I love memoir as a genre. First, I believe that there are no boring people in this world; only bad storytellers. Everyone has a great story to tell, but some people are better at it than others. Second, memoirs need not be strict autobiographies. A memoir can pick and choose events to suit a theme, motif, or idea. Many people use the terms "memoir" and "autobiography" interchangeably, but I tend to think of an autobiography being a bit more "just the facts, ma'am" and chronologically bound. In a memoir, anything goes, as long as it is true (or at least true to the memory of the teller.) Also, an autobiography seems to require the writer to be at the end of the life they are writing about, but a memoir can be written by a young person or just about the young years. I've taught several units to both elementary and middle schoolers on memoir, and would enjoy doing that for adults as well. Personal essay and memoir go very nicely together, I think. Homeschooler moms, private/public/charter school teachers, or anyone else: if I wrote a memoir lesson unit eBook, would you buy it? Thinking about it… Anyway, here come seven great memoirs that I've enjoyed so far. Obviously, it's a far from complete list, but it is a good start. And I noticed that Haley's doing a Reading Goals for 2014 link up at her blog, so maybe read these suggestions and then plan to add one or two to your reading goals!
The Opposite of Fate: Memories of a Writing Life
A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail
BONUS: If you want a cheeky look back at the 1950s, you simply must read Bill Bryson's actual memoir, The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid. What I particularly liked about it was that he would include actual advertisements or newspaper clippings from that decade to show how much (and how little) America has changed.
A Year in Provence Toujours Provence
A Girl from Yamhill
Flying over 96th Street: Memoir of an East Harlem White Boy
this link . Obviously there is some very dark subject matter, seeing as it is the Holocaust, but this book makes a great read-aloud for families with mature pre-teens and teens and perhaps would be an appropriate complement to studying some other Christians who resisted the evils of the Holocaust (Dietrich Bonhoeffer, St. Maximilian Kolbe, St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, etc.)
The Hiding Place
An American Childhood
Angry Conversations with God: A Snarky but Authentic Spiritual Memoir
Okay, next week I'll cover memoirs more meant for the younger set. Thanks for reading along with me! By the way, if you click any of the Amazon links I provided and end up buying the book, you'll be contributing a few pennies to our family income, so thanks in advance…and I don't think you'll be disappointed with any of the above purchases!
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