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The first place I go in our local library is the New Book — Nonfiction section, and it is not too unusual to walk away with three or four newly-arrived books. I struggle against the greediness of this, but need generally triumphs. I am not good at containing my desire for new books!

On my last trip, as well as Soldier Girls, I also discovered Know the Night: A Memoir, by Maria Mutch. Maria’s son Gabriel was born with Down Syndrome, compounded with what they later discover is autism. She tells a story on three levels…through her isolation as a mother whose child sleeps very little at night, along side Admiral Richard Byrd’s Arctic explorations in the 1930s, and interwoven with the jazz music that her son (who no longer communicates through speech) responds to in a very visceral way.

Her writing has a very lyrical feel, and her frustration and exhaustion is instantly recognizable by any mother who has walked the midnight floor with her little one. This was a quick read, but beautifully compelling. I highly recommend it, whether or not you have or work with a special needs child.

Reading Goal for 2015: 50 books. This is 4/50.

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