A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF 2017 From the author of the viral New York Times op-ed column "To Siri with Love" comes a collection of touching, hilarious, and illuminating stories about life with a thirteen-year-old boy with autism that hold insights and revelations for us all. When Judith Newman shared the story of how Apple’s electronic personal assistant, Siri, helped Gus, her son who has autism, she received widespread media attention and an outpouring of affection from readers around the world. Basking in the afterglow of media attention, Gus told anyone who would listen, "I’m a movie star." Judith’s story of her son and his bond with Siri was an unusual tribute to technology. While many worry that our electronic gadgets are dumbing us down, she revealed how they can give voice to others, including children with autism like Gus—a boy who has trouble looking people in the eye, hops when he’s happy, and connects with inanimate objects on an empathetic level. To Siri with Love is a collection of funny, poignant, and uplifting stories about living with an extraordinary child who has helped a parent see and experience the world differently. From the charming (Gus weeping with sympathy over the buses that would lie unused while the bus drivers were on strike) to the painful (paying $22,000 for a behaviorist in Manhattan to teach Gus to use a urinal) to the humorous (Gus’s insistence on getting naked during all meals, whether at home or not, because he does not want to get his clothes dirty) to the profound (how an automated "assistant" helped a boy learn how to communicate with the rest of the world), the stories in To Siri with Love open our eyes to the magic and challenges of a life beyond the ordinary.
*Includes a new Q&A with the creator of Siri! Sweet-talk Siri for iOS 7 into doing practically anything! Under iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks, Siri is better than ever: faster, smarter, more responsive. And it’s even more amazing when you really know how to talk to it. Top Apple experts Sande and Sadun introduce you to the newest version of Siri. This release offers more functionality than you ever thought possible! You’ll find tested step-by-step instructions for perfect results--including new Siri techniques and responses you won’t discover anywhere else! Teach Siri to recognize requests and take dictation more accurately Help Siri recognize, track down, and connect with family and friends Transform Siri and iTunes Radio into your personal DJ (and tell Siri what songs you never want to hear again) Check Yelp or Rotten Tomatoes reviews and place OpenTable reservations Return calls, play specific voicemails, and check your email Make appointments, take notes, and set reminders Blog with Siri using email or text messaging Tweet updates and track up-to-the-minute Twitter trends Trigger reminders when you arrive at the supermarket, drugstore, or any other destination Retrieve up-to-the-minute sports stats Use Siri to control apps, access device settings, and enable Airplane mode Teach Siri how to pronounce names correctly Find the nearest store selling the products you need Answer math and science problems with Wolfram Alpha Make sure Siri responds only to you, not to an impostor Discover the silly side of Siri (including our top 10 Siri jokes)
While T.C. Boyle is known as one of our greatest American novelists, he is also an acknowledged master of the short story and is perhaps at his funniest, his most moving, and his most surprising in the short form. In The Relive Box, Boyle's sharp wit and rich imagination combine with a penetrating social consciousness to produce raucous, poignant, and expansive short stories defined by an inimitable voice. From the collection's title story, featuring a Halcom X1520 Relive Box that allows users to experience anew almost any moment from their past to "The Five-Pound Burrito," the tale of a man aiming to build the biggest burrito in town, the twelve stories in this collection speak to the humor, the pathos, and the struggle that is part of being human while relishing the whimsy of wordplay and the power of a story well told. In stories that span a variety of styles and genres, Boyle addresses the enduring concerns of the human mind and heart while taking on timely social concerns. The Relive Box is an exuberant, linguistically dazzling effort from a "vibrant sensibility fully engaged with American society." (The New York Times)
A brutally honest and hilarious memoir from an over-forty first-time mom. Veteran journalist and Ladies Home Journal columnist, Judith Newman spent seven years and $70,000 on infertility treatments, and finally, at age forty, she became pregnant with twins. You Make Me Feel Like an Unnatural Woman is not only her account of having children later in life: it's about what happens to a marriage -- and to the spirit, when even the most sought-after baby comes. Wry, warm, and brutally honest, this is the book for any woman who has awakened at 3 AM to the insistent shrieks of her darling and thought: Oh man, I'm too old for this.
