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Sometimes I’m thankful for all extra restrictions on air travel that got imposed after 9/11. Not the ones involving personal searches, taking your shoes off, or putting all your liquids in plastic bags, but I do like having to arrive at the airport 2 hours ahead of any scheduled trip.

The reason is that I’m a sucker for airport book stores. Almost every time I go on a trip, I bring home more books than I packed. Sometimes surprisingly, as in the case of “Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger’s” by John Elder Robison, I even have to fight with my children to get the book back.

I don’t know what I expected, but I certainly never expected this book to be so entertaining. Neither did I expect that it would have such broad appeal for both my 14 yr old and me.

But it does.

Robison, like his brother (Augusten Burroughs, who wrote “Running with Scissors: A Memoir), is an amazing story teller with an amazing story to tell. He also has a charming way of describing his life that’s both endearing and unusual. In fact, it’s so unusual and interesting that my 14 yr old has started to use some of his phrases in her conversations.

Now, apparently, she’s off hanging out with her “kid pack.”

Anyway, this book meets all my criteria for a great airplane book. These are:

  • It must be interesting.
  • I must be able to remember the story through several distracting moments, like take off, without making me read pages and pages over again to remember where I left off.

I would read it even if I weren’t on a plane with nothing else in my luggage.

Robison has led a very unusual and interesting life (he designed smoking guitars for KISS! and toys for Milton Bradley) and it’s enlightening and humbling to see it through his eyes.

If you’re interested in how other people think, I suspect you’ll enjoy it too.

UPDATE: Jan recommended Robison’s blog, I’m adding a link here since I liked the photos: jerobison.blogspot.com.Robison has an interesting way of using color in his images of cars.


  1. #1 Jan Anderson
    October 19, 2008

    Great review of a great book. you and your daughter have captured the essence of this work – recognizing the beauty of the diverse thinking process. Would love to hear more of your responses and very curious on the other phrases your daughter has adopted. As John would say – “woof!”

    if you interested in more from John, check out his blog at jerobison.blogspot.com

    Curious to know what part of the country you are in. I hope you will get a chance to see him in a public speaking engagement, he is amazing at these events.


  2. #2 Sandra Porter
    October 20, 2008

    Thanks Jan,

    I’ll definitely check out his blog. I’m in Seattle, so I don’t know if he visits this coast often, but now that I’m more attuned, I’ll certainly look for the speaking events, thanks.

  3. #3 G Vartan
    October 20, 2008

    good recommendation. picked it up over the weekend. highly entertaining and informative 🙂

    unit 4.5.1

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