What I’ve Been Reading Lately: More Memoirs

WhatIveBeenReading

In between the books for the Reading Challenge, I’ve been reading a lot of memoirs. I love this category because, most of the time, real life is more complex, beautiful and interesting than anything we can dream up in fiction. Many times the events that play out in memoirs, I think would be completely unbelievable in a fiction story. I guess that’s why they say truth is stranger than fiction.

Today I’m linking up with the lovely Modern Mrs. Darcy to discuss the books I’ve been reading lately.

Wildflower by Drew Barrymore

Here’s what I really appreciated about this book: it is 100% Drew Barrymore – her voice, her heart, her life. I’m getting to the point where I’m staying away from Hollywood memoirs because they’ve started to feel fake (in my opinion) or that the point of the book is “look at me being funny and clever.” So, I almost didn’t read this, even though I like Drew Barrymore and enjoyed her other book, Little Girl Lost. I’m so glad I did, though! I think the cover is a perfect representation for the book itself. It isn’t overly stylized. In fact, she’s hardly wearing any makeup and she’s obviously just being silly Drew. I love it!! The book is a fun, easy read but it was also inspiring and sweet. Her parents were obviously extremely flawed people, but she never speaks out against them. Yet, I love her reflections on her own childhood and her determination to make a better life for her children. I was inspired by how she’s carved out her place in Hollywood – not an easy thing to do, especially for a woman. Plus, some of her “behind the scenes” stories are hilarious. This book feels like a slumber party with a good friend.

The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels by Ree Drummond

I’ve been reading serious books lately so I needed a fun distraction. This book was exactly that! In this book, Ree tells the sweet story of how she met her husband and how they fell head-over-heels in love. Of course, similar to her blog, the book is filled with funny stories and her hilarious remarks. Although I liked the story of their romance, I did feel like she spent way too much time writing about their make-out sessions. It made the book feel superficial and, plus, I wanted more stories, especially from her first year on the ranch. I’d recommend reading this book around Valentine’s Day and ONLY if you already love Ree.

Roots & Sky by Christie Purifoy

I’m scared to say too much about this book because I’m still processing it, even though I finished it several days ago. It’s the story of finding your “forever” home after a long time wandering (a longing that this military family can appreciate deep inside our hearts). It’s a story of answered prayers and the messiness that comes before, during and after those prayers are answered. It’s a story of appreciating the seasons of nature and life. She takes the mundane and makes it beautiful and raw. Her writing is very lyrical. In fact, in some ways it reminded me of Ann Voskamp’s writing. It’s truly a lovely book – inside and out. In fact, the cover of this book is so beautiful that several times I caught myself staring at it before I’d dive into the book. It’s a hearty book, but it’s not heavy or a burden to read. I have a feeling I’ll read this book again in a few years and see a completely new round of lessons and nuisances in it.

I also did something I almost never do, I abandoned two books: Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo and Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng. I had a hard time connecting to the story and characters in Behind the Beautiful Forevers. It’s a depressing story – the story of the people of the slums outside the Mumbai airport – and with a story that sad, I really need to connect or I can’t bear it. I heard good things about Everything I Never Told You, but I found it to be horribly formulaic and cliché. If you like a story where no one is communicating and if they did they’d quickly solve the issue, then this is the book for you. As for me, I was too annoyed with the characters to continue past page 50.

Your turn: What have you been reading lately?

 

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5 thoughts on “What I’ve Been Reading Lately: More Memoirs

  1. Behind the Beautiful Forevers was the most depressing book I’ve ever read. If there was something readers could do to help it would be one thing but knowing what’s happening in a slum like that and being powerless to do anything was agonizing. 😦 Just finished Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls, anotther memoir that was great!

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  2. I completely agree about Ree Drummond’s book – the make-out descriptions made it feel so middle-school-ish – and I can’t imagine actually talking about anything like that so publicly, ha! But I did like how when “reality” hit near the end, it gave a more realistic picture of married life. Behind the Beautiful Forevers is one of my favorite books but definitely a very hard read – I think even if you read part of it, that’s good enough 🙂

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