the Cactus diet plan, people have to rely on commercial pills that make boastful claims about their product having the same effects as the original Hoodia plant.

According to the Hoodia tale, the substance is hard to reproduce with the same efficiency. Those who buy products that contain Hoodia should beware. We all know what they say about something that seems too good to be true. Until further notice, watch what you eat and exercise regularly to lose weight. Set aside the gimmicks.

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Do Not Buy the “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” Book Until You Read This!

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Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Robert Kyosaki

“What the rich teach their kids- that you can learn too.”

What is the book about?

Rich Dad, Poor Dad introduces you to the basic principles of investing, explains why investing is so important, and explodes the myth that you need to earn a high income to become rich.

Who is this book written for?

If you have little or no financial education and want to learn the basic rules about investing, read this book!

Robert Kyosaki, a self-made millionaire, successful business owner and international best-selling author, teaches you about investing, by recounting the story of his financial education from two strong role models:

Poor Dad (his natural father), a well educated and highly paid government official.

Rich Dad (his best friend Mike’s father), a high school dropout and successful businessman

Each Dad had a very different attitude and approach towards the subject of money. One ended up jobless and in debt, the other, one of the richest men in Hawaii.

Robert describes, how as a small boy, he made the decision to listen to his Rich Dad who subsequently taught him how to think, act and become rich.

“One dad had a habit of saying ‘I can’t afford it’ the other ‘how can I afford it’…One statement lets you off the hook, the other forces you to think”

Robert writes in a simple, non-assuming style without complicated words and financial jargon. Through amusing stories and simple diagrams he explains the six basic lessons his Rich Dad taught him about money.

“Most of us learn about money from our parents, so what can poor parent tell their child about money? Stay in school and study hard? Schools focus on scholastic and professional skills but not on financial skills. This explains how smart bankers, doctors and accountants who earned excellent grades in school, struggle financially all of their lives”

I say:

Never read a book about investing? This should your first one.

I came across “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” completely by accident, in my local bank.

It immediately stuck out from the boring “money magazines” and after flicking through a few pages, I was so impressed (and surprised) a book about finance could actually hold my attention, that I bought it and finished it in one sitting.

For anyone (like me) whose parents never taught you about financial matters, I suggest you buy this IMMEDIATELY!

There are no definitive, practical instructions of how to get rich, but it will open your mind to the possibility. More importantly it will change the way you think about money forever.

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