Category Archives: Book Beginnings

Book Beginnings and Friday 56 – Optimists Die First (May 26)

For this week’s Friday meme combo I have chosen a book I recently received from LibraryThing for review, Optimists Die First by Susan Nielsen. I also received her previous book for review and enjoyed that one, so I’m looking forward to getting into this one soon. GoodReads has the following description:

optimists die firstLife ahead: Proceed with caution.

Sixteen-year-old Petula De Wilde is anything but wild. A family tragedy has made her shut herself off from the world. Once a crafting fiend with a happy life, Petula now sees danger in everything, from airplanes to ground beef.

The worst part of her week is her comically lame mandatory art therapy class. She has nothing in common with this small band of teenage misfits, except that they all carry their own burden of guilt.

When Jacob joins their ranks, he seems so normal and confident. Petula wants nothing to do with him, or his prosthetic arm. But when they’re forced to collaborate on a unique school project, she slowly opens up, and he inspires her to face her fears.

Until a hidden truth threatens to derail everything.

Now for this week’s excerpts:

bb-buttonBook Beginnings is hosted by Gilion at Rose City Reader, who invites anyone to join in, saying: ‘Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.  Please remember to include the title of the book and the author. Leave a link to your post.  If you don’t have a blog, but want to participate, please leave a comment with your Book Beginning.’

The beginning of Optimists Die First:

The first time I saw the Bionic Man I was covered in sparkles.

I don’t remember the first time I saw the Bionic Man, but I’m pretty sure I wasn’t covered in sparkles!

friday-562.jpgThe Friday 56 is a book meme hosted by Freda’s Voice and the rules are as follows:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.

It’s that simple.

From page 56 of Optimists Die First:

I marched over and grabbed the scrapbook from his lap. It was open to my most recent page.

Woman Dies from Minor Cut on Finger

A mother of two contracted necrotizing fasciitis, more commonly known as flesh-eating disease, after receiving a minor paper cut at work…

I’m not sure what kind of scrapbook we are talking about here, but I look forward to finding out soon. I hope to make a start on it this weekend anyway.

Book Beginnings and Friday 56 – You Will Not Have My Hate (May 19)

This week I have chosen You Will Not Have My Hate by Antoine Leiris as the book for my weekly meme combo. It’s a short memoir by a French journalist whose wife was among those murdered in the Bataclan Theatre attack in Paris in 2015. I borrowed it from our local library yesterday and it looks like it will be a moving, but inspirational, read. GoodReads has the following description:

you will not have my hateOn 13 November 2015, Antoine Leiris’s wife, Hélène, was killed, along with 88 other people at the Bataclan Theatre in Paris, when three men armed with guns and suicide bombs opened fire on the unsuspecting crowd at a rock concert. Three days later, Leiris, a young journalist, wrote an open letter on Facebook addressed to his wife’s killers. Leiris refused to be cowed or to let his 17-month-old son’s life be defined by Hélène’s murder. He refused to let the killers have their way. ‘For as long as he lives, this little boy will insult you with his happiness and freedom,’ he wrote. Instantly, that short Facebook post caught fire. It was shared over two hundred thousand times and was reported on all over the world. In his beautiful and moving defiance of the terrorists who had killed his wife, Leiris became an international hero to everyone searching desperately for a way to deal with the horror of the attacks.

You Will Not Have My Hate is an extraordinary and heartbreaking memoir about how Leiris, and his baby son Melvil, endured after Hélène’s murder. With courage, moral acuity, and absolute emotional honesty, Leiris finds a way to answer the question, how can I go on? This is the rare and unforgettable testimony of a survivor, and a universal message of hope and resilience. Leiris is guiding star for us all in perilous times.

Now for this week’s excerpts:

bb-buttonBook Beginnings is hosted by Gilion at Rose City Reader, who invites anyone to join in, saying: ‘Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.  Please remember to include the title of the book and the author. Leave a link to your post.  If you don’t have a blog, but want to participate, please leave a comment with your Book Beginning.’