Seeing Ezra is the soulful, beautifully written memoir of a mother’s fierce love for her autistic son, and a poignant examination of what it means to be “normal.” When Kerry Cohen’s son Ezra turns one, a babysitter suggests he may be “different,” setting her family on a path in which autism dominates their world. As he becomes a toddler and they navigate the often rigid and prescriptive world of therapy, Cohen is unsettled by the evaluations they undergo: At home, Ezra is playfully expressive, sharing profound, touching moments of connection and intimacy with his mother and other family members, but in therapy he is pathologized, prodded to behave in ways that undermine his unique expression of autism. It soon becomes clear that more is at stake than just Ezra’s well-being; Cohen and her marriage are suffering as well. Ezra’s differentness, and the strain of pursuing varied therapies, takes a toll on the family—Cohen’s husband grows depressed and she pursues an affair—all as she tries to help others recognize and embrace Ezra’s uniqueness rather than force him to behave outside his comfort level. It isn’t until they abandon the expected, prescriptive notions about love, marriage, and individuality that they are able to come back together as two parents who fiercely love their little boy. Powerful and eye-opening, Seeing Ezra is an inspirational chronicle of a mother’s struggle to protect her son from a system that seeks to compartmentalize and “fix” him, and of her journey toward accepting and valuing him for who he is—just as he is.
Dave's never met anyone like Siri. She's helpful, smart, and easier to talk to than any girl he's ever known. She really gets him... Siri & Me is a love story for our times. A must read for all of us in a codependent relationship with our gadgets. An instant classic in a world of instant everything.
Funny and heartbreaking in equal measure, the impassioned debut novel about fathers, sons, and autism In the “literary territory of Tony Parsons and Nick Hornby” (Guardian) Shtum is drawn from Jem Lester’s experience of raising an autistic child. In this darkly funny and emotive debut, Ben Jewell has hit a breaking point. His profoundly autistic ten-year-old son, Jonah, has never spoken, and Ben and his wife Emma are struggling to cope. When Ben and Emma fake a separation—a strategic, yet ill-advised, decision to further Jonah’s case in an upcoming tribunal to determine the future of his education—father and son are forced to move in with Georg, Ben’s elderly and cantankerous father. In a small house in north London, three generations of men— one who can’t talk; two who won’t—are thrown together. As Ben confronts single fatherhood, he must battle a string of well-meaning social workers and his own demons to advocate for his son, learning some harsh lessons about accountability from his own father along the way. As the tribunal draws near, Jonah, blissful in his innocence, becomes the prism through which all the complicated strands of personal identity, family history, and misunderstanding are finally untangled. This “fiercely funny” (The Times) debut examines the complexities of family and human emotion and gives profound insight into an often-misunderstood disorder.
A girl with the best of intentions. A heart set on Hollywood. An empty pocketbook. That's all it takes for Ellis Eton to find herself working as a telephone operator for a look-alike friend. For Ellis, this job will provide not only acting practice but the funds to get her a start in the movies. She's tired of always being a disappointment to her traditional Boston family, and though she can't deny the way he makes her head spin, she knows she's not good enough for Griffin Phillips, either. It's simple: avoid Griff's attentions, work, and get paid. But in typical Ellis fashion, her simple plan spirals out of control when she overhears a menacing phone call...with her very own Griff as the target. With an endearing heroine as her lead, Siri Mitchell takes readers on a madcap tale of love and discovering one's true desires!
