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BeatleBangs1964 (United States)
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Elephants of the Tsunami
Elephants of the Tsunami
by Jana Laiz
Edition: Hardcover
10 used & new from CDN$ 9.96

5.0 out of 5 stars A Genuine Gem, Sept. 15 2008
This sensitive portrayal of the 2004 tsunami is ideal for families and educators. The beautiful illustrations and the rhythm of the language give it a rolling cadence that makes readers feel as if they are being swept away by the story.

The eight elephants from Thailand who rush to save the lives of some 50 people who nearly perished during the sunami are excellent reminders of the innate desire to help those most in need. This book is an excellent nod to loving Planet Earth and gives a different perspective through the elephants. Not only is a plethora of information packed into this book, but it done so in a way that is very accessible.

Kudos to this book, author and illustrator!

Disabled Fables
Disabled Fables
by Artists with developmental disabilities
Edition: Hardcover
20 used & new from CDN$ 2.79

5.0 out of 5 stars New Attitudes, May 30 2008
This review is from: Disabled Fables (Hardcover)
These are my kind of fables! I love the different points of view. It's past time people on the spectrum and people with a myriad of challenges had a turn at bat.

As a child, I said I didn't like "stories with morals" because they were the kind "people tell when they're mad at you." This is a refreshing change of pace from the preachy, personal dig and judgmental tone that many moralistic tales take. Kudos to this book!

Dasha's Journal: A Cat Reflects on Life, Catness and Autism
Dasha's Journal: A Cat Reflects on Life, Catness and Autism
by Olga Bogdashina
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 22.95
18 used & new from CDN$ 8.61

1.0 out of 5 stars CATegorizing Autism, May 30 2008
I admit that while I did not care for this book, it is ideal for ailurophiles (cat lovers). The questionably coined "Catness" in the title irritated me - why not use some form of the word "feline" instead? The book is written with Dasha the Cat acting as narrator musing on life with a couple and their two children.

While there is no current proof that cats can or do have a place on the autism/Asperger's spectrum, the premise is interesting. Although I was not overly fond of this book, I did find it vastly preferable to All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome. I also think this book was really written more for cat lovers.

In short, I guess you could call it the Tao of Feline Parallels With Autistic Behavior in Humans. This book is a good companion to "All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome."

The Boy Who Went Away
The Boy Who Went Away
by Eli Gottlieb
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 27.65
19 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars Summer of Love, May 29 2008
This review is from: The Boy Who Went Away (Hardcover)
Jefferson Airplane's (recorded 11/66, released early 1967) "Somebody to Love" could easily be the soundtrack to this book.

Denny Graubert, the narrator and young protagonist of this story describes a unique family that would give John and Augusten Burroughs a run for their money. The story is set in a New Jersey suburb during the summer and early fall of 1967, the Sgt. Pepper/Dodge Dart Era. Denny suffers from a myriad of family angst: he has a noncommunicative father, Max who in addition to being marginally there for his family also has a drinking problem; he has a weird mother named Harta who has an extramarital affair with her older son's doctor and a brother who suffers from what sounds like a form of psychosis.

During the Dark Ages in re autism, many erroneously believed it was a mental illness with a psychotic base. That is not true. Autism and psychosis are two separate and unrelated conditions, although there are people who sadly have both. Denny's brother James, called Fad appears to be more on the psychotic side of the ledger than autistic. His behavior and verbalizations and bizarre ideations all appear to fit under the umbrella of psychosis. His doctors are equally nonplussed; Denny, a spy in the making eavesdrops on telephone calls and steams open the mail to get a fix on what is going on in his household.

Harta is odd in her own way. Loud and bombastic and effusive in her speech, she is just as pushy in her home lessons with James. She tries to impress upon him the need for good grooming; she tries to teach him stock answers to standard questions. One can sense the strident tone she uses and her fear escalates as she tells the boy that the doctors might send him away if he does not do well on the tests. State funding for his education also hangs in the balance; in those days resources for people with exceptional needs were very few and far between. She also becomes involved in an extramarital affair with one of James' doctors.

His older friend Derwent introduces him to the fine art of home espionage; when Denny spies on everyone in his household, he draws his readers into a swirling vortex of confusion and unanswered questions. James "Fad's" behavior is diagnosed with every label under the sun, with psychosis being the common denominator. He is infamous for odd comments such as wondering why when he "touches the grass" is like "eating soup in his head." Denny and Derwent spy on him and socially exploit him. They trick him into exposing himself and spray his genitals with Aqua Net; they say things that will provoke him beyond endurance.