The beginning of You Will Not Have My Hate:

Melvil fell asleep without a murmur, as he usually does when his Mama isn’t there. He knows that with Papa, the lullabies are not as soft and the hugs not as warm, so he doesn’t expect too much.

This opening doesn’t give too much away, but I think with the events that are just going to happen in Melvil’s life, he’s going to have to settle for Papa’s lullabies from now on.

friday-562.jpgThe Friday 56 is a book meme hosted by Freda’s Voice and the rules are as follows:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.

It’s that simple.

Page 56 of You Will Not Have My Hate is blank, so I’ll go to the next page where there is text:

The doorbell rings.

I am not expecting anyone.

I’m not sure if this is as ominous as it sounds, but it can be disconcerting when someone turns up unexpectedly. We have to go out of town tomorrow, so maybe I’ll take this little book with me, because I’ll probably have plenty of time to read on the way (if I’m not driving!).

Book Beginnings and Friday 56 – Finding God in the Waves (May 12)

For my Friday meme combo this week I’ve chosen Finding God in the Waves: How I Lost My Faith and Found It Again Through Science by Mike McHargue. This one has been on my TBR since it came out last year. I got it for my birthday last month and am now able to get it started. Goodreads has the following description:

finding god in the wavesFrom the host of the popular podcasts, The Liturgists Podcastand Ask Science Mike, a story of having faith, losing it, and finding it again through science—revealing how the latest in neuroscience, physics, and biology help us understand God, faith, and ourselves.

What do you do when God dies? It’s a question facing millions today, as science reveals a Universe that’s self-creating, as American culture departs from Christian social norms, and the idea of God begins to seem implausible at best and barbaric at worst.

Mike McHargue understands the pain of unraveling belief. In Finding God in the Waves, Mike tells the story of how his Evangelical faith dissolved into atheism as he studied the Bible, a crisis that threatened his life, his friendships, and even his marriage. Years later, Mike was standing on the shores of the Pacific Ocean when a bewildering, seemingly mystical moment motivated him to take another look. But this time, it wasn’t theology or scripture that led him back to God—it was science.

In Finding God in the Waves, “Science Mike” draws on his personal experience to tell the unlikely story of how science led him back to faith. Among other revelations, we learn what brain scans reveal about what happens when we pray; how fundamentalism affects the psyche; and how God is revealed not only in scripture, but in the night sky, in subatomic particles, and in us.

For the faithful and skeptic alike, Finding God in the Waves is a winsome, lucid, page-turning read about belonging, life’s biggest questions, and the hope of knowing God in an age of science.

bb-buttonBook Beginnings is hosted by Gilion at Rose City Reader, who invites anyone to join in, saying: ‘Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.  Please remember to include the title of the book and the author. Leave a link to your post.  If you don’t have a blog, but want to participate, please leave a comment with your Book Beginning.’

The beginning of Finding God in the Waves:

She looks at me with haunted eyes.

That’s a very ominous beginning and not what I expected at all!

friday-562.jpgThe Friday 56 is a book meme hosted by Freda’s Voice and the rules are as follows:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.

It’s that simple.

From page 56 of Finding God in the Waves:

Ancient people believed that our heart and bowels were the seat of our thoughts and emotions, but today we understand that our thoughts and feelings originate and transpire in our brains.

I wonder if when people look back at our generation in thousands of years time if they will think that some of our ideas were a bit backwards in their thinking. I’m looking forward to getting this one started and hopefully that will happen soon.

Book Beginnings and Friday 56 – Wenjack (May 5)

After reading Secret Path last weekend I figured it was time to read Joseph Boyden’s Wenjack. It’s one I received from my family at Christmas and I’ve been meaning to get to it for a while now. I’ve also chosen it for this week’s Friday meme combo, my first of these posts for a few months. Goodreads has the following description:

wenjackAn Ojibwe boy runs away from a North Ontario Indian School, not realizing just how far away home is. Along the way he’s followed by Manitous, spirits of the forest who comment on his plight, cajoling, taunting, and ultimately offering him a type of comfort on his difficult journey back to the place he was so brutally removed from.