This classic schoolroom drama of a black teacher in London’s tough East End who triumphs over bigotry and ignorance to change the lives of his students forever was hailed by the New York Times as “a book that the reader devours quickly, ponders slowly, and forgets not at all” With opportunities for black men limited in post–World War II London, Rick Braithwaite, a former Royal Air Force pilot and Cambridge-educated engineer, accepts a teaching position that puts him in charge of a class of angry, unmotivated, bigoted white teenagers whom the system has mostly abandoned. When his efforts to reach these troubled students are met with threats, suspicion, and derision, Braithwaite takes a radical new approach. He will treat his students as people poised to enter the adult world. He will teach them to respect themselves and to call him “Sir.” He will open up vistas before them that they never knew existed. And over the course of a remarkable year, he will touch the lives of his students in extraordinary ways, even as they in turn, unexpectedly and profoundly, touch his. Based on actual events in the author’s life, To Sir, With Love is a powerfully moving story that celebrates courage, commitment, and vision, and is the inspiration for the classic film starring Sidney Poitier.
Autism Uncensored goes where no other book dares-revealing the private disgrace and self-blame about having a "defective" child; the near disintegration of marriage; the failure of the traditional behavioral interventions; and the mercenary way in which service providers prey on parents' desperation for a cure.
Peony has neither seen nor spoken to any man other than her father, a wealthy Chinese nobleman. Nor has she ever ventured outside the cloistered women's quarters of the family villa. As her sixteenth birthday approaches she finds herself betrothed to a man she does not know, but Peony has dreams of her own. Her father engages a theatrical troupe to perform scenes from The Peony Pavilion, a Chinese epic opera, in their garden amidst the scent of ginger, green tea and jasmine. 'Unmarried girls should not be seen in public,' says Peony's mother, but her father allows the women to watch from behind a screen. Here, Peony catches sight of an elegant, handsome man and is immediately bewitched. So begins her unforgettable journey of love, desire, sorrow and redemption.
New York Times Editor's Choice People Magazine Pick of the Week A Washington Post Notable Book of 2015 Library Journal Top Ten Books of 2015 BookPage Top Five Books of 2015 "Raw and beautiful. . . . What rises and shines from the page is Todd Aaron, a hero of such singular character and clear spirit that you will follow him anywhere. You won’t just root for him, you will fight and push and pray for him to wrest control of his future. You will read this book in one sitting or maybe two, and, I promise, you will miss this man deeply when you are done.”—Ann Bauer, Washington Post Sent to a “therapeutic community” for autism at the age of eleven, Todd Aaron, now in his fifties, is the “Old Fox” of Payton LivingCenter. A joyous man who rereads the encyclopedia compulsively, he is unnerved by the sudden arrivals of a menacing new staffer and a disruptive, brain-injured roommate. His equilibrium is further worsened by Martine, a one-eyed new resident who has romantic intentions and convinces him to go off his meds to feel “normal” again. Undone by these pressures, Todd attempts an escape to return “home” to his younger brother and to a childhood that now inhabits only his dreams. Written astonishingly in the first-person voice of an autistic, adult man, Best Boy—with its unforgettable portraits of Todd’s beloved mother, whose sweet voice still sings from the grave, and a staffer named Raykene, who says that Todd “reflects the beauty of His creation”—is a piercing, achingly funny, finally shattering novel no reader can ever forget.
Temple Grandin offers the world yet another great work, an inspiring and informative book that offers both hope and encouragement! In these pages, Temple presents the personal success stories of fourteen unique individuals that illustrate the extraordinary potential of those on the autism spectrum. One of Temple’s primary missions is to help people with autism, Asperger’s syndrome, and ADHD tap into their hidden abilities. Temple chose these contributors, from a wide variety of different skill sets, to show how it can be done. Each individual tells their own story, in their own words, about their lives, relationships, and eventual careers. The contributors also share how they dealt with issues they confronted while growing up, such as bullying, making eye contact, and honing social skills. Different...Not Less shows how, with work, each of the contributors: Found invaluable mentors Learned skills necessary for employment when young Became successfully employed Developed self-confidence Faced the challenges of forming and maintaining relationships, and raising families
Now with additional material from the Suskind family! Imagine being trapped inside a Disney movie and having to learn about life mostly from animated characters dancing across a screen of color. A fantasy? A nightmare? This is the real-life story of Owen Suskind, the son of the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ron Suskind and his wife, Cornelia. An autistic boy who couldn't speak for years, Owen memorized dozens of Disney movies, turned them into a language to express love and loss, kinship, brotherhood.The family was forced to become animated characters, communicating with him in Disney dialogue and song; until they all emerge, together, revealing how, in darkness, we all literally need stories to survive.
