memoir

various birds decorate a checkerboard cover

Bird by Bird

Anne Lamott
4
Rated by
Melody B.K.
Sunday, Jul 27, 2014

I'm not a writer but Anne Lamott makes me believe that I could be a great one. Bird by Bird is a writing manual that reads like a memoir, a very funny, life affirming, let's get real memoir. She reminds me a bit of Cheryl Strayed in her clarity and insight not only about writing but about relationships and priorities. Lamott says, "if you want to know your characters, you have to hang out with them for awhile." I highly recommend hanging out with Lamott.

Desert Flower: The Extraordinary Journey of a Desert Nomad

Waris Dirie and Cathleen Miller
5
Rated by
Megan C.
Sunday, Jul 20, 2014

This memoir explores the life of Waris Dirie, recognized by many for her work as a model, and by others for her advocacy for human rights and a battle against female genital mutilation. The reader follows her from her early life as a nomad in the deserts of Somalia, to her difficult and sometimes dangerous journey to Mogadishu and eventually London. Working there as an underappreciated maid for her own family, she is "discovered", and sets off on an equally nomadic life as a model. Throughout her journey, Waris has to face the world with her own wits and tenacity.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

This memoir recounts the story of Malika Oufkir, whose father was the closest aide to the King of Morocco. We follow Malika from the age of five, as she is raised in the palace as the princess’ companion. While life in the harem is a kind of imprisonment itself, it is nothing compared to what awaits her, her mother, and her siblings after her father is executed for an attempt to assassinate the King.

Blue, white and yellow geometric shapes resembling a flower with the title in the middle

The Reason I Jump

Naoki Higashida
5
Rated by
Bethany T.
Monday, Apr 28, 2014

Naoki Higashida is a thirteen-year-old boy with autism so severe that he cannot speak aloud. But using an alphabet grid, he--letter by letter--has composed this missive from the depths of autism, revealing that a clever mind and keen perception lie behind the limits of his disorder.

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2014

In his new book, Scott Stossel describes his harrowing experience with clinical anxiety as well as its origins as a psychiatric disease. He looks at the philosophical and biological underpinnings of anxiety and the amazing response from pharmacology, both as a benefit for those who suffer from the illness and as an industry that pathologizes normal emotions upon the arrival of drugs that can alter them.

Title letters in red spelled out on cover

Sister Mother Husband Dog, (etc.)

Delia Ephron
5
Rated by
Sarah A.
Thursday, Mar 20, 2014

Delia Ephron has written an entertaining group of personal essays that range from the deeply touching to the absurdly humorous in Sister Mother Husband Dog, (etc.) The first essay in the book is a tribute to her late sister, the writer Nora Ephron. The two sisters worked together writing screenplays for several popular movies, including You’ve Got Mail and Sleepless in Seattle. Certainly she writes of her sister in a loving way, but she also shares with us the humanness of the relationship – the jealousy and the competition.

Wild Comfort

Kathleen Dean Moore
5
Rated by
Hannah Jane C.
Monday, Dec 23, 2013

Perhaps the best essay in Wild Comfort is the piece that launches the collection, The Solace of Snakes. It’s possible that it’s my favorite essay because of her cunning implementation of snake tins (sheets of metal) to give snakes a proper home in a cleared field. Kathleen Dean Moore further explains her recordings each day as she carefully lifts the snake tins and examines the life beneath: “A large vole. . .

Relish by Lucy Knisley

Relish: My Life In The Kitchen

Lucy Knisley
4
Friday, Dec 20, 2013

The smell of baking cookies brings back memories of mother's kitchen...Biting into a fresh tomato recalls the garden behind your childhood home...Watching the yellow powder and milk combine to create delicious macaroni and cheese reminds you of your first apartment. For author Lucy Knisley, as for many of us, food is a trip down memory lane. With a caterer mother and foodie father, her life has been defined and marked by some of the best (and worst food).

Thursday, Oct 3, 2013

These days, I read a lot of mom-oirs – enough to feel justified making up a word to describe the sub-genre clash of parenting book meets memoir. My twins are fifteen months old. They toddle and they’re fickle, irrational, urgent, tiny, and I love them. Just like the subtitle says.

Cover showing brown owl against cream background

Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls

David Sedaris
4
Rated by
Hope H.
Wednesday, Oct 2, 2013

Don’t be fooled, you’ll learn nothing about diabetes or owls here, but the random suggestion makes it all the more entertaining. Shortly before this book was released, I had the privilege of attending “An Evening with David Sedaris” in Kansas City, where I got a preview of some of the hilarious treasures to come in Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls. Sedaris likes to test his pieces with various live audiences, tweaking them along the way until they are primed for publishing, and

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