Vote It Up: Book Blip

January 2, 2010

The beginnings of a list

If I am going to read a memoir a week, I best cobble together a list. Here are my initial thoughts. This could be revised. And - for the sake of full disclosure - I have read some of these juicy morsels. The first month will focus on foodie memoirs, not that I'm a foodie by any stretch, but because I'm drawn to food writers right now.

1. Cleaving by Julie Powell
2. Tender at the Bone by Ruth Reichl (previously read)
3. My Life in Paris by Julia Child
4. Toast
5. Lit by Mary Karr (previously read)
6. This Boy's Life by Tobias Wolff
7.What is the What by Dave Eggers
8. Running With Scissors by Augustin Burroughs
9. Bad Mother by Ayelet Waldman (previously read)
10. Journal of Solitude by May Sarton
11. The Lonely Days Were Sundays by Eli Evans
12. A Whole New Life by Reynolds Price (Previously started, but not finished)
13. Fierce Attachments by Vivian Gornick
14. Pilgrim At Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard (or maybe, This Writer's Life)
15. First Comes Love by Marion Winik
16. Crazy Sexy Cancer by Kris Carr

I'm open to comments and suggestions. My goal is 16 memoirs in 16 weeks.


  1. How about:

    My Bookiewook by Russel Brand (I like the title more than the content)

    Though it is not a memoir per se, Ben Yagoda's Memoir: A History might be an interesting read.

    I don't know if it is considered a memoir, but the book Give my Poor Heart Ease by William Ferris looks fantastic.

  2. Thanks, Sarah CM. I'll look these up and consider them in the mix. I just realized that you and another Sarah friend both responded to my blog, so if I commented to either of you in a puzzling way, this will, hopefully, explain my madness. Sorry for the confusion!

  3. Hey, have you read West With The Night? It may be my favorite memoir by a woman who is famous not because she married some rich or famous guy.

  4. That seems to be a favorite of many friends. I will definitely reconfigure the list to include Beryl Markum. Maybe I'll reread Janet Frame too (An Angel at My Table) or The Bone People, which was on my mental memoir list during my grad school years. Janet Frame is an amazing writer who covers the issues of her own mental illness and institutionalization (what a euphemism) with beauty and dignity. Have you seen the Jane Campion film of the same name? Gorgeous and heartbreaking. The Bone People is about a Maori woman. It's a tome, but I've heard it is worth the slog.