Throwback Book Review: Spinning in Circles and Learning from Myself
Updated: Jan 12
Title: Spinning in Circles and Learning from myself
Author: Tsara Shelton
Get your copy now here!
This was originally written for an older blog I had years ago.
In full disclosure, I feel as if I should share how I came upon this book. I "found" Tsara Shelton through a comment she made on a facebook page I ran and I happily read the blog post she had posted in the comments with her response to what I had posted. I noticed on the side of her blog (Wow! This introduction may just have the most use of links I've ever used in one blog before!) a little "Hey, check out my book!" image, so I asked her about it. You can imagine my excitement when she offered to sign my copy and send it to me herself! So, of course, I warned her that I have developed a habit of reviewing pretty much every book I read (with few exceptions) and asked if it would be O.K if I gave her an honest review. As soon as I said it, i felt the anxiety rise, mixed with fear that I wasn't going to like it and, what if I disagreed with the beliefs that she hold as the most important?! But, I vowed to, as I do with every other book I read, be honest about what I thought so...here we go!
What is it about?
This is a collection of snap shot, pulling the reader on a journey as our guide, Tsar faces, embraces and even, at times, over comes a wonderful collage of diversity in ethnicity, beliefs and diagnosis, emerging with a true gift with words as her story apologetically unfolds. She is real and vulnerable in sharing her experiences as we embark on a journey of growing up into the people we are today.
What did I think?
The first thing I noticed when I pulled the book from the envelope was....it was short. Flipping through to the back, I saw that, before acknowledgments, the book was just a mere 158 pages! My first reaction after seeing this was, "Now I do kind of hope I don't like it because if I do, 158 pages will just feel too short but if I don't I'll be happy it's over and wasn't any longer!" Spoiler alert: I was not happy about how short it was! In fact, though I understand and even embrace (most of the time) that these stories are like the photos you take on your vacation, they are just one small piece of the adventure and not meant to be the entire story on their own or, many times, even if you piece the snap shots together, there were times when I just wanted more! I wanted to know what her mom thought about that soft spoken and very sweet date she brought home who, just happened to be, unique in unexpected ways (trust me, you'll cringe, you'll laugh and you'll be left to wonder why!" I was desperate to know what kind of justice, if any, had been sentenced from her step father and even more about her biological father! However, that information had not found the need to pose for the camera when those snap shots were taken!
And then, I was forced to face my fear. I came upon those sentences that reflected,as respectful as it was, a point of view that I do not agree with, the thought that you can be Autistic at one point and then not autistic latter in life. Now, with all fairness, she never uses the world "cured" and rather then saying flat out that the people in her life who have been on the spectrum had, with a lot of work, graduated and no longer seemed to express the symptoms necessary to diagnose them. I fully intend to force her to have another conversation with me about this, however didn't want my review to reflect "insider"information (Yay! I kind of have insider information! I think I'm well on my way to having an author as a friend! I'm moving up in the world!)
With all of that being said, I could go on and on about what I liked about this book! The more I read, the more I was disappointed that Tsara lives so far away and I can't just call her up to go sit at a coffee shop and talk. I spent much of the book nodding in either agreement or with understanding as we have had many similar experiences.
I found myself admiring her for being so honest about some of the most vulnerable aspects of her inner thoughts and her life, which I know is hard to so and so very scary. She made me feel like I wasn't alone. Like there's someone out there who gets its and can put it into words, someone who won't judge or blame or complain about all of the difficulties, but go on a journey of over analyzing with me and be there with a cup of coffee in hand when I emerge with newfound lessons. Be cause that's what she's sharing with us, the lessons of her over analytical moments.
I loved how, no matter what the story was, no matter how closely it was tied to own beliefs, the message she always got through, the vibe that she always projected was a strong and enthusiastic, "This is my way. It may not be yours but that's O.K. It's not about imitating me, but about finding your own way. Discovering who you are and what is right for you and then embrace it and live it with intent and pride!" This just so happens to be a message I believe very much in and could only hope to release into the world as elegantly and effectively as she does!
Reading this book, I felt inspired. I felt like maybe I could achieve my dreams of making writing a part of my life and sharing it with others with intent, purpose and success! I felt understood and, almost, as if she wrote this book just fr me. I loved it more then I ever could have expected, so mush so that my husband may be a little happy that I am done reading it so he doesn't' have to listen to me go on and on about the stories I just read for longer then it took me to read the actual stories!
What would I rate this?
I rate this a....
4.5 cups of coffee out of 5!
So now that I've read this and I know you're figure is itching to scroll up and click the link to order your own copy, remember to come back and let us know what you think about the book! Did it touch you like it touched me? What was your favorite part? I want to know!