We have a new decorator at Bookwitch Towers. As we began talking books, I discovered that he’s dyslexic. I was wanting to offload some of my surplus onto the Junior Decorators, as it were. So I added a few dyslexia friendly books to the pile, just in case.
After the weekend he returned (we have a lot of windows here) and mentioned he had read one of them, and that it was the first book he’d sat down and read right through. That made me very happy, and I began wondering what dyslexic adults read. (The realistic answer will be ‘nothing,’ but I’d prefer it not to be.)
A quick search took me back to Barrington Stoke, who – naturally – also do books for adults. They were equally touched, and sent me some grown-up books to sample.
We hear a lot about children and dyslexia, but I found I couldn’t name a single adult I knew who’s dyslexic, apart from Sally Gardner. And the King of Sweden. And now Mr Decorator. So, once you’re out of school you are ‘free’ to ignore books and reading, and that is a shame.
Because it is Dyslexia Awareness Week, I bring you some great books for adults who don’t normally read.
Ladies first, which takes me to Anne Perry and her short novel Heroes. Set in WWI in the trenches, it’s something as unusual as a whodunnit, with the army chaplain as the detective. Very touching and surprisingly exciting for such a short book. Totally grown up, and excellent in every way.
The second lady is Helen FitzGerald, and she’s still a bit scary, but not as much as she was a few weeks ago. Hot Flush tells the story of a middle aged woman with a dreadful husband, and a young Glasgow delinquent, with a fondness for stealing cars. It is both frustrating and fun, as the lives of these two converge in a most unexpected way.
So, two great, small novels that are fully adult. My fondness for short books means that I am a convert for my own sake, as well as on behalf of readers who need something this length to read at all.
Very serendipitous, this painting of windows. And right before Dyslexia Awareness Week, too.