To Siri With Love
'A moving and witty memoir with a big heart' - Nigella Lawson For fans of David Mitchell's Fall Down 7 Times, Get Up 8, Jem Lester's Shtum and Keith Stuart's A Boy Made of Blocks. Writer Judith Newman never had any illusions that her family was 'normal'. She and her husband keep separate apartments-his filled with twin grand pianos as befits a former opera singer; hers filled with the clutter and chaos of twin adolescent boys conceived late in life. And one of those boys is Gus, her sweet, complicated, autistic 13-year-old.With refreshing honesty, To Siri With Love chronicles one year in the life of Gus and the family around him -- a family with the same crazy ups and downs as any other. And at the heart of the book lies Gus's passionate friendship with Siri, Apple's 'intelligent personal assistant'. Unlike her human counterparts, Siri always has the right answers to Gus's incessant stream of questions about the intricacies of national rail schedules, or box turtle varieties, and she never runs out of patience. She always makes sure Gus enunciates and even teaches him manners by way of her warm yet polite tone and her programmed insistence on civility.Equal parts funny and touching, this is a book that will make your heart brim, and then break it. Warm, wise and always honest, Judith Newman shows us a new world where artificial intelligence is beginning to meet emotional intelligence -- a world that will shape our children in ways both wonderful and unexpected.

To Siri With Love Details

TitleTo Siri With Love
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 24th, 2017
PublisherQuercus
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Biography, Adult

To Siri With Love Review

  • Marochka
    January 1, 1970
    «Для Сири с любовью» - книга, написанная в стиле мемуаров (нонфикшн). Думаю, данная история будет больше всего интересна людям, которые столкнулись с тем же, с чем и автор – членом семьи-аутистом. Также мемуары могут заинтересовать тех, кто интересуется психологией и данной темой. Но профессиональным психологам, на мой взгляд, книгу читать будет скучно, потому что в ней они не найдут ничего нового (собственно, говорю как профессиональный психолог). Автор явно направляла свое повествование либо н «Для Сири с любовью» - книга, написанная в стиле мемуаров (нонфикшн). Думаю, данная история будет больше всего интересна людям, которые столкнулись с тем же, с чем и автор – членом семьи-аутистом. Также мемуары могут заинтересовать тех, кто интересуется психологией и данной темой. Но профессиональным психологам, на мой взгляд, книгу читать будет скучно, потому что в ней они не найдут ничего нового (собственно, говорю как профессиональный психолог). Автор явно направляла свое повествование либо на тех, кто плохо разбирается в проблеме и желает узнать больше, либо на тех, кто по собственному опыту с ней знаком, и для кого данная история – свидетельство о том, что он в своей проблеме не один.Как такового сюжета в книге нет. Это воспоминания автора, которая в 40 лет родила от своего 70-летнего мужа близнецов. Генри оказался немного своеобразным, но очень умным мальчиком, а Гас – с задержкой в развитии.«Для Сири с любовью» - это книга о силе родителей (в частности матери); которые заботятся о сыне с задержками в развитии, о том, как семья и сам ребенок справляется со своим отличием от других; о настоящей любви и преданности к своим детям; об отношении общества к «необычным» детям; о современных технологиях, способных помочь таким детям.Вероятно, если бы я не была профессионально знакома с темой аутизма (не училась пять лет на психолога), мне бы книга не показалась скучной. А так данные мемуары для меня – сводка фактов об аутизме, которые я и так уже знала, на примере конкретного ребенка и семьи. Автор не пыталась вызывать сочувствие (за что я по-настоящему ее уважаю), она просто рассказывала свою неприкрашенную историю, мало отличающуюся от любой истории о ребенке-аутисте.Я знаю, как тяжело ухаживать за психически нездоровым человеком, у моей бабушки уже несколько лет деменция, и именно я больше всех провожу с ней времени, я могу понять тяжесть труда автора. И в целом она довольно адекватно и понимающе относится к людям, окружающим ее и ее сына.Но все же был один момент, когда автор осуждала окружающих за отношение к сыну ее знакомой, который выходил каждый день на улицу и почти весь день кричал. Соседка написала его матери гневное письмо о том, что они не могу открыть окна, что не могут отдохнуть после тяжелого дня на работе, что этот ребенок пугает ее «нормальных» детей и т.д. И все матери детей-аутистов ополчились на нее. На самом деле, я не считаю правильным оправдывать все свои не лучшие поступки психическим нездоровьем членов своей семьи. Трудно успокоить ребенка-аутиста, но не невозможно. Существует масса способов, лекарств и врачей, которых не стоит бояться и избегать, позволяя ребенку все, что ему хочется (на эту тему автор тоже размышляет довольно интересно: она думает, что, возможно, именно родители делают из ребенка-аутиста совершенно неприспособленного к жизни человека, совсем не давая ему быть самостоятельным). Не нужно делать из человека, желающего отдохнуть после работы без вопля твоего сына, монстром. У меня была похожая ситуация, когда бабушка затопила соседку, и та на нее накричала. Мы не ополчились против соседки, понимая, что виноваты мы. Мы оплатили ущерб и с тех пор никогда не оставляем бабушку с включенной водой, что и должны сделать адекватные представители общества, а не сжигать людей на костре, ведь «она психически не здорова».В целом, за исключением этого момента, автор достаточно адекватно воспринимает своего ребенка и его поступки. За что я прониклась к ней безграничным уважением.