Written by Scotiabank Giller Prize-winning author Joseph Boyden and beautifully illustrated by acclaimed artist Kent Monkman, Wenjack is a powerful and poignant look into the world of a residential school runaway trying to find his way home.

Now for this week’s excerpts:

bb-buttonBook Beginnings is hosted by Gilion at Rose City Reader, who invites anyone to join in, saying: ‘Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.  Please remember to include the title of the book and the author. Leave a link to your post.  If you don’t have a blog, but want to participate, please leave a comment with your Book Beginning.’

The beginning of Wenjack:

SUCKER FISH

Gimik-wenden-ina? Do you remember? I remember, me.

I’m not really sure what this beginning is about, but it’s an interesting one for sure.

friday-562.jpgThe Friday 56 is a book meme hosted by Freda’s Voice and the rules are as follows:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.

It’s that simple.

From page 56 of Wenjack:

We ride him to the edge of the woods to a bed of dried leaves where he drops to his knees and begins to cry so hard his shoulders shake us from him. He buries his face into the leaves so that the girl and her mother won’t hear.

This is from a chapter with the title WOOD TICK, so I’m guessing that this show of extreme grief or upset is being told from the perspective of a wood tick. This is not a big book, so if I get the time I should be able to get through it in one sitting. I think tomorrow is supposed to be lousy weather-wise, so I should have the opportunity to do so.

Book Beginnings and Friday 56 – Stardust (Feb 17)

stardustI’ve been meaning to read Stardust by Neil Gaiman for ages now, so I’m finally getting round to it. Because of this, I’ve chosen it for this week’s Friday meme combo. I’m not sure why I’ve left it for so long, because I usually enjoy reading Gaiman. Well, at least I’m rectifying this now.

GoodReads has the following description:

Tristran Thorn will do anything to win the cold heart of beautiful Victoria Forester—even fetch her the star they watch fall from the night sky. But to do so, he must enter the unexplored lands on the other side of the ancient wall that gives their tiny village its name. Beyond that stone barrier, Tristran learns, lies Faerie . . . and the most exhilarating adventure of the young man’s life.

A tale of the dark and miraculous—a quest for true love and the utterly impossible.

Now for this week’s excerpts:

bb-buttonBook Beginnings is hosted by Gilion at Rose City Reader, who invites anyone to join in, saying: ‘Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.  Please remember to include the title of the book and the author. Leave a link to your post.  If you don’t have a blog, but want to participate, please leave a comment with your Book Beginning.’

The beginning of Stardust:

There was once a young man who wished to gain his Heart’s Desire.

And while that is, as beginnings go, not entirely novel (for every tale about every young man there ever was or will be could start in a similar manner) there was much about this young man and what happened to him that was unusual, although even he never knew the whole of it.

I think this is a great beginning and I know I’m going to enjoy this one!

friday-562.jpgThe Friday 56 is a book meme hosted by Freda’s Voice and the rules are as follows:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.

It’s that simple.

From page 56 of Stardust:

By the time they walked through the village and arrived at the gap in the wall, Tristran  had imagined every possibility, except the one which occurred.

I’ve no idea what this is about, but hopefully I’ll find out soon. I might get some of this read over the weekend as Monday is a holiday and I don’t think we have much planned for the day. We’ll see what happens.

 

 

Book Beginnings and Friday 56 -The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency (Feb 3)

For this week’s meme combo I’m choosing a book I’ve had on my shelf unread for too long – The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith. I’m going to read it towards one of my reading challenges and it may inspire me to read the other books from this series that are also on my shelf. The following description comes from the back cover:

ladies detective agency.jpgThis first novel in Alexander McCall Smith’s widely acclaimed The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series tells the story of the delightfully cunning and enormously engaging Precious Ramotswe, who is drawn to her profession to “help people with problems in their lives.” Immediately upon setting up shop in a small storefront in Gaborone, she is hired to track down a missing husband, uncover a con man, and follow a wayward daughter. But the case that tugs at her heart, and lands her in danger, is a missing eleven-year-old boy, who may have been snatched by witchdoctors.

