Tuesday, August 15, 2017

[Top 10 Tuesday] Ten Book Recommendations For Memoir Lovers

Top 10 Tuesday- Ten Book Recommendations For Memoir Lovers

Top 10 Tuesday is created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This week's prompt is: Ten book recommendations for ____.  I have decided to fill in that blank with "memoir lovers."

Memoir is a genre that is usually pretty hit or miss with me. Even so, there are a number of memoirs that I have really loved!

Here are my top ten.

Ten Book Recommendations For Memoir Lovers


A Dog Named Slugger by Leigh Brill

Goodreads synopsis:
The true life story of a dog who changed everything for one woman.

For the first time in my life, I didn't need to pretend, I didn't need to be tough: I only needed to be honest. "I have cerebral palsy. I walk funny and my balance is bad. I fall a lot. My hands shake, too. That means I'm not so good at carrying things. And if I drop stuff, sometimes it's hard to just bend down and get it." I waited anxiously for the interviewer's response. She smiled. "It sounds like a service dog could be great for you."

So began Leigh Brill's journey toward independence and confidence, all thanks to a trained companion dog named Slugger.

The struggling college student and the Labrador with a "a coat like sunshine" and a tail that never stopped wagging became an instant team. Together, they transformed a challenge into a triumph. Together, they inspired and educated everyone they met. Now, Leigh honors her friend with the story of their life, together.


On Living by Kerry Egan

Goodreads synopsis:
As a hospice chaplain, Kerry Egan didn’t offer sermons or prayers, unless they were requested; in fact, she found, the dying rarely want to talk about God, at least not overtly. Instead, she discovered she’d been granted an invaluable chance to witness firsthand what she calls the “spiritual work of dying”—the work of finding or making meaning of one’s life, the experiences it’s contained and the people who have touched it, the betrayals, wounds, unfinished business, and unrealized dreams. Instead of talking, she mainly listened: to stories of hope and regret, shame and pride, mystery and revelation and secrets held too long. Most of all, though, she listened as her patients talked about love—love for their children and partners and friends; love they didn’t know how to offer; love they gave unconditionally; love they, sometimes belatedly, learned to grant themselves.

This isn’t a book about dying—it’s a book about living. And Egan isn’t just passively bearing witness to these stories. An emergency procedure during the birth of her first child left her physically whole but emotionally and spiritually adrift. Her work as a hospice chaplain healed her, from a brokenness she came to see we all share. Each of her patients taught her something—how to find courage in the face of fear or the strength to make amends; how to be profoundly compassionate and fiercely empathetic; how to see the world in grays instead of black and white. In this poignant, moving, and beautiful book, she passes along all their precious and necessary gifts.


The March Trilogy by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin (Co-writer) & Nate Powell (Artist)

Goodreads synopsis: 
Congressman John Lewis (GA-5) is an American icon, one of the key figures of the civil rights movement. His commitment to justice and nonviolence has taken him from an Alabama sharecropper’s farm to the halls of Congress, from a segregated schoolroom to the 1963 March on Washington, and from receiving beatings from state troopers to receiving the Medal of Freedom from the first African-American president.

Now, to share his remarkable story with new generations, Lewis presents March, a graphic novel trilogy, in collaboration with co-writer Andrew Aydin and New York Times best-selling artist Nate Powell (winner of the Eisner Award and LA Times Book Prize finalist for Swallow Me Whole).

March is a vivid first-hand account of John Lewis’ lifelong struggle for civil and human rights, meditating in the modern age on the distance traveled since the days of Jim Crow and segregation. Rooted in Lewis’ personal story, it also reflects on the highs and lows of the broader civil rights movement.

Click here to read my review of the March trilogy.


Thinking in Pictures: My Life with Autism by Temple Grandin

Goodreads synopsis:
Temple Grandin, Ph.D., is a gifted animal scientist who has designed one third of all the livestock-handling facilities in the United States. She also lectures widely on autism—because Temple Grandin is autistic, a woman who thinks, feels, and experiences the world in ways that are incomprehensible to the rest of us.

In this unprecedented book, Grandin delivers a report from the country of autism. Writing from the dual perspectives of a scientist and an autistic person, she tells us how that country is experienced by its inhabitants and how she managed to breach its boundaries to function in the outside world. What emerges in Thinking in Pictures is the document of an extraordinary human being, one who, in gracefully and lucidly bridging the gulf between her condition and our own, sheds light on the riddle of our common identity.



Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain by Portia de Rossi

Goodreads synopsis:
Portia de Rossi weighed only 82 pounds when she collapsed on the set of the Hollywood film in which she was playing her first leading role. This should have been the culmination of all her years of hard work—first as a child model in Australia, then as a cast member of one of the hottest shows on American television. On the outside she was thin and blond, glamorous and successful. On the inside, she was literally dying.

In this searing, unflinchingly honest book, Portia de Rossi captures the complex emotional truth of what it is like when food, weight, and body image take priority over every other human impulse or action. She recounts the elaborate rituals around eating that came to dominate hours of every day, from keeping her daily calorie intake below 300 to eating precisely measured amounts of food out of specific bowls and only with certain utensils. When this wasn't enough, she resorted to purging and compulsive physical exercise, driving her body and spirit to the breaking point.


In the Blood: A Memoir of My Childhood by Andrew Motion

Goodreads synopsis:
Despair over human impermanence and the desire to preserve what has been known and felt, even grief, reverberate at the heart of British Poet Laureate Motion's memoir of his childhood and adolescence in rural postwar England. A paeam to his family, and the secret hollows of his beloved home, this memoir evokes a whole world long disappeared.

