Monday, June 29, 2015

#collaboreads: NYT Bestseller

Immediately when I saw information about the #collaboreads link up, I knew I wanted to be in.  Rachel and Amber choose a theme each month, but it is up to YOU to choose the book you'd like to read that fits that theme.  For the inaugural link up, they suggested we all select a New York Times Bestseller.  I quickly scanned the list and found a book that I'd been interested for some time - Look Me In The Eye by John Elder Robinson.  Here's my R.E.A.D.S. review....
Riveting.
What part of the book could you NOT get enough of? 
Elements.
How did you relate to/care for the characters?
What's your thought on the plot line and twists and turns? 
Associate.
What other books are like this one?
If none, did it remind you of a particular TV or movie with it's themes and characters? Does it serendipitous-ly line-up with things going on in your life or the news right now? 
Design.
You know you judged this book by the cover.
What did you think of it? How did it relate to the contents of the novel? And the font and layout of the pages? 
Stars. How many out of five do you give this book?
Would you recommend this book to a friend?  - See more at: http://www.mrthomasandme.com/search/label/collaboreads#sthash.ATq0oHwc.dpuf
Riveting.
What part of the book could you NOT get enough of? 
Elements.
How did you relate to/care for the characters?
What's your thought on the plot line and twists and turns? 
Associate.
What other books are like this one?
If none, did it remind you of a particular TV or movie with it's themes and characters? Does it serendipitous-ly line-up with things going on in your life or the news right now? 
Design.
You know you judged this book by the cover.
What did you think of it? How did it relate to the contents of the novel? And the font and layout of the pages? 
Stars. How many out of five do you give this book?
Would you recommend this book to a friend?  - See more at: http://www.mrthomasandme.com/search/label/collaboreads#sthash.ATq0oHwc.dpuf
Riveting.
What part of the book could you NOT get enough of? 
Elements.
How did you relate to/care for the characters?
What's your thought on the plot line and twists and turns? 
Associate.
What other books are like this one?
If none, did it remind you of a particular TV or movie with it's themes and characters? Does it serendipitous-ly line-up with things going on in your life or the news right now? 
Design.
You know you judged this book by the cover.
What did you think of it? How did it relate to the contents of the novel? And the font and layout of the pages? 
Stars. How many out of five do you give this book?
Would you recommend this book to a friend?  - See more at: http://www.mrthomasandme.com/search/label/collaboreads#sthash.ATq0oHwc.d


Riveting.
What part of the book could you NOT get enough of?

As a lover of the autobiography genre, many aspects of this book had me hooked.  So often while reading, I found myself wanting to ask questions and delve even deeper into the life of John Elder.  The most interesting segments of the book revolved around his early childhood days, the subsequent time he spent as an engineer for KISS, and later in the corporate world.  It was incredible the detail John Elder used to describe much of that abusive and horrible childhood, the wild and crazy times with the band, and his corporate experiences.  Each story was written in such a simple and matter of fact manner though.  Having muted emotions is a common trait of those with Asperger's so it totally made sense, but it proved absolutely fascinating to see the world through his eyes.

Elements.
How did you relate to/care for the characters?
What's your thought on the plot line and twists and turns?

My goal in reading this book was to gain a better understanding of the Aspergian world.  John Elder provides a bird's eye view and really takes you on a journey through his lifetime.  The stories he tells played out in my mind vividly.  While I couldn't relate directly to many of the issues he faced (abusive parents, being ostracized at school to the point of eventually dropping out, not having the social and/or emotional ability to connect with others properly), the book made it possible to see the life of those affected by Asperger's and/or Autism in a much different light.  My sister-in-law as well as two cousins register at varying levels on the autistic spectrum so my main goal in reading this book was to simply learn more about the lifestyle and adaptations that might be possible for someone with Asperger's.

Associate.
What other books are like this one?
If none, did it remind you of a particular TV or movie with it's themes and characters?
Does it serendipitous-ly line-up with things going on in your life or the news right now? 

A friend gave me a copy of this book a few years ago, but I hadn't ever managed to delve into it fully.  However, recently, my book club decided to read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon as well as attend the broadway show with the same title.  It was both a phenomenal read and show.  After the production, I was determined to pick this book back up.  And, as I mentioned, it seemed like a good time to further educate myself on the topic.  Additionally, my husband and I are watching Parenthood...and loving it so far!!  The character Max on that show is also challenged with Asperger's Syndrome.  We have been spending a lot of time discussing his behavior in the various scenes that address his issues and the dynamic it creates in that family.

Design.
You know you judged this book by the cover. What did you think of it? 
How did it relate to the contents of the novel? And the font and layout of the pages? 

The cover of the book is perfect.  I had more than one person comment or take a second look at the book in my hand as I was reading when I had a few minutes here and there - in the airport, at the doctor's office, before meeting up with friends.  The face with its eyes shut VERY tightly on the cover reminded me SO much of the main character in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time.  I kept seeing images from the broadway show each time I looked at the cover.  In regard to the actual layout of the book inside, I was a big fan of the smaller chapters full of stories and commentary from each portion of John Elder's life.

Stars.
How many out of five do you give this book?
Would you recommend this book to a friend?
 


I give this book 3.5 stars out of 5 stars.  It's not that I didn't thoroughly enjoy it, but it just wasn't the easiest read.  It is well-written, but quite dry and to the point in many places.  There are a few spots where I would have liked things to move along a little more quickly.  However, I would absolutely recommend it to someone that has an interest in Asperger's or Autism.  It was quite educational while also managing to be entertaining and captivating.  Not exactly a beach read, but worthwhile just the same.

Andrea :)

4 comments:

  1. I have seen this book all over, and I almost picked it up, especially when I saw that Augusten Burroughs wrote the foreword. I'll have to check it out, it sounds very interesting and I'd love to learn more about Asperger's also. Thanks for sharing, friend! xo

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    Replies
    1. Augusten Burroughs is the authors brother!

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  2. I read this book last year, partly because I knew that he was Burroughs' brother so wanted to see if they had similar takes on their childhood. I agree that it wasn't an out of this park read but it was decent. I tend to find memoirs good but I can't say that they are ever really at the top of my list.

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  3. PARENTHOOOOOOD. OH my gosh, I realize that I want to read this and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon because of the way they remind me of Max. I'm thankful to know that you just LOVED the Curious Incident because I have really, REALLY been wanting to read it and now I can prioritize between the two (and the bazillion books on my TBR list).

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