I was shocked to see that this book was a YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction Finalist. Not because I didn’t think it was deserving, though, but because I was shocked it didn’t actually win! Shane Burcaw’s self-deprecating sense of humor and unwavering positivity in the face of adversity have already garnered tens of thousands of readers for his blog [laughingatmynightmare.tumblr.com], so it comes as no surprise that the book has also been universally well-received.
Shane’s writing style made me feel like I was hanging out with a friend and listening to crazy stories about his past. Although I wouldn’t have held it against him if he had been bitter or angry about his lot in life, he was just so chill and goofy that it was hard to remember, at times, that he wasn’t a “normal” guy. As I read about the many setbacks that came along with Shane’s spinal muscular atrophy, I found myself wondering how it was possible for Shane to keep his sense of humor. More than that, I found myself wondering if I could train myself to look past the doom and gloom to find the silver linings in my own life. It may take a bit of time and patience, but I think this is certainly a worthy goal. Thanks so much, Shane, for sharing your story and inspiring people to rid themselves (and the world) of negativity.