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Old 02-04-2018, 09:50 AM
Paul in Qatar Paul in Qatar is offline
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Recommend Me a Book....

My wife provides "support" to special-needs people. One of her clients is a profoundly autistic lady. She likes to be read to and go on drives.

My wife has been reading to her from Alice in Wonderland. The client seems to have gotten quite upset at some scenes. (Alice in a room that is shrinking was mentioned.)

So with those few clues, what books might work? I am thinking Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.


(By the way, I went to some teen magazine and was impressed by the themes now covered in YA fiction. Drug abuse, teen pregnancy and so on. We are looking for something tamer.)
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Old 02-04-2018, 10:08 AM
WordMan WordMan is offline
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Charlie?? Wouldnít the person freak at each of the bad-kid disposals??

I would think a nice serial set of stories, like Little House on the Prairie, or for adventurous stuff, maybe Nancy Drew??
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Old 02-04-2018, 10:10 AM
Paul in Qatar Paul in Qatar is offline
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Little House sounds just about perfect.
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Old 02-04-2018, 10:30 AM
Snowboarder Bo Snowboarder Bo is online now
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The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith is a series of detective books (18 of them so far); the series is named after the 1st book.

The main character is Mma Precious Ramotswe; at the start of the books she is 34 years old.

The author's writing is described as '"deceptively simple" as he "writes in a clear, uncomplicated prose, yet his work is nonetheless insightful and perceptive. His humour is dry, charming and kind-hearted, revealing an author who is keenly observant without a trace of maliciousness."'

The books have been adapted into a BBC TV series and, by the author, into a long-running radio series.

I have not read these books, but I found them by googling for "novels without conflict" and then cross-referencing for a female main character.

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 02-04-2018 at 10:31 AM.
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Old 02-04-2018, 10:55 AM
Wendell Wagner Wendell Wagner is online now
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I Googled on several relevant phrases and Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke was mentioned by two different websites.
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Old 02-04-2018, 07:30 PM
Paul in Qatar Paul in Qatar is offline
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Thank you all. I have passed your fine recommendations along. Any other ideas?
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Old 02-04-2018, 07:57 PM
Sefton Sefton is offline
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You can't do much better than the novels of P.G. Wodehouse. Always light-hearted and humorous. Guaranteed not to offend or upset.

I agree that Charlie and the Chocolate Factory might not be the best choice. It gets a little dark on occasion.
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Old 02-04-2018, 08:17 PM
Paul in Qatar Paul in Qatar is offline
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I bet the Thurber short stories would do well too.
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Old 02-04-2018, 08:51 PM
wonky wonky is offline
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Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo View Post
I have not read these books, but I found them by googling for "novels without conflict" and then cross-referencing for a female main character.
Those are murder mysteries, so I would be cautious.

They might be too young, but the Betsy-Tacy books by Maud Hart Lovelace are charming and gentle.

Along the same lines as those and the Wilder books would be Caddie Woodlawn, by Carol Ryrie Brink (though it does have one tense section). Up a Road Slowly, by Irene Hunt. I don't remember anything upsetting. Sarah, Plain and Tall, maybe too childish. The Anne of Green Gables books. If death is okay, A Gathering of Days: A New England Girl's Journal, 1830-32.

From the Mixed-Up Files... by EL Konigsburg might work.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid has interpersonal conflict but no real tension.

Huge apologies if I've forgotten aspects of these books that would make them less suitable, though I have no doubt about the Betsy-Tacy books.
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Old 02-04-2018, 09:06 PM
Left Hand of Dorkness Left Hand of Dorkness is offline
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Those are murder mysteries, so I would be cautious.
Her books-as-adults are, but Precious Ramotswe also has a series of books about her childhood. I've only read the cake one, and it's pretty fun: nothing more violent than a missing cake occurs.

