Saturday, 24 July 2010

In the Lake of the Woods

This was the book I chose to read on the plane. I had about six other books in my carry-on, for the interminable stop-over in London. Of course, I did next to no reading and so finished this on the second flight when my carry-on was stuck in one of the overheads out of my reach and everyone that might have been helpful was fast asleep.

This was an engaging, if rather confusing read. It jumps all over in time and perspective and the exhaustion resulting from transcontinental travel no doubt dulled my wits (why yes, I have been at the Austen again, however could you tell?). This is a mystery story without a conclusion. A woman disappears. There is a wealth of evidence (both circumstantial and otherwise), but the woman is never found. Theories abound. What really happened? Your guess is as good as mine.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Thinking in Pictures: My Life with Autism

Temple Grandin is just about the most famous autistic person on the planet. This book talks about the way she sees the world and how that affects her life. She talks about the ways in which being autistic has helped her and hindered her. Most importantly, she talks about autism as a way of being, rather than a disease to be feared and cured. Autism cannot be cured and, in fact, does not need to be cured, a point that Grandin makes perfectly clear. Her life may be very different and not something that neurotypicals (non-autistics) would wish for, but it suits her. It makes her happy. She lives a satisfying, fulfilling life.

Anyone with an interest in the autism spectrum or the ways in which the mind can work should read this book.

Atypical: Life with Asperger's in 20 1/3 Chapters

Our whirlwind trip of the States is almost over. We begin the trip home tomorrow and presumably I will resume my blogging activities.

Jesse Saperstein was born in the same year as me. Around the same time, Asperger's Syndrome (AS) became recognised as a legitimate form of high-functioning autism. Previously, people with AS slipped through the cracks and were generally considered to have personality disorders. Usually, the individual was too high-functioning to be considered disabled, but too disabled to be considered 'normal'. Jesse was diagnosed at the age of fourteen. This book tells the story of his struggles growing up, the changes a diagnosis caused him and the obstacles he still faces.

Highly recommended.