Memoir
An American Childhood
Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis

Author:
Series: Quick Lit 9/16
Genre: Memoir
Tag: Quick Lit

The Wall Street Journal calls this "A riveting book." From the publisher: "From a former marine and Yale Law School graduate, a powerful account of growing up in a poor Rust Belt town that offers a broader, probing look at the struggles of America’s white working class."

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Me Talk Pretty One Day

Me Talk Pretty One Day

$12.99$2.99

Sedaris writes masterful tales of family dysfunction. His best essays make me laugh until I cry (and--bonus!--leave me feeling pretty good about my own family's functionality). But he is sometimes cynical and often crass, the language can be totally objectionable, and the themes ensure that I don't forget to put his books on high shelves instead of leaving them on the coffee table where my young readers might flip them open.

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Short Trip to the Edge: Where Earth Meets Heaven–A Pilgrimage
Dimestore: A Writer’s Life

Dimestore: A Writer’s Life

Author:
Genre: Memoir

In this essay collection, Lee Smith reflects on her early life in a West Virginia coal town, and the influence it had on her life and work. Kirkus calls this "a warm, poignant memoir from a reliably smooth voice."

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Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

$6.99$3.99

I heard rave reviews from readers with good taste, but I only made it to page 40. The trouble started right at the beginning, as Strayed watched her mom die of cancer. Because of my personal history, I hate cancer books (though I adored A Homemade Life, which began with a similar story).

Wild reminded me of Julie Powell's (of Julie and Julia fame) Cleaving, a truly terrible book that I should have abandoned, but instead stuck with through the sad, sorry, never-should-have-been-published end. (For pure entertainment value, read the Amazon reviews of Cleaving, such as, "where insecurity and narcissism converge." I concur.)

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On Writing: A Memoir Of The Craft

On Writing: A Memoir Of The Craft

This is an exceptional book for book lovers and a must-read for writers, and I'm saying that as someone who has read a grand total of two books by King. (The other is 11/22/63.) I thoroughly enjoyed his descriptions of his fiction writing process (although his descriptions convinced me that I never, ever want to read Carrie.) I especially enjoyed the anecdotes he shared about his marriage, and I couldn't turn the pages fast enough when he explores his devastating car wreck and recovery.

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Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? And Other Questions You Should Have Answers to When You Work in the White House

Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? And Other Questions You Should Have Answers to When You Work in the White House

$13.99$3.99Audiobook: 12.99 (Whispersync)

West Wing fans, listen up. This is a behind-the-scenes look at the workings of the Obama White House, through the eyes of someone who worked for him for more than ten years, first supporting him as a freshman senator, then as assistant to the president and director of scheduling, and finally as assistant to the president and deputy chief of staff at the White House. Word is this is like your "gossipy older sister" dishing on what really happens behind the political scenes.

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Eat Pray Love

Eat Pray Love

I didn't read the book, I never saw the movie, and it really didn't bother me any. But I love Gilbert's TED talks and have watched them multiple times, and I can't wait to read her next book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear coming out this fall. I feel like I ought to read the book that made her career—especially since everyone has read it but me.

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Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis

Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis

Of all Winner's books, this one has the lowest rating on Goodreads. I understand why: there are more than a few lackluster chapters breaking up the good parts. But the good parts are so good this book is well worth the effort, especially if you've resonated with Lauren's previous works.

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Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood

The Daily Show star does a masterful job of alternating the deathly serious with the laugh-out-loud funny, sometimes even combining the two, in this collection of coming-of-age essays about his South African childhood. His mischievous childhood and unconventional youth provide wonderful fodder for not-quite-polite (thus the "scandalous" part of this juicy memoir) but always entertaining stories. I highly recommend the audiobook, read by the author.

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Girl at the End of the World: My Escape from Fundamentalism in Search of Faith with a Future

Girl at the End of the World: My Escape from Fundamentalism in Search of Faith with a Future

$13.99$1.99

I'm a longtime fan of Elizabeth Esther's writing. I snatched this up when it first came out, but for those who didn't, I'm happy for YOU that today's price is the lowest ever. Rachel Held Evans calls this "witty, insightful, courageous, and compelling, the sort of book you plan to read in a week but finish in a day. Elizabeth Esther is a master storyteller who describes her journey out of fundamentalism with a powerful mix of tenderness and guts. With this debut, Esther sets herself apart as a remarkable writer and remarkable woman. This book is a gift, and I cannot commend it enough.

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Coming Clean: A Story of Faith

Coming Clean: A Story of Faith

$8.99$2.99
Author:
Series: Best Nonfiction 2015
Genre: Memoir
Tag: Quick Lit

This was one of my favorite nonfiction books of the year. A new release shouldn't be priced this low, so snatch it up while it lasts.

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Scrappy Little Nobody

Scrappy Little Nobody

$12.99$2.99Audiobook: 11.49 (Whispersync)
Author:
Genre: Memoir

Buzzfeed says, "Kendrick has won legions of fans for her movies and her quips on Twitter, and her wit continues in this collection of autobiographical essays recounting some of the most memorable, charming, and even relatable moments of her life—from growing up in New England suburbia to working her way up to become one of Hollywood’s darlings."

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Something Other Than God: How I Passionately Sought Happiness and Accidentally Found It
Four Seasons in Rome

Four Seasons in Rome

Author:
Series: Best Nonfiction 2015
Genre: Memoir

The subtitle on this one is a little weird: ignore it. This magical memoir is about the year Doerr, his wife, and his twin baby boys spent in Rome after he won a writer's residency grant. He found out about the award the same day they brought the twins home from the hospital. Doerr writes beautifully about his year abroad, from the everyday and the extraordinary: grocery shopping, sourcing baby gear (for twins!), his wife's illness, sightseeing, Pope John Paul II's funeral. I googled every street, church, and town he referenced. I loved his references to the novel he was writing while in Rome: many years later, it became All the Light We Cannot See.

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How to Be Loved: a Memoir of Life-Saving Friendship

How to Be Loved: a Memoir of Life-Saving Friendship

An unexpected health crisis confronts Eva Hagberg with the truth. She faces a tough recovery, she is vulnerable and lonely, and she needs friendship more than ever. Although it feels like her life has fallen apart, Eva finds that simple acts of friendship slowly pull it back together. A beautiful reflection on pain, hope, and joy—this book reminds us that friends hold us up when we can't get back on our feet alone.

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Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way
The Light of the World: A Memoir

The Light of the World: A Memoir

In Alexander's words: "The story seems to begin with catastrophe but in fact began earlier and is not a tragedy but rather a love story." The author's husband died just four days after his fiftieth birthday. A few years later, Alexander looks back on their life together, their love, and the impact of that loss in her life. The author is a poetry professor at Yale, which is obvious in the story's richness and language. Her source material is fantastic: Alexander is an American, born in Harlem. Her husband was born in Eritrea, in East Africa, and came to New Haven as a refugee from war. Both were artists—that’s his painting on the cover of the book—and their home sounds like this amazing, vibrant, multicultural extravaganza with food and friends and music and art. I could barely put this down, and while sad, it exudes joy. Heads up for audiophiles: Alexander's narration of her own work is magnificent. Published April 15 2015.

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