Paul, can you find out some books this woman has responded positively to? I'm guessing she's nonverbal, but if she's let folks know she enjoys being read to, some titles that have gone over well would help with recommendations.
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Old 02-04-2018, 09:13 PM
wonky wonky is offline
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Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
Her books-as-adults are, but Precious Ramotswe also has a series of books about her childhood. I've only read the cake one, and it's pretty fun: nothing more violent than a missing cake occurs.
Good to know!
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Old 02-05-2018, 09:41 AM
swampspruce swampspruce is offline
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Wind in the Willows perhaps?
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  #13  
Old 02-05-2018, 03:42 PM
Dendarii Dame Dendarii Dame is offline
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The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norman Juster

The Four-Story Mistake, by Elizabeth Enright

And maybe some non-fiction? Does this woman have any specific interests?
  #14  
Old 02-05-2018, 03:45 PM
Left Hand of Dorkness Left Hand of Dorkness is offline
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The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norman Juster
If the lady doesn't care for surrealist children's lit, I'm not sure this is the world's best recommendation .

Seriously, until we know some things she HAS enjoyed, it's gonna be hard to recommend something.
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Old 02-05-2018, 03:57 PM
Grumbacher Red Grumbacher Red is offline
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I was gonna say Little Women, but you know Beth dies and everything...

So then Charlotte's Web came to mind, and I ruled that out for obvious reasons.

Maybe Stuart Little, Heidi, or Harriet the Spy, but really every good story has to have some kind of conflict or it isn't a story.

Even Laura Ingalls has to contend with Nellie Olsen and her mother.

So I am thinking Old Yeller, The Yearling, and Where the Red Fern Grows are right out?
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Old 02-05-2018, 04:12 PM
Left Hand of Dorkness Left Hand of Dorkness is offline
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Y'all may not be picking up on the right thing here. Have y'all read Alice in Wonderland recently? It's weird as hell, with bizarre violence in it (especially the scene with the baby and the pepper). This particular woman may not mind death, or she may. She may not mind violence, or she may. Getting upset over Alice in Wonderland may just mean that nightmarish weirdness isn't her cuppa.
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Old 02-05-2018, 05:38 PM
astorian astorian is offline
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Anne of Green Gables?
  #18  
Old 02-05-2018, 06:00 PM
Suburban Plankton Suburban Plankton is offline
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Perhaps James Herriot's All Creatures Great and Small? It's basically a series of short stories, so if your wife reads ahead she can skip any chapters that she thinks might not be suitable.
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Old 02-05-2018, 07:33 PM
Paul in Qatar Paul in Qatar is offline
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All Creatures Great and Small is a wonderful idea. Thank you all. My wife has stopped by once or twice to read your wonderful ideas.
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Old 02-05-2018, 08:49 PM
Dr_Paprika Dr_Paprika is offline
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Maybe Fantastic Mr Fox or a different Dahl book.

Herriot sounds like an ideal choice. Not too dark or scary. I do wonder how The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Nighttime would go down.

While there are a lot of positive childrenís stories, adult literature tends to be more dramatic and nuanced. Maybe sports stories, Harry Potter, Chicken Soup, Knights of the Round Table legends, non fiction books like Inside of a Dog?

Might depend on interests, reading level and degree of autistic spectrum?
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Old 02-05-2018, 09:05 PM
thatbpguy thatbpguy is offline
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The original Peter Pan, or, The Boy Who Never Grew Up.
  #22  
Old 02-05-2018, 10:45 PM
ITR champion ITR champion is offline
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If we're looking for a book that's completely without violence, conflict, or anything threatening or unpleasant, Winnie the Pooh would seem like an obvious choice.
  #23  
Old 02-05-2018, 11:40 PM
gkster gkster is offline
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Take a look at the 2 other E.B. White books instead of Charlotte's Web. His Stuart Little is a lot of fun (if you think that she won't be upset at the idea of a human mom giving birth to a mouse) and so is The Trumpet of the Swan.

