A Mind of Winter

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A Mind of WinterBy Shira NaymanFrom Shanghai to England to Long Island, the lives of three characters, all restless and tortured in their own way, are intricately meshed together and their souls laid bare in A Mind of Winter by Shira Nayman. The book begins with a brief introduction from Oscar, who tells the reader he is accused of war crimes. We don’t know why or by whom or when this happened or if he’s guilty—and we won’t know until the last pages of the book—but this compelling introduction pulls the reader into this haunting tale immediately. Oscar, a mysterious Gatsby-like Englishman lives in a North Shore mansion and hosts glamorous parties every weekend, but little else is known about him. Christine is an opium addict who hits rock bottom and ends up on the fringes of society in Shanghai. Marilyn, a photographer who spent the 1940s in England, moves into Oscar’s mansion to work on a book of wartime photography, sorting through her inner demons by carrying on an extramarital affair and developing haunting photos. Divided into three parts, the narratives of these characters weave three seemingly separate stories into one complex whole, each one filling in the others’ blanks. The stories, bouncing from past to present and back to past again, intertwine seamlessly. Maybe it’s because Brooklyn author Shira Nayman has a background in clinical psychology or maybe it’s because she grew up in Australia in a community of Holocaust survivors, but this novel touches upon the innermost depths of its character’s souls, those dark and shadowy corners that many writers stop just before reaching. Resounding with the beauty and elegance of a Victorian novel, this page-turner touches on everything from the horrors of war to prostitution and addiction. This is a book that will make you think deeply. It may even make you uncomfortable at times. While some may be turned off by some violent scenes, they serve a purpose. They aren’t merely put there for shock value but lead the reader to a deeper understanding of the character experiencing them. These characters, and the darkest moments of their lives, are crafted with such tender care it seems Nayman has been molding them for decades. There is a lot of darkness in these pages, but there is also light. By the last page of the novel, you realize that one can’t exist without the other, and together they make a beautiful shade of gray…or winter.[colored_box color=”blue”]Click to purchase A  Mind of Winter[/colored_box]last_img read more

New NHS figures shed more light on problem gambling levels

first_img Related Articles StumbleUpon Submit Kim Mouridsen: Combatting problem gambling with automated player profiling July 3, 2020 Christopher Metcalf, Leon House: Social barriers must be broken on gambling treatment June 25, 2020 RecoverMe: Using mHealth to support problem gambling treatment August 5, 2020 Share Share Figures from the latest Health Survey for England show that around 13% of the country’s population engaged in online betting with a bookmaker in 2018, with the percentage of people who had gambled overall dropping to 51%.The Health Survey also measured problem gambling rates using two different measures – DSM-IV and PGSI – both of which recorded levels below the generally accepted rate of 0.7%. Under DSM-IV, the problem gambling rate for 2018 was recorded as 0.5% of the population, with men more likely to have problems than women (0.7% compared to 0.3%). Using the PGSI standard, the problem gambling rate is 0.4%, with men once again higher at 0.6% compared to women at 0.1%.The PGSI also suggested 0.8% of the population could be classified as ‘moderate risk’ gamblers. In 2016, the figure for the whole of Great Britain (not just England) was much higher at 1.1%.The NHS has been incorporating questions around gambling into its Health Surveys ever since the funding was pulled for the National Gambling Prevalence Studies, the last of which was in 2010. Since then, the Gambling Commission has been reliant on the Health Survey to monitor the effect of gambling in society.Given the 2010 survey had much higher DSM-IV problem gambling prevalence rates at 1.5% for men, 0.3% for women and 0.9% overall (with PGSI reported rates of 1.3% for men, 0.2% for women and 0.7% overall), this could be construed as good news. However the chief executive of NHS England Simon Stevens still used the data to call for more money from the gambling industry. He told the media: “These new stats are a stark reminder of how common gambling is in our society and how easy it is to become addicted, particularly with the aggressive push into online gambling,” said Stevens on Tuesday.“The NHS never stands still as health needs change, which is why we’re rolling out new specialist services to tackle mental ill health linked to gambling addiction, as part of our long-term plan.“But it is high time that all these firms who spend many millions on marketing and advertising step up to the plate and take their responsibilities seriously.”Other figures from the report show a range of gambling participation depending on product:Online betting with a bookmaker – 13% of populationBetting exchange – 2%Horse races (not online) – 10%Dog races (not online) – 3%Sports events (not online) – 7%Other events (not online) – 3%Spread betting – 1%Private betting – 6%Football pools – 5%Bingo (not online) – 3%Slot machines – 8%Machines in a bookmakers – 4%Casino table games (not online) – 4%Poker played in pubs or clubs – 1%Online gambling on slots, casino or bingo games – 4%Further reading: What the numbers say about problem gamblinglast_img read more