Thursday, January 03, 2019

Ten top books about insomnia

Marina Benjamin is the author of four memoirs: Rocket Dreams, short-listed for the Eugene Emme Award; Last Days in Babylon, long-listed for the Wingate Prize; The Middlepause, finalist for the Arts Foundation’s Creative Nonfiction Award; and Insomnia.

One of ten top books about insomnia Benjamin tagged at the Guardian:
Warm and Snug: The History of the Bed by Lawrence Wright

For insomniacs, sleep possesses the sheen of an unattainable ideal. No longer pedestrian or merely functional, it gets burnished with symbolism. In looking at how we’ve made a fetish of sleep, then, everything points to the bedroom. Wright’s old-fashioned history, chronological and dutiful, describes every kind of bed you can imagine; palette beds, bunks and box beds; beds that are curtained, pillared and hoisted up on mounts, kingly beds, merchant’s beds and pauper’s beds, dormitory beds, hospital beds and modern mattresses. Wright finds it incredible that so simple an invention as the modern mattress was such a long time coming: attendant on the coil spring, invented in 1857. Paradoxically, greater comfort did not engender more rest.
Read about another entry on the list.

Also see John Mullan's list of ten of the best bouts of insomnia in literature and Sara Jonsson's five top books for the insomniac.

--Marshal Zeringue