Thursday, April 01, 2004

Books in waiting

Here are the books that are piled up on my bookshelf right now, waiting for me to read them:

1. Not Even Wrong by Paul Collins. I snapped up this father's memoir of his son's autism shortly after reading a review in Entertainment Weekly. Described on the book jacket as "a haunting journey into the borderlands of neurology — a meditation on what 'normal' is, and how human genius comes to us in strange and wondrous forms," it appeals to both my interest in books about children with special needs and my liking for Oliver Sacks-like neurological storytelling.

2. Nature Via Nurture: Genes, Experience, and What Makes Us Human by Matt Ridley. According to the book jacket, "Nature via Nurture chronicles a revolution in our understanding of genes. Ridley recounts the hundred years' war between the partisans of nature and nurture to explain how this paradoxical creature, the human being, can be simultaneously free-willed and motivated by instinct and culture. Nature via Nurture is an enthralling,up-to-the-minute account of how genes build brains to absorb experience." As an adoptive parent, I'm naturally rooting for nurture, but I'm wondering if this will be another of those science books I pick up with great interest and put down in great confusion. You gotta try to stretch yourself every now and then, right?

3. Little People: Learning to See the World Through My Daughter's Eyes by Dan Kennedy. I've been looking out for this one since the author provided an excerpt for Mothers with Attitude. It's another "dad" memoir, this time about a child with dwarfism. Why do I suspect that the reason dads are having time to write all these reflective memoirs is because moms are dealing with the pediatricians and the neurologists and the insurance companies and the child study teams?

And one I'll look for next time I'm in the bookstore:

Quirky Kids: Understanding and Helping Your Child Who Doesn't Fit In — When to Worry andWhen Not to Worry by Perri Klass and Eileen Costello. According to the description on, "Drs. Klass and Costello firmly believe that the ideal way to help our quirky kids is to understand and embrace the qualities that make them exceptionally interesting and lovable. Written with upbeat clarity and informed insight, their book is a comprehensive guide to loving, living with, and enjoying these wonderful if challenging children," and who couldn't use something like that? Can't wait for the sequel, "Quirky Parents."

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