Now for this week’s excerpts:

bb-buttonBook Beginnings is hosted by Gilion at Rose City Reader, who invites anyone to join in, saying: ‘Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.  Please remember to include the title of the book and the author. Leave a link to your post.  If you don’t have a blog, but want to participate, please leave a comment with your Book Beginning.’

The beginning of The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency:

Mma Ramotswe had a detective agency in Africa, at the foot of Kgale Hill. These were its assets: a tiny white van, two desks, two chairs, a telephone, and an old typewriter. Then there was a teapot, in which Mma Ramotswe – the only lady detective in Botswana – brewed redbush tea. And three mugs – one for herself, one for her secretary, and one for the client. What else does a detective agency really need?

I like this beginning. I don’t know what else a detective agency would need, but there’s nothing wrong with a good cup of redbush tea.

friday-562.jpgThe Friday 56 is a book meme hosted by Freda’s Voice and the rules are as follows:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.

It’s that simple.

From page 56 of The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency:

She watched him take the trumpet from its case and fit the mouthpiece. She watched as he raised it to his lips and then, so suddenly, from that tiny cup of metal against his flesh, the sound would burst out like a glorious, brilliant knife dividing the air. And the little room would reverberate and the flies, jolted out of their torpor, would buzz round and round as if riding the swirling notes.

I have no idea what this is about, but I really like how descriptive this is. I’ll try and get started on this book this weekend, as I’ll probably be stuck inside anyway recovering from a flu kind of thing that I’ve been struggling all week to shake off.

Book Beginnings and Friday 56 – Hidden Figures (Jan 27)

This is the first of these posts I’ve written in 2017 and the book I have chosen is Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly. I just picked up this book a couple of days ago as I would like to read it before seeing the recent movie of the same name which was inspired by this book. The movie looks good, but I usually prefer to read the book first.

Goodreads has the following description:

hidden-figuresBefore John Glenn orbited the Earth or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of professionals worked as “Human Computers,” calculating the flight paths that would enable these historic achievements. Among these were a coterie of bright, talented African-American women. Segregated from their white counterparts by Jim Crow laws, these “colored computers,” as they were known, used slide rules, adding machines, and pencil and paper to support America’s fledgling aeronautics industry, and helped write the equations that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space.

Drawing on the oral histories of scores of these “computers,” personal recollections, interviews with NASA executives and engineers, archival documents, correspondence, and reporting from the era, Hidden Figures recalls America’s greatest adventure and NASA’s groundbreaking successes through the experiences of five spunky, courageous, intelligent, determined, and patriotic women: Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, Christine Darden, and Gloria Champine.

Moving from World War II through NASA’s golden age, touching on the civil rights era, the Space Race, the Cold War, and the women’s rights movement, Hidden Figures interweaves a rich history of scientific achievement and technological innovation with the intimate stories of five women whose work forever changed the world—and whose lives show how out of one of America’s most painful histories came one of its proudest moments.

Now for this week’s excerpts:

bb-buttonBook Beginnings is hosted by Gilion at Rose City Reader, who invites anyone to join in, saying: ‘Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.  Please remember to include the title of the book and the author. Leave a link to your post.  If you don’t have a blog, but want to participate, please leave a comment with your Book Beginning.’

The beginning of Hidden Figures:

Melvin Butler, the personnel officer at Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory, had a problem, the scope and nature of which was made plain in a May 1943 telegram to the civil service’s chief of field operations.

This is kind of a curious beginning more than anything else. I wonder what the problem is. Hopefully I’ll find out soon.

friday-562.jpgThe Friday 56 is a book meme hosted by Freda’s Voice and the rules are as follows:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.

It’s that simple.

From page 56 of Hidden Figures:

Of course, while moving the air over the object was similar to flying through the air, it wasn’t identical, so one of the first concepts Dorothy had to master was the Reynolds number, a bit of mathematical jujitsu that measured how closely the performance of a wind tunnel came to mimicking actual flight.

I’ve never had to do any mathematical jujitsu before, but hopefully it worked our for Dorothy. I’m hoping to start this book soon and may get the opportunity next week as I’ll be away for a few days. I’ll need to remember to take it with me anyway.

