Your favorite memoirs.

Discussion in 'Non-Fiction Books' started by artsyfartsy, Mar 25, 2011.

  1. artsyfartsy

    artsyfartsy Member

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    I love memoirs because (if they're effective) they bring you to a time and place you've never experienced. They open new ideas and culture, and more often than not provide you with a bit of history.

    For me it is:
    Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt, is hopeful and amusing, despite it's bleak circumstances. The irish are truly a musical, lyrical people.

    Others I've enjoyed have included:

    Twelve little Cakes by Dominika Dery. This is about a girl growing up in Communist Czecholslovakia (near Prague) and provides quite an insight into what it was really like living in a communist state. Another memoir, in addition to Angela's Ashes, that was filled with hope and joy.

    The Spiral Staircase by Karen Armstrong. I enjoyed the theological aspects of this. A memoir about an ex-nun struggling with her faith and her life. Somewhat pretentious and melodramatic in places, but leaves the reader with a comparitive view about various religions and their practices. She also ties in T.S. Eliot and beautiful literary aspects...I'd recommend it to those who love theology.

    A Million Little Pieces by (I forget his name). Although it was debunked as being FICTIONAL by Oprah (I think). It was still entertaining. About a hardcore alcoholic and drug addict going through the rehab system and rejecting AA/ twelve step practices.

    So what's your fave and what was it about? Why'd you like it? I'm always up for reading new and exciting memoirs.
     
  2. Lynnbrown

    Lynnbrown Firecracker

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    Is "Out of Africa" non-fiction? For some reason I think it is...I didn't watch the movie; but know that Meryl Streep played the heroine.
    For some reason, I love books where Africa plays a big role.
     
  3. artsyfartsy

    artsyfartsy Member

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    Sweet, me too. I haven't read it , but it's on my massive list. I think it could be non-fiction...definitely have to read it!

    I know it's not Non-fiction but have you read the Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, another great book about Africa, has a lot of cultural, geographic and historical aspects.
     
  4. wa bluska wica

    wa bluska wica Pedestrian

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    there's an explosion in northern plains memoirs right now, most of which are crap

    one that's good is breaking clean by judy blunt

    the rest read like they all went to the same damn writers' workshop . . .
     
  5. Meliai

    Meliai Banned

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    Anything by Augusten Burroughs. He wrote Running with Scissors, Dry, Magical Thinking, Positive Side Effects, A Wolf at the Table. Running with Scissors is about his fucked up childhood being raised by an emotionally distant father, a psychotic mother, and living with her crazy psychologist and his crazy family. Dry is about his alcoholism and drug addiction and a stint in rehab in his twenties, Magical Thinking and Positive Side Effects are both collections of various personal essays he's written, and a Wolf at the Table expands on his emotionally distant and possibly homocidal father.

    He can come off as really shallow, neurotic, and materialistic, but despite that he's such an amazing human being who has led a really unbelievable life. He always finds humor in his life, even though lesser people would probably find only sadness. I think he is amazing.

    This is kind of embarrassing but I actually enjoyed Eat, Pray, Love.
     
  6. OceanWalker

    OceanWalker Member

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    I really enjoyed "All Too Human: A Political Education" by George stephanopoulos
     
  7. Lynnbrown

    Lynnbrown Firecracker

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    OMG YES artsy! I did read (and have) Kingsolver's novel.

    Years ago, I actually roomed with the daughter of a missionary to south Africa. Much of that book, I knew for a fact to be very accurately represented. At any rate, Poisonwood Bible is definitely a great book.
     
  8. artsyfartsy

    artsyfartsy Member

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    YOU ROCK! lol...suchhh an amazing book!
     
  9. Lynnbrown

    Lynnbrown Firecracker

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    Memoirs of a Geisha (forget author) - excellent book.
     
  10. Lynnbrown

    Lynnbrown Firecracker

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    Amy Tan books! maybe fictional; but based in fact.

    If you want to laugh and cry, she'll get you, too. :)
     
  11. OceanWalker

    OceanWalker Member

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    Bret Easton Ellis is an interesting writer. He's kind of whiny at times, but as far as story line, and psychologically good somewhat-autobiographical-fiction.
     
  12. theraccoonhat

    theraccoonhat Member

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    Just Kids by Patti Smith. Best book.
     
  13. lovelyxmalia

    lovelyxmalia Banana Hammock Lifetime Supporter

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    The book I'm reading now, "Assembling my Father" by Anna Cypra Oliver is amazing. It's about a woman who goes in search to find out everything she can about her father who commit suicide when she was only 4. It is a world of culture, counterculture, and a beautiful story.
     
  14. Piaf

    Piaf Senior Member

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  15. ToFunToDie

    ToFunToDie Senior Member

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    Through My Eyes - Tim Tebow
     
  16. antihippie

    antihippie Member

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    The real Frank Zappa book - Zappa was kind of a douche, but he was an entertaining douche. Lots of fun anecdotes about the 60's, 70's, music and hippie scene.

    Off the road - Carolyn Cassadys side of "on the road" it is really more a memoir centered around Neal. Really gives you insight into what self centered turds Kerouac and Co. really where.

    Harpo Speaks! - Harpo (the marx brother) had a very interesting life.
     
  17. River 1509

    River 1509 Member

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    Thirteen days: a memoir of the cuan missile crisis by Robert Kennedy
     
  18. MSRosetti

    MSRosetti Member

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    Martin Eden. Although not a memoir per se, it is based on Jack's London's own life, loves, and struggles. A great read.
     
  19. MSRosetti

    MSRosetti Member

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    I love Angela's Ashes. So true of many families I know.
     

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