I knew I would love this book before I even glanced at the first page because of a few reasons. Let's make a list, shall we?
1.) My son was diagnosedI knew I would love this book before I even glanced at the first page because of a few reasons. Let's make a list, shall we?
1.) My son was diagnosed with autism almost 6 years ago. I've always wanted to be able to get inside his head and find out what he was actually thinking and seeing.
2.) My son also jumps. A lot.
3.) Written by a 13-year-old boy from Japan, this book was translated by David Mitchell. Anyone who has had any form of contact with me knows they will hear how Mitchell is my all-time favorite [living] author and that the man can do no wrong.
4.) The cover is really cool.
This was a quick but very touching read. (I got choked up just reading the introduction.) Using an alphabet grid and pointing to different letters, Higashida was able to communicate replies to a series of common questions about people with autism. Not only was it really informative, but Higashida had written a few short stories that were placed throughout the book. Reading those totally debunked the crazy theory that people with autism don't understand emotions or can't feel any empathy.
I'm so glad I got to read this. I couldn't put it down and finished it in one sitting. I love being able to gain any amount of understanding about autism, and this book definitely provided that.
There is no way I could end up not loving this. A book about old letters, books, and friendships made because of them? Sign me up. Really, it was beauThere is no way I could end up not loving this. A book about old letters, books, and friendships made because of them? Sign me up. Really, it was beautiful. The edition I own on the other hand, not so much:
Not the best book porn, I admit--especially when reading about the beautiful antique editions Helene Hanff was receiving from the Marks & Co. bookstore. I ordered this from Better World Books (I'm a sucker for their free shipping) and ended up with this 1974 library edition. Although, as I read this last night, the horrible cover and the library markings became kind of endearing to me.
It made me wonder: was this wonderful book only checked out one time?? Did it sit on the library shelf for years unnoticed until it was discarded? Or did the student at St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland, Ohio love it so much that they just couldn't return it by May 12, 1989? I'm hoping it was the latter (sorry, library people).
This was a very quick read that could be done in one sitting, but this sweet story is one of the best things I've read all year. I highly recommend it--in any edition you can find....more
How is it that I've never read any Nick Hornby before? I feel like I've been missing out, and now want to thrust this book at everyone I know and [toHow is it that I've never read any Nick Hornby before? I feel like I've been missing out, and now want to thrust this book at everyone I know and [to steal a quote from the book itself] declare, "This is me!
I always thought Hornby would be too dick-lit for my tastes; I did see the film versions of High Fidelity and About a Boy, but even those were just okay for me. When I saw Kim was reading this, and realized it was a book about books, (those are my weakness), I thought I'd give it a shot. I loved it. Loved it--even though I now have even more books on my to-read list (thanks a lot, Nick). I was amazed at how funny and smart Hornby's writing was, and finished it in one sitting.
Just a couple weeks ago, a great review of this book popped up on my update feed, (Ah, the magic of Goodreads) so when I spotted it at a booksale I weJust a couple weeks ago, a great review of this book popped up on my update feed, (Ah, the magic of Goodreads) so when I spotted it at a booksale I went to last week for a dollar, I grabbed it quick. If you haven't read Jon's review yet, check it out:
Thanks to a bout of insomnia last night, I finished this and loved it. I feel like shoving this book onto some family and friends who think I'm much too obsessed with all things book. All of these essays show why bibliophiles love their book collection so passionately; our books become a part of who we are. There are funny parts all throughout the book, and the end of the last essay nearly brought tears to my eyes.
I've always loved books, and admit that since joining Goodreads my obsession has increased a thousand fold. My GR addiction has reached the point where if this site was suddenly not available, I don't know what I would do. Not having a whole lot of friends in "real-life" who are book-lovers like myself, makes this website and books like this almost a necessity. They give you the sense that it's okay to constantly be re-organizing your bookshelf, kind of panicking inside when someone asks to borrow a book, or even spotting annoying grammar and spelling mistakes everywhere you go.
This was a very entertaining read and a must-have for the crazily obsessed bookworm. Read it, Goodreaders. ...more