Best Books List: ADHD

Best Books List: ADHD

One of the trends I see on social media is ADHD. Since the Pandemic, especially, many adults have been diagnosed with ADHD (especially women) and they are coming to terms with these diagnoses with memes, reels, articles, and books. Yes, the book market has risen to the challenge, and I find myself suddenly overwhelmed by the number of titles of books that didn’t seem to exist a handful of years ago. Also, with information: specifically, regarding women with adult ADHD and how this is different than other people with ADHD. I have long understood this, having been a girl and then a woman with ADHD myself—that my ADHD didn’t always look like what people expected because I wasn’t a rambunctious, misbehaving middle grades boy. (Not that middle school boys always look the same with their ADHD, but it’s much more common to play out that way… and much more obvious when it does.)

I actually have three chronic diagnoses that affect my daily life, every single day. The problems with my lower spine (degenerative disc, arthritis and scoliosis, which is related to tight hamstrings, if you can believe it) I manage pretty well. Cuz I can, at least till I’m old and it’s beyond the same control. As for migraine, unfortunately I cannot read about or even discuss it much without actually getting a migraine, so I’ve limited my research to lots of field research based on tidbits of info over a lifetime. Mischief mostly managed, but much daily discipline needed. As for ADHD, I felt restricted to experimentation here, too, for most of my life, because (like migraine) the general population and specialist understanding of my problems and my struggles were very small and knowledge about them have only grown in quality and quantity, significantly, in my adulthood. And ADHD was much more insidious: I am only beginning to realize how much ADHD affects my happiness as well as my functionality on a daily, no, hourly, no, minutely basis. How much peace and joy it robs from me and from those in close relationship with me. Therefore, I am ready for some relief, more relief, significant relief.

On one hand, I’ve spent a lifetime learning to manage and thrive with my ADHD. On the other, frequently when I encounter one of these Insta reels about ADHD, a new term pops up regarding an aspect of ADHD that is both so me and also so something I didn’t think of as part of that package. What do I do when I want to know more? What do I do when I sense there might be some understanding and actionable content somewhere? Buy a book, of course. In this case, related to the new/popular information. What exactly is executive dysfunction and dysregulation? Am I neurodivergent? Can I actually blame my sensitivity to criticism on ADHD? (Tongue in cheek, somewhat.) Is there something I can do to really deal with interrupting other people and/or persistent feelings of overwhelm?

Not all of these book possibilities are for adult women with ADHD, but the main list is. I have not read the vast majority of these (yet). I made this list by piecing together a number of online “best books” lists, as usual. Reading and reviewing comes next.

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First, I want to say that I am excited about Penn Holderness’s new book about ADHD, out on April 30, ADHD Is Awesome. I haven’t read it, but I really like the Holdernesses from following them online for years (which is kinda weird—I don’t usually do that sort of thing, but I just found I liked them and they live in Raleigh, so.) Penn has ADHD and has been open about it for years, and the book looks like it’ll be practical, funny, and positive.

There are some kid and teen books that I have used with my son over the years, and a few titles that were just recommended to us by a professional who did his teenage-level reevaluation. Here those are:

  • The ADHD Workbook for Kids, Lawrence E. Shapiro *
  • The Survival Guide for Kids with Behavior Challenges,Thomas McIntyre (*)
  • Journal of an ADHD Kid, Tobias and Joan Stumpf (*)
  • The Sketchnote Handbook, Mike Rohde
  • Thriving with ADHD Workbook for Teens, Allison Tyler
  • Study Strategies for Teens, Charlie Haven
  • Yes! You Will Understand Your Teen with ADHD, Jaycee Donovan
  • Learning How to Learn, Oakley and Sejnowski

And now for the list I really need, and perhaps you do, too. Forward-thinking books about ADHD as it presents in adult females (which can have everything to do with anything from hormones to cultural expectations). There are also many titles here that could be more general, either nongendered or for all ages:

  • Women with Attention Deficit Disorder, Sari Solden
  • The Queen of Distraction, Terry Matlen
  • The Divergent Mind, Jenara Nerenberg
  • The Disorganized Mind, Nancy A. Ratey
  • The Mindfulness Prescription for Adult ADHD, Lidia Zylowska
  • How to Keep House While Drowning, K. C. Davis
  • ADHD for Smart Ass Women, Tracy Otsuka
  • The Power of Different, Gail Saltz
  • Taking Charge of Adult ADHD, Russel A. Barkley
  • ADHD 2.0, Hallowell and Ratey
  • A Radical Guide for Women with ADHD, Solden and Frank
  • Organizing Solutions for People with ADHD, Susan C. Pinsky
  • Understanding ADHD in Girls and Women, Joanne Steer
  • You Mean I’m Not Lazy, Stupid, or Crazy?!, Kelly and Remundo
  • Better Late Than Never, Emma Mahony
  • Who Am I?, Alain de Botton
  • Scattered Minds, Gabor Mate
  • Why Has No One Told Me This Before?, Dr. Julie Smith
  • Taking Charge of Adult ADHD, Barkley and Benton
  • ADHD According to Zoe, Zoe Kessler
  • Your Brain’s Not Broken, Tamara Rosier
  • ADHD Toolkit for Women, Sarah Davis
  • The Couple’s Guide to Thriving with ADHD, Orlov and Kohlenberger
  • The Smart but Scattered Guide to Success, Dawson and Guare
  • How to ADHD, Jessica McCabe
  • On Confidence, Alain de Botton
  • ADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life, Kolberg and Nadeua
  • The ADHD Effect on Marriage, Mellissa Orlov
  • 100 Questions & Answers About ADHD in Women and Girls, Dr. Patricia Quinn
  • Thriving with Adult ADHD, Phil Boisierre
  • The Fog Lifted, Kristin Seymour
  • Outside the Box, Thomas E. Brown
  • How to Be Everything, Emilie Wapnick
  • Help for Women with ADHD, Joan Wilder
  • When an Adult You Love Has ADHD, Russell A. Barkley
  • Driven to Distraction, Edward M. Hallowell
  • The Year I Met My Brain, Matilda Boseley
  • When Moms and Kids Have ADD, Quinn and Nadeau
  • ADHD Workbook for Women, Tracy Neel
  • The Muse is In, Jill Bodonsky
  • More Attention, Less Deficit, Ari Tuckman *