Outstanding Reading – What Do You Suggest?

As gifted adults, we all have read books that have moved us, shaped us and made us think.  We’ve discovered words that have captured the essence of our thoughts and feelings, and phrases that have touched our hearts.  So we’re making a list…

…A list of books that have made the biggest difference in our lives.

We’re going to get it started here, but it wouldn’t be complete without ideas from you.  So please add your favourite titles along with their authors so we can keep learning, growing and discovering together.



  • http://giftedforlife.com Sonia Dabboussi

    A couple of books on giftedness that are really great are:

    The Gifted Adult: A Revolutionary Guide for Liberating Everyday Genius by Mary-Elaine Jacobsen

    Gifted Grownups: The Mixed Blessings of Extraordinary Potential by Marylou Kelly Streznewski

  • Marfusha/Lena

    Hello, Sonia —

    Thank you so much for the very descriptive, insightful and thoughtful advice. It is some of the best I have ever received. Yes, my friend Hui Ting decided to copy-paste a Yahoo Answers question onto your site. I asked a question there, desperate to have it answered, but with no avail.

    I am very content, however, that is HAS been answered by you. Thank you once again.

    You have given me very valuable advice — I can’t pinpoint what exactly I was lacking to answer this question, but you said what I knew was the answer.

    Yes, I think my friend is gifted. I feel it, somehow. Yet, I must say, I think she is a gifted person gone a bit… wrong. And that is why Hui Ting and I had to leave her.

    Almost all her free time, she hangs out with the popular gang. She cares so much about them, popularity and belonging, that she has no time for us. Also, when in front of us, she acts like she’s Introverted, loves physics and math (in a way she does, but here this is emphasized) and tries to seem more intelligent that she really is. In reality, she is an Extrovert, she craves acceptance and, as I found out, will even lie to seem more like me and be loyal to me.

    This, also, ties in with another problem me and my friend Hui Ting are experiencing: We see almost all of our classmates, and especially the popular ones, as stupid. Yes, I know we’re being rude and whatnot, but there really seems to be no other word to describe them. Most of the class is a bunch of obnoxious extraverts (not to say that all extraverts are obnoxious, but these are) who talk of inappropriate things, crack inappropriate jokes and generally scream loudly every few seconds.
    After a few months of this, I asked myself: Why do I find them to be so obnoxious? I’m sure they’re normal, since practically the whole class is like this. Well, why can’t I stand to be in the same room as them, then? Is it me and my friend? Or is it merely a coincidence that I ended up with them?

    These thoughts have been troubling me for more than a few weeks now, and I’m relieved to put them out of my mind.

    Anyways, so much for that.

    The problem with my teacher seemed to have eased — I found out the answer to my question: No, I am not gifted, she said, not that I know of. Personally, I suspect that she could be, but I think I’ll leave the matter for now.
    An interesting and bizarre progression HAS been made with my teacher though: She has started to ignore me completely. Utterly ignore me, unless I go up to her and ask her something. Otherwise, she’ll stare right through me, never greeting me first or asking me how I’m doing.
    Yes, I HAVE been concealing my emotions lately — appearing to have a blank, vacant face while talking to her. At times it’s on purpose, at others it isn’t, but whenever she’s there, I put on the nonchalant mask. I do it since it feels safer to do so — throwing my emotions right out in the open has never been a strength for me.
    Yet her blankness and indifference towards me startles me. It hasn’t always been this way.

    As for school, it is much like always. I still feel it is incredibly repetitive, redundant, and generally aimed towards dull beings, but what can I do? My teacher is unlikely to give me any enrichment. Yes, I can ask, but the answer will very likely be no, considering the fact that she now ignores me.

    I try to cheer myself up, tell myself that it will all pass, that it’s in my head, somehow hoping I’m delusional. I’m not, apparently. The easiness of school the fact that NOBODY except Hui Ting understands about giftedness, draws my mood and overall state of mind down.

    So, what do make of these very interesting developments and my problem with school and the people there?
    I’d love to hear any suggestions.

    Also, I do apologize for the overall length and belatedness. I’ve been very busy lately.

    Only as a small side note —
    It feels sometimes as if loving books, wanting to spend hours at Chapters or the library, solving equations and proving geometrical theorems as a hobby, going to “enrichment school” once a week and generally behaving like a stereotypical nerd is bad. Being gifted, from the population’s and my parents’ perspective is not the best.
    I wonder why.

    Thank you for taking the time to reply to this awfully long comment, if you do.


    • http://giftedforlife.com Sonia Dabboussi

      Hello, Lena.

      I’m glad that I’m really getting to know you, even if it’s here online through discussion for now. It would really be my pleasure to meet you in person some day.

      Thanks for the updates you’ve given here. I hadn’t forgotten about your teacher and was wondering what had happened on that front. Her reluctance to talk to you could be interpreted in many ways and it’s difficult to tell from here what the problem may be exactly. I would guess a few things: that she really is gifted and you’ve been able to see what most other people can’t which makes her uncomfortable; she hasn’t previously considered that she may be gifted and is now going through some contemplation on her own; she feels challenged in some way because you’re academically advanced and perhaps can tell when she makes mistakes; or any other number of things. It’s something to think about in any case.

