A few months back, I joined my first Discord group. It was a nice pleasure because I am meeting autistics from all over the world. Another advantage of joining this specific group under a chanel for “Yo Samdy Sam” has a couple book groups-one group for comment on amazing books and one book club. It was in this book club that we as a group decided as our first book we were going to read Odd Girl Out by Laura James.
The book is the story of a late diagnosis autistic women, her attempt to catalog her life experiences and how they fit into this new world that has opened up to her. I was glad we had decided to read this book as it was shorter than the other book we were considering and it also had audible options along with digital and paperback versions–something someone with ADHD/autistic struggles in executive functioning truly appreciate.
*********WARNING: SPOILER ALERTS************
This feels like a “duh” in my mind when you’re reading a book review, but not always. So what comes hereafter may be a spoiler alert. There are also some mild trigger warnings from the events in Mrs James’ life including divorce, discussions of addiction and a lot of emotional topics personally set me off some nights.
So let’s dive into the book. It is divided into 16 chapters, mostly in chronological order from August 2015 when the author first reads her evaluation about her autism diagnosis while on a getaway vacation she is taking before her children go to university. The book follows the events that transpire in her life interjecting a couple sections throughout random chapters where “flashbacks’ appear mid-thought. She is a writer for the Telegraph and even writes about her “coming out” as autistic in one of her articles. At first, this thru me off. But listening to the book on tape a little helped me out a lot listening to it while taking a long walk or when driving in the car. But then I realized I wanted to highlight almost every line on every page. So I did have to spend a lot of time sitting with the audio. But it was worth every minute. And yes, my poo paperback is covered his markings. Several markings.
Besides the book being completely relatable to my autistic life experience — the author is excellent at writing out her thought process. This is extremely helpful because I feel as an autistic person– sometimes people don’t hear how we are thinking. And (surprise!) we do NOT think like everyone else. I know personally I have a great problem with people putting words and thoughts in my head and this is typical of most autistics. So to hear words from another autistic in the words (like word for word phrases) was hugely supportive. Page 99–i highlighted half the page. Same true with pg 164-65. Here’s one form page 154 “If my interests were people-focused, they would be too painful to deal with. People are unpredictable. They say one thing and mean another. Autistic honest has a purity. Ask us a question and we will tell you the truth. One hundred per cent. Undiluted by squeamishness. Unadulterated.” I tell people this all the time–that my questions are true inquiries and I am several times too honest for life.
Another discussion I enjoyed was at the end of Chapter 6–about finding information and being happy with this as an autistic. Laura James talks about Sarah Wild (a director of a school made for autistic brains) and how she believes that Autistic happiness is different and that neurotypical people need to stop judging autistics by their neurotypical standards. “Meeting experts is pure heaven for someone autistic. The access I am given to someone’s knowledge never fails to make me happy. Even more so if they happen to know something about one of my current intense interests.” (pg 111-12)
So I would arguably say if you have an autistic family, friend or you yourself are autistic–please PLEASE read this book. It’s worth it. To hear a voice is huge.
I know I haven’t done a book review in a while. I was trying to read more books, then I had kid, then I read some books, then kid got older and now its more like i’ll get to an occasional book. I have also been trying to read more on experiences of those similar to mine, including Autistic women, autistic parenting, women with PCOS and getting into other academia/sciences.
So for the new year, I thought I would make a list of books i’ve been looking at:
GOOD READS Books readings:
- A Song of Ice and Fire, Leather-Cloth Boxes Set by George R.R. Martin–yes, Shawn bought me the set for Christmas one year and I am trying to get thru these books. I love them, I know the book is thick reading. but I will make it. I have the same opinion about LOTR… I will be getting through it eventually
- Introducing Linguistics: A graphic Guide — I wanted to get an “intro” to this topic—but its still thick reading and fun reading the graphic.
- The Life Cycle Completed (Extended Version) : Review by Erik H Erikson–therapist recommended for understanding my PTSD from childhood
- Everyday Aspergers: A Journey on the Autism Spectrum by Samantha Craft– SUCH A GOOD BOOK and I enjoy reading its style. no major chapters.
- Red State Christians: Understanding the Voters Who Elected Donald Trump by Angela Denker– I know the author. I love her writing and research she did for this book. Give it a chance-no matter what side of the politics you’re on. Preface: its not what you think.
