Disability book list

The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin,” Josh Berk
Fiction: D/deaf, mainstreaming, fat
Will, a fat, deaf guy entering a mainstream school for the first time, struggles to navigate the shark tank that is high school. Along the way, he befriends a fellow nerd to solve a Hardy Boys-style mystery– who killed the jerky jock on a class field trip?

Look me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger’s,” John Elder Robinson
Memoir: Asperger’s, autism
A memoir by Augusten Burrough’s brother about what it is like to have Asperger’s syndrome. It chronicles his abusive family, pulling “pranks”, moving out at sixteen, designing Ace Freehly’s fire-spouting guitars, creating some of the first electronic toys for Milton Bradley, falling in love, having a son, getting divorced, getting re-married, and starting his own career.

The Pleasure of My Company,” Steve Martin
Fiction: OCD, autism, Asperger’s
Daniel Pecan Cambridge is torn between four women: his neighbor Rachel, whom he has been secretly drugging with doctored smoothies meant to calm the actress’s nerves before auditions; his social worker (or is it is therapist?) Clarissa, who visits Daniel in his home twice a week, providing the structure around which he builds his time; Zandy, the friendly pharmacist who fills his prescriptions and his beloved Rite-Aid; and Elizabeth, a fakey, bleach-blonde real estate agent trying to sell units in the over-priced condo across the street from Daniel’s home.

The Burn Journal,” Brent Runyon
Memoir: depression, suicide
This is Runyon’s memoirs of a suicide attempt at fourteen and the next year of rehabilitative therapy.

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly,” Jean-Dominic Bauby
Memoir: stroke, Locked-in Syndrome
This is the memoir of Jean-Dominic Bauby, the editor of the French fashion magazine Elle. It recounts his experiences with Locked-In Syndrome, which he experiences following a stroke and is very beautifully written.

“What the Deaf-Mute Heard,” G. D. Gearino,
Mutism, non-verbalism, PTSD
The narrator is Sammy Ayers, 62, who was abandoned by his mother at the age of 10 in a bus station in Georgia. Such was his fear he could not speak and people assumed he was deaf and dumb. He played along for the rest of his life, exploiting his misfortune to obtain odd jobs and to listen in on conversations, people not being afraid to speak freely in front of a deaf-mute. The novel is an account of a Southern town’s secrets, financial, racial and religious. A first novel.

“72 Hour Hold,” Campbell, Bebe Moore
Mental health, bi-polar disorder,
Giving up on the mental health system, Keri turns to an underground group called the Program to get an unconventional—and illegal—treatment for her adult daughter’s increasingly out-of-control bipolar disorder.

“Between, Georgia,” Joshilyn Jackson
Multiple disabilities, blindness, deafness
When tensions mount between her disreputable birth family and prosperous adoptive mother (who happens to be deaf-blind), Nonny must return to the romantic and filial entanglements of her home in Between.

“Death from the Woods,” Brigitte Aubert
Quadriplegia, mutism, blindness
A French woman whose fiance was recently killed by a car bomb that has left her quadriplegic, blind, and unable to speak receives a tip about a series of gruesome murders plaguing her town. Can she find the young girl who passed her the clue before the killer strikes again? And will she be the next target?

“Signs of Resistance,” Susan Burch
Non-fiction: Deafness
Review here


  1. July 26, 2013 at 7:46 am

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