I’m in the process of reading this still, but had to start my review early because I was so irritated. It may seem pedantic, but in a scientific book I expect facts to be accurate and held to rigorous standards. Only a few pages after writing that “the data infers” a result (nope, readers infer, data implies. Unless data has gained sentience it can’t draw conclusions from what’s being reported, interpretation or inference is strictly for humans. Data can imply, but not infer) this PhD writes about the flu and a cold like they’re interchangeable. Nope. I wouldn’t accept this from a fiction writer, so I’m extra mad about it from a DOCTOR writing a book on SCIENCE. He even writes about the study involving rhinovirus by name and calls it the common cold virus, then refers to it as the flu virus in the next paragraph. Influenza is different! Rhinovirus is not the flu!
I’m torn here, the rest of the book is informative and intriguing, exploring our need for sleep, what sleep accomplishes, and what its deficit puts at risk – from fertility to heart disease – but when there’s such a basic factual error in a book about hard science, it makes me call all the author’s data and interpretation into question, even if I honestly believe this was a one off, and the error was due to his not being a specialist in virology or public health. Still, it’s like reading a restaurant review from someone who thinks McDonald’s is the pinnacle of fine dining. Even if they’re a specialist in Asian cuisine, it’s gonna give you pause.
If you’re interested, this is definitely worth the read, but I can’t help but take the findings with a grain of salt.