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Pointing Is Rude

ONE FATHER'S STORY OF AUTISM, ADOPTION, AND ACCEPTANCE

An honest, riveting work about living with autism that will enlighten and offer hope to readers.

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NFL Films producer and debut author O’Brien offers a frank, firsthand account of his and his family’s journey with autism, starting with his son’s early childhood diagnosis.

The author had a lot going for him when his twin children, Grace and Frederick, were born in 2001. He and his wife, Bernadette, had a strong, loving relationship and a supportive extended family; he was also enthusiastic about his sports-producer job and fatherhood. But as time passed, concerns about Frederick surfaced. At first, the O’Briens assumed that he was just a late bloomer, but by the time he was about a year old, they realized that he wasn’t connecting emotionally with people. After countless evaluations and interventions, Frederick was diagnosed with the dreaded “A word.” His autism, along with a degree of mental disability, translated into a lifelong need for constant assistance and supervision. This book, however, is not a simple or predictable inspirational story. Instead, it recounts the complications and nuances, both logistical and emotional, of living in a family with a special needs child. The intense work never ended, and it took an undeniable toll; O’Brien reveals many negative emotions, including jealousy (of neurotypical families), anger, and sadness, and he describes frustrating attempts at “normal” family dinners and theme-park excursions, during which the family felt the glares of the uninformed. But the book also includes good measures of joy and revelation, showing the family’s rocky journey to acceptance and their improbable adoption of an infant son from Ethiopia—an event that turned out to be a well-timed gift to all the family members. The author packs the book with anecdotes, often told with wry wit, which make his story highly tangible. He also shares abundant insights, including spiritual perspectives and thoughts on the benefits of being Frederick’s father. There are a few text-formatting issues, including some unnecessarily boldfaced type, but they don’t detract from the overall quality of the read.

An honest, riveting work about living with autism that will enlighten and offer hope to readers.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Heliotrope Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON

THE OSAGE MURDERS AND THE BIRTH OF THE FBI

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

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Greed, depravity, and serial murder in 1920s Oklahoma.

During that time, enrolled members of the Osage Indian nation were among the wealthiest people per capita in the world. The rich oil fields beneath their reservation brought millions of dollars into the tribe annually, distributed to tribal members holding "headrights" that could not be bought or sold but only inherited. This vast wealth attracted the attention of unscrupulous whites who found ways to divert it to themselves by marrying Osage women or by having Osage declared legally incompetent so the whites could fleece them through the administration of their estates. For some, however, these deceptive tactics were not enough, and a plague of violent death—by shooting, poison, orchestrated automobile accident, and bombing—began to decimate the Osage in what they came to call the "Reign of Terror." Corrupt and incompetent law enforcement and judicial systems ensured that the perpetrators were never found or punished until the young J. Edgar Hoover saw cracking these cases as a means of burnishing the reputation of the newly professionalized FBI. Bestselling New Yorker staff writer Grann (The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession, 2010, etc.) follows Special Agent Tom White and his assistants as they track the killers of one extended Osage family through a closed local culture of greed, bigotry, and lies in pursuit of protection for the survivors and justice for the dead. But he doesn't stop there; relying almost entirely on primary and unpublished sources, the author goes on to expose a web of conspiracy and corruption that extended far wider than even the FBI ever suspected. This page-turner surges forward with the pacing of a true-crime thriller, elevated by Grann's crisp and evocative prose and enhanced by dozens of period photographs.

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Pub Date: April 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-385-53424-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Feb. 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

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INTO THE WILD

A wonderful page-turner written with humility, immediacy, and great style. Nothing came cheap and easy to McCandless, nor...

The excruciating story of a young man on a quest for knowledge and experience, a search that eventually cooked his goose, told with the flair of a seasoned investigative reporter by Outside magazine contributing editor Krakauer (Eiger Dreams, 1990). 

Chris McCandless loved the road, the unadorned life, the Tolstoyan call to asceticism. After graduating college, he took off on another of his long destinationless journeys, this time cutting all contact with his family and changing his name to Alex Supertramp. He was a gent of strong opinions, and he shared them with those he met: "You must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life''; "be nomadic.'' Ultimately, in 1992, his terms got him into mortal trouble when he ran up against something—the Alaskan wild—that didn't give a hoot about Supertramp's worldview; his decomposed corpse was found 16 weeks after he entered the bush. Many people felt McCandless was just a hubris-laden jerk with a death wish (he had discarded his map before going into the wild and brought no food but a bag of rice). Krakauer thought not. Admitting an interest that bordered on obsession, he dug deep into McCandless's life. He found a willful, reckless, moody boyhood; an ugly little secret that sundered the relationship between father and son; a moral absolutism that agitated the young man's soul and drove him to extremes; but he was no more a nutcase than other pilgrims. Writing in supple, electric prose, Krakauer tries to make sense of McCandless (while scrupulously avoiding off-the-rack psychoanalysis): his risky behavior and the rites associated with it, his asceticism, his love of wide open spaces, the flights of his soul.

A wonderful page-turner written with humility, immediacy, and great style. Nothing came cheap and easy to McCandless, nor will it to readers of Krakauer's narrative. (4 maps) (First printing of 35,000; author tour)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-679-42850-X

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Villard

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1995

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