Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's
John Elder Robison
Ever since he was young, John Robison longed to connect with other people, but by the time he was a teenager, his odd habits—an inclination to blurt out non sequiturs, avoid eye contact, dismantle radios, and dig five-foot holes (and stick his younger brother, Augusten Burroughs, in them)—had earned him the label “social deviant.” It was not until he was forty that he was diagnosed with a form of autism called Asperger’s syndrome. That understanding transformed the way he saw himself—and the world. A born storyteller, Robison has written a moving, darkly funny memoir about a life that has taken him from developing exploding guitars for KISS to building a family of his own. It’s a strange, sly, indelible account—sometimes alien yet always deeply human.
I picked this up because I'm writing a research paper for English class on Autistic Spectrum Disorder, and I decided to break the mold of 21st century high school students and ACTUALLY USE A BOOK in my research.
I'm really glad I did.
Besides providing me with all the information I needed on how ASD affects the lives of those with it, this autobiography was entertaining as many a novel I've read. John is clearly a talented writer with much life experience to share- and I've seen he has. Him and his brother have written many memoirs about their crazy lives and how they overcame the challenges in their way. I hope I'll one day get my hands on them.
As a kid, I hated reading nonfiction. Now, while it's still second to fantasy, I can't get enough. There are REAL people out there who have done the most amazing things. If nothing else, I'm inspired by the strength and perseverance of humanity. So please, do yourself a favor and read this book. I can also recommend Laughing at My Nightmare by Shane Burcaw. (link to my review).
Life is going to be super hectic for the next month (at least) so expect sporadic blogging, if at all. (Yes, more sporadic than the current once a week ;)) I'll still be returning comments though! What are you reading?