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  • Kelly Hager
    January 1, 1970
    Judith has twin boys (now teenagers). One, Gus, has autism. He's high-functioning and quirky; exhibit A: he's friends with Siri. Yes, the one in the phone. This is such a cool story! I recently watched Life Animated (which is briefly referenced in this book) and I love how random things (in that case, Disney movies; in this case, an app) can help people make sense of the world. My favorite part, though, is that while obviously we know Gus is autistic, it doesn't take long for that to become his Judith has twin boys (now teenagers). One, Gus, has autism. He's high-functioning and quirky; exhibit A: he's friends with Siri. Yes, the one in the phone. This is such a cool story! I recently watched Life Animated (which is briefly referenced in this book) and I love how random things (in that case, Disney movies; in this case, an app) can help people make sense of the world. My favorite part, though, is that while obviously we know Gus is autistic, it doesn't take long for that to become his least interesting label. He's a music-lover who can identify basically any song immediately. He's able to help anyone get anywhere (the next time I'm in New York, I hope to maybe get some help with the subway system; maybe he can make a few bucks helping a clueless tourist with a horrible sense of direction). He is my imaginary friend (he's real, obviously, but as we have never met...). In short, you need this book. Recommended.
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  • Sarah Harrison Smith
    January 1, 1970
    Justin Newman is so hilarious and warm hearted that by the end of the "To Siri With Love," I felt almost envious that she had the experience of parenting two such very different twins. Please see the attached link for my interview with the author.http://www.omnivoracious.com/2017/08/...
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  • Billiebumblebee
    January 1, 1970
    Funny, informative and heart warming!
  • Rebecca
    January 1, 1970
    Really good NYT review: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/16/bo...
  • Rikke
    January 1, 1970
    I REALLY ENJOYED this one. Really, it's delightful. Light, sweet, and insightful. Definitely one I want to recommend.
  • Sara Nelson
    January 1, 1970
    You don't have to have an autistic child, be a mother, or have even heard of Siri, the electronic personal assistant (as if *that* were possible) to love To Siri with Love. YOu need only be a person. Newman is always an observant funny writer -- you might know her from articles in the New York Times, O the Oprah Magazine, and others -- but what struck me here was how her tone moves from the emotional (but never sappy) to the matter-of-fact, personal to reportorial, frustrated to extravagantly lo You don't have to have an autistic child, be a mother, or have even heard of Siri, the electronic personal assistant (as if *that* were possible) to love To Siri with Love. YOu need only be a person. Newman is always an observant funny writer -- you might know her from articles in the New York Times, O the Oprah Magazine, and others -- but what struck me here was how her tone moves from the emotional (but never sappy) to the matter-of-fact, personal to reportorial, frustrated to extravagantly loving. Chronicling a year in the life of her on-the-spectrum son, Gus and their slightly off-kilter family, Newman touches and teaches, but wears her experience lightly and never didactically. Gus is the star of the show, obviously, and the ways he finds to engage with the world are fascinating and important. But to me, it's Newman's voice -- generous and funny -- that carries the day.