Book Beginnings and Friday 56 – Daddy Lenin and Other Stories (Nov 25)

daddy-leninI compiled my annual Christmas Book Wishlist last weekend so that my family could make a start on their Christmas shopping with a few ideas of where to start. As I was putting the list together I was going through my books looking for the ones I received last year for Christmas and came across one I still haven’t read yet – Daddy Lenin and Other Stories by Guy Vanderhaeghe. I decided that with Christmas only a month away now I should try and get this one read before I see which ones I get this year. I also decided I should use it as my way back into participating in these Friday memes that I haven’t done for quite a few months now.

The following description comes from inside the front cover:

Bestselling author Guy Vanderhaeghe’s new book of fiction is both timely and timeless and showcases his supreme talent as a storyteller and poignant observer of the human condition.

Among these nine addictive and resonant stories: A teenage boy breaks out of the strict confines of his family, his bid for independence leads him in over his head. He learns about life in short order and there is no turning back. An actor’s penchant for hiding behind a role, on and off stage, is tested to the limits and what he comes to discover finally places him face to face with the truth. With his mother hospitalized for a nervous condition and his father away on long work stints, a boy is sent to another family for his meals. His gradually building relationship with a teenage daughter who has been left handicapped from Polio opens unexpected doors to the world. In the powerful title story, a middle-aged man remeets his former adviser at university, a charismatic and domineering professor dubbed Daddy Lenin. As their tense reunion progresses, secrets from the past painfully revise remembered events and threaten to topple the scaffolding of a marriage.

With Daddy Lenin and Other Stories, award-winning author Guy Vanderhaeghe returns once again to the form that launched his stellar literary career. Here is a grand master writing at the height of his powers.

Now for this week’s excerpts:

bb-buttonBook Beginnings is hosted by Gilion at Rose City Reader, who invites anyone to join in, saying: ‘Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.  Please remember to include the title of the book and the author. Leave a link to your post.  If you don’t have a blog, but want to participate, please leave a comment with your Book Beginning.’

The beginning of Daddy Lenin (from the story The Jimi Hendrix Experience):

It’s the summer of 1970 and I’ve only got one lovely ambition. I want to have been born in Seattle, to be black, to be Jimi Hendrix. I want a blast of Afro ablaze in a bank of stage lights, to own a corona of genius.

I like this beginning, but it’s quite the ambition!

friday-562.jpgThe Friday 56 is a book meme hosted by Freda’s Voice and the rules are as follows:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.

It’s that simple.

From page 56 of Daddy Lenin (from the story Koenig & Company):

As soon as the food hit their dishes all the Koenigs, Mr. Koenig included, scattered for the living room at top speed. I was the last to be served, and once I had been doled out my share of charcoal and grease, the enormous Delphine immediately fell to it, forking up her supper straight from the pans.

I’m not sure what’s going on here, but it doesn’t seem like all that pleasant an experience.

I’m looking forward to reading this book soon. I’ve read most of Vanderhaeghe’so the collections of short stories and really enjoyed them. I’m hoping this one will be just as good as the others.

Book Beginnings and Friday 56 – Brooklyn (August 5)

For this week’s Friday meme combo I have chosen Colm Toibin’s Brooklyn. I have seen the movie a couple of times and enjoyed it, but I really wanted to read the book as well. I bought it a couple of months ago, so it’s time to get it read. GoodReads has the following description:

brooklyn.jpgEilis Lacey has come of age in small-town Ireland in the hard years following World War Two. When an Irish priest from Brooklyn offers to sponsor Eilis in America, she decides she must go, leaving her fragile mother and her charismatic sister behind.

Eilis finds work in a department store on Fulton Street, and when she least expects it, finds love. Tony, who loves the Dodgers and his big Italian family, slowly wins her over with patient charm. But just as Eilis begins to fall in love, devastating news from Ireland threatens the promise of her future.

