I’ve been luxuriating in memoir lately. It’s so powerful to read about people’s experiences in their own words. It’s like sitting down with them in a cozy corner and having a really good chat.
Memoir is deeply personal writing about a specific time in a person’s life and touches on the person’s memories, feelings, and emotions.
Memoir can be inspiring, horrifying, intoxicating, and hysterical. If you are interested in trying out memoir for the first time, or are looking for your next good read, check out this list of what I’ve been reading lately.
By Tara Westover
Tara Westover grew up living off the grid in Idaho. Her erratic father and her midwife mother were strict fundamentalist, so Tara and her siblings never went to school. Tara was 17 the first time she entered a classroom. This is an astounding memoir about how Westover taught herself so she could enter BYU as a college freshman.
This was a heart wrenching read. The ignorance, squalor, and violence that she experienced in her family of origin is hard to stomach. How could a story like this happen in a modern, civilized world? Yet, the way Westover describes her experience is unflinching and ultimately inspirational. This one will really make you think.
By Michelle Obama
This is an intimate portrait of a powerful woman who has experienced heartbreaks and successes that have shaped an amazing life. I really appreciated the section where she recounts her experience with fertility treatments and trying to get pregnant.
These tender details make this more than just a “famous person” memoir. It is articulate and impeccably written. Reading this book was like having Michelle Obama as a delightful house guest for a couple of days.
by Sally Field
Field gives an unflinching and heartbreaking view of Old Hollywood and her experiences as she evolved from teen sweetheart to Oscar-winning leading lady.
Field’s authenticity and vulnerability is compelling and her life is inspiring. Though some of the subject matter is dark, her glowing hope shines through. This is a beautifully written, tender and raw memoir about an inner child who just wants to be enough.
WHISKEY IN A TEACUP: WHAT GROWING UP IN THE SOUTH TAUGHT ME ABOUT LIFE, LOVE, AND BAKING BISCUITS
By Reese Witherspoon
)In this chatty memoir/recipe book, Reese Witherspoon shares what it was like growing up in The South, particularly the influence of her grandmother Dorothea. At the end of each chapter, she shares family recipes and lists of books and music that can bring the charm and tradition of Tennessee to your home.
I loved this book. I wasn’t sure what I was expecting, but Reese Witherspoon writes with charm and candor about her upbringing and the power of family. It was really interesting to see into her life outside of her movies.
TALKING AS FAST AS I CAN: FROM GILMORE GIRLS TO GILMORE GIRLS, (AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN)
By Lauren Graham
This memoir was like talking to my best friends about life, love, and our favorite episodes of GILMORE GIRLS. Graham explains her childhood, her life-changing role as Dolly Levi in HELLO, DOLLY! and all the things that lead her to GILMORE GIRLS and PARENTHOOD. She also shares from her diary that she kept during the filming of GILMORE GIRLS: A YEAR IN THE LIFE and her reunion with Alexis Bledel and Kelly Bishop and what it was like to be without Edward Herriman’s quintessential Richard Gilmore. But mostly it is about how she always felt that she had something inside of her that she wanted to share, that she needed to impart, and she did, talking as fast as she could.