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  • Paul
    January 1, 1970
    This is an interesting narrative of a writer's dealings with her autistic son. The title is slightly misleading, as only a single chapter deals with her son, Gus's, relationship with the voiced computer Siri. That chapter, however, is fascinating for the discussion it opens of how voiced computers can be enormously helpful to autistic children, in that the computers don't mind having the same question fired at them perpetually over the course of many weeks; the autistic kids speaking to the comp This is an interesting narrative of a writer's dealings with her autistic son. The title is slightly misleading, as only a single chapter deals with her son, Gus's, relationship with the voiced computer Siri. That chapter, however, is fascinating for the discussion it opens of how voiced computers can be enormously helpful to autistic children, in that the computers don't mind having the same question fired at them perpetually over the course of many weeks; the autistic kids speaking to the computer allows conversations during which the kids don't have to look at anyone's face, which is a difficult obstacle for most autistic children; and the computers have no temper, always putting a calm demeanor to every answer they give.Interesting parts of the book include the specificities of Gus's autism, since all autistic people are entirely singular in their approach to the world, and each one hears and perceives the world through a different set of perceptions, meaning that generalizations, if not impossible, are at least unlikely to be accurate. Temple Grandin understands animals; Gus talks blithely and unfailingly to residents of his building in New York City. Just reading about the details of Gus's speech and perceptions offers a great example of the singularities of autistic children.It's an enjoyable book about one child's autism and his mother's concerns about his safety in the present and his security in the future.
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  • JDK1962
    January 1, 1970
    Maybe 3.5 stars. Good, quick read about parenting a child with autism (while parenting the non-autistic twin at the same time). Some chapters are more interesting than others. The "To Siri with Love" chapter was very good, but I wished more of the book had been at that level.
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  • Julie Garner
    January 1, 1970
    I received an advanced reading copy of this book.What a delightful read, one minute laugh out loud funny, the next, had me in tears (this was in the introduction). Judith shares with us the highs and lows of living with twin boys, one of whom is on the autistic spectrum.It was fascinating to read and learn more about the spectrum and people who can be found within it. I found myself thinking of people I know who show indicators and found myself nodding to what was said about them.This puts a ver I received an advanced reading copy of this book.What a delightful read, one minute laugh out loud funny, the next, had me in tears (this was in the introduction). Judith shares with us the highs and lows of living with twin boys, one of whom is on the autistic spectrum.It was fascinating to read and learn more about the spectrum and people who can be found within it. I found myself thinking of people I know who show indicators and found myself nodding to what was said about them.This puts a very personal touch to a topic that people shy away from. It is very relatable and gets you thinking about the way you interact with your world and the people within it. Thank you Judith for a well written book that has opened my eyes a little more. I loved reading about Gus and Henry and the adventures you have had and the many more still to come.
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  • Mauzi
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this - it was well written, with emotionally touching scenes interspersed with a lot of humour. It felt real, and while not a how-to book on raising a child on the spectrum, there were numerous moments where I went, yes, we've been there. Overall a good read.
