Welcome to Jeffrey McAndrew’s Website!

Welcome to Jeffrey McAndrew’s website.  On this site, you can find out more about Jeffrey’s writing, music and podcast.   Jeffrey McAndrew is the author of two books, one non-fiction and one fiction.  He was the winner of a prestigious Lakefly Writers Contest Award in 2017.  See the winning Jean Nelson Essay Award winners (including Jeffrey’s essay here. )  The Wisconsin author is also a singer/songwriter who released a music CD of original songs called “The Miracle Is Ours” in 2014.  Jeff spent 19 years in radio news, winning many Wisconsin Broadcasters Association awards for his news stories and news series.  He is also the current president of the Wordsmith’s Writers Club in North Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.  The group meets monthly at Spillman Library and has local authors and artists speak several times a year.  The club also supports and encourages writers of all styles, talent levels and age groups.   Jeff is also winner of the 2005 Oshkosh North Hall of Fame Award, an award given to successful professionals from his high school in his hometown, of which he is a 1977 graduate.   Jeff loves his work as a customer service supervisor in Wisconsin at a Fortune 500 company.    This is a site dedicated to Jeffrey’s creative life and his very important work.


Listen to Jeff’s TV interview on “Author Showcase”with Tom Cannon and Dixie Jarchow released in early 2017.



The “News and Notes” Podcast

Jeffrey is a semi-professional podcaster who comments on politics, art and music.  He has occasional guests including professors, philosophers, and musicians.  He has interviewed guests including singer/songwriter Tracy Grammer, acclaimed author Nina Sankovitch and Jay Heck of Common Cause.   You can find his podcast called “News and Notes”  at http://www.buzzsprout.com/49109 or at Stitcher.com, the free app on your I-Phone, tablet, etc.  After 19 years in broadcast journalism, Jeff is fond of saying, “You can take the man out of radio, but you cannot take the radio out of the man!”   Jeff has many interests and future guests on show will be philosophers Daniel Quinn and Daniel Dennett.

Thanks to my February 2017 guest on “News and Notes”.    Erind has the amazing ability to see common sense in every situation.  He is a man of much wisdom for the age of 35 and has very concrete plans for living the good life.  If you haven’t heard it yet, you’ll enjoy my talk immensely with Erind, who came to America 17 years ago from Albania.   I’m looking forward to having Erind on again soon.

My March 2017 podcast was with world-famous writer and philosopher Daniel Quinn.  He is author of the epic book “Ishmael”.    It’s a tale of truth about how we need to take care of the Earth before it is too late.  My friend Broch at work convinced me to research his work and have not looked back since.

Here is the latest editorial News and Notes program.  Click here!

Future guests include, Laura Love, singer/songwriter and author of the wonderful book about the Occupy Movement called “Nights in Tents”    Here is the link to the book on Amazon.  It is a great way to experience vicariously what it was like to experience the Occupy Movement on the ground level, with all of its idealism and delusion.   The OM really broke the mold and, in my opinion, proved that people could still make a statement while democracy is still alive.     Highly recommended reading.

Philosopher and PdD Professor from Tufts University Daniel Dennett has written a new book.   Here is the Amazon site to learn more.  Dennett is a fascinating thinker.  Daniel has promised me an interview in the next several months.

I’ve just ordered Nina Sankovitch’s new book(out in April) “The Lowells of Massachusetts” an historical book about an interesting family who contributed greatly to society.  Find out more about the book here.    See Nina’s powerful TED Talk here.  The talk explores her second book called “Signed, Sealed and Delivered”, her treasured work about finding an amazing chest of letters in a shed in the backyard of her New York home.    Hear an interview with Nina tentatively scheduled for this summer on “News and Notes”.


See the list of my latest podcasts here.


See the Top Four All-Time “News and Notes” Podcast Episodes here.


Here are some of my favorite podcasts:

Waking Up Podcast With Sam HarrisOn Being With Krista TippettNPR’s Fresh Air,Intelligence Squared PodcastSlate’s Political GabfestThe Writer’s AlmanacLove Plus RadioThis American LifePoetry Off The Shelf PodcastDeath, Sex and Money Podcast,Radiolab,Tara BrachBy the Way with Jeff GarlinWill’s Band of the Week,The New Yorker’s Poetry Podcast , 





My Books and Writing

Jeffrey McAndrew’s Creations: 

  • “Our Brown-Eyed Boy” book  (2003)  link for reviews and purchase: link
  • “A Conscientious Life” book (2011)  link for reviews and purchase:  link
  • Facebook Author Site:  link
  • Audiobook Facebook Page: link
  • Link to “Our Brown-Eyed Boy” Audio Book Part #1:link
  • Link to “Our Brown-Eyed Boy” Audio Book Part #2:  link

Reviews of “Our Brown-Eyed Boy”  (2003)  Audio book to be published in 2017.

