Memoir
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.

More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from IndieBound
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.

More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from Barnes and Noble
Buy from IndieBound
Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way

Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way

This is another of my favorites from Shauna Niequist.

More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from Barnes and Noble Nook
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.

More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from Barnes and Noble
Buy from IndieBound
End of the Rope: Mountains, Marriage, and Motherhood

End of the Rope: Mountains, Marriage, and Motherhood

From the publisher: "In the tradition of Cheryl Strayed’s Wild comes this funny and gritty debut memoir in which Jan Redford grows from a nomadic rock climber to a mother who fights to win back her future."

More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from Bookshop
All Is Grace: A Ragamuffin Memoir

All Is Grace: A Ragamuffin Memoir

The heartbreaking and beautiful memoir from a recovering alcoholic, a Franciscan priest, and beloved author of The Ragamuffin Gospel. Heartbreaking and beautiful. Such a good read, but grab your tissues.

More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from Barnes and Noble Nook
Roots and Sky: A Journey Home in Four Seasons

Roots and Sky: A Journey Home in Four Seasons

$7.84$1.99

Several years ago, Purifoy and her family made an intentional move to a big Pennsylvania farmhouse (minus the farm) in search of a community and a home. In these pages Purifoy tells the story of their first year at Maplehurst in beautiful yet unfussy prose. A lovely memoir.

More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Austen Years: A Memoir in Five Novels

Austen Years: A Memoir in Five Novels

I haven't read this one yet, but I hope to remedy that soon. I enjoyed Cohen's essay on <a href="https://lithub.com/on-jane-austens-politics-of-walking/">Jane Austen's Politics of Walking</a>. In her memoir, she writes, "About seven years ago, not too long before our daughter was born, and a year before my father died, Jane Austen became my only author." For Cohen, Austen's novels were both a comfort and a catalyst for working through her grief, grappling with life's hard questions, and living a literary life. Part memoir, part history, part love letter to Austen.

More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from Libro.fm
Buy from Bookshop
Wild in the Hollow: On Chasing Desire and Finding the Broken Way Home

Wild in the Hollow: On Chasing Desire and Finding the Broken Way Home

$9.99$1.99Audiobook: 3.99 (Whispersync)
Author:
Series: Quick Lit 8/15
Genre: Memoir
Tag: Quick Lit

Fans of Amber's writing love her distinctive, lyrical voice. I was so happy to see that it works in this book-length spiritual memoir. The details give the story richness: the scent of wild grapes, the cacophony of the woods on a Southern evening, the ginormous swimming pool slide with no pool at the bottom. A must-read for fans of Amber's blog.

More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People

Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People

$15.58
Author:
Series: Quick lit 1/16
Genre: Memoir
Tag: Quick Lit

Fans of the author's first memoir Pastrix won't want to miss this new one: Bolz-Weber delivers another wildly irreverent, profanity-filled spiritual memoir about how God chooses who he chooses, even if those people seem to us like the most unlikely candidates. Poignant and hilarious stories give life to this concept: in my favorite chapter, Bolz-Weber and her "token" conservative friend fire off rifles at the local shooting range. The second half lags a little but I'm glad I stuck it out.

More info →
Buy from Amazon
The Yellow House: A Memoir

The Yellow House: A Memoir

In her unique memoir, Broom writes about family, race, and class by noting the intersections of her family's history and the history of New Orleans. After reading about her process, this thoughtfully-structured book moved to the top of my To Be Read list. Broom says, “I knew when I started collecting evidence, so to speak, that I was trying to find the architecture of the book...I needed to know where the beams were and what was the supporting wall. I literally thought of it as a house because I knew that I was trying to put a lot in it.”

More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from Bookshop
When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice

When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice

$10.14

What do you do when your mom dies and leaves you her old journals? And then you discover that her journals are blank? In 54 separate meditations, Williams unfolds the mystery of her mother's life, and of her empty journals, and explores the power of words—and withholding them.

More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from Bookshop
Take This Bread: A Radical Conversion

Take This Bread: A Radical Conversion

$12.99$1.99Audiobook: 7.49 (Whispersync)
Author:
Series: Quick lit 1/16
Genre: Memoir
Tag: Quick Lit

I've been meaning to read this book for years: it's been highly recommended by readers with great taste. But it wasn't until my family started volunteering at our church's food pantry that it vaulted to the top of my list. I knew our church began the food pantry BECAUSE of Sara Miles's visit to the church a few years ago, and after reading her inspiring story, I understand why her enthusiasm for community food pantries is contagious. A compelling spiritual memoir. Add Audible narration for $3.99.

More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
The Answer Is…: Reflections on My Life

The Answer Is…: Reflections on My Life

Author:
Series: 20 giftable books 2020
Genre: Memoir

I have such fond memories of watching Jeopardy! as a family when I was growing up, and I was deeply saddened by Alex Trebek's passing. His reflections in this volume are sure to be nostalgic and illuminating as he shares anecdotes from over three decades of hosting the show. More than a history of his hosting career, this volume includes Trebek's musings on parenthood, education, and spirituality. In a nod to the show, each chapter title is in the form of a question.