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  • Bookworm
    January 1, 1970
    Best when the author actually talks about her son. A viral column in The New York Times described how a mother (Newman) could use technology in her day to day life with her son, Gus. Gus has autism. The column was very readable (it was viral for a good week after it was published according to the author) and described how Gus could "talk" to Siri and ask Siri endless questions about his interests and according to the column it actually helped her son communicate better with humans. It was a fasc Best when the author actually talks about her son. A viral column in The New York Times described how a mother (Newman) could use technology in her day to day life with her son, Gus. Gus has autism. The column was very readable (it was viral for a good week after it was published according to the author) and described how Gus could "talk" to Siri and ask Siri endless questions about his interests and according to the column it actually helped her son communicate better with humans. It was a fascinating read (and is available online) so when I heard the author was going to write a book expanding on the column I was very excited. The book outlines life with Gus. From questions about what may have been contributing causes (which range from speculation about the 9/11 disaster site and the lingering health effects to Gus's dad's age at the time of his conception) to how she copes raising Gus and his neurotypical twin brother, Henry, her day to day life and what it's like. Some of it was quite fascinating but the book never reaches to the genuine warmth and humor of the original column. Sometimes it's really amusing and other times it's very informative and interesting (and sometimes it's all of this). But quite often the author inserts too much of herself in the book. I realize that in some ways it IS very much her book about being a mom with an autistic son (as the cover states) but I just didn't care about her as much. The book is mis-titled (the Siri-related stuff does appear but it's not the premise of the book and it also seems to rehash much of the original NYT piece) and it's a pity because I'd really love to read more about Gus's relationship to Siri now and whether he interacts with other similar devices like Alexa or reading more in that similar vein.  One thing I'd note is that the author's note is a bit uncomfortable. Newman discusses language and "people first language" vs. (for example) autistic men/women, etc. and I thought that was helpful to read before diving in. But for some reason she feels the need to bring in transgender people and pronoun usage and complains "Language needs to evolve, but not into something ugly and imprecise." I respect that I don't have her experiences nor am I transgender but I found that I had to side-eye a bit after that. There's value to the book and I'm sure a lot of people might find this of interest. Personally I found that once again a person who works in the media (newspapers in this case) doesn't always translate to being a good book writer. I could have stuck to the column. But I got this at the library and I'm glad it was available to borrow (rather than waiting for a paperback or for this to show up at a bargain bin).
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  • Andreas
    January 1, 1970
    "To Siri with Love" is an enjoyable and very informative book. I admit my knowledge of autism was quite limited and Judith Newman does a great job, including references, in explaining everything from the basics to minor details.I haven't read the article which was apparently the starting point for this book and I am not aware if the author used "Siri" and/or other machines as a reference in that article. However, I found that the book was more of expressing Newman's anxiety over the fact that sh "To Siri with Love" is an enjoyable and very informative book. I admit my knowledge of autism was quite limited and Judith Newman does a great job, including references, in explaining everything from the basics to minor details.I haven't read the article which was apparently the starting point for this book and I am not aware if the author used "Siri" and/or other machines as a reference in that article. However, I found that the book was more of expressing Newman's anxiety over the fact that she has an autistic child. Surely, you can't write a book solely on a child and his use of an iPhone and Siri, but still naming the book "To Siri with Love" is exaggerated considering that Siri is mentioned limited times and more so towards the end of the book.Newman's writing style is enjoyable at points; it seems however that there are parts where she tries a bit too hard to be witty in order to give a lighter note to the book. On the contrary, I found that I enjoyed her writing more when she genuinely expresses her worries without hiding behind humor. The chapter when the author expresses her feelings on Gus being told that he cannot be a doorman anymore was to me the best part of the book.Each chapter has opening paragraphs where the author tries to prepare us for how it applies to her autistic son; she explains in a detailed way how she faced death, how she coped with her first teenage jobs etc. While a good way to make the chapters more solid, it felt that at points the chapters were more about her than her autistic child and the use of machines. It is also easy to get judgmental when reading this book; obvious questions that were left unanswered were how was a husband that lived in a different apartment that required the use of subway to get there, provided assistance or help to his younger wife with twins let alone with an autistic child? Also, how did John help Gus in understanding the word better apart from taking him to train stations? The author does not provide any insight, yet she gives us the idea that the upbringing of twins and the weight of assisting her autistic son to understand and communicate with the rest of the world, is solely her own responsibility. It is for these reasons that I found the memoir to be a bit too self-centered.Finally, I give kudos to Judith Newman for the research she has done and the references she has provided on autism. It has been a very informative and pleasing book, albeit the somewhat misleading title.
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  • Christine
    January 1, 1970
    I laughed out loud. I cried with her. I sympathized. I worried with her. Judith Newman has the lovely ability to take you into her heart and mind and let you see and experience the heartbreak, the difficulties, the love, and the wonder of having a child on the spectrum. I read this straight through and am so thankful she wrote this book. There's nothing dry or technical about it; it is all real, down-to-earth, full of the contradictions of life, and hopeful. I am grateful I got the chance to rea I laughed out loud. I cried with her. I sympathized. I worried with her. Judith Newman has the lovely ability to take you into her heart and mind and let you see and experience the heartbreak, the difficulties, the love, and the wonder of having a child on the spectrum. I read this straight through and am so thankful she wrote this book. There's nothing dry or technical about it; it is all real, down-to-earth, full of the contradictions of life, and hopeful. I am grateful I got the chance to read it and share a part of her journey.
