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What is your favorite memoir?


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Posted on Feb 19, 2011 8:55:00 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 19, 2011 8:55:52 AM PST
Pat says:
I enjoyed both of these:
A Boy From Nowhere and
DROPPED IN IT autobiography of a Cotswold Boy/WWII Arnhem Veteran

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 19, 2011 12:45:11 PM PST
David,
I loved that one too, and I am not a Michael Chrichton fan. I do appreciate his ability to write something that gets kids, esp. boys to read.
I was quite surprised by all his life experience and training and knowledge in psychology. Though I suppose a great writer probably should have that depth of understanding of the human psyche.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 19, 2011 12:51:58 PM PST
D. Duarte says:
I'm Dan, David is my brother...anyway...

Yes, truth is stranger than fiction and in "Travels" we learn that Crichton's father was an editor who taught him the value of an "economy of words," saying as much as one can with as few words as possible. Which is what I liked about his style.

Posted on Feb 19, 2011 1:17:39 PM PST
You're gonna love this book. See reviews.
From Jerusalem to Beverly Hills: Memoir of a Palestinian Jew

For free chapters visit : jerusalemtobeverlyhills.com

Posted on Feb 28, 2011 1:30:36 AM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Sep 29, 2011 3:27:30 PM PDT]

Posted on Mar 3, 2011 9:17:17 PM PST
R. E. Conary says:
I don't read many memoirs, but Sam Millar's On The Brinks: The Extended Edition really resonates. It's partly a Kafkaesque descent into Dante's Hell and partly a Donald E. Westlake "John Dortmunder" caper with Damon Runyon characters added for seasoning.

Millar's raw, uncensored descriptions of the travesties, depravities, humiliations and tortures that he and his fellow prisoners lived while "on the blanket" (naked with only a blanket for covering for refusing to work or wear prison garb) before being released from Long Kesh's infamous "Maze" mixed with the attitudes of the times are hard to imagine. The first part of ON THE BRINKS details his harrowing experience.

To get even a brief visual taste, one might Google the Abu Ghraib prison photos for comparison and then wonder if had digital cameras and the Internet existed back then, would the inhumanities of Long Kesh have gone on as long as they did? I would like to think they would not, but it takes books like this to expose inequities even in so-called "civilized" societies.

Turning from black humor to high romp, Millar changes gear in Part Two, as Sam in America plans and executes one of the largest heists in U.S. history: the Jan. 5, 1993, $7.4 million robbery of the Brinks Armored Car depot in Rochester NY. It plays out like a classic Westlake "Dortmunder" caper: the perfect plan, perfect execution, but losing the money in the end.

Millar has said, "This is my story: the good, the bad, the ugly. It may not be to everyone's taste." Kafka and Westlake could not have done it better. Great reading. Don't miss it!

Posted on Mar 25, 2011 5:55:40 AM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Aug 2, 2011 8:30:57 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 11, 2011 6:46:07 PM PDT
Joy Walker says:
Such a great book!

Posted on Apr 11, 2011 6:48:26 PM PDT
Joy Walker says:
Favorite memoir is Bitter is the New Black by Jennifer Lancaster-love it! I just published a memoir called Three Years and Thirteen Dumpsters, available at Amazon, about having a parent with dementia and being a caregiver.Three Years and Thirteen Dumpsters:Cleaning House After Dementia (Volume 1)

Posted on Apr 28, 2011 12:36:59 PM PDT
Sam says:
COURAGE TO WALK by Robert Waxler

Posted on May 14, 2011 7:54:40 AM PDT
A free book I posted on Face Book called A Life Gone Awry: My Story of the Elan School. With the help of friends we closed the school from our nightmares and it has now been viewed over 100,000 times.

My second favorite is Girl Interrupted. Susanna Kaysen writes insanity better than anyone I've read so far

Posted on May 14, 2011 9:12:04 AM PDT
Bookgirl says:
Without a doubt, "The Glass Castle".

