This book was written in the form of a Q&A with a 13 year old boy with autism. Interspersed were a few of his writings, which read much like zen k...moreThis book was written in the form of a Q&A with a 13 year old boy with autism. Interspersed were a few of his writings, which read much like zen koans, with a longer story placed at the end of the book. There were also some amazing illustrations done by Kai and Sunny, that I liked a lot. They reminded me of M.C. Escher, but softer and more expressive.
This rare glimpse into the mind of someone with autism was very enlightening. I was surprised to discover that Higashida's explanations for autistic behaviour allowed me to relate some of my own experiences with his. For instance, when he talks about how encountering familiar things and repetitively watching the same things on tv comforts him, I am reminded of how I inevitably turn to my favorite DVDs and books when I am particularly distressed (Firefly and Jane Austen are two of my most-used pacifiers). The author's pervasive feelings of unease, flashbulb memories, and being misunderstood are also familiar to me.
It seems to me that autism and anxiety are linked, and that many autistic behaviors stem more from the anxiety autism causes than from the autism itself. So much of Higashida's answers revolved around trying to find comfort - by constant movement, arranging his environment or attempting to filter incoming information. With this in mind, as well as the knowledge that there's some sort of disconnect between person and body and even parts of his mind, the severely autistic person's behaviour begins to make a lot more sense.
Most importantly, the author describes how powerful his feelings are, how aware and caring he is about the world and people around him, showing us that, at his core, an autistic person is no different from the rest of us. He has the same desire for life and learning, and the same need for love and comfort. This little book will change the way you think about people with autism, for the better.(less)
Four authors were asked to write novellas based on this sentence: “A stranger comes to town, offering to raise the townsfolk’s dearly de...more3.75/5 Overall
Four authors were asked to write novellas based on this sentence: “A stranger comes to town, offering to raise the townsfolk’s dearly departed from the dead—for a price.” Despite having the same inspiration, each of these stories is very different from the others, which makes it a great collection.
Suffer the Children - Kelley Armstrong 3.75/5 - a nice story of a small isolated village in Canada, historical period unknown. Pretty much what one's mind might conjure on its own from the inspiration sentence given, so not incredibly original, but it had some nice twists and good characters.
Pipers by Christopher Golden - 3.75/5 - I've never read anything by Golden before but I like his style, so I might check out some of his other books. Nice twist right at the end of this novella.
A Bad Season For Necromancy - David Liss - 4.5/5 - what a pleasant surprise this was. 18th century England is one of my favorite settings, and Liss has just the right style for an authentic feel. Loved it.
Alive Day - Jonathan Maberry - 2.5/5 - well now I know not to read any of Maberry's Joe Ledger series. This one was not up my alley at all, too much military. It also deviated fairly widely from the "inspiration sentence". I did enjoy the historical bits.
Well after Rapture, this series couldn't get much worse, but I was still pleasantly surprised at how much better Possession was. There was a lot going...moreWell after Rapture, this series couldn't get much worse, but I was still pleasantly surprised at how much better Possession was. There was a lot going on in this book plot-wise, which made it far more interesting. The thing with Nigel didn't seem right to me at all. How could an archangel do that, especially while in heaven? It doesn't fit with his character either. But it does set up an interesting situation for the next book. I found Sissy to be annoying at times, and not just because she's getting in the way of Jim doing his job. The love triangle between Cait, Duke and G.B. was interesting despite the unreal nature of her interactions with Duke. I was wondering how it would happen with the score having been 3-1, but Ward has managed to create a situation that ensures the game will go the full seven books. And somehow given this book both a happy and sad ending. I must give her credit for cleverness.(less)