memoir

book cover of They Left Us Everything by Plum Johnson

They Left Us Everything

Plum Johnson
5
Rated by
Hannah Jane C.
Wednesday, Dec 6, 2017

​They Left Us Everything is an emotional journey through Plum Johnson's grief and search for self after losing her parents and childhood home. After almost twenty years spent caring for her aging parents, Alex and Virginia, Plum is both liberated and burdened by their deaths, which happen just a mere three years apart. Though Plum loses them, and the loss is enormous, she finds them again through their belongings as she clears out their house, her childhood home, and prepares to sell it.

Moonglow

Moonglow

Michael Chabon
4
Rated by
Jed D.
Thursday, Sep 21, 2017

A majority of Moonglow's plot focuses on a Jewish grandfather reminiscing on his deathbed to his grandson Mike, an author.

blue cover with a wooden spoon dripping in chocolate

Stir

Jessica Fechtor
4
Rated by
Hannah Jane C.
Sunday, Jul 9, 2017

​I'll admit I wasn't sure about a memoir that alternated between recipes and recovery from an aneurysm​, but Stir must have won me over because I not only felt the unique disappointment that only happens when finishing a good book, I also can't stop talking about it. Jessica Fechtor's recovery from a brain aneurysm while running on a treadmill is memoir-worthy without the wonderful observations, recipes, and memories.

Friday, May 5, 2017

In July of 2007, Catherine Tidd lost her husband, Brad, in an accident and suddenly found herself a 31-year-old widow with three small children. In Confessions of a Mediocre Widow, Tidd chronicles her experience with sudden widowhood and the journey of self-discovery her husband's loss prompted.

Bastards

Bastards

Mary Anna King
4
Rated by
Hannah Jane C.
Tuesday, Feb 28, 2017

Mary Anna King’s first six years of life are anything but stable.

Cover

I Am Big Bird (DVD) & The Wisdom of Big Bird

Caroll Spinney
4
Rated by
Hannah Jane C.
Thursday, Jan 19, 2017

I Am Big Bird is a must-see for fans of Sesame Street, Jim Henson, Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch, or all of the above. It’s a documentary focusing on the life of Caroll Spinney, the puppeteer who plays both Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch, and also sometimes other famous Sesame Street characters like Bert.

My Struggle

My Struggle: Book One

Karl Ove Knausgaard
4
Rated by
Matt C.
Wednesday, Dec 7, 2016

This is the first in a six book series, totaling some 3,000 pages, about a quiet man from Norway reflecting on parts of his life. It is boring and breathtaking at the same time. The author ruminates on the death of his father and his own mortality as he shuffles through memories of his childhood and then the more recent past. Day-to-day events such as making breakfast, working at a computer, and making phone calls take center stage. We all do things like this every day and then forget about them. Somehow, Karl Ove Knausgaard makes them memorable.

Wednesday, Nov 16, 2016

In The Butterfly Hours, Dann uses “one-word memory triggers like ‘table’ or ‘car’ . . . as a way” for students, and eventually herself, “to stitch together the patches of [their lives].” Some of the stories shared are those of her students, some are her own. All are beautiful.

The reading could have gone quickly, but I saved and savored the chapters. Assignments are listed at the end of the book and a photocopy of them now rests in the cover of my journal.

What Comes Next and How to Like It

Abigail Thomas
5
Rated by
Helen H.
Sunday, Oct 9, 2016

Through a series of short essays, Thomas lovingly paints a picture of her best friend Chuck, a heartbreaking portrait of her daughter’s cancer, eloquently wrangles her addictions, and throws in all the other stuff that makes a life a life. Somehow she makes the whole mess look beautiful.

Love, Loss, and What We Ate: A Memoir

Padma Lakshmi
4
Rated by
Megan C.
Saturday, Oct 1, 2016

The title of Love, Loss and What We Ate is what sparked my interest: what could be more relatable? I knew nothing about Padma Lakshmi and didn’t even recognize her name. But it doesn’t matter; anyone can find aspects of her story engaging. She writes with honesty and simplicity about the events of her life.

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