Review: Surviving the Angel of Death

Surviving the Angel of Death: The Story of a Mengele Twin in AuschwitzSurviving the Angel of Death: The Story of a Mengele Twin in Auschwitz by Eva Mozes Kor
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I recieved this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This book is phenomenal.

I actually put off reading this book a couple of times, mainly because I wasn’t really in the mood for depressing subjects. Which was a pretty big mistake because while this is a memoir of an Auschwitz survivor, it is one of the most uplifting and inspirational books I’ve read in quite a while.

Eva Moses Kor along with her twin sister, witnessed true evil, barely managing to make it out alive. They went through a hell most will never know, and at such a pivotal time in their young lives. The torture they went through was horrendous, yet it is delivered in such a poetic way, focusing rather on Eva’s drive to survive. As the reader you still feel the sadness for the victims, and the anger towards Hitler, and those who believed his propaganda; we just get reminded that no other persons actions, regardless of the severity can define you.

The brilliant retelling of Eva’s memories into a more youth-friendly read, is a huge part of the success of this book. For the general population (i.e., the non-history buffs) young and old alike, Surviving the Angel of Death shows the unimaginable dehumanisation that Hitler and his Nazis forced upon the Jewish population in a way that is more approachable than we are accustomed to.

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Review: The 20/20 Diet

The 20/20 Diet: Turn Your Weight Loss Vision Into RealityThe 20/20 Diet: Turn Your Weight Loss Vision Into Reality by Phillip C. McGraw
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I received this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I don’t quite know why I thought I may like this book, even though I’m not a fan of Dr. Phil.

Nothing special about this book. Same old ‘eat healthy, exercise’ routine. I honestly think diets are a waste of time. Right mind set, determination and healthy eating and exercise are all you need. Not the carb diets, not the juice fast diets, and not even Dr. Phil’s 20 ‘good’ foods diet.

Just plain old eating right, and keeping fit.

Review: An Introduction to 3D Printing

An Introduction to 3D PrintingAn Introduction to 3D Printing by Victoria Zukas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Going into this I had very little knowledge of 3D printing, I now know more than I’ll probably ever need to know. The subject was well explained and not overly difficult to understand the concepts.

While the technology is amazing, I personally don’t find the subject that entertaining. Regardless the book was well done and anyone interested in 3D technology should give it a read.

Review: Your Country, My Country: A Unified History of the United States and Canada

Your Country, My Country: A Unified History of the United States and CanadaYour Country, My Country: A Unified History of the United States and Canada by Robert Bothwell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I love history, I love learning about our past and how we got to be where we are today. I loved history in school and –while it took me longer to read than I want to admit– I loved this book.

The book, which presents the history of our countries, reads much smoother than a textbook and made the history more understandable.

Not only did I learn–possibly relearn– a ton about our histories that I hadn’t known before, but I feel like I’ve understood it better.

This book is a must read for all history (Canadian/American specialties for sure) nerds, and anyone who is weary, but wants to know more.

Definitely wish I could of had this in school.

Review: Mindful Parenting for ADHD

Mindful Parenting for ADHD: A Guide to Cultivating Calm, Reducing Stress, and Helping Children ThriveMindful Parenting for ADHD: A Guide to Cultivating Calm, Reducing Stress, and Helping Children Thrive by Mark Bertin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Growing up ADHD had such a negative stigma attached to it. Kids would tease; “That’s the boy with ADHD”, as if it was a contagious disease. While I’ve personally never had to deal with ADHD, I do know about compulsion disorders and mental illness, which are often viewed with the same stigma.

This book is a simple easy way to explain ADHD to parents regardless of whether or not they have children who have been diagnosed.

It provides tools for parents and makes communicating with children with ADHD easier.

Great read.

Review: Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton

Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton
Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton by Don Tate
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

As a Canadian, I don’t know much about American slavery–beyond the basics–(when it was abolished, ect). With just this short children’s book I feel like I learned so much. The illustrations are bright and incorporate the lyrics of George’s poems, the history itself jumps off the page.

I will be reading this to my son when he’s a little older.

Review: Things I’ve Said to My Children

Things I've Said to My Children
Things I’ve Said to My Children by Nathan Ripperger
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

As a mother to a young boy I can relate to a few of these already and the pictures were cute, but I felt the book was far too short and some of the ‘things said’ seemed more like a ‘you had to be there’ then general parenting.

Love the concept though.

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Review: The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More with Less

The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More with Less
The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More with Less by Richard Koch

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Honestly, I’ve heard the concept before, so nothing was really new for me.

Like Koch says 80% of the ‘value’, from 20% of the effort (give or take a 15% or so).

So do yourself a favor and read the title, that is 95% of the books idea. The rest of the book gave examples in different aspects of use. Personal, work, business, world population, etc. Although I have to say for a visual learner I’m sure the examples would be largely beneficial.

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Review: Orange Is the New Black: My Time in a Women’s Prison

Orange Is the New Black: My Time in a Women's Prison
Orange Is the New Black: My Time in a Women’s Prison by Piper Kerman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Orange Is the New Black: My Time in a Women’s Prison Honestly not what I was expecting at all. It was funny, sad, and horrifying all at the same time. I realize (as MANY other reviews point out) that Piper’s story is a rare one. Very few people out through the American Prison System have the love and support of so many people. I wasn’t blown away by the book, some things stood out for me, a little too much repetition, and a bit of confusion as to who was who, but over all I really enjoyed this book.Regardless of how common her situation is she still goes from a free woman to a locked up criminal (regardless of the level of security).It is easy for many people to say that she is whining about being sent to jail in the first place and that her memoir was written to further that whining. I don’t see that to be the case. With this memoir, it feels (at least to me) that Piper is trying to share her time behind bars for two main reasons.The first is to give the rest of America (and beyond) a glimpse into a system that is a little more real than Martha Stewart’s. She highlights in the book that Stewart’s trial (and subsequent arrest) was at its height during her year in prison. Her “time in jail”, as well as the story a fellow inmate told the press about; makes jail seam like a vacation. While Piper’s story is not from the other end of the spectrum, it still allows for more of an inside view into the US Correctional System. The second and more important reason I found in the memoir was to show to general population that the lengths and severities of jail sentences do not always match the crime and can often be based upon looks and wealth. Piper talks about many of her fellow inmates and how, for many of them shorter sentencing and then community service and parole, would be a more effective use of tax payers money and would allow better transition from their criminal pasts. Like mentioned in the memoir prisoners need to forget about the outside world in order to sanely get though their ‘time’ inside. Depending on how hard that is they many have a hard time adjusting to ‘normal’ life again. A brief glimpse of this even within the prison walls itself is he transfers from maximum -to-minimum lockup. Many inmates don’t know how to handle so much freedom.Don’t get me wrong, I in no way condone the drug smuggling business, but after reading Piper’s memoir I find it a huge waste of money to have people like Piper in prison. $30000 (or more) to keep her in prison, or she could have be doing community service and contributing to society.

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