February Reading Challenge: A Memoir

2016 Reading Challenge

I’m so excited for this month’s challenge! I love reading memoirs. Growing up, whenever I’d spend the night at my Grandma’s house we’d always watch Biography, so I think my love for hearing people’s stories started way back then. It was terribly hard for me to settle on one book for this month. There are so many great options.

First, let’s discuss what a memoir is exactly. A memoir is a book written by the subject, it tends to focuses on a particular time in the author’s life (rather than their entire life) and has more of an emotional aspect to it. Overall, it is less factual and formal than an autobiography.

Need ideas?

My favorite memoir is The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it! You can read more of my thoughts on it here. This list on Goodreads ranked The Glass Castle at #2, just behind The Diary of Young Girl by Anne Frank. There are several other great ideas on that list as well.

Here’s another list of memoirs – this list is geared toward young adults but I think it has ideas for all ages (i.e. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou).

If you’re looking for a lighter, feel-good memoir, I recommend Wildflower by Drew Barrymore. It’s like a slumber party with a good friend. She’s so sweet, genuine and funny as she relates a wide variety of stories from her life.

Decisions, Decisions: My Final Pick

Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times by Jennifer Worth

Thankfully I didn’t have to choose which memoir to read this month because my book club choose this book for our pick this month (completely unrelated to this challenge!). I love the BBC TV series based on this book, so I’m really looking forward to reading it!

If my book club hadn’t made the choice for me, I had my choice narrowed down to these two options:

Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi

Rare Bird: A Memoir of Loss and Love by Anna Whiston-Donaldson

(I’m hoping I can still get to them soon because they both sound super interesting!)

Let’s hear it, what’s your memoir pick for this month?


11 thoughts on “February Reading Challenge: A Memoir

  1. I’m reading Angela’s Ashes. It’s going to be good…assuming I can make it to the end. Im only a quarter of the way through and have read about enough pain and heartbreak to fill a life time.
    I also just finished Cheaper by the Dozen (audio book version) with my family. We all loved it. It was a funny look into an interesting family. I loved the gregarious dad and his sweet relationship with his wife. Without spoiling anything, the end really got me.


  2. I think I’m going to choose On Writing by Stephen King. I hear it’s part memoir, part writing manual (and I’m definitely not a writer), so I’ll try it and see how I like it. If it’s a no go, I’ll choose a chef/foodie memoir instead. Can’t get enough of those!


    • I’m curious to hear your thoughts on On Writing. I’ve been wanting to read Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott which I think is a similar to On Writing – part memoir, part writing guide. And, yes, foodie memoirs are ALWAYS the right choice!


  3. I am reading The Upstairs Room and Marly: A dog like no other. Grant and I also read together Boy: Tales of Childhood. I enjoyed them all a lot!


  4. I’m reading Wild and The Hiding Place. I feel bad as I seem to be the only person in the world who has never heard of Corrie ten Boom…. I’m looking forward to reading them 🙂


  5. My favorite memoirs are any of the books by Rick Bragg. His first, All Over But the Shoutin’, focusing on his early life and his mother, is my favorite. But Ava’s Man, The Prince of Frogtown, and his newest, My Southern Journey (a collection of essays) are also great. I’m not sure what I’ll pick. I’ll probably do our book for MWCG book club, Steel Will by Shilo Harris. Or maybe not.


    • Steel Will is perfect! I don’t know why I didn’t think to include it in this post! I think my mind was still focused on Old Fashioned. I can’t believe both my book clubs picked memoirs this month! So funny!


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