Ten Memoirs You Have to Read to Believe
Meet the new memoirs that will inspire you.
Memoirs are a powerful form of literature that allow readers to gain insight into the lives and experiences of others. These personal narratives can be incredibly moving, inspiring, and enlightening, providing a window into different cultures, time periods, and ways of life. Memoirs offer a unique perspective on the human experience that is hard to find anywhere else.
Memoirs aren't just stories. They are new ways to see the world through someone else's eyes. These ten new memoirs will make you laugh, cry, and think.
Unraveling: What I Learned about Life While Shearing Sheep, Dyeing Wool, and Making the World's Ugliest Sweater by Peggy Orenstein (1/24) Harper | The COVID pandemic propelled many people to change their lives in ways large and small. Some adopted puppies. Others stress-baked. Peggy Orenstein, a lifelong knitter, went just a little further. To keep herself engaged and cope with a series of seismic shifts in family life, she set out to make a garment from the ground up: learning to shear sheep, spin and dye yarn, then knitting herself a sweater.
All the Beauty in the World: The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Me by Patrick Bringley (2/14) Simon & Schuster | In the tradition of classic workplace memoirs like Lab Girl and Working Stiff, All The Beauty in the World is a surprising, inspiring portrait of a great museum, its hidden treasures, and the people who make it tick, by one of its most intimate observers.
What Looks Like Bravery: An Epic Journey Through Loss to Love by Laurel Braitman (3/14) Simon & Schuster | Laurel Braitman spent her childhood learning how to outfish grown men, keep bees, and fix carburetors from her larger-than-life dad. Diagnosed with terminal cancer, he went to spectacular lengths to teach her the skills she'd need to survive without him. But by her mid-thirties she is a ship about to splinter on the rocks, exhausted by running from her own bad feelings.
A Living Remedy: A Memoir by Nicole Chung (4/4) - Ecco Press | From the bestselling author of ALL YOU CAN EVER KNOW comes a searing memoir of family, class and grief--a daughter's search to understand the lives her adoptive parents led, the life she forged as an adult, and the lives she's lost.
This Isn't Going to End Well: The True Story of a Man I Thought I Knew by Daniel Wallace (4/11) Algonquin Books | In this powerful memoir, the bestselling author of Big Fish tries to come to terms with the life and death of his multi-talented longtime friend and brother-in-law, who had been his biggest hero and inspiration, in a poignant, lyrical, and moving memoir.
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Mott Street: A Chinese American Family's Story of Exclusion and Homecoming by Ava Chin (4/25) Penguin Press | As the only child of a single mother in Queens, Ava Chin found her family's origins to be shrouded in mystery. She had never met her father, and her grandparents' stories didn't match the history she read at school. Mott Street traces Chin's quest to understand her Chinese American family's story. Over decades of painstaking research, she finds not only her father but also the building that provided a refuge for them all.
We Are Too Many: A Memoir [Kind Of] by Hannah Pittard (5/2) Henry Holt | In this wryly humorous and innovative look at a marriage gone wrong, Hannah Pittard recalls a decade's worth of unforgettable conversations, beginning with the one in which she discovers her husband has been having sex with her charismatic best friend, Trish. These time-jumping exchanges are fast-paced, intimate, and often jaw-dropping in their willingness to reveal the vulnerabilities inherent in any friendship or marriage.
To Name the Bigger Lie: A Memoir in Two Stories by Sarah Viren (6/11) Scribner | Part coming-of-age story, part psychological thriller, part philosophical investigation, this unforgettable memoir traces the ramifications of a series of lies that threaten to derail the author's life--exploring the line between truth and deception, fact and fiction, and reality and conspiracy.
Sure, I'll Join Your Cult: A Memoir of Mental Illness and the Quest to Belong Anywhere by Maria Bamford (9/5) Gallery Books | Maria Bamford is a comedian's comedian (an outsider among outsiders) and has forever fought to find a place to belong. From struggling with an eating disorder as a child of the 1980s, to navigating a career in the arts (and medical debt and psychiatric institutionalization), she has tried just about every method possible to not only be a part of the world, but to want to be a part of it.
There Will Be No Laughing in This House: A Memoir by Elizabeth Pryor (10/31) Simon & Schuster A compelling memoir from Elizabeth Pryor, daughter of the late comedic legend Richard Pryor, grapples with her biracial identity, her relationship with the n-word, and the complexities of her father's love.
Did you find any good books to add to your TBR? This is just a small sampling of the nonfiction titles I’ve curated on this topic. Make sure to check out the complete list HERE.
The tale of Martha the sheep and the ugly sweater she helped make | Washington Post
'All the Beauty in the World' conveys Met guard's profound appreciation for art | NPR
Book Review: As Chung seeks a way to grieve without self-punishment, this open-hearted, unflinching account will be a boon to others. | Kirkus Reviews
Actor and comedian Maria Bamford discusses making work about your real life and the complicated relationship between creativity and mental health. | The Creative Independent
BONUS VIDEO (Concerts for Animals? Yes please.)
Which memoir do you always recommend?
Let's Read Nonfiction is a bookish newsletter that showcases the newest nonfiction titles, with a new topic or theme each week. Some past topics have been:
Creativity | Humor | WWII Heroes | Relationships | Black History | Health & Wellness | Women’s History | Food Memoirs
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GAH all of these look so so good!