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ODR Book Club/ Books for recovery from addiction

Discussion in '~ Articles ~ Info ~ Links ~ Data ~' started by Arrie, Jul 5, 2004.

  1. Torushima

    Torushima Well-Known Member

  2. Rainier

    Rainier Well-Known Member

    Re: Books!

    Hey -

    I love Harry Potter! Fun escapist stuff, right up there with Lord of the Rings and Stephen King's Dark Tower cycle.

    I'm currently reading

    by Keith Richards
    Sex, drugs and rock n' roll - lots of good stories about The Stones.

    Desperation by Stephen King
    Written in 1996, takes place in the Nevada desert, funny, creepy, dark. Stephen King, in other words.

    Oh, and some case studies for my Forensic Anthropology class.
  3. Torushima

    Torushima Well-Known Member

    Re: Books!

    I've never read Lord of the Rings, but Harry Potter rocks my world.

    I went and visited some family last week -- people with small kids, people who I rarely see -- and during an awkward lapse in conversation, I mentioned Harry Potter and got in good with these nine-year-olds.

    The whole flock had just visited the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Theme Park in Orlando and I was jealous.

    But it doesn't beat sex, drugs and rock and roll, the holy trifecta that remains the hallmark of my life.

    Stephen King is cool, too. During the mid-1980s, he wrote a bunch of books fueled by cocaine, weed, Xanax, Valium and booze and reportedly doesn't remember writing some of them.

    While it's becoming increasingly-evident that most of my favorite authors, writers and musicians have all had a monkey on their back at some point, I'd be interested to find out if J.K. Rowling ever conquered an addiction to Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans, struggling with a solid taper plan:

    I'll go from six each Canned Dog Food beans and Centipede in the mornings to...
  4. Rainier

    Rainier Well-Known Member

    Re: Books!

    ROFL!!! (And I swear, I'll never touch the Vomit again - never!)

    Most of my favorite creative types have also been dope fiends.

    I've read those Stephen King books (Tommyknockers, Misery...). Still pretty good reads, but not up to the standard of his better work. Go figure. But then again, my ability to do any kind of creative work goes out the window as soon as I start using, so I'm still pretty damned impressed.

    Great story about Harry Potter!

    I tried to give one of my nieces the first book once; her mom made her give it back. At least she didn't burn it, though. Then my Monster-in-Law tried to tell me that those books actually teach kids how to do magic. I told her that was absolutely true, but only if you can score a wand with a core of unicorn hair or Phoenix feather. She didn't get it (of course.) And Harry Potter is evil (because of the magic) but CS Lewis and Tolkien are just fine, never mind the witches and wizards...

    Oh, yeah - when I was out with my buddy tonight, he was asking me about how I was coming along on Life; I told him I'm still reading it but getting sidetracked by Desperation, he laughed and said he thought that was entirely too appropriate. Irony strikes again.
  5. Rainier

    Rainier Well-Known Member

    Re: Books!

    Oh, and by the way - if Harry Potter rocks your world, you really gotta check out Tolkien. Have you seen the films? They are remarkably well done and true to the originals.
  6. Torushima

    Torushima Well-Known Member

    Re: Books!

    No, I wouldn’t think that dry wit would take with one who views the Potter series as an instruction manual. But nice attempt.

    Next time, try yelling "Morsmordre!" before beaming a hologram of Anton LeVay onto the kitchen cabinet.

    If you want to check out some work by The Ultimate Dope Fiend, by the way, explore William S. Burroughs – particularly his novels “Queer” and “Junkie.”

    Charles Bukowski wrote a great deal about addiction, as well – mainly booze and women.

    The one addiction-related book that I really want to read before I head back overseas is Jack Kerouac’s “Big Sur,” the work in which he breaks down and comes to terms with the fact that he’s a total boozehound and unable to integrate successfully into society.

    Sounds familiar.

    There was an article in the Times today about CS Lewis – he was a Christian, big time, and the Narnia Chronicles are apparently thinly-veiled allegories about the Bible and such. Your MIL is probably tuned into that.

    I haven't read Tolkien, but enjoyed the films. I recently forced some people to watch the Super Mega Extended Versions with me and they we're too pleased with about fifteen hours of extra Bilbos and preciouses.