More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from Bookshop
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: (A Mostly True Memoir)

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: (A Mostly True Memoir)

Jen from Conversion Diary calls the Bloggess “The Blogger That I Cannot Link To,” and for these same reasons I’m afraid to recommend her to you:

I know. Bad etiquette. But I simply don’t have the vocabulary to craft a content warning that would be strong enough to give readers unfamiliar with her writing a proper idea of what they might find there. Ten f-bombs, to be sure. But also discussion of insane taxidermy experiments. Pictures of insane taxidermy experiments. Sexual references that would make Hugh Hefner blush. And that’s just in the first paragraph.

More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from Barnes and Noble Nook
Night

Night

"What does it mean to remember? It is to live in more than one world, to prevent the past from fading and to call upon the future to illuminate it." In this moving memoir, Wiesel recalls his experience as a young boy with his father in the Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps in 1944-45, during the Holocaust at the height of World War II. It's amazing how much Wiesel packs into 100 pages. "Never shall I forget ... "

More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from Barnes and Noble
Buy from IndieBound
Relish: My Life in the Kitchen

Relish: My Life in the Kitchen

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Lucy Knisley loves food. The daughter of a chef and a gourmet, this talented young cartoonist comes by her obsession honestly. In her forthright, thoughtful, and funny memoir, Lucy traces key episodes in her life thus far, framed by what she was eating at the time and lessons learned about food, cooking, and life. Each chapter is bookended with an illustrated recipe―many of them treasured family dishes, and a few of them Lucy's original inventions.

A welcome read for anyone who ever felt more passion for a sandwich than is strictly speaking proper, Relish is a graphic novel for our time: it invites the reader to celebrate food as a connection to our bodies and a connection to the earth, rather than an enemy, a compulsion, or a consumer product.

More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Bookshop
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)

This one made me laugh out loud in places. The backstory about how Mindy developed her comedic talent was really interesting, especially in light of all the deliberate practice reading I've been doing.

More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from IndieBound
The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help

The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help

$28.503.95 (AUDIBLE DEAL)
Author:
Series: Juicy memoirs
Genre: Memoir

TED-talk-turned-book is not the typical publication path for a juicy memoir, but this one sure is. Amanda Palmer's TED talk about what she learned working as a human statue (I kid you not, and it's fascinating) went viral, and a book deal followed soon thereafter. In her memoir/inspirational book, she discusses how relying on others has led to her success in life and all kinds of work, although she's certainly traveling the road less taken. There's some sensitive content, for sure, but I found her insights into the creative life, stardom, and (especially) life with husband Neil Gaiman fascinating.

More info →
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly: A Memoir of Life in Death

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly: A Memoir of Life in Death

A wonderful and moving memoir. Following a catastrophic stroke, Jean-Dominique Bauby spent several weeks in a coma, then wakened to a new reality. The 44-year-old sharp, high-living editor of French Elle was now a victim of "locked-in syndrome": he was mentally alert but unable to move or speak. Through sheer determination and a dose of the miraculous, Bauby learns a new way to communicate: by blinking to "speak," selecting one letter at a time, as someone read aloud a new alphabet rearranged in order of the letters' frequency of use. The diving bell of the title is the sheer weight of his useless body, but the butterfly is the human spirit that flies free.

More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Barnes and Noble
Buy from IndieBound
A Circle of Quiet (The Crosswicks Journals)

A Circle of Quiet (The Crosswicks Journals)

I’ve adopted Madeleine L’Engle as an honorary mentor. Anyone who can coin a phrase like “the tired thirties” and admit that her kids told her to sit down at the typewriter and write when she got cranky is worth listening to. I suspect our brains work the same way (except for the part where hers cranks out gorgeous fiction and mine is terrified of the genre).

More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from Barnes and Noble
Buy from IndieBound
Yes Please

Yes Please

A juicy memoir. From <em>Newsweek</em>: "Delightful...Poehler is frank and funny throughout, as is her nature, but her writing unearths a wise narrator who's seen some of the worst of life and come out the other side unscathed…Can we get more from Amy Poehler? Yes, seriously, please." Add Audible narration, with a full cast narration including Carol Burnett, Seth Meyers, Kathleen Turner, Patrick Stewart (who reads haikus), and even Amy's parents.

More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from IndieBound
Touching the Void: The True Story of One Man’s Miraculous Survival

Touching the Void: The True Story of One Man’s Miraculous Survival

Author:
Series: Quick Lit 2/16
Genre: Memoir
Tag: Quick Lit

I've been meaning to read this modern adventure classic for years, largely because I'm obsessed with Into Thin Air. I expected the two books to be similar but—aside from the fact that they both deal with life and death in the icy mountains—the books didn't feel at all the same. Krakauer's is reflective and journalistic; in Touching the Void, Simpson and his climbing partner alternately tell the tale of their disastrous ascent of a remote peak in the Peruvian Andes.

More info →
Buy from Amazon