Monday 18 April 2016

Memoirs I Want To Read

I thought about writing an actual review today, or even just posting one of the several hundred I have written on tiny scraps of paper stuffed in my handbag, or even just a Books on my Bedside table post, but then I decided what's better when you're way behind talking about the stuff you've actually read than posting about all the other stuff you'd love to read? Right? Right.

If you didn't see it, Kim wrote an excellent post on Book Riot this week entitled 100 Must - Read Memoirs. I love memoirs, personally they're a big part of why I started reading nonfiction in the first place and I really can't get enough of good memoirs written by interesting people. There were several on this list that I've read and loved (hi, Wild Swans, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and Reading Lolita in Tehran!) and several more that are sitting on my shelf upstairs waiting for me to get around to them (ahem), but for the sake of fun I decided that I'd check out some of the titles I'd never heard of which looked intriguing, and here is (of course) a list of a few that I'm particularly excited to read. Have you read any of them? Let me know where I should start!

Dust Tracks on a Road by Zora Neale Hurston 

Their Eyes Were Watching God was one of those books people told me to read forever and I was pretty sure that it would disappoint me but it didn't. I'd like to read more about the author.

The Liar's Club by Mary Karr

I have no interest in misery memoirs, but while this is the story of Karr's troubled childhood the blurb doesn't make it seem like it wallows in the misery. It sounds kind of brilliant, actually.

First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers by Loung Ung

I know nothing about Cambodia, and we all know that I hate things I know nothing about and generally try to rectify it by getting my hands on a book.... I know this will be difficult reading but a lot of important things are hard.

She's Not There: A Life in Two Genders by Jennifer Finney Boylan

I'm really interested in reading more about gender recently and this is an area I know so little about, so, see above really, but hopefully less depressing.

Jesus Land by Julia Scheeres

This sounds kind of terrifying but also really really interesting. About Julia and her adopted brother David growing up in the racism of the 1980s American midwest and a religious reform school in the Dominican Republic...

Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's by John Elder Robinson

In case you didn't know (and I'm not sure I've mentioned it much here) I used to work with kids on the autistic spectrum, as do my sister and mum. Two of my sisters have recently been diagnosed with characteristics of Asperger's syndrome and so it's a topic that I find really fascinating. This book sounds like it will be great.

Mennonite in a Little Black Dress by Rhoda Janzen

I had to google 'mennonite' just now. True story. And I don't think you need any more than that on why I want to read this.

This Life is in Your Hands: One Dream, Sixty Acres, and a Family's Heartbreak by Melissa Coleman

Melissa Coleman grew up on communes and sustainable farms in Maine, and I'm sure you can see from the title and the word 'sustainable' why I want to read this book immediately.

Do you Dream in Color?: Insights from a Girl Without Sight by Laurie Rubin

This is a book by an international opera singer who is also blind. I have read surprisingly little about blindness and this sounds like it will be memorable and uplifting as well as insightful.

I could go on and on with this list - I pretty much want to read everything on it because Kim is a genius at picking books, but I'll stop there because then there's actually a chance that I might read all or at least some of these titles and possibly even feed back my thoughts at some distant point in the future, you never know your luck!

What are your favourite memoirs?


  1. These all sound so good. I love reading memoirs, and travel memoirs especially. My TBR list is growing by the moment. :) Hope you are doing well. xo

  2. I almost did this same post today -- memoirs I recommended that I haven't read yet :) From your list, I can definitely suggest This Life is In Your Hands (beautifully written) and Jesus Land (super crazy). I loved both of those.