books

My friend, Nilla Childs, comes from a long line of diary keepers. In fact, her grandmother, Dorothy, kept a diary for nearly 50 years. Nilla’s own diary entries about her son, Daniel, helped unlock the puzzle that had kept Daniel’s life scattered in pieces. Daniel was extremely bright, gifted in fact. Sure he had his quirks and his challenges connecting with others, but those issues somehow didn’t hold Daniel back. Until the day they did. Daniel moved away from home and went to college. His orderly world fell apart.

Nilla’s well-crafted book, Puzzled, documents her journey to solve the puzzle called Daniel, who was diagnosed with autism at age 23. Her book doesn’t follow a chronological flow. Instead, it mimics the scattered pieces of Daniel’s life, going back and forth in time. Each short chapter shares her wise observations, experiences and her mother’s heart. Daniel’s remembrance of the same event follows each of Nilla’s chapters.

Puzzled is not a neat, tidy “they lived happily ever after” book. Instead, it chronicles the ups of downs of real life with grace, love, humor and wit. Whether or not your child struggles with autism, you will be blessed by this charming and gritty chronicle.

Excerpt from Puzzled: 100 Pieces of Autism

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If you are going to be outside these steamy hot days, the best place to be is preferably beside a swimming pool … with a good book in your hands. I’m enjoying Sisters of the Sari , which is about a technology company executive who travels to India on business and meets some amazing women. Here’s a review:

Like Eat, Pray, Love, only with a little less sex and a little more dysentery, Sisters of the Sari is an absorbing read. Baker writes with unabashed realism, reveling in the descriptions of opulent saris, filthy alleys, sweetened tea, and nerve-wracking traffic… an often funny, genuinely touching account of life in Chennai and the uncommon bond formed by two exceptional women  — Stephanie Turza, Booklist
Sisters of the Sari is somewhat true to life: It was written by Brenda Baker, who is a retired technology company executive who lives in India. She is a voracious reader with limited access to new books in India. After she devoured the books from the library in her Indian village, the librarian suggested she write her own book … so she did! Gotta love her gumption!
A thoroughly engrossing book! Next on my reading list is The Help. I’d love to read it before the movie comes out in mid-August so I better pick up the pace on my reading.
Have you read any good books this summer? Leave a comment because I’d love to add to my reading list.
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