All posts tagged: Autism

Sally Hepworth on her fabulous new THE GOOD SISTER, featuring twin sisters, mental health elements, a baby, and so much more, plus the books she’s raving about.

By Leslie Lindsay  A neuro-atypical librarian decides to have a baby for her (fraternal) twin sister, but the story is so gorgeous, perceptive, and multi-faceted. The Most Anticipated Book of 2021: CNN.com • E!Online • Bustle • Goodreads • PopSugar • SheReads • Parade.com • Bookish ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ April Spotlight: Siblings I have been a fan of Sally Hepworth’s writing since the beginning, so when I discovered her new book, THE GOOD SISTER (St. Martin’s Press, April 13), I knew I had to get my hands on it–not only does it deal with adult fraternal twin sisters, but it also touches on mental health issues, family dysfunction, and mystery. Rose and Fern Castle are fraternal twins, and as different as night and day. Rose is the ‘responsible one,’ and rounder, called “Rosie Round,” by their mother, a nickname she detests (understandably). Rose marries, is an interior decorator. Fern, tall and willowy, slightly quirky, she hasn’t been formally diagnosed, but is likely on the spectrum, with sensory issues and an almost very literal interpretation of the world. What’s …

Madeleine Ryan talks about her stunning debut, about a sharp autistic woman, how nature is very revealing, plus the collective expression of home, how we are mirrors to that doorway, and more in A ROOM CALLED EARTH

By Leslie Lindsay  A charming and delightful read about a neuroatypical woman at a party, the man she meets, and her magical, slightly quirky view of the world.  ~WEEKEND READING|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ A ROOM CALLED EARTH (Penguin Original, August 18 2020) by debut author Madeleine Ryan is at once hilarious and heartwarming. The plot is fairly straightforward:  A young autistic woman in Melbourne, Australia attends a house party. She navigates the festivities, has brief exchanges with others, and meets an intriguing man in line for the bathroom. Just like this man, we are invited back to the narrator’s unique and magical home. This premise, however, belies what a gift this book is, for what appears to be an ordinary night out is, through the prism of her mind, extraordinary.  This is such a delightful and charming read, a glittering glimpse into the sparkling and strikingly intense and unique mind. Please join me in welcoming the lovely and talented Madeleine Ryan to the author interview series.  Leslie Lindsay: Madeleine, welcome! You trained as an actor …

Lisa Selin Davis talks about her new book, TOMBOY, what it means to defy borders and boundaries, how parents may have participated in the blue/pink divide and so much more in this insightful and daring new book

By Leslie Lindsay  A thorough and engrossing sociological, historical, and psychological examination and the antiquated term ‘tomboy,’ an imagined future for children who defy categories, and so much more. ~BookS on MondaY|Always with a Book~ TOMBOY: The Surprising History and Future of Girls Who Dare to Be Different (Hachette Books, August 11 2020) first came to my attention this past spring and I knew I had read it. As a ‘soccer mom,’ I often hear this on the pitch, “Oh, she’s just a Tomboy” or something of similar ilk. I started thinking about why we use this term and if there really was such a thing. And then I read Lisa Selin Davis’s insightful and daring new book and felt we were cut from the same cloth. Here’s thing: I don’t really think ‘Tomboys’ exist. People do. And we need to stop with the labels and marketing that supports (or doesn’t support) this divide. Davis takes us deep into the history of the term ‘tomboy’ and provides stunning examples of how advertising and marketing have played to the stereotypes of gender, gender …

Wife, mother, and advocate Teresa Unnerstall dives in head-first with her all-hands-on-deck approach to navigating an autism & Down’s syndrome diagnosis in her new book, A NEW COURSE

By Leslie Lindsay  With humor, kindness, and practical advice, mother, writer, and special needs advocate absolutely has all-hands on deck as she traverses the choppy waters of a child with a dual-diagnosis. ~BOOKS ON MONDAY|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ Teresa Unnerstall doesn’t tip her toes into the water of Down’s syndrome and autism, she dives head-first into the deep-end. Told with wit, compassion, faith, empathy, brutal honesty, and gentle advocacy, A NEW COURSE: A Mother’s Journey Navigating Down’s syndrome and autism (Kat Biggie Press, May 5 2020) is a beacon of light for a parent traversing the rocky waters of a DS-ASD dual-diagnosis. I found myself wholly engaged in this book—the worries, the fears, the emotional ups and downs. Teresa proves that she is just like any other mother—but so much more. She created laminated picture cards for her son and taped them to the shower wall so he’d know the steps for self-hygiene. When she wasn’t doing that, she researched behavioral therapies and looked into school programs and advocated for her son. Somedays, she’s cleaned …

Twisty courtroom drama that is both perceptive and culturally-intelligent, touching on special needs, mothers, secrets, immigrants, and a medical mystery in Angie Kim’s MIRACLE CREEK

