Scared to Read …

I know  there is going to be many of you that read this and think me silly … but its the truth and one that I need to face up to. I am scred of … a book. Well 2 books actually. I own them (one of them in 2 formats – Traditional book and unabridged audiobook) and numerous times I have started reading them but I find it really hard to get beyond the first few chapters.  Isn’t that incredibly juvenile to be afraid of a book. But the one thought of the “pen being mightier than the sword” also comes to mind.

What are these terrifying books?

When Horse Became Saw By Anthony Macris

When Anthony Macris’ son was diagnosed with autism he and his partner Kathy had two choices: do what they were told – and could afford – or do what they thought best. This is the tragic joyful instructive story of how they confronted the condition that changed their lives. Before the onset of autism Alex was a vibrant healthy little boy Anthony and Kathy the happiest of parents. Afterwards Alex was struck mute barely able to recognise them. From then on all that mattered was finding the right treatment. But how to do this for a disorder with no known cause and no cure? Eventually Anthony and Kathy decided to take control of their son’s therapy themselves turning every aspect of their lives around in the process. It took a long time but the radiance did return to Alex’s face. By then he was a completely different person and so were his parents. When Horse Became Saw is an extraordinary account of Alex’s regression and his family’s search for answers an invaluable guide through the obstacles and decisions faced by anyone in their situation. It beautifully paints the emotional world of a father who finds himself in the strange country of autism – and something of a stranger in his own country whose government refused to fund the therapy his son so desperately needed. Above all it enriches our understanding of those who are profoundly different yet have so much to give

House Rules – A Novel by Jodi Picoult

When a teenage boy with Asperger’s is arrested for murder, his family face a daunting task to prove his innocence. ‘Picoult writes with unassuming brilliance.’ – Stephen King. ‘Picoult has become a master – almost a clairvoyant – at targeting hot issues and writing highly readable page-turners about them … It is impossible not to be held spellbound by the way she forces us to think, hard, about right and wrong.’ – Washington Post. Jacob Hunt is a teenage boy with Asperger’s syndrome. He’s hopeless at reading social cues or expressing himself to others, and like many children with Asperger’s, Jacob has an obsessive focus on one subject – in his case, forensic analysis. He’s always showing up at crime scenes, thanks to the police scanner he keeps in his room, and telling the cops what they need to do – and he’s usually right. But then one day his tutor is found dead, and the police come to question him. Reluctance to make eye contact, stimulatory tics and twitches, inappropriate gestures, all these can look a lot like guilt. Suddenly, Jacob finds himself accused of murder. House Rules looks at what it means to be different in our society, and at the extremes of love and loyalty a family must call upon to help each other overcome impossible circumstances. Jodi Picoult is the author of 16 bestselling and widely – acclaimed novels. Read more about her on her website


But why? It is not because I think that they are badly written or don’t think the author will cover the subject matter properly. No. If anything the opposite. I really respect both authors and know that they are very well written books … and yet I am still terrified. But I think that is actually part of the problem .. Let me explain

When Horse Became Saw … is just alittle too close to home. Anthony and Kathy live not that far away from where we live and work in the same sort of (geographic) area. Our son’s both went to the same therapy centre and I know some of the therapists mentioned in the book. I want to read it but I think I am just scared that it is alittle too close to home. Too familiar .. alittle like a mirror up to my face. A mirror that in life I sometimes think I try and avoid by just focusing on what NEEDs to be done. Sometimes I just think you have to just put your head down and do what needs to get done and not think about the big picture too much. Thinking too far ahead with Autism … planning just leads to disappointment and heartache. Denial … or just doing what you need to do to get through the day and make a difference in the lives of the little people you care about. Not sure. But it is for these reasons I just can not read this book.

House Rule … well the first novel of Jodi Piccoult’s I read was My Sister’s Keeper. I love that book. It was for me one of those life changing books that had me think and reconsider some of my beliefs on a number of issues. I could not help but really put myself in the position of so many of the characters. I love that book and I have since read a few more. I think it is fair enough to call me a fan. I follow her page on Facebook and I am interested in what she has written and working on in the future. My favourite of her work would have to be Sing You Home. So what is the big deal then? Why do I own this one book in both a printed version and Audiobook and can not get past the first few chapters. I guess it is alittle of the same above. Just too close. I know the main character has Aspergers … is verbal and alot older. But I know that she is a wonderful author and will get deep into the family life and world of being someone on the spectrum and the challenges that they have … even when they can communicate verbally … and that scares me. I know the emotional rollercoaster she is capable of putting a reader on … and while that is Ok when it is something that is removed … when it is closer to home like this it sacres me … Is that just completely nuts or what?

What do you think? I am stupid, crazy, in denials … or just simply want to have my reading be an escape away from worry and care and not a mirror to my current realty or something that may happen in the future. What do you think?

Images: Taken from KoboBooks an affiliate include affiliate links


  • The_Snowball_Effect

    I’ve read House Rules. I’ve read and enjoyed a few of Jodi  Piccoult’s books, but this one didn’t sit right with me. Too me it felt too “Hollywood”. I know that she interviewed people with Autism and their families in her research for the book, but the impression I got from the book is that she doesn’t really know what it’s like to live it. But then maybe if I didn’t have a child with ASD, I would feel differently. I think the subject is a little too close to home to have someone who doesn’t really know it, to write a book about it.

    I think I would like to read When Horse Became Saw, I’ve not heard of it before.

    • I have heard mixed reviews about House Rules. I just wish I was brave enough to read it myself. 

      When Horse Became Saw is a great book (I know a few people that have read it and all given good reviews). For me … being a memoir and so familiar in so many ways, I just find it really hard. Maybe when the kids are older and I get some perspective … looking back and reflecting might make it an easier read than while I am in the middle of it.