I love stories and I especially love reading memoirs because they offer an intimate and vulnerable view of a person’s life. And for me, that is a beautiful and brave form of writing. Below are three memoirs I recently read and loved.
1. “No Place Like Home: A Memoir in 39 Apartments”
My friend Courtney recommended “No Place Like Home,” by Brooke Berman, and I’m so happy I bought a copy. I read the book after we got back from the east coast and before we moved to Chico. During my trip east, I had a lot of conversations about the meaning of home and Berman talked about this topic in her memoir. In addition to exploring the meaning of home, Berman talked about love, loss and grief. It was a meaningful and poignant read.
2. “Zen Under Fire: How I Found Peace in the Midst of War”
In late May, I pre-ordered “Zen Under Fire,” by Marianne Elliott, and was so grateful when it arrived on my door-step! Marianne’s words kept me company on our trip east and I devoured her book quickly. Her memoir is an extraordinary day-to-day account of her experience as a human rights advocate in Afghanistan.
3. “Then Again”
A few days ago, Marianne Elliott posted a photo of “Then Again," by Diane Keaton, on her Instagram feed. I asked Marianne what she thought of the memoir and she said, “I'm really enjoying it. It's a beautiful story of mothers, daughters, dreams, love & loss.”
Based on Marianne’s recommendation, I read a sample chapter of the book on my Kindle. I was immediately entranced by Keaton’s writing and bought the book. I’m a quarter of the way through and can’t put the book down. It’s an inspiring and touching story. For example, in the introduction Keaton described her mom’s love of writing and explained why she decided to write a memoir.
She said, “I’ve written not my memoir but ours. The story of a girl whose wishes came true because of her mother is not new, but its mine. The profound love and gratitude I feel now that she’s left has compelled me to try to ‘unravel’ the mystery of her journey . . . Thinking back to her scrapbooks and our mutual love of collage, I’ve placed her words beside mine, along with letters, clippings, and other materials that document not just our lives but our bond.”
As an avid journal keeper, I thought this was a beautiful way for Keaton to honor her mother’s memory. I’m looking forward to writing about the book in my journal this week!