    ”Coming along with life, sidetracked by desperation.”

    Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction…
  7. Rainier

    Rainier Well-Known Member

    Re: Books!

    Oh, yes, I have read Burroughs. Strange stuff, to be sure. And yeah - definitely the Ultimate Dope Fiend. I haven't read Bukowski (as near as I can remember, anyway - I'd have to read a page or two to know for sure), and have not read Kerouac in a long time, which probably means I should re-read him. So many books, so little time...

    I've known for years that the Narnia books are Christian allegory. There is a line in a short story by Neil Gaiman (I think) : "Father Seuss! Save me from allegory..." Which pretty well sums up my feelings about that.

    Tolkien was also a pretty big-time Christian, but I don't see it being as evident in his writing as in CS Lewis.

    That life/desperation thing - you can't make that sht up, right? And it was totally unintentional that I chose those two books this week, unless it's my subconscious trying to tell me something that I already know.
  8. AumuA

    AumuA Well-Known Member

    Re: Books!

    Harry Potter- read em.
    Stephen King- read em.
    Burroughs- read em.
    Tolkien- check.
    Hunter Thompson- meh. saw the movie. on acid. good enough.
    Keith Richards- yeah I've heard one or two of his songs.
    Lennon- sure.
    Bukowski- I saw this. In the theater.

    The last book I read, much thanks to my awesome friend gettingbetter for recommending it.

    It offers extremely detailed, almost superhuman insight into the drug world, addiction, old school 12 steppers, inner city halfway houses and ... tennis. Modern masterpiece. Highly recommend, would read again.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2011
  9. Torushima

    Torushima Well-Known Member

    Re: Books!

    I usually don't try to convince anyone of anything, but the life and times of Hunter S. Thompson are a lot more rich than the flick -- I just mentioned that to make a connection.

    Thompson was primarily a political and sports reporter.

    I will read "Infinite Jest" at some point. It just seems so... daunting now, looming at me from the bookshelf with its fat, thick bright-orange spine.
  10. freakedout

    freakedout Moderator

    Re: Books!

    Favorite fiction:

    Anything Phillip K. Dick
    Anything Jim Thompson
    Anything Dostoevsky

    Books that opened my eyes and mind to current realities:

    Confessions of an Economic Hitman by John Perkins
    The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein

    The one book that blew my mind (totally) and spurred me to make dramatic changes for the better in my life:

    The China Study by T. Colin Campbell
  11. Torushima

    Torushima Well-Known Member

    Re: Books!

    Dostoevsky is one of my favorite writers. I've read all of his major works and a handful of his smaller ones.

    Perkins and Klein are both cool, too. I'll have to check out Jim Thompson -- I've never gotten into pulp fiction, but his work seems like a good starting point.

    I'm happy that the "The China Study" has impacted you. I've been following that regimen for the past six years, give or take a few months.
  12. glynntoo

    glynntoo Well-Known Member

    Re: Books!

    Oh, the Harry Potter books - I loved every one of them. I read all seven with my grandson - I didn't think I would like them but fell in love with the characters. We were sad when we finished....

    Read Hunger Games with grandson last week - reading the next book in that series this week.

    He is anxious to read every night. This from a kid six months ago who never opened a book.
  13. Rainier

    Rainier Well-Known Member

    Re: Books!

    Hunger Games is a good book, as are the others in the series. I know it is written for a younger audience, but I sure enjoyed it.

    I think that the trick to getting kids to read is just what you're talking about - you have to find a book that the kid really likes. The right book. I knew a kid when I was younger who had no interest in reading whatsoever - until a friend gave him Lord of the Rings. Then he didn't want to stop. It is always cool when somebody can open a child's eyes to the wonders of the written word!

    You might also check out some of Neil Gaiman's work for young people; he is a fabulous writer, and his worlds are rich and fantastic.
  14. glynntoo

    glynntoo Well-Known Member

    Re: Books!

