It’s Top Ten Tuesday time and the topic this week is ‘Ten Books Every X Should Read’. In my case, the X is for memoir fans.
The first five are those type of memoirs that are so horrifying that you have to keep checking whether they are not, in actual fact, fiction. The next bunch are not misery-memoirs at all – quite the opposite – they made me laugh.
1. In My Skin by Kate Holden – extra-impact because the author grew up near me.
2. The Feel-Good Hit of the Year by Liam Pieper – kids running around like lunatics.
3. Running With Scissors by Augusten Burroughs – if you thought the kids in Pieper’s story were out-of-control, read this one…
4. Beautiful Boy by David Sheff – horrifying (from a parent’s perspective).
5. Tweak by Nic Sheff – read the ‘Beautiful Boy’s’ story after his father’s (see above).
And now for something lighter…
6. Love Nina by Nina Stibble – fabulous, funny, and extra points for literary name-dropping.
7. Apron Anxiety by Alyssa Shelasky – love and the kitchen combine: result is variable.
8. Consuming Passions by Michael Lee West – there are a few scenes in this book that I’ll never forget.
9. Menonite in a Little Black Dress by Rhoda Janzen – wee-bags. Say no more.
10. Heartburn by Nora Ephron – I probably should have started with this one because Nora is the queen, obvs.
I don’t read memoirs often! I shall have to check out some of these recommendations.
Thanks for stopping by!
Yes I’d move Ephron to number one as well, and would add Carrie Fisher’s Postcards from the Edge (but that may be stretching it, as it’s a “semi-autobiographical novel”. )
Must admit that I threw together this list from what I’ve read in the last few years – missed lots of good ones like Fisher… Wish I had the energy to reformat and make Nora no.1!
Don’t worry about it. We know she’s number 1, that’s all that matters.
A great choice of topic, I’ll have to look into reading a few of these just to vary my genre as much as I can.
You are the blogger that I have seen who has done a list of memoirs like I have. Interestingly, I have never read any of the memoirs on your list. That means that I now have ten books to look for:-) Great post.
I reckon I could have made a list of 20 more – hadn’t realised how many memoirs I’d read until I started looking back over my lists.
I really want to read Running with Scissors! I read his brother’s memoir, Look Me In the Eye and it was BRILLIANT and crazy. But brilliant. ;D So definitely need to try this one. *nods* I also liked Furiously Happy! It was really honest about mental illness, but also hysterical. XD Here’s my TTT!
I’ve also read Look Me in the Eye and really enjoyed it (his subsequent books not so much…). But Scissors is 100 times crazier!
I love a great memoir. I haven’t read any of the ones on your list and I’ll definitely be adding a few of them to my TBR.
Here’s my TTT.
Perhaps start with the lighter fare! Thanks for stopping by.
As soon as I read Sheff’s Schizo, I knew I needed to try Tweak.
Thanks for visiting my blog earlier!
Tweak obviously very different writing style but read with Beautiful Boy, so interesting.
I think Running With Scissors traumatized me. I’m looking forward to more trauma in some of these others that I haven’t read yet! Maybe I should alternate them with the feel-good memoirs…
I felt the same about Scissors. I read his next book, Dry, and had a similar reaction. Of the others, Beautiful Boy is a standout – well written, devastating.
I rarely read memoirs (lo and behold, I think the last memoir I read was about a woman emigrating from the Soviet Union) so I’ll have to keep a lookout for these books you mentioned 🙂 Thanks for the recommendations!
Oddly Lianne, I figured that with your love of history, memoirs would be right up your alley! Perhaps don’t start with the ones I’ve listed here but instead read Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes (if you haven’t already done so).
I actually had to put down Running with Scissors… my skin wasn’t tough enough to handle it! Maybe I will try returning to it someday. Thanks for the new reads!
On a side note, where is Frank McCourt?!
Searching in the Stacks
Never fear, I didn’t forget Frank – I included him in my round-up of Irish Misery Porn a few weeks ago 😀 – https://booksaremyfavouriteandbest.wordpress.com/2016/03/01/in-the-mood-for-irish-misery-porn-yes-always/
I read both memoirs by the father and son Sheffs and was tremendously affected by the differences in their perceptions of the situation. Father viewed son as a golden boy. Son viewed himself as a loser. Good choices for your list.
Both books made such an impact on me. My book group read both and some of us read the father’s book first and others read the son’s – it was many years ago but interestingly I do recall that there was more sympathy for Nic from those that read his version first! (I read David’s). I found David’s book to be a perfect balance between an emotional account and journalistic fact-telling.