on February 16, 2017
“I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book because it provided a very candid personal account of parents dealing with their beloved son who has autism. I was pleasantly surprised by the interviews with doctors and homecare providers and teachers. Everyone should read this book as it is not only for parents of children with challenges like autism, but it can help those who find themselves interacting with people or families who are dealing with such an issue to be more patient and tolerant. I also loved how resilient, loving, and candid the family has been–and still is–about their ordeal because it serves as an inspiration–and lesson–to others.”
on January 1, 2017
“I recently met Mr. McAndrew and was very surprised when I found out I had read his book several years ago. My son has autism as well and when you are raising a non-typical child, you try to read everything on the subject. You want to learn and you want to hear how other parent’s deal with this syndrome. This book describes how the McAndrew’s coped. It also has interviews with medical people. It is a book on what to expect when you don’t know what to expect from autism. I recommend hearing this story. I am also impressed by the foreword by Dr. Darold Treffert. Treffert is an expert on autism and well-known in the field of Savantism. Dr. Treffert was also a consultant on the movie ‘Rain Man.'”
on October 7, 2003
“I was deeply moved by Jeff McAndrew’s book, “Our Brown Eyed Boy” on many levels. Since my own son’s diagnosis of autism recently, I began the desperate search for material to answer the numerous questions that plague a parent’s mind. For me, the quest for knowledge is a healing one usually. What I find most difficult of all, however, is that this quest is often confusing or unfulfilled. That’s what makes Jeff’s book so unique.
“Our Brown Eyed Boy”, while informational and educational, probes the autism issues from an entirely different perspective. Rather than focusing on the issue in a clinical and inhumane fashion, Jeff tackles the issues from a parent’s perspective. He makes it clear time and again that feelings, not theories, are the important part of understanding autism. Through my own experience, I can relate to the fact that this is often the case. Many people, in the desire to seek a “cure” or coping method for autism, attempt to tackle the symptoms rather than addressing the person behind the symptoms. This theme recurs time and again throughout this personal account, and often leads to disillusionment between parents and other family members.
    The basis for Jeff’s approach to discussing autism is honesty. The tone of this book is refreshing because Jeff brings to life that which we are often afraid to say. This models precisely the type of advocate parents must be for their children with special needs. This honesty is particularly poignant when Jeff discusses what effect their son’s autism has had not only on their marriage, but on their typical son, not to mention those in the community. In one passage Jeff discusses a trip to Burger King for his sons and his wife at which another woman commented on how his wife handled the outing saying she couldn’t control her children. Jeff responds by suggesting that anyone in the community should begin by stepping, even if only for a moment, in the shoes of that parent, and see if that makes a difference in their perception. As I read this portion, I, like many other parents of autistic children I’m sure, wanted to stand up and say Amen to that.
Above all, however, Jeff points out that unconditional love for the child and for other members of the family is vital to maintaining a recognizable family life. The strength of this message is not in suggesting love, but in his understanding statements regarding how difficult that unconditional love can be in any family, not to mention those dealing with special needs. This is a powerful message for many parents who are often caught up in the crossfire between love, frustration, and guilt, and it is a message that, as astronaut Deke Slayton once said, needs to be said again and again with fierce conviction.”
Reviews of “A Conscientious Life”  (2011)

In his first book Jeffrey helped hundreds of families dealing with the autism diagnosis and provided his own personal strategies for coping, giving personal examples and doing extensive research on possible cures. In his new book “A Conscientious Life” Jeffrey submits a semi-autobiographical account of a young man(Jonathan Stark) and his life struggles including his struggles with having an autistic child(Steven). The author also explores the subjects of religion, politics, love and loss.

Here are some reviews of the latest book:

“The book weaves a compelling story line that certainly engaged me. I think the author’s imagery is colorful, and capturing.”

Dr. Darold Treffert, Author and Autism Expert, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin

“I think the dramatic arc has to do with the main character’s honesty, genuine heart and naivety confronting a cruel and unfeeling world and the challenge to incorporate that new sense of realism into his world while still retaining and even deepening the main character’s humane way of being in the world and with others around him. The razor’s edge of that confrontation would seem to be the foreshadowed and unexpected burden of living with autistic child.”

Fred Hersom, longtime friend and musician, Concord, California

“Overall, the book is an excellent read. Since it covers many parts of life, it has a very wide appeal. Those who would enjoy this book would be: those who are very politically active or spend their time keeping informed, those who have had trouble relating to their parents, those who have felt any uncertainty in their lives, those who have had to deal with the grief of their parent’s deaths, and finally, those who are the parent of a child with autism.”

James Williams, autism writer and nationally-known speaker, Chicago, Illinois

“It has such a powerful voice…most people would love to be able to write a book with your talents.”

Maeve Quinn, former Sheboygan School Board member and community leader

“The author shows a tremendous ability to capture the human condition. His work takes us from early stages in life through college years and the loss of a close family member, and beyond. We can all relate to this. His search for the central characters’ identity reminds us of our own adolescent phase in life, and how we work through it. In sum, this book does an excellent job of capturing that which we all know. The title does the book justice: It truly is ‘A Conscientious Life.””

Michael J. Tollifson
Singer/Songwriter, Sheperdstown, West Virginia

Jeff’s current projects include a book to his son Ryan called “30 Letters to Ryan” and taping an audio book for his 2003 book “Our Brown-Eyed Boy” (see link to Soundcloud audio sites on this website).  Jeff is also currently writing a novel tentatively titled “Numinous” about a minister who loses then regains his faith.   Jeff won a 2nd place award for his writing in his essay on his favorite author, the late John Updike(called “Three Questions for John Updike”), in 2017 and was presented his award  at the Lakefly Writers Conference in Oshkosh for his entry for the Jean Nelson Essay on May 12th.    Pictures from from the latest writer’s conference are here.