List of recommended memoirs

This is a list of memoirs that my advisor at Mt St Vincent University recommended I read. I can hardly wait to get started on them!

Allison, Dorothy Two or Three Things I Know for Sure

Angelou, Maya I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Baker, Russell Growing Up

Burroughs, Augusten Running with Scissors

Cariou, Warren Lake of the Prairies

Choy, Wayson Not Yet: A Memoir of Living and Almost Dying

Conway, Jill Ker The Road from Coorain

Crozier, L and Lane, P (Eds) Addicted: Notes from the Belly

of the Beast

Dallaire, Romeo Shake Hands with the Devil

Danica, Elly Don’t

Didion, Joan The Year of Magical Thinking

Dillard, Annie An American Childhood

Dragland, Stan Apocrypha

Fuller, Alexandra Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight

Fuller, Alexandra Scribbling the Cat

Gates, Henry Louis Colored People: A Memoir

Gildiner, Catherine Too Close to the Falls

Gornick, Vivian Fierce Attachments

Grealy, Lucy Autobiography of a Face

Hellman, Lillian Pentimento

Hoffman, Eva Lost in Translation

Karr, Mary The Liars’ Club

Kincaid, Jamaica Annie John

Kingsolver, Barbara Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

Lamott, Anne Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith

Lamott, Anne Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith

Lindbergh, Anne Morrow Gift from the Sea

Mairs, Nancy Voice Lessons

Manguel, Alberto Why Are You Telling Me This?

Menzies, Heather Enter Mourning: A Memoir on Death, Dementia,

and Coming Home

Miller, Sue The Story of My Father

Moody, Rick The Black Veil

Nabokov, Vladimir Speak, Memory

Ondaatje, Michael Running in the Family

Proust, Marcel Remembrance of Things Past

Quindlen, Anna One True Thing

Rodriguez, Richard Hunger of Memory

Simon, Rachel Riding the Bus with My Sister

Wolff, Tobias This Boy’s Life

Woolf, Virginia Moments of Being

Memoirs – some favourites, some new ones

Reviewing my memoirs bookcase (yes, I have such a thing, though a few novels lurk there too), I see that I haven’t included some of my favourites in my blog listings. There are are also some literary memoirs (“heavy-lit’ers”) that I haven’t read, and am eager to start on.

Here are some favourite books (mixed genre):

Frank McCourt, Teacher Man. Not as wrenching as Angela’s Ashes (thank god) but a fine memoir, all the same. How sad we’ve lost Frank McCourt now. It’s always the same selfish thought when we lose a gifted writer: Oh! No more stories….

Whale for the Killing;  Never Cry Wolf; Aftermath; The Serpent’s Coil (memoirs and creative non-fiction), by Farley Mowat. Farley Mowat is so good at what he does…we just take him for granted. Re-read any of these, and enjoy.

Evelyn Lau: the one, the only. You probably wouldn’t wish her life experiences on the most loathed individual in your life – but “the business” aside, you can’t deny this writer’s huge talent. There have been times when the world just stopped when I read her prose.  Inside Out is such a book.

The Hungry Ocean, The Lobster Chronicles: Life on a very small island; All Fishermen are Liars, by Linda Greenlaw. All of these of good – but the best by far is the first memoir, The Hungry Ocean.  Linda Greenlaw was only female captain of a swordfish vessel on the East Coast of the U.S. She was also a big money-maker, who all the guys wanted to crew for. And none of this would matter if she wasn’t such a good writer. You can have all the great stories in the world, but if you can’t tell them worth a bean … no one will read your books.

Little Horse of Iron, by Lawrence Scalan. Speaking of good writers, here’s one. Of course I am a little bit prejudiced in the area of horses – but subject aside, Scalan is a top-notch writer. He’s done so many fine books on horses, including one children’s book on our own Big Ben.

One I am looking forward to: The Vintage Book of Canadian Memoirs, edited by George Fetherling. Looks like a terrific read.