The book begins in December of 1968, hours before his mother's foxhunting accident and subsequent coma from which she never recovers. This memoir is far more than a guide to the life behind the poems; it is a stand against the eluctability of time's passing, an insistence that what has been felt in the blood, and felt along the heart, is, as the epigraph from Wordsworth suggests, an integral substance of our anatomy, a part that can be neither taken from us nor lost.


Appalachian Odyssey: A 28-year hike on the Appalachian Trail by Jeffrey H. Ryan

Goodreads synopsis:
When two friends went for a one-day hike in Maine in 1985, they had no idea they were actually starting a 2,100 mile, 28-year adventure. 

Inspired by the author's trail journals, Appalachian Odyssey is not a "how to" guide, but an enduring story told through a refreshing blend of history, photography and wit. 

This book is an uplifting reminder that the most meaningful accomplishments in life rarely happen overnight, but are achieved by making steady progress toward our goals.






Goodreads synopsis:
From the bestselling author of Operating Instructions and Bird by Bird comes a chronicle of faith and spirituality that is at once tough, personal, affectionate, wise and very funny. With an exuberant mix of passion, insight, and humor, Anne Lamott takes us on a journey through her often troubled past to illuminate her devout but quirky walk of faith. In a narrative spiced with stories and scripture, with diatribes, laughter, and tears, Lamott tells how, against all odds, she came to believe in God and then, even more miraculously, in herself. She shows us the myriad ways in which this sustains and guides her, shining the light of faith on the darkest part of ordinary life and exposing surprising pockets of meaning and hope. Whether writing about her family or her dreadlocks, sick children or old friends, the most religious women of her church or the men she's dated, Lamott reveals the hard-won wisdom gathered along her path to connectedness and liberation.



Goodreads synopsis:
The Glass Castle is a remarkable memoir of resilience and redemption, and a revelatory look into a family at once deeply dysfunctional and uniquely vibrant. When sober, Jeannette's brilliant and charismatic father captured his children's imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and how to embrace life fearlessly. But when he drank, he was dishonest and destructive. Her mother was a free spirit who abhorred the idea of domesticity and didn't want the responsibility of raising a family.

The Walls children learned to take care of themselves. They fed, clothed, and protected one another, and eventually found their way to New York. Their parents followed them, choosing to be homeless even as their children prospered.

The Glass Castle is truly astonishing--a memoir permeated by the intense love of a peculiar but loyal family.




Goodreads synopsis: 
In Amy Poehler’s highly anticipated first book, Yes Please, she offers up a big juicy stew of personal stories, funny bits on sex and love and friendship and parenthood and real life advice (some useful, some not so much), like when to be funny and when to be serious. Powered by Amy’s charming and hilarious, biting yet wise voice, Yes Please is a book full of words to live by. 











Thanks for reading!
What is your favorite memoir? I'd love to hear about it in the comments section below!

22 comments:

  1. Fascinating list. I love memoirs, but have only read The Glass Castle from this list. In the Blood really sounds interesting, but all sound worth reading. Excellent work!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I hope you enjoy any book you pick up based on this list! :)

      Delete
  2. This is a great list! I also love Smashed: The Story of a Drunken Girlhood - we read it in college, and I found it very enlightening.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Oh, I will have to add that one to my TBR. Thanks! :)

      Delete
  3. I never read memoirs or biographies (why I don't know) but way back when I did read Shawn Johnson's and before that, I read Let's Roll. I'm also curious (more recently) about Anna Kendrick's book! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes! My friend Heather read Anna Kendrick's memoir! Check out her review here.

      Delete
  4. I don't read nearly enough memoirs. Appalachian Odyssey looks like it could be fascinating, and Yes Please is probably a riot. Love Poehler! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One of my coworkers wrote Appalachian Odyssey, so I'm a bit biased :) But it was such a fun read!!

      Delete
    2. Really? How cool! That would be neat. :)

      Delete
    3. He's a awesome dude! His personality definitely shines through in his book! If you give it a read, I'd love to see what you think!

      Delete
  5. Dang I haven''t read most of these! I need to get on that! :) great list!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I need to grab a copy of "A Dog Named Slugger." It sounds like a really interesting read and you know me, I can't pass up a dog on the cover.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh absolutely!! When you snag a copy, I would love to read a review!! :)

      Delete
  7. I used to read a lot of memoirs, but not so much now. Nearest non-fiction biographies are Prince (mostly pictures) and John Lennon -- I'd love to read Yes Please by Amy Poehler!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, memoirs are a struggle for me. Too often I find that they either preach or brag, and I can't stand either. Yes Please was a good read! I love Amy Poehler!

      Delete
  8. I loved Yes, Please. I have heard great things about Ann Lamott. I have read The Glass Castle. Have you seen the movie? I haven't really heard anyone talking about it since it came out, and was wondering how it turned out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I definitely recommend Traveling Mercies! I need to buy myself a new copy. I read it once in school and highlighted SO many passages. Unfortunately that was one book that disappeared on me :(

      I haven't yet seen The Glass Castle movie, but I hope to soon! I also haven't heard anyone talking about it... Hope that's not a bad thing!

      Delete
  9. Nice selection! Roxane Gay's new memoir Hunger is very good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, that one has been on my radar!! I'll have to check it out soon.

      Delete
  10. I haven't read any of these books before but I definitely want to try March. A couple of my favorites are My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell, The Egg and I by Betty MacDonald (what the Ma and Pa Kettle movies are inspired by), and The Lost City of Z by David Grann.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. March is incredible! I hope you really enjoy it! I'll check out the ones you listed! Thanks so much.

      Delete