Reading long pieces of text can be a challenge for my ADHD brain. My mind wanders when I read. I get distracted. Read it again. Disconnect. Ugh. I would be stuck on the same sentence repeatedly and just give up. So, now I get my literary fix by listening to audiobooks. Because of this I am limited by what’s available. Also a bad narrator can completely ruin a good story.
Luckily, I managed to reach the end of a few excellent books without throwing my earbuds out the window. Here are four of my favourite reads and listens.
The Creative Act: A Way of Being, by Rick Rubin
This book is like a mental massage, leaving you feeling refreshed and creatively inspired. I actually listen to this book like a meditation session. The audiobook read by Rick himself, even has a singing bowl sound between chapters. As he whispers sweet musings into your ear, I am now Jay-Z.
Altered Carbon, by Richard Morgan
A mind-bending ride through a future where death, for the rich, is just a temporary inconvenience. Morgan’s writing is sharper than a backstreet sleeve surgeon’s laser scalpel and his exploration of immortality will leave you questioning the very essence of your existence. Read this if you like a healthy dose of sci-fi noir with a side of existential crisis.
Allies: Real Talk About Showing Up, Screwing Up, And Trying Again
This collection of real stories will take you from heartache to hope and back again. Some are very tough to read, but each one has inspired me to show up more for others and that having a tough conversation is better than staying silent.
The Element, by Sir Ken Robinson
Having lived through a life with undiagnosed ADHD this book rang true on many levels. It also awakened a defiant spark in me. By hearing the stories of others who also had a terrible time through school, and close calls on not taking creative paths, I feel incredibly lucky to have stumbled upon a career that is perfect(ish) for my wired up differently brain.
Cheeky 5th book…
‘Stories That Never Stand Still’, by me and Cathy Olmedillas at Studio Anorak for the ADHD Foundation
ADHD kids often get labelled troublemakers, they don’t listen, they don’t sit still. Distracting the other ‘good kids’ at school. We created Stories That Never Stand Still to tell another story. To celebrate neurodiverse minds and inspire ADHD kids, their parents and teachers. Everyone involved had ADHD. So it’s literally cover to cover inspiration of what neurodiverse minds can do! A unique collaboration of successful artists, writers, actors, and sportspeople, full of real stories and advice. The book was distributed as a free resource to schools, hospitals and libraries all across the UK.
Featured image: Stories That Never Stand Still’s illustration