The book is written in a flowery, poetic way that is almost lyrical at times. Readers are carried along the flow of the story by the author's use of language and imagery. Denny's resourcefulness in his home espionage efforts will certainly be appreciated by readers and the question of whether or not James will have to be sent to a residential facility is what makes the summer's biggest cliffhanger. Due to his mental illness (and no, autism is NOT a mental illness and James does NOT appear to fit anywhere on the autism spectrum), the question for readers is does James become the boy who went away because of his condition or does he go away for real?

This is well worth the read. The Brothers' Burroughs books "Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's" and "Running with Scissors: A Memoir" are good companion books to this one

Buddy the Bulldog and Bashful the Rabbit's Adventures in England
Buddy the Bulldog and Bashful the Rabbit's Adventures in England
by Nancy Paonessa
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 19.04
9 used & new from CDN$ 19.03

5.0 out of 5 stars Hey, Bulldog Takes a Magical Mystery Tour, May 20 2008
A delightful bulldog named Buddy and his friend, a very shy rabbit take a Magical Mystery Tour to England. They tour London and even better still, Liverpool, the Beatles' home town! "There are places I remember..."

This book makes me think of the 1965 John Lennon classic, "In My Life" and his 1968 classic, "Hey, Bulldog!" Beatle fans and dog lovers of all ages will enjoy this family fun. Kids will get some cultural exposure to England and the World's Greatest Band as well.

Tus Zonas Erroneas / Your Erroneous Zones
Tus Zonas Erroneas / Your Erroneous Zones
by Wayne W. Dyer
Edition: Hardcover
2 used & new from CDN$ 1,760.49

4.0 out of 5 stars I Walk the Line, May 20 2008
This book makes me think of the Johnny Cash song, "I Walk the Line" and Arlo Guthrie's "Walking the Line." I walk the line in that I feel there are parts of this book that are very helpful to other parts that I feel are far from being helpful.

The parts I didn't feel were helpful were Dr. Dyer's tone of seemingly "just getting over" problems. I have heard Dr. Dyer and on one occasion he tells an audience member who had suffered profound losses to "get over it" and maybe that person could "write a book about those losses." That did not sound very helpful and not everybody is in a position or has the ability level to become an author. However, the rest of the book has good, practical tools of empowerment.

The parts I most related to were the passages on not nodding one's head and pretending to agree with something contrary to one's integrity, beliefs or values. If there is one thing I absolutely detest, it is sycophantic behavior and faux agreement. I don't even pretend to laugh at jokes that I don't find funny!

To its credit, this book can be seen as a tool of empowerment. It outlines a list of self defeating behaviors and some ways of counteracting them. It is not a nostrum nor is it a panacea for all personal ills. It is simply a check list of areas in people's lives where challenges are likely to occur and alternate ways of meeting those challenges.

I think of John Lennon, who introduced himself on the Beatles' 1963 Christmas album, "John here, speaking with his voice!" There is more truth than humor to the Chief Beatle's quip. John never lost his own voice or integrity. He, as Dr. Dyer points out "didn't need their [world at large] approval" to recognize his own worth as a good individual. He did not have to sacrifice or compromise his identity and core values and beliefs for anyone. Dr. Dyer goes into this advanced stage of esteem development in the chapter entitled "You Don't Need Their Approval."

The title of this chapter can be misleading. It is best not to read into this the fallacy that you can bluff and pretend that you neither want nor need approval. That is not true. Everybody wants, needs and deserves approval. The main thrust of that chapter is that one need not do things ONLY for approval - let approval be the byproduct and not the impetus. It is about acceptance of one's self and decisions without making approval be the motivator and by keeping it the byproduct.

Nobody can respect a sycophant and it is doubtful that sycophants respect themselves. Sacrificing one's voice to appease those in charge or those whom the sycophant wants to win over is a price that I feel is not worth paying. The Apple Polisher, as is described in this book waits around for others to voice their opinions, only to chime in as an echo. One does not need permission to have their own opinion and I think it is very sad whenever people feel they have to take this approach to survive socially. Dr. Dyer gives an example of a person who does just that. Readers come away with no respect for the person acting as an echo and that serves as a wake up call to everyone to follow John Lennon's example by speaking in their OWN voices.

