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Category Archives: Unread Wanna-Reads

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

I know what you’re thinking: “Middlesex? What is this, 2001?”  And to that I have to say, don’t sass me. I don’t get around to reading all the cool books when they come out. But this one remained in the back of my mind ever since I heard the first sentence: “I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day in January 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan.” H-wah? How does that…? I don’t even…

And such was the incentive for reading this book. I heard murmurings around the interwebs that it had something to do with hermaphrodites or sex-changes or something, but generally tried to stay away from spoilers. And boy am I kinda glad that I did. But only kind of.

Calliope Stephanides was born twice. But before she tells you the exact circumstance of her births, she gives the most detailed back story since the Bible. No, not the Bible. Since…my high school U.S. History textbook. (Ask me how tall President Polk was. Go ahead.). But there is a reason for all this detail. Jeffrey Eugenides wants this story to be educational, heart-wrenching, and endearing. Eugenides can’t accomplish this by simply throwing the reader into an opening scene similar to The Hangover, where everything is in chaos and lacks explanation. If Eugenides does that, then the story becomes more about entertainment. Eugenides doesn’t want to entertain. He wants to change minds.

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WITH THE LIGHT: Raising an Autistic Child by Keiko Tobe

With the Light

WITH THE LIGHT is a 7-volume manga series I really want to read! The books follow Hikaru’s life from birth through his teenage years. His mother knows something is different about her boy, but when he is diagnosed with autism we become exposed to real-life complications, odd social situations, looming sexual awareness and everyday disruptions to family life.

The subject matter is so hard to live with, let alone share with others, that I think it is a very important series. The manga format is engaging for teens, while the subject matter is complex and personal. I think anyone working with autistic children or their siblings should get this series. It should be in doctor’s waiting rooms and high school libraries. A must read for teachers and therapists.

 

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