A month or so ago, I opened my email in-box and saw an email from Harper Collins. The Harper Collins. It offered me the opportunity to read an advanced copy of an upcoming book from Judith Newman, “To Siri With Love”. As a huge reader myself, I jumped at this opportunity and quickly agreed to read the book in an exchange for a review.
It’s a little behind from when I wanted this to be published (ok, a lot behind), but I had to take a break while recovering from surgical cardiac ablation (I’m ok, and much thanks to a very patient and understanding publisher 😉 ) However the time spent resting was a perfect time to pour over the book a 2nd time and literally highlight my favorite sections. I am absolutely in love with this book!
The minute the advanced copy arrived in the mail. I dove into it. I instantly laughed at the author’s humor and sarcasm. I loved that she plainly journaled what is everyday normal life for so many of us.
At first, I couldn’t pinpoint a specific reason why I loved it more than I have enjoyed other books, until I realized that this blog and this book seem to share a common thread. We both just narrate life. There is no specific cause to write about than showing realities of life with autism through a sort of open journal.
A major goal of my blog has been to show those who don’t have knowledge or experience with autism, through personal experiences, what the effects of autism look like in day-to-day life. It is a blog where people who don’t know say “oh!”, “huh (the way you would say it after learning something interesting)”, and “wow/whoa!” and people who do have autism in their lives say “yes!”, “what she said”, “me too!”, and “Thank God, I’m not alone!”. This book really feels like it is along those same lines.
This is a book that I would eagerly give my friends and family who don’t have much exposure to autism to help show what life with autism looks like. I would also eagerly give it to friends and family that do have the experiences with autism because I laughed and cried, got angry, frustrated and scared right along with the author as I read through her book. I related to 99% of everything in it to some extent or other. It is amazing at its ability to be able to speak and connect to those who don’t know autism and those who live it out day in and day out.
The book follows her memories and musings about life with her son Gus and his typical brother, Henry. Gus has autism. I was unsure at first just what was it that made this book so easy and quick to read, informative, and yet not boring. It is because this book is basically a bunch of short stories about memories and past experiences. There’s this feel of open comfortable honesty about it. It’s like an open journal, for all interested to read.
I love this book because it is a book that opens the public’s eyes to what an autism life can look like. I can’t tell you how many times I have encountered people who have no idea what autism was, despite all the public PSA type coverage of it.
Some of my favorite stories from it are their visit to Disneyland, and Henry’s disgust and feeling tricked into thinking that Splash Mountain was not as intense as it was. He began loudly announcing to everyone passing by, that people should not ride it The way she retells the story was epic. I loved her story about Gus’ obsession with trains. I know that obsession well. I think most autism parents do.
I also loved the intro/preface. I usually don’t read them, instead skipping by out of eagerness to dive into the book. I’m glad I didn’t. She was bold and fearless, sharing her opinion on things that sometimes can be a tender point where parents might differ in opinion. She said and explained things that had me saying “Yes! Yes!” Subjects like touching on the ‘normal’ word and more that may stir some kind of emotion in a parent were touched upon. Yet, she explains her thoughts in a way that are honest yet sensitive to other people.
I truly cannot recommend this book enough. I have been telling all my family to read it. I have been telling friends, teachers, care workers, and more. It rolls off my tongue, without thinking sometimes. Everyone needs to pick up a copy.
And, I plan on reading it a third time. 🙂
You can purchase a copy from http://bit.ly/tosiriwlove
As always, positive comments are welcome. Negative hurtful comments will be trashed before I can even finish reading them. I have many readers who are emotionally vulnerable, and I will not post comments that will further harm.
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