By Leslie Lindsay  A literary courtroom thriller about an immigrant family, a fascinating medical exploration, secrets, lies, and more. *NATIONAL BESTSELLER* ~Weekend Reading | ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ May IndieNext Pick ♦ April LibraryReads Selection ♦ April Book of the Month Club Pick ♦ Amazon Editors’ Pick ♦ Apple Books 2019 Top Ten Debuts ♦ Time Magazine 11 Best Fiction Books of 2019 So Far ♦ Washington Post Summer Reads ♦ Good Morning America Hot Summer Read ♦Entertainment Weekly April Jewels ♦ ELLE April Reading List ♦ Real Simple The Short List ♦ Southern Living Best Spring Books ♦ July Junior Library Guild Adult Crossover Selection (Grades 11 & Up) PLUS, named a Most Anticipated 2019 Book by BuzzFeed, Nylon, The Millions, Electric Lit, BookRiot, CrimeReads / LitHub, GoodReads, Vulture and more ~PAPERBACK EDITION COMING IN APRIL~ MIRACLE CREEK (April 2019) is such a powerhouse of a novel from Angie Kim, I was seriously questioning whether it was truly a debut, it’s that good. In rural Miracle Creek, Virginia, Young and her husband, Pak Yoo run an experimental medical treatment, hyperbaric chamber known as ‘the miracle submarine.’ It’s a pressurized oxygen chamber patients enter for therapeutic reasons–the ‘dives’ could potentially cure anything from autism to infertility, and a few things …

Cara Wall talks about her incisive and gorgeously written debut, THE DEARLY BELOVED, about faith, love, marriage, family, struggle, and even autism

By Leslie Lindsay Stunningly executed first novel is brimming with conflict, but also hope, and the most astute writing. A Today show “Read with Jenna” Book Club Selection*** “A moving portrait of love and friendship set against a backdrop of social change.” —The New York Times Book Review (Editor’s Choice) Entertainment Weekly calls The Dearly Beloved “the best book about faith in recent memory.” Plus, readers are saying it’s an instant-classic, traversing multiple generations. I love THE DEARLY BELOVED (Simon & Schuster, August 2019) by Cara Wall. This has got to be one of the most stirring and incisive debuts I have read in a long time. Writing with a restrained lyricism, Cara Wall’s THE DEARLY BELOVED is about marriage, beliefs, faith, friendships, conflicts, and motherhood. Beginning in the 1950s and traversing through the 1960s, we are truly immersed in the world of Charles and Lily, at college in Boston, when Charles strays from the academic path held by his father and wants to become a minister. But then he finds Lily, who is a skeptic –and for good reason. She’s …

Wednesdays with Writers: Benjamin Ludwig talks about how being a foster parent to a child with autism inspired his brilliant debut GINNY MOON, waking at 3 a.m. to write, how his superintendent denied a request for a leave of absence for a book tour, & so much more.

By Leslie Lindsay  Heartwarming and refreshingly honest and delightful story about a young autistic girl, her struggles in life, and an American family struggling to be one.  GINNY MOON (Park Row Books, May 2 2017)…oh how you’ve won me over!! Forever Blue, Forever Family, Forever Ginny…you are absolutely delightful, but I have to give you credit to your author,Benjamin Ludwig who writes with searing honesty, authenticity, and such delight that I found parts funny, poignant, sad–and at times–wanted to knock some sense into the characters. Fourteen year old Ginny has recently been adopted by Maura and Brian Moon, her Forever Parents. From all outside perspectives, Ginny appears to be a typical teenager. She loves Michael Jackson, she attends public school and reads classics in her language arts class…but she also gets ‘pulled aside’ where she interacts with a few ‘special kids.’ Ginny has ‘issues,’ but she’s working through them. On ‘the other side of Forever,’ she had a Birth Mother who abused and neglected her. She was bruised and emaciated when social services intervened. Even …

Wednesdays with Writers: Marion Pauw talks about her stunning thriller, THE GIRL IN THE DARK, how a trip to Panama changed her, creating circumstances in which you flourish, shitty first drafts, thearpy for writer’s block, how the body doesn’t lie, and so much more

By Leslie Lindsay  In the vein of blockbuster thrillers such as THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN and THE GOOD GIRL and the GIRL IN THE RED COAT, among others, it’s no surprise that GIRL IN THE DARK jumped out at me recently.  Internationally bestselling author Marion Pauw  makes a splash with her riveting mystery/psych thriller GIRL IN THE DARK (Feb 2016, HarperColloins/William Morrow). This domestic thriller has taken the Netherlands by storm with its psychological twists, high concept plot, and unique characters…and now, the U.S. can get a glimpse. Iris is a single mother struggling with raising her behaviorally-challenged young boy while working part-time as a lawyer. In a very deliberate, yet organic manner, Iris uncovers facts that lead her to believe she has an older brother her mother never spoke of (NOT a spoiler, this is mentioned on the jacket flap). What’s worse, is this brother is institutionalized for a horrific crime he did not commit. Or, so he says. Ray, meanwhile tells his story, through the eyes of a loveable, but “off-kilter” grown …