On my bookshelf

Today I finished Green Lantern: The Greatest Stories Ever Told. It is hard to brush through a glimpse of ten Green Lantern stories out of the thousands out there. All of the stories are compelling and obviously stood out in their own right. They become progressively more complicated as love interests and friends are introduced and old Green Lanterns retire and new ones replace them.

Comic series become very complicated over time and I don’t entirely understand how the different Green Lanterns have come and gone. These stories have everything that we love about comic books a character with a special power who has one major weakness — yellow, wood — and wins at the last minute through some stroke of cleverness.

I also found Boy Alone by Karl Taro Greenfeld and have added it to the pile of books that I am reading. It is Greenfeld’s memoir of growing up with an Autistic brother. I have only read the first couple of chapters so far and I don’t know if I will end up giving Boy Alone very much of my undivided attention — I have about ten other books on the go right now as well.

Greenfeld is a gifted writer and Boy Alone carries the same personal and vivid voice that his other books do. The subject matter is much heavier. It is not about the life of a care free 20-something in the Asian boom of the ’90s. This is a glimpse of his parents worry and trying to make the best of a situation they didn’t expect — first having an unplanned child and then finding out they are autistic — in an era (1960s) when Autism was little understood.

This is not Noah’s story, instead it is about Karl’s experience and that of his parents. Boy Alone is a bitter sweet read but it is carried by Greenfeld’s gift as a writer. Greenfeld’s books should make themselves at home on everyone’s bookshelves. They can be a little hard to find and are either expensive or unavailable new. Used bookstores — Fair’s Fair in the Calgary area — are often the best place to look. It is well worth the hunt. His books are hard to put down and are required reading for all book lovers.

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