I am such a sucker for a good memoir and there are so many great ones coming your way in 2020. From murder, religion, sex, drugs, family, stories of loss, love, redemption and overcoming all types of obstacles, this list will take care of all the emotions. We’re sure you’ll find a read to love in our unique list of most anticipated memoirs of 2020.
One Hundred Daffodils: Finding Beauty, Grace, and Meaning When Things Fall Apart by Rebecca Winn
When Rebecca’s husband of 25 years asks for a divorce, she is fearful, hopeless and full of dread, afraid she may never know what it is to be known by another person. But then she realizes she must know herself first. A love affair with a younger man, studying Jungian psychology and diving deep into spiritual practices, Rebecca turns heartbreak into something whole, and through her transformation, she begins to see others with an ‘open heart.’
The Heart and Other Monsters: A Memoir by Rose Andersen
When Rose’s sister dies from an overdose she sets out to step into Sarah’s life to discover why. She revisits her dysfunctional childhood, which was accented by their stepfather’s rage, and discovers her sister overdosed on methamphetamine. Through grief and anger, Rose’s story is intensely personal as she focuses on what needs to be done in order to move on.
Wiving: A Memoir of Loving then Leaving the Patriarchy by Caitlin Myer
When Caitlin Myer was 36, she lost her mother and had a hysterectomy, jolting her into the realization that she must look into the past in order to move forward. From a Mormon upbringing and early sexual trauma to escaping her religion, she has had a lifelong battle. Intersecting religion, sex, trauma, love and mental illness, this is a story about removing old myths and building new truths.
Finding Venerable Mother: A Daughter’s Spiritual Quest to Thailand by Cindy Rasicot
When Cindy moves to Thailand with her husband and son, she feels adrift in a foreign culture. On an impulse she signs up for a conference where she meets Venerable Dhammananda Bhikkhuni, a Thai Buddhist nun, who leads her on a spiritual journey from which there is no turning back. As the journey progresses, Cindy heals physically, emotionally and spiritually. In these uncertain times, this compelling memoir reminds readers that when we go forward with a truly open heart, faith, forgiveness and love are all possible.
Home Baked: My Mom, Marijuana, and the Stoning of San Francisco by Alia Volz
In the ‘70s, when author Alia Volz was tucked into her stroller, her mother ran Sticky Fingers Brownies, an underground bakery that delivered more than 10,000 marijuana edibles to customers each month. Home Baked is the story of the illegal ‘bakery’ business that went on to distribute medical marijuana to those in need during the AIDS epidemic.
The Book of Rosy: A Mother’s Story of Separation at the Border by Rosayra Pablo Cruz and Julie Schwietert Collazo
When Rosy took two of her children across the border, the “zero tolerance” policy tore the family apart. A story of unbreakable bonds, The Book of Rosy is about inhumane policies and a family struggling to keep their faith during the darkest of times.
Welcome to Wherever We Are: A Memoir of Family, Caregiving, and Redemption by Deborah J. Cohan
This is the unique and very personal story about Cohan’s volatile relationship with her father, who was at times adoring and loving, and then cruel and abusive, once suggesting to her that life would be easier for him if she would commit suicide. Cohan must let go of her anger in order to help her father as he becomes ill and to come to terms with her own grief to begin to heal.
Strung Out: One Last Hit and Other Lies That Nearly Killed Me by Erin Khar
This is one that I have been looking forward to for a long time. Khar openly and honestly shares her story about her years-long addiction to heroin. As a young teen, she started using to relieve the pressures of having to be perfect and to mask feelings she didn’t understand. While there is no straight path to recovery, Khar found the strength, self-love and forgiveness to quit when she became a mother. A beautifully honest memoir that shines light on the very real opioid crisis in America today, Khar’s story is a must-read.
What We Carry: A Memoir by Maya Shanbhag Lang
Maya Shanbhag’s mother was an accomplished physician who was able to raise her children and take care of the family home. She was supportive and brilliant until Maya herself became a mother and things began to change. When Maya realizes her mother had Alzheimer’s, she oversees her care, wondering if she ever really knew her mom after all. Were the stories she told about being an immigrant and a mother true? What We Carry is raw and deeply personal, and shows us that we cannot ourselves grow up until we can understand those who have raised us.
This Is One Way to Dance: Essays by Sejal Shah
Linked essays connect to create this collection about culture, language, family and place. Author Shah asks the questions about becoming visible in a place that struggles with race and what it means to be an American. Lyrical and narrative, these essays explore how everyone is marked by their culture, gender and race, through loss and regrets, through who we love, our traumas and our silences. An important book on race and what it means to belong in America.
The Third Rainbow Girl: The Long Life of a Double Murder in Appalachia by Emma Copley Eisenberg
In 1980, two hitchhikers heading to a festival were brutally murdered while a third woman survived. When a local farmer was convicted and then released, serial killer and schizophrenic Joseph Paul Franklin admitted he was to blame. Emma Copley Eisenberg has spent years examining the murders and how they affected not only those involved but a generation as a whole. She paints a picture of America, and of the division of class and gender and the violence that can occur.
Raising A Rare Girl: A Memoir by Heather Lanier
Heather Lanier’s sole purpose when she got pregnant was to make a SuperBaby, but when Fiona was born underweight and was diagnosed with a rare syndrome known as Wolf-Hirschhorn, she realized she would have some new challenges to face. Lanier let go of her ideas of perfection and focused on the big picture – loving her unique and beautiful rare girl just as she is.
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The power and movement of memoir has compelled my own writing about death and the fight for dignity.