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  • Tatiana
    January 1, 1970
    Very touching, to the point little memoir. I laughed, cried and smiled a lot. Judith managed to choose the the tone that really resonated with me and my life with my two sons who are not twins but also a combination of a neurotypical boy and an autistic boy. She is the kind of mother who accepting and embracing and empowering her autistic son as a result. The kind of mother I strive to be.
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  • Catherine Pearlman
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this book. It's coming of age with autism. It's parenting and family dynamics and twins and marriage. It's written with honesty opening up the author to all sorts of judgement. But don't judge. Just read it. If you have a child with autism it will comfort you. If you don't, it will give you a window into the life of a parent who is managing a growing boy with autism.
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  • Veneet
    January 1, 1970
    Judith is a funny author, sarcastic funny. Lots of "read in between the lines" remarks. She is the mother of an autistic son. As a teacher I felt it was important to read this book to learn more Autism. It's an easy and exciting read!
  • Sally Koslow
    January 1, 1970
    A wickedly smart book that makes you laugh, cry and fall in love with both Gus, a boy with autism, and his dear brother, Henry. This memoir gave me a fresh understanding of what it means to raise a child "on the spectrum"--and to be a mother. Brava, Judith Newman.
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  • Eniko Rozsa
    January 1, 1970
    Heartfelt description of a family's challenges in living w autism. The more we read about the spectrum, the more we can understand how to help better. Who knew that Siri will provide just the needed companion for the detail obsessed inquiring mind.
  • Susan Keady
    January 1, 1970
    I can hardly explain how much I loved the book. All four of these people are fascinating. I had read the Siri part before and enjoyed it. Meeting the whole family was like falling in love. The tone is unusual, even when the author looks at the old "why me?" question.
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  • Jillian
    January 1, 1970
    Magnificent. Love it and promise you will too
  • Barbara
    January 1, 1970
    It was witty and it was moving. I have two in my family, son and grandson, and also have stories. Most important point of the book is that you just do what you have to do They are both wonderful
  • Lillian
    January 1, 1970
    Books very rarely make me cry. But this Mother's love story for her twin sons tugged at my heart. Witty, honest, heartwarming. I love how she loves her boys.
  • Rebecca Blair
    January 1, 1970
    Made me laugh, made me sigh, made me cry. Gave me a new appreciaton for families of people with autism.
  • Deborah Kelly
    January 1, 1970
    Hilarious and touching in equal measure!
  • Leah
    January 1, 1970
    if you love someone with autism or anything like it, you should read this heck, everyone should
  • Allison
    January 1, 1970
    Never expected to laugh out loud while reading this, but I did. Thoughtful and poignant book.
  • Steve Peifer
    January 1, 1970
    Searingly honest, laugh out loud funny and I learned so much about autism. It really is touching. And the non autistic son may be the funniest human on the planet.
  • Alan
    January 1, 1970
    "To Siri With Love" is an expansion of Judith Newman's October 17, 2014 New York Times article (still available to read at https://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/19/fa...).The article becomes the basis for one chapter in the book, but the book itself covers a much wider view of a unique family situation with married parents who are separated by a 30 year age gap and who live apart while still raising one neurotypical child named Henry and another named Gus, who is on the autism spectrum. It tells its s "To Siri With Love" is an expansion of Judith Newman's October 17, 2014 New York Times article (still available to read at https://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/19/fa...).The article becomes the basis for one chapter in the book, but the book itself covers a much wider view of a unique family situation with married parents who are separated by a 30 year age gap and who live apart while still raising one neurotypical child named Henry and another named Gus, who is on the autism spectrum. It tells its story with good-natured humour while being a strong advocate for the understanding and the future of the spectrum community, especially of the need for employment opportunities.I read the audiobook edition and the narration performance by Cris Dukehart helps puts this in 5 out of 5 territory, it is a solid 4 in any case.TriviaI wonder how many today even realize that the title is a variation on the 1959 novel To Sir, With Love which became the basis of the 1967 Sidney Poitier movie?
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