Now for this week’s excerpts:

bb-buttonBook Beginnings is hosted by Gilion at Rose City Reader, who invites anyone to join in, saying: ‘Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.  Please remember to include the title of the book and the author. Leave a link to your post.  If you don’t have a blog, but want to participate, please leave a comment with your Book Beginning.’

The beginning of Brooklyn:

Eilis Lacey, sitting at the window of the upstairs living room in the house on Friary Street noticed her sister walking briskly from work. She watched Rose crossing the street from sunlight into shade, carrying the new leather handbag that she had bought in Clerys in Dublin in the sale.

There’s not much happening here yet, but I guess it’s just setting the scene for what will follow.

friday-562.jpgThe Friday 56 is a book meme hosted by Freda’s Voice and the rules are as follows:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.

It’s that simple.

From page 56 of Brooklyn:

On Sundays, Mrs. Kehoe had a rule that she did not appear and it was up to the girls to cook, making sure to leave no mess behind them. Mrs. Kehoe went to early mass on Sundays, she told Eilis, and then had friends around in the evening for an old-fashioned and serious poker game. She made the poker game, Eilis noted in a letter home, sound as though it was another form of Sunday duty that she performed only because it was in the rules.

I’d like to think that I can get into this book over the weekend, but time will tell. I am looking forward to reading it, though, because I want to see how the movie measured up to it.

Book Beginnings and Friday 56 – The Reason I Jump (April 22)

I haven’t done one of these Friday posts for a long time, so I thought it was time to get started again. The book I have chosen is one I’ve been looking forward to read for quite a while now – The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida. I just got the book this week, but I’m hoping to get into it over the weekend. The subject is one that is quite close to my heart, so for this reason, as well as others, I want to get it read soon. GoodReads has the following description:

reason i jumpA story never before told and a memoir to help change our understanding of the world around us, 13-year-old Naoki Higashida’s astonishing, empathetic book takes us into the mind of a boy with severe autism. With an introduction by David Mitchell, author of the global phenomenon, Cloud Atlas, and translated by his wife, KA Yoshida.
     Naoki Higashida was only a middle-schooler when he began to write The Reason I Jump. Autistic and with very low verbal fluency, Naoki used an alphabet grid to painstakingly spell out his answers to the questions he imagines others most often wonder about him: why do you talk so loud? Is it true you hate being touched? Would you like to be normal? The result is an inspiring, attitude-transforming book that will be embraced by anyone interested in understanding their fellow human beings, and by parents, caregivers, teachers, and friends of autistic children. Naoki examines issues as diverse and complex as self-harm, perceptions of time and beauty, and the challenges of communication, and in doing so, discredits the popular belief that autistic people are anti-social loners who lack empathy.
This book is mesmerizing proof that inside an autistic body is a mind as subtle, curious, and caring as anyone else’s.

Now for this week’s excerpts:

BB.ButtonBook Beginnings is hosted by Gilion at Rose City Reader, who invites anyone to join in, saying: ‘Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.  Please remember to include the title of the book and the author. Leave a link to your post.  If you don’t have a blog, but want to participate, please leave a comment with your Book Beginning.’

The beginning of The Reason I Jump:

When I was small, I didn’t even know that I was a kid with special needs. How did I find out? By other people telling me that I was different from everyone else, and that this was a problem.

Unfortunately, different is often seen as a problem, when the reality is that it is not necessarily so. Sometimes the lack of acceptance by others, because of perceived differences, is more of a problem. I think I’ll probably enjoy reading this one.

Friday 56The Friday 56 is a book meme hosted by Freda’s Voice and the rules are as follows:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.

It’s that simple.

From page 56 of The Reason I Jump:

As for people who don’t show any signs of pain, my guess is that they’re unable to keep those signs on display. I think it’s very difficult for you to properly get your head around just how hard it is for us to express what we’re feeling. For us, dealing with the pain by treating it as if it’s already gone is actually easier than letting other people know we are in pain.

Normal people think we’re highly dependent and can’t live without ongoing support, but in fact there are times when we are stoic heroes.

There is so much that we don’t understand about autism, so it’ll be good to get this one started this weekend. I’m on holiday, so I should have some time for this.

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