I think of people like Lech Walesa, Robert Kennedy, Pope John XXIII who did what they believed was right and in turn changed the world for the better. Many disagreed and even opposed them and what they wanted to do. They stayed true to their core values and beliefs regardless of anyone else's approval and effected great changes in the world. I think that helps to clarify the approval question.

All in all, a decent book. No doubt many readers will come away stepping over many erronenous zones.

Your Erroneous Zones
Your Erroneous Zones
by Wayne W. Dyer
Edition: Paperback
9 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars I Walk the Line, May 20 2008
This review is from: Your Erroneous Zones (Paperback)
This book makes me think of the Johnny Cash song, "I Walk the Line" and Arlo Guthrie's "Walking the Line." I walk the line in that I feel there are parts of this book that are very helpful to other parts that I feel are far from being helpful.

The parts I didn't feel were helpful were Dr. Dyer's tone of seemingly "just getting over" problems. I have heard Dr. Dyer and on one occasion he tells an audience member who had suffered profound losses to "get over it" and maybe that person could "write a book about those losses." That did not sound very helpful and not everybody is in a position or has the ability level to become an author. However, the rest of the book has good, practical tools of empowerment.

The parts I most related to were the passages on not nodding one's head and pretending to agree with something contrary to one's integrity, beliefs or values. If there is one thing I absolutely detest, it is sycophantic behavior and faux agreement. I don't even pretend to laugh at jokes that I don't find funny!

To its credit, this book can be seen as a tool of empowerment. It outlines a list of self defeating behaviors and some ways of counteracting them. It is not a nostrum nor is it a panacea for all personal ills. It is simply a check list of areas in people's lives where challenges are likely to occur and alternate ways of meeting those challenges.

I think of John Lennon, who introduced himself on the Beatles' 1963 Christmas album, "John here, speaking with his voice!" There is more truth than humor to the Chief Beatle's quip. John never lost his own voice or integrity. He, as Dr. Dyer points out "didn't need their [world at large] approval" to recognize his own worth as a good individual. He did not have to sacrifice or compromise his identity and core values and beliefs for anyone. Dr. Dyer goes into this advanced stage of esteem development in the chapter entitled "You Don't Need Their Approval."

The title of this chapter can be misleading. It is best not to read into this the fallacy that you can bluff and pretend that you neither want nor need approval. That is not true. Everybody wants, needs and deserves approval. The main thrust of that chapter is that one need not do things ONLY for approval - let approval be the byproduct and not the impetus. It is about acceptance of one's self and decisions without making approval be the motivator and by keeping it the byproduct.

Nobody can respect a sycophant and it is doubtful that sycophants respect themselves. Sacrificing one's voice to appease those in charge or those whom the sycophant wants to win over is a price that I feel is not worth paying. The Apple Polisher, as is described in this book waits around for others to voice their opinions, only to chime in as an echo. One does not need permission to have their own opinion and I think it is very sad whenever people feel they have to take this approach to survive socially. Dr. Dyer gives an example of a person who does just that. Readers come away with no respect for the person acting as an echo and that serves as a wake up call to everyone to follow John Lennon's example by speaking in their OWN voices.

I think of people like Lech Walesa, Robert Kennedy, Pope John XXIII who did what they believed was right and in turn changed the world for the better. Many disagreed and even opposed them and what they wanted to do. They stayed true to their core values and beliefs regardless of anyone else's approval and effected great changes in the world. I think that helps to clarify the approval question.

All in all, a decent book. No doubt many readers will come away stepping over many erronenous zones.

Your Erroneous Zones
Your Erroneous Zones
by Wayne Dyer
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
48 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars I Walk the Line, May 20 2008
This book makes me think of the Johnny Cash song, "I Walk the Line" and Arlo Guthrie's "Walking the Line." I walk the line in that I feel there are parts of this book that are very helpful to other parts that I feel are far from being helpful.

The parts I didn't feel were helpful were Dr. Dyer's tone of seemingly "just getting over" problems. I have heard Dr. Dyer and on one occasion he tells an audience member who had suffered profound losses to "get over it" and maybe that person could "write a book about those losses." That did not sound very helpful and not everybody is in a position or has the ability level to become an author. However, the rest of the book has good, practical tools of empowerment.

