The Doctor Next Door by Elaine Hold, MD
Dr. Elaine Holt is not your average doctor. Her medical practice is small, while her heart for her patients is huge. The Doctor Next Door is a collection of extraordinary stories about ordinary people. The stories spotlight the physician as a down-to-earth person, sometimes flawed and unnervingly close to her patient’s suffering. They showcase the vulnerability that both doctor and patient experience as they weave through life’s challenges. The Doctor Next Door celebrates life, relationships, and the indomitable human spirit.
Autism Uncensored: Pulling Back the Curtain by Whitney Ellenby
“And when in the grips of a public tantrum, amidst the horror and humiliation of him shrieking and splayed out on the floor while strangers recoiled in shock, my mind lurched towards an inescapable truth—that I want out from this nightmare. I want out from this child.”
So begins the turbulent ride of one parent’s decision, crafted in despair and desperation, to abandon traditional interventions for her autistic son in favor of a “hands on” approach of repeatedly exposing her son to real-world settings. Autism Uncensored is an unrestricted portal into the mind of someone who had no intention of sacrificing her career or life for Autism, unaware of the many ways it would irreversibly redefine both. As she clarifies at the outset, “this is not the story of a miraculous breakthrough or recovery.” Zack is still very much autistic and always will be. It is instead the true, real-time account of her decision to allow Zack to indulge in the very behaviors that formal therapies sought to extinguish, to disclose Zack’s diagnosis in public settings, and to repeatedly expose him to real-world situations and override his tantrums regardless of public ridicule or scorn.
Autism Uncensored goes where no other book dares—revealing the private disgrace and self-blame about having a “defective” child; the near disintegration of marriage; the failure of the traditional behavioral interventions; and the mercenary way in which service providers prey on parents’ desperation for a cure. It is a personal manifesto about how a socially integrated life is attainable regardless of whether a child overcomes the major limitations of Autism, sparking a new conversation which goes beyond simply accepting persons with Autism for who they are, but considers pushing them beyond their comfort zones to learn who they are capable of becoming. An unstoppable ride with jolting twists and turns, Autism Uncensored will leave you exhilarated, informed and still gasping for air.
JOY ROSENBERG THINKS she’s the luckiest person in the world, with satisfying work, a passionate marriage, an excellent bicycle and two great kids. But when ten-year-old Jenny is killed, Joy’s life is destroyed. Tortured by visions of the accident and twisted by guilt, she feels doomed to a life of unremitting darkness. Family, Judaism, work, athletics—nothing will deliver what she wants the most: Jenny. Joy struggles to live a life of purpose and compassion while grief is tearing it apart. Can she forgive herself and learn to love again, or will she lose her husband and son forever? An emotional story told in honest and haunting detail, Without Jenny is an intimate portrait of a loving marriage stretched to the breaking point by the unspeakable.
The Horologist by Miles McCarthy
Shortly after Oliver leaves home in search of his destiny, life morphs into a volatile adventure full of characters he never would have imagined. Though his journey brings its natural ebbs and flows, nothing compares to the dark illusion that haunts Oliver wherever he goes. The Horologist is a provoking and inspiring tale with something to teach us all.
The Best Girl by Joan Hicks Boone
Joan’s neighborhood is filled with kids of all ages, but even her closest friends don’t know how violent Joan’s dad is, or how difficult it is for her to navigate the troubled waters of her home life. Joan becomes adept at reading her dad’s mood, and trying to prevent him from inflicting harm upon her mom. But, time and again, her dad succeeds in his mission. As the violence escalates, Joan is plagued with the constant fear that her mother may die. Repeatedly she asks the same questions: why is her dad so violent and why can’t he be stopped? Throughout the course of her childhood, several heroes enter Joan’s life. Readers will cheer for each as they offer Joan gifts of validation, acceptance and hope.
Joan’s exceptional yet frank storytelling brings the reader directly into her home, providing unembellished awareness of the multiple issues that encompass domestic violence. The Best Girl is a story of resilience and survival and, as the book concludes, readers are left with feelings of possibility and hope: it appears that sixteen-year old Joan is going to make it.