What I Mean When I Say I’m Autistic

by Annie Kotowicz

When I read We’re Not Broken I felt like I understood more about autism as a public health issue, but not necessarily what it means to be autistic. It turns out this book is what I was looking for.

Through the lens of science and her own experience, Annie Kotowicz describes what it means to be autistic.

Autistic people process information differently, because our brains are hyper-connected in some places and less connected in others.

I miss what others catch, and I catch what others miss.

What I Mean When I Say I’m Autistic, pages 15 and 19.

I don’t want to tell anyone what to read (yes I do), but if you have an autistic person in your family, workplace, or circle or friends (you do), I think this book will be really helpful. Maybe that person would even be willing to read it first and circle the parts that especially apply to them, and cross out the parts that don’t, as Kotowicz suggests.

Gallant

by V. E. Schwab

A dark, lovely book about a lonely orphan who sees ghouls everywhere and returns home to find Death waiting for her. And somehow, serendipitously, I happened to pick it up two days before Halloween.

Dr. No

by Percival Everett

Generally I enjoy it when an author feels like they are smirking at their own cleverness from behind the page. Reading such books comes with a healthy dose of satisfying I-see-what-you-did-there-ness.

Dr. No seems like it wants to be such a book, except it didn’t quite work for me.

I still enjoyed the book, and if you like James Bond (or Austin Powers) and geek out over obscure mathematical and philosophical concepts, you might, too.

Project Hail Mary

by Andy Weir

I’ve been playing Starfield lately, which feels a bit like prep for reading a NASAcore adventure about saving the Earth from a sun-space parasite and first contact with a plausible non-carbon-based alien species. You don’t have to play Starfield, though. Project Hail Mary is a pageturner either way.

Nona the Ninth

by Tamsyn Muir

I adore this series, but I don’t know if I liked this book. I don’t think I could actually explain what happened. It was all very vague. Maybe I just need to go back and re-read the first two books for clues.

I wouldn’t start with this book, anyway, but I’m still looking forward to the next one.

Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead

by Olga Tokarczuk

Lovely book. I mean, it won the Nobel prize for literature. You don’t need me to tell you it’s good. But it is. And it’s not good the way some literature is good, meaning thick and dense and hard to read. It’s good the way good stories are good.

I think maybe the most magical thing about the book is the way the field of view starts small—just two characters and a corpse in a frozen winter village—and grows steadily as the book progresses, taking on scenery, characters, relationships, and more.

It’s also a unique take on murder mystery. I didn’t read the jacket so I didn’t even realize I was reading a murder mystery until two thirds of the way through the book. Not that I minded.

Anyway it’s really good and you should read it.

The Order of Time

by Carlo Rovelli

A book that fascinates, confuses, and reassures in uneven measures (reassurance coming late, and perhaps in smaller measures that I would like). But a lovely little book that provides a window into the fundamental nature of our world for those of us who aren’t current on the scientific and philosophical investigations into the nature of time.

I’m still not sure if I should be surprised that the memory of reading it came after the act of reading it, instead of before. Maybe I’d better read it again.