    It is wonderful to see a child opening up to books. Reading has always been important in our house. For some reason, my grandson didn't have that interest that everyone in the family had (well, except his mother - so perhaps that's the reason) - Because of his interrupted education he tested very low in reading, writing - well, everything as he wasn't going to school. In six months he has caught up and is showing great promise in math and science. BUT, dismal results with the reading and writing tutoring. We realized his spoken vocabulary and understanding vocabulary is above his ability to read. In other words, he knows the words if he hears them - he uses them himself but has no clue as to how it looks in written form. That made the level of books he could read way too low to be interesting. I started reading to him at every spare moment and his reading fluency has improved a great deal. He still has a long way to go. We just finished the first Percy Jackson book today - HA! Our problem, we have so much we want to read. We start several at the same time - somehow they all get read.
    BTW, it's also a blessing to me. I love reading and he's forcing me to read things I never would. I love it when I see him choose a book over going on the computer.

    Ranier - I'm looking up the Gaiman books - thanks for the suggestion.
  15. Rainier

    Rainier Well-Known Member

    Re: Books!


    How old is your grandson? I might be able to give you some specific suggestions based on age. But right off the bat, I can tell you that The Graveyard Book is excellent.

  16. glynntoo

    glynntoo Well-Known Member

    Re: Books!

    Rain - I have both my 12 year old grandson and my 7 year old grandson living with me for at least two years (both parents in rehabs). The older one was out of school for 3-4 years; the youngest one didn't have any pre-school and started kindergarten a year late. Younger one is doing incredibly well. I really haven't read as much to and with him as I have the older one. The older one's deficiencies in reading and writing are creating problems for him as he is progressing...so, emphasis recently has been with his remediation....when he first arrived here (last May) I started with the Encyclopedia Brown series. They were so dated, but short stories that got him interested. I read a page - he reads a page. Over the summer we read all the Harry Potter books. He had seen the movies already - and with the first one was surprised at how much more he liked the book than the movie. After we read the book we watched the movie again. That sort of hooked him. Just last week he started reading independently.

    Thanks for any suggestions you have. I have a list on Amazon and order often.
  17. gettingbetter

    gettingbetter Well-Known Member

    Re: Books!

    OH MY GOD THIS THREAD HAS STARTED AGAIN!!! I am so happy! How the heck did I miss it??? While this was going on it was one of my hands-down all time favorite ODR threads ever. YAY YAY YAY YAY.



    You have to tell me more about your grandsons. What do they like to read? Encyclopedia Brown is great. I used to tear that stuff up. Has the older one done Goosebumps? He probably has, but if he hasn't, that's a good choice too. What about Lemony Snicket? Can you tell me more about the deficiencies in his reading/writing problems? Is he very verbal and adept outside of those issues? That makes a difference sometimes. I have lots of suggestions for you but I'd like to know what he's read in school that he liked - even if the answer is nothing - because that will help and I can get you a really good list if you want ... not as strong on age 7. How's he doing in school overall?

    On a hunch ... I am going to ask you to get Freak the Mighty for your 12-year-old one. There is also a movie of it that they changed to The Mighty. But read the book first and then have him compare the book to the movie. The book is unique, galvanizing, quirky, and heartbreaking but there's a real transformation story there that the kids really identify with. And I have some cool ideas for things you could talk to him about after you read it. The kids are great there. I am an English teacher FYI, I just realized you probably have no idea why I'm yapping here.


    AumuA! You must read Hunter Thompson's journals because they are fabulous. Diaries of a Proud Southern Gentlemen. They're in my display case and I know that does you no good, but it's quite the reflective journey. Rum Diary was okay. Not great, but okay.

    There isn't enough time to read and it makes me really sad :( I have to read a book about the Holocaust next: Alicia: My Story, because that's what my grade does next - normally I get to pick but everyone does this one. It's supposed to be great and we used to have Alicia come to our school in person but she's getting older and doesn't do it as much, and I really need to read that but I don't want to. I want to read Fight Club. Because my friend is trying to convince me that Palaniuk (sp?) does have good tangents - I read one by him that didn't really impress me, can't say I even finished it.

    In spare moments that I steal I have been re-reading Paint It Black by Janet Fitch who is amazing - Rainier, you might like her, did you read White Oleander? Not to be sexist but it's more of a girl deal, not girl-Y at all though. Fantastic language and profound writing. Who knows, the guys here might dig it. And also The World According to Garp which is an old favorite.

