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review 2017-09-17 18:25
Best when the author actually talks about her son.
To Siri with Love: A Mother, Her Autisti... To Siri with Love: A Mother, Her Autistic Son, and the Kindness of Machines - Judith Newman

A viral column in The New York Times described how a mother (Newman) could use technology in her day to day life with her son, Gus. Gus has autism. The column was very readable (it was viral for a good week after it was published according to the author) and described how Gus could "talk" to Siri and ask Siri endless questions about his interests and according to the column it actually helped her son communicate better with humans. It was a fascinating read (and is available online) so when I heard the author was going to write a book expanding on the column I was very excited.


The book outlines life with Gus. From questions about what may have been contributing causes (which range from speculation about the 9/11 disaster site and the lingering health effects to Gus's dad's age at the time of his conception) to how she copes raising Gus and his neurotypical twin brother, Henry, her day to day life and what it's like.


Some of it was quite fascinating but the book never reaches to the genuine warmth and humor of the original column. Sometimes it's really amusing and other times it's very informative and interesting (and sometimes it's all of this). But quite often the author inserts too much of herself in the book. I realize that in some ways it IS very much her book about being a mom with an autistic son (as the cover states) but I just didn't care about her as much. The book is mis-titled (the Siri-related stuff does appear but it's not the premise of the book and it also seems to rehash much of the original NYT piece) and it's a pity because I'd really love to read more about Gus's relationship to Siri now and whether he interacts with other similar devices like Alexa or reading more in that similar vein.



One thing I'd note is that the author's note is a bit uncomfortable. Newman discusses language and "people first language" vs. (for example) autistic men/women, etc. and I thought that was helpful to read before diving in. But for some reason she feels the need to bring in transgender people and pronoun usage and complains "Language needs to evolve, but not into something ugly and imprecise." I respect that I don't have her experiences nor am I transgender but I found that I had to side-eye a bit after that.


There's value to the book and I'm sure a lot of people might find this of interest. Personally I found that once again a person who works in the media (newspapers in this case) doesn't always translate to being a good book writer. I could have stuck to the column. But I got this at the library and I'm glad it was available to borrow (rather than waiting for a paperback or for this to show up at a bargain bin).

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review 2017-07-26 18:02
Review: Mother-Ghosts
Mother-Ghosts - Leah Sewell

Leah Sewell's Mother-Ghosts is a superbly crafted collection with emotional intensity. Each poem builds on an interconnected duality, two opposing thoughts bridged by a thread (perhaps a beam). These are poems about the lives we lead—the daily sights and sounds, the roles we play and are sometimes excluded from. They're full of heart and unease.

Throughout this collection, Sewell captures the world in such vivid detail. She alternates effectively between the concrete and the abstract, never getting lost in one or the other. Personally, these are my favorite kind of poets, those who are intelligent, insightful, and witty with their words, but who use those words largely as a way to add tone to the world we inhabit, those who add perspective to our seemingly one-dimensional relationships.

In “I Have Decided,” the poet discusses the uses of her two hands. One holds her children. She holds it high, lifting them above the crowds, giving them breadth to grow into the space. The other hand serves many purposes: clearing the path, providing relief to her sweat-drenched brow, welcoming the hand of another. As I turned the final page in this book, I imagined that each poem in this collection could easily fit in one hand or another, separated by outstretched arms, bridged only by the poet. This is what I mean by an interconnected duality. I see it throughout this collection: two hands, feverishly trying to out write the other, one mind behind them both, perhaps hoping that slyly she can eventually bring those hands together without anyone noticing. I may be way off, but that's the image that stuck with me after I finished Mother-Ghosts and I rather like it.

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review 2017-07-20 16:03
A Mother Like Mine
A Mother Like Mine (A Hartley-by-the-Sea... A Mother Like Mine (A Hartley-by-the-Sea Novel) - Kate Hewitt


Your mother returning after no contact for 20 years?  Would you be happy or resentful?

Abby was actually shocked that her mother came back to the small village of Hartley-by-the-Sea in England after being in New York.  Her mother, Laura, left when Abby was two, and rarely kept in touch.

Laura went on with her life without her daughter, and her mother  took care of Abby for her.  Her mother now has Abby as an adult and her grandson living with her since Abby's fiancé was killed.

The Rhodes women own a coffee/ice cream shop and live in the attached apartment.

Laura's return caused hard feelings for all and an upset in the living arrangements.

The characters were believable in the sense that similar relationships do exist.

I loved Mary, the grandmother.

Abby was likable.

Laura wasn't too likable, but became somewhat likable as the book continued.

A MOTHER LIKE MINE is a book that made me appreciate my mother and the love and care she selfishly gave to all eight of us.

A MOTHER LIKE MINE  was a bit slow for me and out of my usual genre, but I loved the setting of the book and the premise of the book was good.

If you enjoy family interaction and drama, A MOTHER LIKE MINE is a book you will want to read.

ENJOY if you read the book.  4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher and NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Source: silversolara.blogspot.com
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text 2017-07-04 19:11
Look what I won!
Mother of Souls (Alpennia) - Heather Rose Jones

The author was extremely nice - it turned out that I'd misspelled the end of my email address, but rather than invalidate my entry she figured it out (gmal = gmail) and I just found out about my winning entry slightly later than the other folks.


Yay! Now I really need to finish The Mystic Marriage, which I haven't touched since Booklikesopoly began.

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review 2017-07-03 14:18
4001 A.D.: War Mother #1 - Fred Van Lente,Tomás Giorello

I'm really enjoying Valiant lately, and I don't know why I don't read more of it.   (It's edged out by my main companies, and I don't have the money, time or energy to read it all.   I will, however, be looking for Bloodshot Salvation when that comes out.)


War Mother is about people living in 4001, people on an Earth that is fully alive, savage, and brutal.   Everything is alive on Earth, and plastics, and mechanical items, are hard to find.   Each sect of people send out scavs - scavengers - to find what they need to live.   When parts of New Japan fall from the sky, the scavs are sent out so the rest of the population can live safely at home.   Ana is a War Mother - a scav for her people - and she lives by a couple rules: reboot the AI she's sent out with for each mission and come back with nothing living.   When she finds an imperious boy fallen from New Japan, however, she takes him back, and is told that he can't come in. 


Are her people worth saving if they won't save this boy?


Beautifully drawn, and with a keen sense of Ana and who she is and how she fits into the world, and interacts with it, this is just absolutely gorgeous.   The cover by David Mack is one of the things that prompted me to get this mystery bag, and this one comic was worth the price.   Lovely all around.   

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