Posted on May 14, 2011 12:38:46 PM PDT
Wayne,
I loved "Girl Interrupted" too. In fact, I recommend it to students when we read "Catcher In the Rye." It is kind of the female version. I believe JD Salinger's story was largely autobiographical, esp. as I read more about the man and the writer.

Posted on May 15, 2011 12:17:44 PM PDT
Darleneross says:
Ivana Llowell "Why not say what happened" best memoir ever!!

Posted on May 17, 2011 9:43:22 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 17, 2011 9:44:06 AM PDT
markn12 says:
I just finished reading a new book, Unsinkable, about Abby Sunderland, a 16-year old who attempted to sail around the world alone (with technology!) and was shipwrecked in the Indian Ocean. Here's a link: http://dld.bz/YRZE. It's such a great portrait of courage and strength of will in the face of overwhelming odds.

Posted on May 17, 2011 9:46:45 AM PDT
markn12 says:
I just finished reading a new book, Unsinkable, about Abby Sunderland, a 16-year old who attempted to sail around the world alone (with technology!) and was shipwrecked in the Indian Ocean. Here's a link: * http://dld.bz/YRZE. It's such a great portrait of courage and strength of will in the face of overwhelming odds.

Posted on May 17, 2011 1:47:25 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Jul 21, 2011 5:06:46 AM PDT]

Posted on May 18, 2011 6:21:30 AM PDT
1923: A Memoir $1.09
Review
It's a personal as well as a social history. Smith has the knack of bringing the times to life in a way that few writers can manage. It's the ability to tell a story, the knowledge of when to move on & not labour a point.
--The Bookbag

1923 is a book that succeeds in two ways with ease, both as a personal memoir of a life lived in a volatile age and as a record of that age for all time. --The Current Reader

"1923" is uplifting and highly recommended. --Midwest Book Review

1923: A Memoir is a protest against social injustice, corruption, war, famine, poverty, and societies blinded by greed. More importantly, it is the story of hope and the notion that anything can be overcome if desired. --The Publishing Guru
Product Description
To say that Harry Smith was born under an unlucky star would be an understatement. Born in England in 1923, Smith chronicles the tragic story of his early life in this first volume of his memoirs. He presents his family's early history-their misfortunes and their experiences of enduring betrayal, inhumane poverty, infidelity, and abandonment.

1923: A Memoir presents the story of a life lyrically described, capturing a time both before and during World War II when personal survival was dependent upon luck and guile. During this time, failure insured either a trip to the workhouse or burial in a common grave. Brutally honest, Smith's story plummets to the depths of tragedy and flies up to the summit of mirth and wonder, portraying real people in an uncompromising, unflinching voice.

1923: A Memoir tells of a time and place when life, full of raw emotion, was never so real.

Posted on May 19, 2011 8:50:45 AM PDT
S.Kreuger says:
Not sure I have a favorite memoir. I just like reading about other peoples lives. I just read How I Built My House With No Doors (the kindle version) last week and I liked it. It was a decent read.

Posted on May 20, 2011 10:16:48 PM PDT
Check out Morgan McFinn for well-written and amusing memoirs.

web-site: www.morganmcfinn.com

e-book: Out of the Loop

In reply to an earlier post on May 20, 2011 11:17:55 PM PDT
Sye says:
Hi,
My book, Losing the Hate, is a true account of the abuse I was subjected to as a child, and how my life as an adult was ultimately affected.