The parts I most related to were the passages on not nodding one's head and pretending to agree with something contrary to one's integrity, beliefs or values. If there is one thing I absolutely detest, it is sycophantic behavior and faux agreement. I don't even pretend to laugh at jokes that I don't find funny!

To its credit, this book can be seen as a tool of empowerment. It outlines a list of self defeating behaviors and some ways of counteracting them. It is not a nostrum nor is it a panacea for all personal ills. It is simply a check list of areas in people's lives where challenges are likely to occur and alternate ways of meeting those challenges.

I think of John Lennon, who introduced himself on the Beatles' 1963 Christmas album, "John here, speaking with his voice!" There is more truth than humor to the Chief Beatle's quip. John never lost his own voice or integrity. He, as Dr. Dyer points out "didn't need their [world at large] approval" to recognize his own worth as a good individual. He did not have to sacrifice or compromise his identity and core values and beliefs for anyone. Dr. Dyer goes into this advanced stage of esteem development in the chapter entitled "You Don't Need Their Approval."

The title of this chapter can be misleading. It is best not to read into this the fallacy that you can bluff and pretend that you neither want nor need approval. That is not true. Everybody wants, needs and deserves approval. The main thrust of that chapter is that one need not do things ONLY for approval - let approval be the byproduct and not the impetus. It is about acceptance of one's self and decisions without making approval be the motivator and by keeping it the byproduct.

Nobody can respect a sycophant and it is doubtful that sycophants respect themselves. Sacrificing one's voice to appease those in charge or those whom the sycophant wants to win over is a price that I feel is not worth paying. The Apple Polisher, as is described in this book waits around for others to voice their opinions, only to chime in as an echo. One does not need permission to have their own opinion and I think it is very sad whenever people feel they have to take this approach to survive socially. Dr. Dyer gives an example of a person who does just that. Readers come away with no respect for the person acting as an echo and that serves as a wake up call to everyone to follow John Lennon's example by speaking in their OWN voices.

I think of people like Lech Walesa, Robert Kennedy, Pope John XXIII who did what they believed was right and in turn changed the world for the better. Many disagreed and even opposed them and what they wanted to do. They stayed true to their core values and beliefs regardless of anyone else's approval and effected great changes in the world. I think that helps to clarify the approval question.

All in all, a decent book. No doubt many readers will come away stepping over many erronenous zones.

Embracing Autism: Connecting and Communicating with Children in the Autism Spectrum
Embracing Autism: Connecting and Communicating with Children in the Autism Spectrum
by Robert Parish
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 26.99
24 used & new from CDN$ 0.23

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Spectrum Perspectives, May 12 2008
This is an excellent book that includes interviews with parents, educators and clinicians about people with autism. The book opens with a parent/clinician who interviews a couple whose grown son had severe autism and was unable to care for himself. In a sad twist of irony, that same interviewer found herself answering similar questions about son Jacob, who has severe autism.

I like the way each personal account describes the behavior of the person with autism and how that behavior impacts on the lives of all whom they encounter. My favorite part was the chapter on Shawn Lyons, an extraordinarily bright young man with Asperger's Syndrome, the spectrum parter to autism.

Parts of Shawn's story were funny. I loved the very moving part of his impromptu joining a church production of the Nativity. Instead of being turned away and ordered back to his seat, the cast members allowed him to come on stage. When told that the chorus was going to sing, Shawn somehow got everyone, audience included to participate. That was my favorite part.

The only thing I didn't like was the word "perseverate," which is a damning and damaging word. "Excessive repetition," or "special interests" are far preferable and certainly speak to tolerance whereas that other word simply does not. The use of that word cost this book one star. Luckily Shawn dodged the bullet of just how very harmful that word really is. I am sorry it was ever applied to him in any way, shape and form, especially during his social skills lessons. It is a word best permanently retired.

On the other hand, Shawn's aides came up with some innovative ideas to help him learn how to "read" other people. On one occasion when Shawn was sharing his special interest in botany, his aide gave an exaggerated yawn and politely told Shawn that her brain could not hold as much information as his could about botany and that whenever one's eyes glaze over or they look away, fidget or yawn, those are good indicators that he has belabored his topic. Shawn was then able to apply that concept in other areas.

The title of this book speaks to tolerance. The idea of embracing this sensori-neurological condition is very much one of acceptance, one of recognizing the gifts that people on the spectrum have to offer.

