Memoir
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

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

This is another of my favorites from Shauna Niequist.

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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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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."

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 ... "

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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.

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