Thursday, August 31, 2006

My Turn at the Book Meme

I've been tagged by Abfh. Let's see...

One book that changed my life

I'd have to go with a book I don't have anymore and don't remember the title of. It was a BASIC programming manual of some kind I read and referenced many times when I was a young teenager. That was many years before Intel-based PCs became widely available. I remember distinctly that the BASIC software available in the 16K-RAM computer I played with at the time was made by Microsoft, though – likely coded by Bill Gates himself.

One book that you've read more than once

Hmm... I'm not sure I've ever done that.

One book you'd want on a desert island

Obviously, something such as "SAS Survival Handbook: How to Survive in the Wild, in Any Climate, on Land or at Sea".

One book that made you laugh

There are many. One that comes to mind is "Seinlanguage" by Jerry Seinfeld. It's basically a compilation of all his usual observational comedy, but it was a funny read.

One book that made you cry


One book you wish you had written

I'll name several. "A Brief History of Time" by Stephen Hawking. "Cosmos" by Carl Sagan. And "The Selfish Gene" by Richard Dawkins.

One book you wish had never been written

I can think of at least a couple. I'll say "Evidence of Harm", not because it hurts a political stance, but because it's a waste of good paper and people's time.

One book you're currently reading

I'm in between books, but a couple weeks ago I finished reading two: "Through the Eyes of Aliens" by Jasmine O'Neill; and "Teaching At Home: A New Approach To Tutoring Children With Autism And Asperger Syndrome" by Olga Holland.

Jasmine O'Neill's book is great and I strongly recommend it. She's not afraid to explain why she experiences autism as a beautiful thing, despite her impairments. That's the kind of thing that should give pause to anyone who compares autism to cancer or AIDS. Jasmine also offers practical advise to parents.

Olga Holland's book is not bad, and offers practical advise, but she clearly does see autism as a disorder that must be defeated and autistic children as defective in some way. Traits of her child she perceives as negative are considered part of his autism; traits perceived as positive are not considered part of his autism. She uses a variation of the "social stories" teaching method throughout the book. In the end she tells how her son tests in the top percentile in some standardized test and enters a gifted program at school. (While being in the top percentile at something is statistically as abnormal as being in the lowest percentile, it is interesting that it is not perceived as such culturally). The author also spends much of her time discussing how horrible communism was in the Soviet Union – which I found to be irrelevant and uninteresting political commentary.

One book you've been meaning to read

"Thinking in Pictures" by Temple Grandin.

People to tag

I'm tagging Not Mercury, Dad of Cameron and Kevin Leitch.


  1. Thanks Brutha,
    This should be fun but it may take a day or two to think about it. I know I may have to pass on the crying question too. That takes a lot.

  2. Um Gottes Willen, et tu Josephus have these Sunday supplement and celeb mag memes got you too,

    Book that changed my life, well that will be the book that makes me a millionaire wont it!

  3. I remember BASIC and those little computers from Radio Shack. They were fun. :)

  4. I like how you prefaced the tag with "sorry" in the e-mail. :) I should be able to put something together for this weekend.

    Speaking of BASIC, your's and ABFH's mention bring back fond memories of my first Trash-80. Type "load" and then push the play button - C-60 cassette tape media and all. I remeber being so excited to upgrade to 5 1/4" floppy about a year later. It was a $500 upgrade at the time.