Schuyler's Monster: A Father's Journey with His Wordless Daughter
Schuyler's Monster: A Father's Journey with His Wordless Daughter
by Robert Rummel-Hudson
Edition: Hardcover
28 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Within You, Without You, April 24 2008
"We were talking, about all the space between us." -- George Harrison, 1967

"The shortest distance between two or more minds is that of one's real voice." -- BeatleBangs1964

Robert Rummel-Hudson chronicles his life alongside that of his daughter, Schuyler. Schuyler, who was born on December 21, 1999 was the high note to a new and happier point in Rummel-Hudson's life. At that time, Rummel-Hudson had recently remarried after a marriage he described as being devoid of passion to a "perfectly nice" woman who was not his soulmate. From all outward appearances, his marriage to Julie appeared to be on rock solid footing.

Readers learn a lot about Rummel-Hudson. One of 3 siblings, he unflinchingly describes his mercurial relationships with his siblings and their late father. He takes a forgiving tone when he said that his immediate family "used the tools" they had at the time, but the end results were the fault of no one. I like that.

Rummel-Hudson, unlike Julie wanted to know his baby's gender. While Julie was convinced they'd have a son whom she'd name Jasper, Rummel-Hudson never divulged that he had the medical staff tell him Schuyler's gender from the sonogram. As a concession to Julie, Rummel-Hudson buys a large toy bear whom they call Jasper in anticipation of their first child.

The name Schuyler was chosen for a daughter as a nod to her Dutch heritage. As she grew into her first year and not into speech, her name became even more meaningful. She was the unexpected trip to Holland when the travelers were planning to go to Italy. She was the unexpected source of treasures when another type of treasures were expected.

I thought it was so adorable that Schuyler had an aversion for stuffed toys during her infancy. She had an adverse reaction to Jasper the Bear and refused to have anything to do with it. I also thought it was quite adorable when Schulyer "coldly" tossed a doll back into a Christmas gift box her first Christmas. In time, she appeases her father by playing with Jasper. Even then, she carries the toy in an inverted position, never seemingly sure quite how he wants her to play with it. Since she didn't like stuffed toys, it would have been a better idea not to get them for her and to put the ones she had away instead of leaving a few out. I didn't like the way the stuffed toys were seemingly pushed on her. She was very adamant in how she felt.

Schuyler's absense of speech and speech development became alarming over the course of her first year. Tests failed to yield any diagnosis or treatment plan that seemed viable. By 2003, Schuyler got to do some traveling - a move from her native Michigan to New Haven Connecticut and a later move to central Texas. It was in 2003 that Schuyler was diagnosed with the congenital condition of polymicrogyria, which Rummel-Hudson calls her "monster." A monster is a fear of the unknown; often, an amorphous or grotesquely shaped oddity that inspires fear. The "monster" in this case was a rare condition that robbed Schuyler of her ability to speak.

One cannot help but feel cheered by Rummel-Hudson's love for and final acceptance of his child. Julie mourns Schuyler not having siblings as she fears any subsequent child will have polymicrogyria. In addition to the delayed speech, Schuyler shows some developmental lags as well. She was nearly 5 before she mastered toileting and other self-care skills.

Schuyler appears to accept herself as she is and her peers in the various schools she attended appear to enjoy her as well. One setback Schuyler encountered was when her speech teacher refused to learn sign language so that Schuyler would have this method of communication. Another setback Schuyler encountered was when her school refused to buy a device called the "Big Box of Words." The device involved typing on its screen, which then activated the "voice" that the words trigger. Rummel-Hudson's faithful network of bloggers on his website band together and raise money for the Big Box.

Schuyler and family find their niche in Plano, Texas which is in the Dallas area. Schuyler is described as thriving in the Plano school district and even has fun with her Big Box. Schuyler's humor develops as she jokes and plays with expressions and things she found funny. She fills the metaphysical space between herself and others with her newfound voice! She liked making monster noises with it and even unleashed anger at another child who mocked her on a playground. At last, Schuyler found her own voice!

Having one's own voice is a large part of one's identity. Being able to communicate by whatever means necessary one's true thoughts and feelings and reactions instead of merely echoing the party sentiment is very empowering. It also engenders respect and helps one to forge their own identity.

"Within You, Without You," a 1967 masterpiece by George Harrison is the soundtrack that underscores this book. Schuyler's story is about acceptance and paternal love. "When you've seen beyond yourself, then you may find that peace of mind is waiting there. " -- George Harrison, 1967

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