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.

The Fault Dear Brutus Is Not In Our Stars

How long has it been since you read a book that brought you to tears?  It was yesterday for me.  The Fault In Our Stars by John Green is one of those books that’s hard to put down until you’ve made it all the way to the bitter-sweet end.  It is about sickness and death, and yet it’s also a life affirming love story, both funny and sad.  It is touching, and it is beautiful.

I read a rather awful review written by someone who said John Green could not possibly understand “the terminally dark” since he hadn’t experienced it himself first hand and therefore it was not his story to tell.  I think this person was especially upset by the humorous bits, as if the real thing is something you couldn’t possibly joke  about.  But we all have lost loved ones to cancer and have witnessed the battles and the suffering and the pain and have tried to make our own peace with it.  There seem to be as many cancers out there as there are reactions to it, and I don’t believe there is any right or wrong way to deal with it and to cope. Everyone struggles to do the best they can with whatever strengths they have.  This story may not mirror your own personal experience, but I don’t think that makes it any less valid.

fault in our stars

“I’m in love with you,” he said quietly.

“Augustus,” I said.

“I am,” he said. He was staring at me, and I could see the corners of his eyes crinkling. “I’m in love with you, and I’m not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I’m in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we’re all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we’ll ever have, and I am in love with you.”              

“When you go into the ER, one of the first things they ask you to do is rate your pain on a scale of one to ten, and from there they decide which drugs to use and how quickly to use them. I’d been asked this question hundreds of times over the years, and I remember once early on when I couldn’t get my breath and it felt like my chest was on fire, flames licking the inside of my ribs fighting for a way to burn out of my body, my parents took me to the ER. The nurse asked me about the pain, and I couldn’t even speak, so I held up nine fingers.

Later, after they’d given me something, the nurse came in and she was kind of stroking my head while she took my blood pressure and said, “You know how I know you’re a fighter? You called a ten a nine.”

But that wasn’t quite right. I called it a nine because I was saving my ten. And here it was, the great and terrible ten, slamming me again and again as I lay still and alone in my bed staring at the ceiling, the waves tossing me against the rocks then pulling me back out to sea so they could launch me again into the jagged face of the cliff, leaving me floating face up on the water, undrowned.”       

There is so much to love about how this book is written.  All the incredibly wise and perceptive passages made it hard for me to choose just a couple of quotes, but I hope these spark your interest enough to read the rest.