Memoirs have the power to inspire, provoke empowerment, and most importantly lets you into a whole new world of perspective. We all face obstacles and sometimes it is nice to know that others face the same problems we do, and it is even better when they have advice and experiences that help us try to figure out what to do next. Whether it be a marital problem or hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, the memoirs below will give you the insight and laughs you never knew you needed.
Shooting Out The Lights by Kim Fairley
This is the intimate tale of Kim Fairley and what she thought would be the start of her dream life. She was drastically mistaken. Kim was twenty-four when she married the love of her life, Vern. She didn’t care that he was twice her age, she felt a connection between them that was irresistible. When she became pregnant, she thought it was the start of something great, but the ghost of Vern’s past came knocking. A life that was created before her, she must adapt and survive Vern’s past if she wants to maintain the love they have for each other. A riveting story of the test of love and marriage and how the grueling effect of the past can also come with healing.
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
After her mother’s death, Cheryl’s life had been shattered from her family to her own marriage and she thought she had lost everything. So, she did what any rational person would do and decided to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. She had no training or experience, and yet she alone would cross the borders of California, Oregon and Washington. This suspenseful tale of will, strength, humor and finding yourself in the nature of the world is both inspiring and healing
Untamed by Glennon Doyle
Glennon Doyle found the voice of the girl she had been before the world told her to be and all because of her. While speaking at a conference, she saw a woman across the room and it was love at first sight. This is a memoir about living. Doyle teaches us that we must be able to trust ourselves enough to set boundaries and to bring our full selves into our own lives, and into the lives of those who surround us. This memoir is about bravery and the luck we receive when we start believing in ourselves.
Somebody’s Daughter by Ashley Ford
This is a must-read memoir of a Black girl growing up in Indiana and is one of the most deeply layered memoirs I’ve read in a very long time. It touches on Ashley C. Ford’s complicated and sometimes emotionally unstable relationship with her mother while reflecting on a childhood without her father, who was incarcerated. The writing feels so tender to Ashley C. Ford’s inner child. It is a reminder to allow childhood memories without questioning them or trying to pick them apart as an adult now.
The Beauty in Breaking by Michele Harper
Michele Harper’s story of self-healing will teach you about overcoming fear and heartache in a time that you should be living life to the fullest. After an unexpected ending to her marriage, Michele must start her life over in a new city, with a new job, and as a newly single mother. She stresses the importance of making peace with the past and passes on the lessons that she has gained and learned as a daughter, a woman and a physician. Recovery is important, and so is resilience.
Seeing Ghosts by Kat Chow
Coming August 24, 2021
After her mother’s death, Kat Chow sets out on a journey to understand the legacy of her family, her late mother, and herself. It is through grief and writing that she is able to both preserve and exorcise the loss and overwhelming fear that follows death. Chow’s memoir takes the reader on a journey from China and Hong Kong to Cuba and America. She reclaims her family’s history and her own through this masterpiece of experience.
Unbound by Tarana Burke
Coming September 14, 2021
Powerful, empathetic, intelligent and courageous. If those words inspire you, then so will the story of Tarana Burke. She writes about her journey of healing and the life that empowered her to speak up and make a difference for those around her, and herself. Tarana not only changed the way of society but the way she viewed herself. This memoir might just be the self-help book that everyone needs.
Good Talk by Mira Jacob
I have written about this memoir more times than I can count and yet I still never feel like I can’t capture its beauty. Mira Jacob, an Indian-American queer woman, details conversations she’s had with son, spouse, friends, family, and strangers through illustrations. These conversations veer from innocent questions related to race that her mixed son asks, to harder conversations she has with her white mother-in-law about being mistaken for help at a party. This emotion-packed memoir is truly one of the most unique memoirs I have ever read, and I’ll continue to recommend it as long as I can.
Sissy by Jacob Tobia
Tobia’s voice in this memoir feels like a good friend telling you their story over drinks. It recounts Tobias’ life growing up in North Carolina as they come to terms with what gender means to them and society. It’s a beautiful journey of healing from trauma and eye-opening perspectives of gender, along with some laughs and tears.
The Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward
Jesmyn grew up in poverty in rural Mississippi and was surrounded by death for most of her life. In five years she lost five young men in her life and it nagged her until the day she realized why they died. They died because of who they were and where they were from because they lived with a history of racism and struggle that triggered so many more problems for their family. This is her story, her family’s story, and talks about the beautiful and yet brutal world she lives in.
Heart Berries by Terese Mailhot
Terese Mailhot is given a notebook after she is diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and bipolar II disorder. So, she begins to write about her trauma from a dysfunctional upbringing and it results in this very memoir. It is her story of reconciliation, reestablishment, and a renewed sense of life. Memory isn’t always exact, and Terese recognizes this, but her world is thrown into imagination and pain and everything it takes to accept ourselves. This is the journey of Terese Mailhot taking back control of her life and renewing her love and connection with her family and her world.