SAMPLE

INTRODUCTION
I've often thought of putting the story of my child abuse into words, usually after about twelve pints of lager or a few bottles of cheap red wine. But inevitably the pain surfaces; and what starts out as a gentle breeze always manages to transform into a formidable storm, one which has haunted me for many years. My head feels as though it's going to burst when this happens; and without thinking I hurt my loved ones by subconsciously trying to drive them away, often by verbally abusing them. And at times, when the need to lash out overcomes me, I have threatened them physically; adding yet another layer of guilt to my already overburdened sense of self-worth.
You see . . . dear old Simon has always been too ashamed to confide in anyone. And I can honestly say I'm not sure if it's the judgment, or the pity I have convinced myself would be forthcoming that frightens me most. Be that as it may; I have decided my silence has done more harm than good . . . both in my past and in my present existence.
I am beginning this journey with a heavy heart, and my soul is absolutely exhausted, but I have come to the realisation that the shame I have shouldered throughout my life, was never mine to carry. Whatever sadness I feel is not so much a result of the experiences; it stems primarily from the knowledge that there are monsters living among us. And although I have managed to gain some perspective on the shame, it is the guilt which continues to eat away at me. Intellectually I know when I berate myself for not exposing these animals; I am looking back at the situation from an adult capacity. The thought that other children might fall prey to these monsters and suffer the same fate did not even occur to me at the time. But it's this thought that now gnaws at me almost constantly. It is in this spirit that I choose to break my silence, lay the shame where it belongs, and get on with my life.
Although the self harming hasn't happened for many years, it is very much swimming within the deepest recesses of my mind, waiting with bated breath; ready to pounce in any given explosive situation. I sometimes feel it would be easier to tame a wild animal than to suppress those terrifying urges, urges that appear so determined to retake control of my life.
In the forty one years I've been alive, and in the thirty one years my whole body has been burdened with emotional pain; I have never cut myself because I've truly wanted to die, or used it as a desperate cry for help. The act of a running razor blade across my forearm has never caused me any pain. In fact, when the dark red blood has flowed from my wounds, it has always been the hurt, the fear, and the anguish that have escaped, if only temporarily.
It seems whenever my life is just starting to work itself out, my demons erupt from the swirling dark mist contained inside my head and tear everything to pieces. Silent screams of hate pound my eardrums and turn love into a dangling carrot that becomes just out of my grasp.
Its time to confront my demons head on, and hopefully break the solid foundations that have cemented them inside me for so many gut wrenching years. For far too long I've been afraid to trust anyone, fearing that letting someone into the space surrounding me will enable them to steal what's left of my identity.
I would like to dedicate this book to everyone who has inadvertently been on the receiving end of the more trying times of my life, but most of all, it's for my parents.
********

If you choose to purchase my book, I'd just like to say a huge thank you.

Simon Palmer
Losing the Hate by Simon Palmer

In reply to an earlier post on May 21, 2011 5:02:55 AM PDT
I absolutely agree that "Orangutan" was the best! I could not put it down nor could my brother.

Posted on Jun 6, 2011 6:58:15 PM PDT
Ashley Hames says:
Please try this one
Seven Days To Say 'I Love You'

Posted on Jun 25, 2011 10:30:27 PM PDT
Karen Fisher says:
Shooting the Boh: A Woman's Voyage Down the Wildest River in Borneo If you like travel memoirs, I'd recommend Shooting the Boh. I loved it! I love memoir so I have a lot of favorites. My most recent favorite is Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption It is the story of Olympic athlete, Louie Zamporini, who survived being stranded at sea during WWII only to become a prisoner of war, where he was brutalized. Somehow he managed to come out of all that with a positive message. As for the author, she has severe Fibromyalgia and wrote some of the book from her bed. It was a labor of love and when Mr. Zamporini learned what it had taken her to write the book, he sent her one of his medals! It's a great story all the way around!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 29, 2011 6:20:28 PM PDT
Johanna says:
Jan says:
If you want to take a trip into an unusual life that will move you, make you laugh and cry buckets, try `Graffiti On My Soul`, the story of a young girl who becomes a nun, her life behind monastic walls, her leaving that life to marry, and how a very far out relative turns her life into a thing of horror. It is lyrical, raw and mystical; a profound journey of hope and forgiveness.
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Discussion in:  Memoir forum
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Initial post:  Dec 6, 2009
Latest post:  Feb 8, 2013

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