TO SIRI WITH LOVE: A MOTHER, HER AUTISTIC SON, AND THE KINDNESS OF MACHINES By Judith Newman


Judith Newman struggles to raise her autistic son, Gus. Then, one day while Judith is talking on iPhone, Gus asks her a question (he asks his mother a lot of questions!) and Siri thinks the question is directed at her so she answers it. Suddenly, Judith realizes Siri could help her with Gus. To Siri With Love shows how technology can assist with children and adults with autism. This book is based on an article Judith Newman wrote for the New York Times and the article became one of the most popular on the paper’s web site. Judith then expanded the article into this slim book. I found Judith, her twin sons, and her husband all very quirky people. But I admire how they’ve all worked together to raise a child with autism. Informative and inspiring! GRADE: A
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Author’s Note ix
Introduction xiii
one | OH NO 1
two | WHY? 17
three | AGAIN AGAIN AGAIN 29
four | I. TUNES 47
five | VROOM 63
six | BLUSH 79
seven | GO 91
eight | DOC 109
nine | SNORE 121
ten | TO SIRI WITH LOVE 131
eleven | WORK IT 143
twelve | CHUMS 157
thirteen | GETTING SOME 173
fourteen | TOAST 191
fifteen | BYE 203
Acknowledgements 217
Resource List 223

NEW YORK JETS VS. BUFFALO BILLS


Surprisingly, the Buffalo Bills are 9 1/2 point favorites over the New York Jets. What a wild and weird Off Season the Buffalo Bills experienced! Head Coach Rex Ryan was fired after last season’s debacles. New Head Coach, Sean McDermott, former Defensive Coordinator with the Carolina Panthers, contends with personnel problems. New General Manager, Brandon Beane (also from the Carolina Panthers), traded away the Bills’s best player, often injured Wide Receiver Sammy Watkins. Beane also traded the Bills’s best cornerback, Ronald Darby, to the Eagles for a wide receiver who was injured in his first Bills practice. Bad Luck continues to dog the Bills.

In the Third Preseason Game, two of the three Bills Quarterbacks got concussions. Today, which QB will start against the Jets depends on where the players are in their Concussion Protocols. How will your favorite NFL team fare today?

BUILDING STAR TREK [DVD}


This 2016 Smithsonian Channel documentary chronicles two projects: rebuilding the bridge of the original Enterprise and restoring the original USS Enterprise model. Most of the Star Trek props and sets were thrown in the dumpster when the series folded after three seasons. Tracking down an original phaser and a tricorder take suspenseful twists. Rebuilding the original model of the Enterprise at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum presents even more challenges. Astronauts, engineers, writers, and some Star Trek stars lie Nichelle Nichols (Lieutenant Uhura) and Simon Pegg (Scotty in the Star Trek reboot). If you’re a Trekkie, you’ll enjoy this. What’s your favorite Star Trek episode? GRADE: B+

FORGOTTEN BOOKS #440: THE DEVIL’S ROSARY By Seabury Quinn


“Hercule Poirot meets Fox Mulder in these 19 pulpy tales from 1929-30, the second of five volumes reprinting the complete adventures of occult sleuth Dr. Jules de Grandin.” This quote is from the Kirkus review that captures the essence of Seabury Quinn’s stories. If taken in moderation, these tales can be fun reading. They follow a similar template so reading too many of these stories at one time can become tedious. I recommend one Dr. Jules de Grandin story per week. Night Shade Books is doing a fine job reprinting this series in chronological order. The hardcover editions are sturdy and well-made. And priced right! Many small presses reprint pulp tales and charge exorbitant prices ($100 and up!) while AMAZON is selling this edition for $22.35 (a bargain for a book of this quality!). If you’re in the mood for some spooky stories, you’ll find them in The Devil’s Rosary. GRADE: B+
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Introduction-George A. Vanderburgh and Robert E. Weinberg
“Loved by Thousands of Readers”: The Popularity of Jules de Grandin-Stefan Dziemianowicz
1929
The Black Master (Weird Tales, January 1929)
The Devil People (Weird Tales, February 1929)
The Devil’s Rosary (Weird Tales, April 1929)
The House of Golden Masks (Weird Tales, June 1929)
The Corpse Master (Weird Tales, July 1929)
Trespassing Souls (Weird Tales, September 1929)
The Silver Countess (Weird Tales, October 1929)
The House Without a Mirror (Weird Tales, November 1929)
Children of Ubasti (Weird Tales, December 1929)
1930
The Curse of the House of Phipps (Weird Tales, January 1930)
The Drums of Damballah (Weird Tales, March 1930)
The Dust of Egypt (Weird Tales, April 1930)
The Brain-Thief (Weird Tales, May 1930)
The Priestess of the Ivory Feet (Weird Tales, June 1930)
The Bride of Dewer (Weird Tales, July 1930)
Daughter of the Moonlight (Weird Tales, August 1930)
The Druid’s Shadow (Weird Tales, October 1930)
Stealthy Death (Weird Tales, November 1930)
The Wolf of St. Bonnot (Weird Tales, December 1930)

LATEST PROSTATE CANCER RESEARCH FINDINGS


According to the latest QUEST newsletter on prostate cancer, two studies produced some interesting findings:

1. According to a study in Urology (Oct. 2016 issue) men with a PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen) score of 1.5 or less have a low risk of developing clinically significant cancer within 5 years.