    I am really into Joan Didion too.

    And I'm stopping right now. Oh what I would give to hang with people who love books all day.
  18. glynntoo

    glynntoo Well-Known Member

    Re: Books!

    GettingBetter - You mentioned Goosebumps - those are the ones he can read independently.
    It's a bit of a problem in that he has discovered he loves books but he doesn't have the basics for reading. Example - he can use the word "descendant" - he understands what it means - but, would not recognize it in a book if he read it. This is the problem: my daughter took him out of school 3 or 4 years ago to homeschool - it didn't happen. Both boys were also somewhat isolated. We've had custody since last May. My older grandson goes to 1 1/2 hours to school in the morning - regular Language Arts class and then 2 hours of tutoring in the afternoon. We are adding another class next week. Socially - he doesn't speak to anyone; tries to just melt into the walls so no one notices him. The two teachers primarily involved are fabulous. He was at 2-3rd grade level at the beginning of the school year. Tests at 6th and above now. Doing incredibly well in math and science. Also, social studies - I read his assignments with him and then he tests at school. Homework is difficult because of his slow writing. Spelling is atrocious. Doesn't write in cursive and has trouble reading cursive...and even different types of print in books. We've been worried about putting him in more classes - esp. those that would require notetaking as he "draws" the letters instead of printing them...much, much too slow. Psychologist testing him would not diagnose any learning disability without some school as much of his problem is "educational deprivation"....which to me sounds like a disability.
    His Language Arts class was just completing "Hunger Games" when he started the class...so, we read that and he loved it. We have the next book in that series we will start soon. He's wanting to read the Harry Potter books again. I read those to him and I think they're too long and too many words he would stumble over.
    As far as reading out loud, he needs lots of work in reading fluency...he will stumble on a word, say "I'm sorry" and then try to figure out what it is. No real attack skills.
    Sooo, you can see I have a bit of a reading problem on my hands. On the plus side, he is a great kid, he is good natured and cooperative and likes me...considering I'm a grandmother, that's good!
    The younger boy (7) is in Kindergarten. It is a shame he didn't go to K last year and had to this year as he has aced everything he was supposed to know in K before Christmas. He is doing extremely well and is on track to be a great reader. I read him the usual books - but, now he is most interested in Star Wars and the Treehouse Series.
    I'd appreciate any advice....Education has not been something I've thought about in recent years....and I am feeling an immense responsibility to help these two boys.
  19. Rainier

    Rainier Well-Known Member

    Re: Books!

    Gettingbetter -

    Neil Gaiman has written a number of children's books, any of which would be appropriate for at least one of your grandsons:

    Odd and the Frost Giants - an illustrated story involving figures from Norse mythology. Very cool, excellent artwork!

    The Dangerous Alphabet - not your standard ABC book, not by a long stretch!

    The Day I Swapped my Dad for Two Goldfish - the title pretty much says it all.

    Wolves in the Walls - Good story, nifty artwork. Described as for "the older picture-book set."

    The Graveyard Book
    - Great story! This'd probably be my fave. "Middle-grade readers." (But I'm guessing a 7- and 12-year old would both be just fine with this one!)

    Mirrormask, Children's Ed. - Excellent story, fabulous art.

    I would heartily recommend all of these. Gaiman is one of the best authors out there in the realm of the fantastic; his books for adults are also exceptional, as is his long-running (and now compiled) graphic novel series "Sandman." Those books, on top of containing some great storytelling, have some of the most amazing art that I have ever seen in the comic book/graphic novel format. And the concept is brilliant!
  20. glynntoo

    glynntoo Well-Known Member

    Re: Books!

    Rain - I am so excited about your list of books. Will order this morning. Told my grandson already about The Graveyard Book and he can't wait to read. I am also excited about the The Dangerous Alphabet for the 7 year old -can't tell you how much I appreciate the suggestions. Like I told Getting Better I have a reading challenge in front of me that I intend to win! I will check out Gaiman's adult books too.
    BTW my husband (reader extraordinaire) has compiled lists of books read with comments, etc. for years....he has started the children's section now. It started as a gift for our adult son - also a voracious reader - and has grown over the years. This is a great thread.

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