Would the Chicken Soup for the Soul books be of interest? They contain some conflict but it's always resolved in a positive way.
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Old 02-06-2018, 12:02 AM
Guinastasia Guinastasia is online now
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Anything by Beverly Cleary, perhaps?
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  #25  
Old 02-06-2018, 01:24 AM
Periwinkle Periwinkle is offline
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How about the Mrs. Pollifax series by Dorothy Gilman? They are charming.
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Old 02-06-2018, 04:16 AM
don't ask don't ask is offline
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If she likes to be read to and go on drives I would suggest an audiobook or two wouldn't be a bad move. Many of the titles mentioned are available. For great reading Stephen Fry has done the Winnie The Pooh books, the Paddington books and some Roald Dahl. There is a great collection of Dr Seuss read by people like John Lithgow, Dustin Hoffman and Kelsey Grammer that makes for good quote-along amusement in the car.
  #27  
Old 02-06-2018, 08:06 AM
Dendarii Dame Dendarii Dame is offline
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Poetry might be a good idea. I know someone with autism who loves haiku.
  #28  
Old 02-06-2018, 08:15 AM
Dendarii Dame Dendarii Dame is offline
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Originally Posted by Paul in Qatar View Post
All Creatures Great and Small is a wonderful idea. Thank you all. My wife has stopped by once or twice to read your wonderful ideas.
There are several picture book versions of episodes in his memoirs, which might be a good idea, too, or instead.
  #29  
Old 02-06-2018, 11:04 PM
gkster gkster is offline
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If we're looking for a book that's completely without violence, conflict, or anything threatening or unpleasant, Winnie the Pooh would seem like an obvious choice.
Not really--there's the swarm of bees, Pooh stuck in Rabbit's doorway, possible rampaging heffalumps, the blustery day, the kidnapping of Roo, the flood and probably more if we look at the book.
  #30  
Old 02-07-2018, 12:45 AM
Horatio Hellpop Horatio Hellpop is offline
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I don't know if these are still commercially available, but the Danny Dunn and Henry Reed, Inc. series might be in this lady's comfort zone. So might Misty of Chincoteague.
  #31  
Old 02-08-2018, 12:32 PM
MacLir MacLir is offline
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The humorous short story collections by Patrick McManus. Most of the "scary" bits are led up to in ways that make them funny, because you know what the "scaree" doesn't. And McManus has a gift for descriptions of absurd situations that adds to the humor.
  #32  
Old 02-08-2018, 12:55 PM
wonky wonky is offline
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The humorous short story collections by Patrick McManus. Most of the "scary" bits are led up to in ways that make them funny, because you know what the "scaree" doesn't. And McManus has a gift for descriptions of absurd situations that adds to the humor.
Oh god, is he the one with the description of riding a bike downhill with a "dead" deer? I laughed like an idiot at that one.

Last edited by wonky; 02-08-2018 at 12:56 PM.
  #33  
Old 02-08-2018, 06:25 PM
MacLir MacLir is offline
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Oh god, is he the one with the description of riding a bike downhill with a "dead" deer? I laughed like an idiot at that one.
You may have conflated two stories, but yes.

He tells of hunting on a bicycle and not realizing he had only knocked out the deer until it woke up as he was carrying it home piggyback on the bike.

The downhill one was his older cousin and a friend commandeering his bike to avoid walking back to town down a long straight hill, and not giving him the chance to tell them there were no brakes.
  #34  
Old 02-08-2018, 07:18 PM
wonky wonky is offline
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You may have conflated two stories, but yes.

He tells of hunting on a bicycle and not realizing he had only knocked out the deer until it woke up as he was carrying it home piggyback on the bike.

The downhill one was his older cousin and a friend commandeering his bike to avoid walking back to town down a long straight hill, and not giving him the chance to tell them there were no brakes.
Ah! Well, conflation or no, he's really funny.
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