2. A four year study of 4,000 men found that men who drank more than three cups of coffee per day lowered their risk of prostate cancer by 53%.

My father had prostate cancer (and had it surgically removed) so my urologists monitor my PSA results closely. My most recent PSA score was 1.1 and although I’ve had people roll their eyes when I tell them I drank 10 cups of coffee a day for years (I’ve tapered off to 6-7 cups since I retired), I’ve always believed coffee had health benefits even though it was demonized in recent years. Do you drink coffee?

WILD THINGS: THE JOY OF READING CHILDREN’S LITERATURE AS AN ADULT By Bruce Handy


Bruce Handy explores the appeal of Children’s Literature in Wild Things: The Joy of Reading Children’s Literature As An Adult. My favorite chapters are the ones on Margaret Wise Brown (Goodnight Moon which originally was titled Goodnight Room), Beatrix Potter, Dr. Seuss, and Beverly Cleary (the Ramona series). Wild Things is not a comprehensive survey of children’s books, but it does a nice job identifying great books and what makes them great. After finishing Wild Things I wanted to drop everything and read a Ramona book! What were your favorite books when you were a kid? GRADE: A
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Introduction xii
1. New Eyes, New Ears: Margaret Wise Brown and Goodnight Moon 1
2. Runaways: Family Drama in Picture Books–and Well Beyond 25
3. Once Upon a Time and In and Out of Weeks: Fairy Tales and Maurice Sendak 43
4. Why a Duck? The Uses of Talking Animals from Aesop to Beatrix Potter to Olivia the Pig 77
5. You Have to Know: Dr. Seuss vs. Dick and Jane 107
6. Kids Being Kids: Ramona Quimby, American Pest 139
7. God and Man in Narnia 161
8. One Nation: Washington’s Cherry Tree, Rosa Parkes’s Bus, and Oz 183
9. Going on Seventeen (Or Not): Little Women, Little Houses, and Peter Pans 205
10. The End: Dead Pets, Dead Grandparents, and the Glory of Everything 239
Afterward 263
Acknowledgements 267
Appendix 271
Bibliography 279
Index 289

BATMAN AND HARLEY QUINN [Blu-ray]


Melissa Rauch (“Bernadette” on The Big Bang Theory) voices a feisty Harley Quinn in the new DC Animated Movie. Poison Ivy and Floronic Man (aka, Jason Woodrue) have teamed up to alter the Earth forever. Batman (Kevin Conroy) and Nightwing (Loren Lester) turn to a “reformed” Harley Quinn to help them track down Poison Ivy. There’s some silly stuff in a gangster bar and some other surprises in this entertaining adventure. If you’re a Batman and/or Harley Quinn fan, you’ll want to see this. GRADE: B+
SPECIAL FEATURES:
The Harley Effect
Loren Lester: In His Own Voice
A Sneak Peek at DC Universe’s Next Animated Movie: Batman: Gotham By Gaslight
2 Bonus Cartoons

BLONDE ON THE ROCKS By carter brown




Beautiful and sexy blonde actress Della August finds herself blackballed by the Hollywood Establishment after the accidental death of her hunky younger boyfriend, actor Rod Blane. After six months of no work, Della August turns to Rick Holman, an “industrial consultant,” to “fix” the problem. Holman investigates the dirty underworld of Hollywood financing. He gets beaten up. But, in typical “carter brown” fashion, Holman stumbles over the deadly facts that leads him to discover What Really Happened. GRADE: B

Hope you enjoyed BLONDE WEEK!

THE CONCRETE BLONDE By Michael Connelly


The Concrete Blonde (1994) was the first Michael Connelly mystery I ever read. Harry Bosch, a Lieutenant in the Los Angles Homicide Division, is on trial for his actions during the Dollmaker investigation. The Dollmaker was a serial killer who killed women and then applied makeup to the corpses making them look like dolls. Bosch shot and killed a naked, unarmed man who evidence later showed was the Dollmaker. But, the man’s family is suing for damages.

An anonymous note leads the police to another body buried beneath concrete. It looks like the work of the Dollmaker. But, the time of death is AFTER Bosch killed the prime suspect. Bosch investigates this new development which leads into LA’s porno industry. The dramatic tension between Bosch’s trial and his investigation proves compelling. Are you a fan of Michael Connelly and Harry Bosch? GRADE: B+