I’ve never really considered myself a heavy reader of memoirs but I seem to be gravitating toward them more and more lately. I’m fascinated by other people’s life stories, especially when they’re the polar opposite of mine. I love a good story of overcoming and I have several for you on this list.
North of Normal: A Memoir of My Wilderness Childhood, My Unusual Family and How I Survived Both by Cea Sunrise Person It’s hard to wrap my head around the fact that while I was growing up and going to school, another girl was living in the deep Canadian forest in a makeshift tent away from civilization. The really fascinating part of this story is how she came to realize that the “normal” she knew wasn’t what she wanted to or had to become. (The e-book is free for Amazon prime users right now.)
The Polygamist’s Daughter by Anna LeBaron with Leslie Wilson I read The Sound of Gravel a couple of years ago and this memoir is very similar. (In fact, I heard the author on a podcast and I think she said they’re actually distant cousins.) LeBaron grew up as the daughter of a well-known polygamist’s leader but actually never really knew him. The story of her childhood is fascinating as they were always on the run and heartbreaking as she had so few people who showed her love and safety.
Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate I think this is the book recommended to me most since I’ve started doing these blog posts. I FINALLY read it and it lived up to your glowing recommendations. Although not a memoir, it’s based on a real life orphanage and some of the terrible things that happened there. Some of it is hard to take in (they literally took the kids away from their parents to put them into wealthier homes) but such a good read.
Smoke Gets In Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory by Caitlin Doughty So, this one was a departure from what I usually read. I gave it a try when I found it on Amazon Prime, and it was disgustingly fascinating. It’s written by a young woman who goes into the field of cremation and details her 0n-the-job learning experiences and the events that led her to a career centered around death. I learned so much about what happens to bodies and it made me think about why we do what we do with the dead. I really liked this book but I’m not sure that I would recommend it to someone who has recently lost somebody. It’s pretty detailed.
Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive by Stephanie Land This one really had an effect on me. It’s the memoir of a young, single mom who struggled to raise her daughter on welfare while cleaning other people’s houses. While I think my schedule is hectic and my kitchen is a disaster, I was reminded that there are moms who are worrying about feeding their kids their next meal and keeping the heat on in the winter. Every hour of pay mattered as she struggled, and her ability to press on when all was going against her is inspiring. This is a great read for everyone.
Save Me From Myself: How I Found God, Quit Korn, Kicked Drugs and Lived to Tell My Story by Brian “Head” Welch I’ve never listened to one Korn song, nor do I ever plan to, but something made me pick this book up and I’m glad I did. This is an amazing story of a rock star who had it all, including a terrible alcohol and drug addiction and how he eventually found God and turned his life around. I appreciate that he doesn’t hold back on the gory details and his honesty in the difficult path to fully surrendering his life. (This e-book is also free on Prime right now.)
What have you read lately? Any good memoirs I should know about?