ADHD Book Reviews

This has been a summer jam-packed with books for me. Sometimes it feels like the reading of them is more important than the content.  It’s like that feeling you get when you’re really hungry and you don’t care what strange thing you eat as long as it fills you up.

This is not neccesarily a recommended reading list, it’s more a hodgepodge sample of what has been filling up my little head, because reading even a mediocre book beats sitting around staring off into space.  I think.  (*stares off into space and thinks about that*)

oceanA man revisits his childhood, drawn to a small farmhouse and the pond behind it where his seven-year old self encounters dangerous, strange and frightening things.  His beloved kitten gets run over, his family’s boarder commits suicide, and he and his eleven-year old friend Lettie try to send some creepy evil thing, accidentally awakened from another realm, back to its own world.  This is one for fans of grown up fairy tales who like to remember the terror and magic involved in simply being a kid.

illumination nightVonny and Andre are worried about their abnormally short four-year old son Simon, but go on to worry about a variety of other things after their elderly neighbor Elizabeth, suffering from deafness and dementia, jumps out of her second story window and has to have her 16-year-old (kind of trampy, Andre-seducing) granddaughter come to live with her while she convalesces.  Spoiler alert – Simon gets taller.

emailsCoco is a struggling author who has a cheating husband, a gay son named Rosencrantz, two best friends who receive the bulk of her crazy e-mails, a hideous mother-in-law, a snobby agent, and a seemingly endless run of bad luck.  It’s not easy getting back into the dating scene at the age of 42, never mind trying to steer your chaotic life in a new direction and get yourself back on track.  But like Rosencrantz – (“Fucking hell Mum, like, way to go”) – I was laughing out loud and rooting for her all the way.

eleanor and parkI guess I did not read nearly enough angst ridden young adult novels as a young adult so I’m making up for it now.  This is a book written for teens by someone who remembers very well what it’s like to be one.

cuckoo's calling

A down-on-his-luck disabled veteran detective investigates a super-model suicide and solves the mystery of her death.  I read this only because it’s actually J.K. Rowling writing under a pseudonym, and not because I like to read crime fiction or mysteries. More seasoned whodunit lovers will probably have this one figured out before the end, but I never expect these things to turn out the way they do.

bluebeard

What secret is locked inside Rabo Karabekians potato barn?  What better way to delve into the many layers of brilliance in the works of Kurt Vonnegut than to re-read some of my old and long forgotten favourites?

There are more books I could mention and give bad reviews, but why say things that aren’t nice?  Or did I do that already?  It’s hard for me to stay focussed on this because I’m part way through something new and hungry for the next chapter. In fact, I have two books on the go at the moment.  I am a book glutton.  Maybe I need help. Maybe there’s a book on that.

About the Casual Vacancy

Before you read this book I think it’s important to make yourself forget who the author is and what she’s previously written.  Squash all those expectations and preconceived notions and just start reading.

I don’t know how anyone can keep so many characters alive and functioning and interacting with each other, and get so deeply into their heads.

This is a study of people, community and politics, human nature, drugs, racism, prejudice, poverty, self-abuse, family and domestic violence, doomed relationships, parents and teenagers, and how lives intersect.  The language is adult and many of the scenes are graphic.

The book begins and ends with a funeral and is not at all about happily ever after.

Personally I didn’t find anything very funny in it – I was too busy being disgusted with all the pompous idiots – but most of them more or less ended up getting whatever they deserved.

There’s more sadness than joy here, and enough twists and turns to keep you turning pages to find out what happens next.  It’s a story you can get completely caught up in, and for me, that’s the mark of a great book.

If I Could Be a Character From a Book, I’d Be Luna Lovegood

J. K. Rowling has said that the character of Luna took her by surprise, but that she was a lot of fun to write. “She’s slightly out of step in many ways but she’s the anti-Hermione.  Hermione’s so logical and inflexible in so many ways and Luna is likely to believe ten impossible things before breakfast.”

How can you not love a girl who wears a butterbeer cork necklace to repel Nargles? (Even though Nargles might not exist?) And shoes to bed in case she sleepwalks? And Dirigible Plum earrings which the Lovegoods believe enhance the ability to accept the extraordinary?

Luna dresses unusually, proclaims her strange beliefs openly, and often seems to be dreamily out of touch with what’s going on around her. When she is the target of ridicule or the butt of jokes, she remains patient and accepting, serene and composed. Her deeply held beliefs, no matter how bizarre, give her a certain dignity. She is very brave and loyal and a faithful friend.

Hermione and even Ginny are too much in the spotlight for me. I’d do better as a supporting member of the crew. I love Luna’s quirks and I love her spectrespecs. I love her wonderful habit of always stating the blunt truth about things and how very intelligent she is, and how perceptive.

“And she’s tough, Luna,” Harry observes, “Much tougher than you’d think.”

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