New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice; Real Simple Best of the Month; Library Journal Editors’ Pick In the spirit of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, Bringing up Bébé, and The Smartest Kids in the World, a hard-hitting exploration of China’s widely acclaimed yet insular education system—held up as a model of academic and behavioral excellence—that raises important questions for the future of American parenting and education. When students in Shanghai rose to the top of international rankings in 2009, Americans feared that they were being "out-educated" by the rising super power. An American journalist of Chinese descent raising a young family in Shanghai, Lenora Chu noticed how well-behaved Chinese children were compared to her boisterous toddler. How did the Chinese create their academic super-achievers? Would their little boy benefit from Chinese school? Chu and her husband decided to enroll three-year-old Rainer in China’s state-run public school system. The results were positive—her son quickly settled down, became fluent in Mandarin, and enjoyed his friends—but she also began to notice troubling new behaviors. Wondering what was happening behind closed classroom doors, she embarked on an exploratory journey, interviewing Chinese parents, teachers and education professors, and following students at all stages of their education. What she discovered is a military-like education system driven by high-stakes testing, with teachers posting rankings in public, using bribes to reward students who comply, and shaming to isolate those who do not. At the same time, she uncovered a years-long desire by government to alleviate its students’ crushing academic burden and make education friendlier for all. The more she learns, the more she wonders: Are Chinese children—and her son—paying too high a price for their obedience and the promise of future academic prowess? Is there a way to appropriate the excellence of the system but dispense with the bad? What, if anything, could Westerners learn from China’s education journey? Chu’s eye-opening investigation challenges our assumptions and asks us to consider the true value and purpose of education.
In the aftermath of nuclear war, the Navy destroyer "Nathan James" and its crew--including twenty-six women--searches the seas for a place where survival would be possible.
This enthralling memoir is the day-by-day story of how one little boy was saved from a path leading to autistic isolation. It is also a first-hand account of the new model of research and treatment pioneered by Stanley Greenspan, M.D. that makes this recovery possible for others. Walker, whom pediatricians worried would never walk, talk, or perhaps even hear or see, was lucky enough to be born to a family who would not accept defeat. Pat Stacey reveals the darkest fears, struggles, exhaustion, tiny victories, and eventual joys her family faced as they gradually brought Walker into full contact with the world.
An unforgettable family tale of deception and betrayal, love and forgiveness Pauline Dakin spent her childhood on the run. Without warning, her mother twice uprooted her and her brother, moving thousands of miles away from family and friends. Disturbing events interrupt their outwardly normal life: break-ins, car thefts, even physical attacks on a family friend. Many years later, her mother finally revealed they'd been running from the Mafia and were receiving protection from a covert anti-organized crime task force. But the truth was even more bizarre. Gradually, Dakin's fears give way to suspicion. She puts her journalistic training to work and discovers that the Mafia threat was actually an elaborate web of lies. As she revisits her past, Dakin uncovers the human capacity for betrayal and deception, and the power of love to forgive. Run, Hide, Repeat is a memoir of a childhood steeped in unexplained fear and menace. Gripping and suspenseful, it moves from Dakin's uneasy acceptance of her family's dire situation to bewildered anger. As compelling and twisted as a thriller, Run Hide Repeat is an unforgettable portrait of a family under threat, and the resilience of family bonds.