There are hundreds of books on ADHD. Each contains some good ideas or useful tips. But I’ve been asked to choose books that made the biggest difference for me.
These books are ground-breaking, brimming with insight and powerful perspectives. Many of these authors know about ADHD first hand, so they get it.
Some books are epic tomes, or aimed at medical professionals. Not these, these are for us. They’re ADHD-Friendly. Easy to read. Witty and wise. With great stories that will resonate.
So, here are 10 great reads that I found transformational (books link to Amazon).
Top 10 ADHD Books
- You Mean I’m Not Lazy, Stupid, or Crazy by Kate Kelly & Peggy Ramundo
Resonating with humor and humanity. It’s a celebration. A warm embrace. The title alone is enough to bring a tear to your eye. A great introduction to ADHD. Less well known is the fact that it was the first best-seller about ADHD, published a few months before this next classic.
- Driven to Distraction by Dr. Edward, (call me Ned) Hallowell, and Dr. John Ratey. Another comprehensive read that covers everything. I felt like I has taken a first-year college course in ADHD and I still return to this book for inspiration and perspective.
Make sure you get the updated-revised edition. (And of course you’ll then want to check out the worthy sequels: Delivered From Distraction and also Driven to Distraction at Work by Dr. Hallowell)
- Is It You, Me, or Adult ADD? by Gina Pera
A journalist by training and a crusader by nature, Gina shares with her own journey into the world of Adult ADHD once she realized the symptoms and traits were a match for her husband. Patrick McKenna, whose journey through the diagnostic process is the central story of ADD & Loving It?! told me, “Every time I heard my wife laughing in the next room, I knew what she was reading.”
- ADHD: What Everyone Needs to Know by Steven Hinshaw & Katherine Ellison
So good. An easy read. And it will leave you armed with solid information to defend yourself against people who have strong opinions on ADHD, based on zero actual knowledge. This book gets it right. Two very wise authors.
- Understand Your Brain, Get More Done by Dr. Ari Tuckman (And there’s a workbook that goes with it!)
Title says it all. And while I am at it, I’ll mention his other book, More Attention Less Deficit – Success Strategies for Adults with ADHD.
Ari is smart, sly, and focused on what works, so no wonder he appears in so many of the videos in our shop. “Get More Done.” Who doesn’t want that?! (Oh, and he also has a new book, ADHD After Dark: Better Sex Life, Better Relationship. No idea what that’s about.)
- ADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life by Judith Kolberg & Kathleen Nadeau PH.D.
Epic but easy. Tons of ideas for any who has ADHD, or who wants to help. For example, their suggestion for Body Doubling, having someone with you when you’re taking on a dreaded task, even if they’re just reading or doing something else, is incredibly effective and helps with any and every ADHD strategy.
(I was asked to write this top 10 list a month ago. I’m doing it now and no surprise, my wife is here in my office for the first time in a month.) Like all of the books in this list, it’s an eye-opening read for non-ADHD friends and family.
- Taking Charge of Adult ADHD by Dr. Russell Barkley
Another classic. You may recognize Dr. Barkley’s name from his many books, articles in the popular press, or the dozens of definitive studies he has done.
I’m not sure anyone knows more about ADHD than Dr. Barkley, and when people tell me, “He wrote the book on ADHD,” this is one of the books. (He has a number.)
- Smart but Stuck by Dr. Thomas Brown
Dr. Brown was already a legend for The Brown Rating Scale, a diagnostic tool for ADHD. What makes this, his latest book, so compelling are the stories of 10 very different patients, each a composite of the thousands of people he has treated in his career.
These are 10 archetypes. You’ll find one or two that resonate deeply with you. Dr. Brown also explores the impact of ADHD on emotions, and the impact of emotions on treating ADHD. One thing becomes clear—there is no straight line, no neat and simple treatment plan, and while many find relief and success, some never do. Thoughtful and moving.
- ADD Stole My Car Keys: The surprising Ways Adult Attention Deficit Disorder affects your life… and strategies for creating a life you love. by Rick Green & Dr. Umesh Jain
Here are 155 common signs, traits, symptoms, beliefs, behaviors, and misbehaviors of people with ADHD. One per page. Open it anywhere and get value. Read them in any order. You’ll find some are familiar, “Yeah, I do that.” Some aren’t, “No, I don’t have that one.” Some may be a shock, “Really? That’s ADHD? But I do that! I thought it was just me.” Includes 23 potential strengths!
e-book available here
- LIFE STORIES
And finally, four first-person narratives. Entertaining. Honest. Cringeworthy. You’ll laugh and cry and you will feel like you’ve made a friend.
Here’s to Not Catching Our Hair on Fire by Stacey Turis
ADHD According to Zoe by Zoe Kessler
Buzz: A Year of Paying Attention by Katherine Ellison
Chasing Kites: A Memoir About Growing Up With ADHD by Tom Nardone
Great books. Worth your time. Click on the titles to learn more.