Category Archives: Non-Fiction

Siri for Dummies By Marc Saltzman Review

Siri for Dummies

By Marc Saltzman

The name is pretty self-explanatory but if you don’t know who or what Siri is then here is a breakdown:

Siri is a built in assistant for iPhone 4s with voice recognition capabilities that can do anything and everything you could want from a phone.

 Siri for Dummies by Marc Saltzman

Siri and I have a love/hate relationship; I often refer to her in terms not appropriate for my blog. I am not the most tech savvy person in town so Siri would often pop up without my knowing how in the world I did it. So when this book came up for review I jumped at the chance, I am definitely one of those people who need it. I whipped out my handy dandy iphone gave it the evil eye for good measure and got to work.  This is the first time I have read a “for Dummies” book even though there are, according to wikipedia, over 2,300 titles. I absolutely loved the way Marc Saltzman broke everything down step by step, from calling someone to emailing more than one contact at a time, he covers everything you could possibly want to know. At first I stumbled a few times and it took me a few tries to get the commands down, to no fault of Marc’s I have a southern accent and Siri apparently hates the way I speak, in the end I made it through and loved what I am now able to accomplish is such a short time with the help of this guide. Definitely worth the read if you are like me and Siri brings out the “squinty eyes of death.”

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A Small Town Near Auschwitz By Mary Fulbrook Review

A Small Town Near Auschwitz
By Mary Fulbrook

Historian Mary Fulbrook tells the story of Udo Klausa, a civilian administrator in the small town of Bedzin.

A Small Town Near Auschwitz by Mary Fulbrook

This is a non-fiction account of events that took place during World War Two taken from memoirs, interviews, testimonies, personal letters, and other sources. For the most part this is a vivid and startling look into the actions of the Nazi group. The biggest problem I have with this novel is that the man Mary Fulbrook is writing about is the husband of her God Mother, so though she tries not to the novel itself has a tone of “It wasn’t him it was the times.” In one instance she is recounting one of her God Mother’s letters where the woman is talk about the filthy Jews and the author states that this is a normal reaction of Germans in the time. This I can understand no matter how hard you try to be objective when there is a personal connection to something you are biased by default. What drove me crazy however is that she stated that people were all too willing to discuss what had happened…. I just got back from living in Germany and I can say for an absolute fact this is not true, which leads me to wonder how exactly she got these people to talk to her and how many euros she was flashing around. Other than this it is an interesting read though there are times when it seems like the author is making excuses for a man who had a role in the atrocity that occurred. It seems like this will be one of those that you will either love or hate with no middle ground, I can see how some people will enjoy this since the author does a remarkable job in recounting historical events but I can also see how some will hate it.

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Babylon Confidential: A Memoir of Love, Sex, and Addiction By Claudia Christian and Morgan Grant Buchanan Review

Babylon Confidential:

A Memoir of Love, Sex, and Addiction

By Claudia Christian and Morgan Grant Buchanan

Claudia Christian had a starring role on Babylon 5, a science fiction television series. Now she is coming forward with her memoirs revealing a whole new side of herself that few others have seen.

Babylon Confidential: A Memoir of Love, Sex, and Addiction

First off since this is a memoir I will not be reviewing the “story” I mean how can you criticize someone’s life? Second I had no idea who Claudia Christian was when I was sent this book for review; they had me at Love, Sex and Addiction. I have never seen Babylon 5 but I did grow up with a parent who watches anything science fiction, yes my mother is a Trekkie, she even has the entire series of Babylon 5 so I know what it is. Luckily for me I didn’t need to know the show to be able to truly get to know Claudia’s story. The book itself seems to get Claudia’s point across precisely, however there were times when the narration would bounce around. It wasn’t hard to follow along so you shouldn’t find yourself lost as you go but I felt it could have “flowed” a bit better. The only thing that actually drove me crazy was all the “name-dropping.” For instance she is describing someone and in one sentence talk about how charming he is and in the next paragraph lists everyone in Hollywood that he knew, I would have preferred more on their own personal character rather than the list of their accomplishments. As for that it can be overlooked and maybe it is a “Hollywood” thing that I missing, otherwise it’s a great read truly fun and absolutely heart wrenching at times.

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The Amityville Horror By Jay Anson Review

The Amityville Horror

By Jay Anson


December 18th, 1975 the Lutz family moves into their dream home, purchased at a steal because there had been a gruesome murder in the house. The Lutzes believe a house is just a house and are not afraid to move in, they will not stay more than a month. This is a true account of what happened to the Lutz family the terror that will forever change their lives.


Some of this story I don’t quite believe, such as they thought it strange that the wife woke up in the middle of the night and the next day didn’t remember doing it at all. Well, for me this is something I do all the time since I was a child and people will tell me all sorts of weird things I did or said while I look completely aware and conscious at the time I am still fast asleep, I must be possessed then according to this book. There were other little things that I could easily dismiss as over reactive imagination or any number of things but when it came to floating off the bed, they had me there. Even if these events aren’t real or exaggerated it is a fun read with some truly spooky scenes.


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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot Review

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

By Rebecca Skloot

Henrietta Lacks has been in outer space and attached to an atom bomb but how is this possible when the woman died in 1951? This is a biography of the woman who changed the world after she died; it is a terrific blend of biography and science telling the story of He.La. the cells that were removed from Henrietta Lacks when she went into Johns Hopkins complaining of a lump in her abdomen, once they were studied it turned out that the cells continued to multiply and grow allowing researchers for years to make incredible breakthroughs in science.

Rebecca Skloot immerses us completely not just with the science of cell study but also the life of Henrietta and even her children in the years after her death. The things her family went through after Henrietta’s death are horrible but, I cannot help but feel thankful for the woman whose death made the polio vaccine possible, helped with advances in in vitro fertilization, and even gene mapping. This is definitely worth the read to know how much was sacrificed in the process and to be able to fully appreciate He.La.

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