      As for your friends, it’s easy to feel that other people around you are ‘stupid’ because they can’t follow or process things in the same way you do. I would caution against using this type of word to describe them though because it can lead you too easily into coming across as arrogant or condescending. And they aren’t really stupid anyway, just different than you are.

      It’s important to hang onto your giftedness even if it isn’t readily accepted by the people around you. Way too often people ‘conform to the norm’ in order to get by and to gain acceptance in some way, and they lose themselves in the process. Hang onto Hui Ting if you get along well, and spend time doing the things you love when you can. That will help for sure.

      And as for your latest interest in books, that’s a great way to explore the world and delve into topics you enjoy. Plus, it’s a trait that many gifted people share, to the extent that there’s actually a book about gifted children called, “Some of My Best Friends Are Books”. Interesting, don’t you think?

      One more quick thing: I posted your Yahoo Answers question in the forum here so that other gifted people at Gifted for Life can offer their thoughts and advice as well. There have been a couple of responses there if you’d like to chime in!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/Q5NTTEPYVZ4F6QHP6ZKEKBZ7IY KrissieindaD

    The Autobiography of Malcolm X meant a lot to me growing up. Malcolm X was highly intelligent as a child yet he could not fit into societies norms. His passion for life and learning combined with his misfortune of not being able to be in an environment that nurtured his inquisitiveness led him to thrust himself into the world at a young age and he ending up in trouble. It was when was in the isolation prison that he was able to grow close to God and spend his time in deep contemplation- within a wonderful library that he could pursue his intellectual hunger and ponder on spirituality and morality, and tackle  social injustices.

    As an adult, I reflect on how tumultuous it was for me growing up, being told I was smart, being placed in enrichment programs, taking SAT tests and ACT tests when I was 10-11 years old, writing college level papers in the 7th grade, being told I was the best write in the junior high at 13 then dropping out , shocking the instructor  when I aced my GED at 18….constantly being the one in trouble, being accused of having ADD, and always feeling crazy like I was weird, the outsider, different then the other kids, my Mom always asking what  was wrong with me… and no one ever telling me I was “gifted”.

    I could really, really relate to him growing up an at 14. I read that book over and over again. I related to him in so many ways… he was like my best friend through those rough times, feeling so lost and misunderstood. I’m 28 now, just now getting my Associates and transferring to the university and it took so many years for me to recognize myself, diagnose myself, because no one in my family or in the schools could put into word what I ‘was’!

    Recently I recalled  my Grandma telling me years ago, “My, I remember you were 9 months old and you stood up and walked, or you’ve been able to read books since you were three years old… I never connected the testing, the enrichment classes, everything..together! Gifted people can be so naive it seems, ashamed to have something positive others don’t have! Until recently I became fed up with it all, beginning to believing I had ADD, even though I didn’t have many of the symptoms,  even after undergoing all kinds of testing when I finally went to a therapist, she thought I was very intelligent and had ‘dysthymia’- a low grade constant depression, as a diagnosis- but I still kept wondering what was wrong for 5 more years. 

    A month ago, I started going through the DSM-IV looking for what was wrong with me and never being able to match the ‘symptoms’… until I remembered my Grandma telling me I could ‘walk at 9 mo. and read at 3’… I googled just that and came across intellectual giftedness… all the ‘symptoms’ were there! I still can’t believe it sometimes that my life long battle with myself was unnecessary.. that yes, I am different but not different in a bad way, not that I am smart because I’m crazy and that the ideas and thoughts in my mind aren’t some mental defect but a gift!!! So finally, I know exactly what it is… I hope to God more kids aren’t falling through the cracks…but we know they are!!!!

    • http://giftedforlife.com Sonia Dabboussi

      Thanks so much for the very thoughtful reply. You have been through so much in your life, and, you are right, there are many other children and youth who are today still going through the same things. Passing the message to those who are still struggling is so important. Imagine how many years of pain people have lived through, not knowing what was ‘wrong’ or how to ‘fix’ it? Imagine finally discovering that what was ‘wrong’ is actually what was, and is, ‘right’? We have much work to do I believe. I hope someone reading your words here will find the light that has been hidden inside himself or herself, and will discover he or she can be, do and have so much more…

  • Lizzy Williams

    I highly recommend ‘Magic’s Pawn’ by Mercedes Lackey. I read it only a couple years ago, but facing my own ambiguous gender-identity and sexuality in addition to the confusion I felt going for a degree that I could not work with…The story really spoke to me.

    I have always felt alone in a crowd, and eventually that everyone was against me. In the book you meet an entire group of people who want nothing but to help, because they know the kind of pain that the main character is going through. There was no ulterior motive- they only wanted to heal his emotional pain. That book made me believe in the goodness of humanity again.