Jul. 11th, 2016

Hi everybody. A few friends have asked me to start doing book reviews here on my journal, and I love that idea so here is my first one. Before proceeding any further though I need to mention for those who don't know, that since I am blind with only light perception I read books and magazines in audio format. I also read Braille books and magazines growing up, but my honest opinion is that Braille takes up too much space these days. Sure there are refreshable displays, but those cost a lot and not everybody can afford one of them. Don't get me wrong: I love Braille and I think this Braille crisis is truly sad. However, Braille is not the only means of reading and writing for those of us with low or no vision. Nor will it ever be. Others will certainly disagree with me, and that's all cool so long as there are no personal attacks. So without further adieu, here is my first book review.

In the summer of 2014 I read a book entitled "Out of the Whirlpool: A Memoir of Remorse and Reconciliation." This book was written by Sue Wiygul Martin, who has her own website at http://www.suewmartin.com . This book was published in 2013 by the Working Writer Discovery Group. The book is about her adjustment to blindness as a result of attempting suicide. Before proceeding any further, I want to mention that the suicide attempt had nothing whatsoever to do with me choosing to read this book. I've never been suicidal in the least bit, nor am I suicidal now. I chose her book simply because I was curious to know about the whole adjustment process from someone who went blind later in life. I had a roommate who went blind as a young adult, but he was often quite bitter and never really discussed it openly with anybody. But anyway, I highly recommend this book to anyone curious about the adjustment process for someone who is blind either from birth or later in life. I also know a few so-called vocational rehabilitation professionals who would do well to read it. They probably won't, but that's their problem and not mine.

Anyway, the author begins with a brief discussion of her life prior to the event which resulted in her blindness. She also discusses the reactions of family and friends to her sudden onset of blindness. Then she goes on to talk about her adjustment period, and the many years of vocational rehabilitation which followed. This included learning to read and write Braille, learning to cook again, and learning to travel with a cane and then guide dogs.

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars. I thought the author did an outstanding job. She was very honest, and she sprinkled humor throughout her story which is always good. I could relate to pretty much everything which she discussed, with the exception of the guide dogs. I've never worked one before, and I highly doubt at this point whether I'll ever do so. However, I am going to read another book about the whole process of getting a guide dog. So please stay tuned for that review, coming up later on. I downloaded this book in audio format from the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, and the narrator did an awesome job.

August 2017

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