FEBRUARY PAGE-TURNERS: Reviews of fiction and non-fiction reads by Janet Oliver, LOL contributor

Snow in Wilmington! Can you believe it? I took advantage of the cold outdoors to finish some exceptional books. While the white stuff will have faded by the time this review hits the newsstands, there are still a few more cold weeks ahead to curl up with a cup of hot cocoa, and a dazzling page-turner. May I make a few suggestions?
Happy reading!

The National Sleep Foundation defines sleepwalking—or the medical term “somnambulism—as a behavior disorder that originates during deep sleep, and results in walking or performing other complex behaviors while asleep. It is much more common in children than adults and is more likely to occur if a person is sleep deprived. Because a sleepwalker typically remains in deep sleep throughout the episode, he or she may be difficult to awaken and will probably not remember the sleepwalking incident.” Walking is the most obvious behavior, but other behaviors may include sitting up, looking around, leaving the house, and even driving long distances.
Like sleepwalking, sexsomnia is a topic widely studied from psychologists to sleep clinics. Sexsomnia occurs when an individual is stressed or sleep deprived, too, and likely comes from individuals with other sleepwalking-related problems. The disorder affects more than 8.4 million Americans each year. Folks who have interest in the disorder will enjoy my fiction recommendation, “The Sleepwalker.”
Annalee Ahlberg is a sleepwalker. Married with a successful career, she has a husband, Warren, who is a college professor; a daughter, Lianna, who is a college student; and another younger daughter, 12-year-old Paige, who is a talented skier. The family has it all if you discount the hovering sleepwalking syndrome.
Annalee has been through all the therapy and support groups. Sleepwalking has been a part of her family forever. All members are aware of any occurrence and assist in monitoring her. Warren never leaves her alone at night.
So when Annalee disappears one night, their fears become realty. When a piece of Annalee’s nightshirt is found on a twig by the river, they fear the worst. Because Annalee doesn’t just suffer from sleepwalking, she also performs sleep sex.
The story centers on family and how they attempt to rebuild their lives, and what they learn about the experience of sleepwalking and sexsomnia.
Author Chris Bohijalian has written 20 books to date. Her latest, “The Flight Attendant,” is scheduled for release in March. Bohijalian has received numerous writing awards, thanks to a style that illuminates the characters. Her books are a pleasure to read.

I am thrilled to be plugging my husband’s e-book for February. I have challenged him for years (he would call it nagging) to write a book, but he always has been more comfortable writing commercial copy, scripts for documentaries, and even news reports. Last year he took the plunge and began cobbling together a series of short stories based on a character he created when he was 12. Fans of TV detective shows, like Mannix, Harry-O, or Cannon will find his collection of stories fun to read. His book features all the classic scenarios that make reading fun: murder, kidnapping and counterfeiting. Set in Post-World War II California, it features likable Gumshoe Mike Lander. It also features clean stories, topnotch plots, visual storytelling, and a smidgeon of history. “Slip Horn Jive” is available on Kindle and Nook.
I began reading the Maggie Hope Mystery Series a few years ago, and I just wrapped up the fifth installment in this series. Readers who enjoy English WWII fiction will love it. The series kicks off with Maggie Hope as one of many secretaries for Winston Churchill. As the series develops, she becomes more than a typist; she becomes a spy. However, Maggie is American, and sometimes her lack of English protocol can reflect on her efforts to accomplish a job in a timely manner. Her résumé includes being shot, adopting a cat, and spurning a couple of good men—all in the name of her devotion to assist with the war effort.
In the fifth book in the series, the war has spread to America with the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Mr. Churchill insists Maggie travel with him to America to meet with President Roosevelt.
Here is a list of the other books in the series from www.fantasticfiction.com:
“Mr. Churchill’s Secretary”
“Princess Elizabeth’s Spy”
“His Majesty’s Hope”
“The Prime Minister’s Secret Agent”
“Mr. Roosevelt’s Confidante”
“The Queen’s Accomplice”
“The Paris Spy Hope” LOL

Janet Oliver is a retired librarian for NHC Public Library. Follow her on Twitter: @LovelyThingsNC