- Desperate: hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe: By Sarah Mae — church young child book group. Haven’t been in a while because we live fair away. But i enjoy the author
- Thriving with Adult ADHD: Skills to Strengthen Executivei Functioning by Phil Boissiere MFT– searched for some place to start. It’s not bad. Any recommendations on Adult ADHD are appreciated
- The Call of the Wild by Jack London — yep, saw movie, wanna read the book again
Others Books I would like to Read:
The Electricity of Every living Thing: A Woman’s Walk in the Wild to Find her way Home by Katherine May — youTuber book recommend. The YouTuber is autistic and I think the author is too.
Girls Who Code by Reshma Saujani– book from Shawn. I was/am looking into learning coding. I just have limited time so its a tinkering project right now.
Essentials of Psychology by Cherry/Mattiuzzi– one of those book you see on the shelf at Barnes & Nobles in the bargain section when you’re looking for quick books on subject topics that related to the novel you’re writing. It’s informative and got me interested in other subtopics of psychology.
Sensational Kids by Lucy Jane Miller–this is a recommendation from several with sensory processing kiddos and autistic kiddos. It’s the science behind another book I have already read so i’m just preparing for it right now.
An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Col. Chris Hadfield–because a Canadian astronaut is awesome!
The Gospel According to Disney by Pinsky– because how can I not own this? And it was a gift and I want to read it
I also have a couple friends who write/are professional writers who give me things that are not published or for sharing. Alongside the articles I read daily from wordpress.
What books are you looking at for 2020? Comment below or check out my “Want to Read” section on Goodreads or friend me over there !
Keep on reading!
So my reading skills haven’t been the the best this year but at least I am reading. I’m happy I’m at least up to 9/25
To help me get a little focused… I decided to go thru a daily devotion. I was watching a friend’s posts (instagram or facebook) that seem to provide a good little amount of encouragement to get through the daily grind of the day. So I decided to inquire about the messages and located this book:
So the book starts off really well. Acknowledges people are going to be in different places and that the book is not going to provide all the answers. I like this. I didn’t need someone to solve my problems. I just needed a little focus at looking in the biblical text and connecting with God. Also, the daily chapters are short, usually with 1-2 biblical verses and 1 take away or action you can do.
However, as the book progresses, stuff gets very cliché. The chapters starts to lay out things in a very organized manner that starts to sound more like the formula that the author didn’t want to provide in the beginning.
So while it is a helpful concise book, it is not everything I had hoped. Still useful-just not super amazing.
Recommended? — Eh, sure, why not. Average.
As a goal and personal dream — I decided to dive into some really thick reading this year. Mostly because I have wanted to read this books for a while being a fantasy fan in addition to looking at them sit on my bookshelves in sorrow.
So I picked up Game of Thrones and the beginnings of Lord of The Rings. Luckily the LOTR series can really start off with The Hobbit which I will read first since its been a few years since I read it last (high school.)
So game of thrones is really REALLY THICK reading. I’m only half way thru. But it’s good. Is like the show and more details. Like details of their religion, layout of the houses and who is related to who and whatnot.
8/25 (read a little flyer book on language disorders that goodreads counted-sure, Why Not, right?
So originally after I finished “Trudy” in the Mail Order Brides series, I was going to move onto the next book “Lina” by the same author Debra Holland. However, in starting that book, I felt like I was missing half the story. So i decided to take a risk and read the other author in the book series not knowing anything about her or her writing style. And I am glad I did — finishing my 8th book Mail Order Brides of the West: Evieby Caroline Fyffe.
The book was difficult for me to start. Not because it is a bad book — but because I was already mid-world in another authors series and to come into the same world from another speakers perspective and move towards a different direction throws me off immensely. See me trying to reading Star Wars.
But i kept going because I was searching to satisfy my curiosity from the first book about the character Evie. She is gentle, delicate but also hard working and determined. She takes on an adventure without knowledge of the future or what to expect. And the tale of her meeting Chance, her husband, is comical and serious all at the same time.
I am glad I kept going with the mail order brides of the West series. The stories are unique, the characters are full of life approaching a new world and the authors take care is describing their worlds that are deep in American frontier history.