Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Memoirs That Everyone Should Read!!

Ever since I read the Diary of Anne Frank as a little girl, I have had a great appreciation for memoirs and autobiographies. While I may spend the majority of my time reading paranormal and dystopian novels, there is nothing I truly enjoy more then a true story. Although I haven't had the chance to read or review any memoirs lately, I thought that I would share a couple of my all time favourites with you here! Each of the titles are linked to their respective summaries on Goodreads.

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

This memoir absolutely blew me out of the water! Jeannette Walls describes her nomad childhood growing up in poverty. Despite the lack of initiative on the part of her parents, and the numerous occasions in which they disappoint her, Jeannette nevertheless discusses her family with love. The writing in this memoir was poignant and beautiful! I remember being shocked, thrilled, and even breaking down into tears at one point while reading! This is definitely a moving story which I highly recommend!  

Growing up I was obsessed with watching the old tv show Little House on the Prairie. Nellie, the 'prairie bitch' was my least favourite character to say the least....that is until I read this memoir! Alison Arngrim's autobiography really opened my eyes to her personality beyond the role of Nellie Olson. Who knew that Nellie Olson was actually played by someone who was chronically shy! I was also unaware of her family connections in Hollywood: her mother was the voice actresses for Casper and Gumby, and her father the agent of Liberace! Most of all, however, I couldn't believe the struggles that she went through as a child! Her open discussion of her sexual abuse was extremely moving. I would highly recommend this book to every fan of Little House (if only to learn more about the show behind the scenes!). 

The White Masai by Corrine Hoffman

The White Masai tells the story of a European vacationing in Kenya who falls in love with a Masai warrior and agrees to marry him. Moving away from everything that she knows, Corrine Hoffman reveals what it was like living with her husband's tribe in the African wilderness. The cultural differences, struggles, and triumphs of this story are unlike any romance you've read before...and best of all... it's not fiction! While the ending is no where close to being a fairy tale, the adventure in this memoir kept me on the edge of my seat. I would recommend this read to those with an interest in travel, Africa, or readers who just enjoy a unique love story! 

I'm hesitant to call Anne Frank's diary a memoir or an autobiography as it is neither of those things. It is quite simply, the diary of a young girl. While I'm sure the majority of the world knows the tragic story of Anne Frank, actually reading her own words is an experience in itself. Anne's story made me laugh and cry, and really put a face for me to the tragedy of World War II. This is definitely a book that everyone should read at least once before they die. I've read it at least three times now, and as depressing as it may be, it really puts life into perspective for its readers. 


Jenny said...

Whoa, I bet The White Masia would be very interesting and I hate to admit this, but can you believe I've never read The Diary of a Young Girl?

Chelsey said...

I am so embarassed to admit that I have not read ANY of those! Terrible terrible. I will most definitely put those on my to-read list =).

Shoshanah said...

I've never actually finish The Diary of Anne Frank. I know I started it several times back in elementary school, but never actually got through. This is definitely one that I need to finally get myself to read through someday.

TG said...

I love Little House and didn't know the actress who played Nellie wrote a memoir. That looks like a good read; just the title makes me laugh!

I've read Anne Frank over and over, too. I always dread getting to the ending and wish I could somehow stop what happens. But the actual diary itself is wonderful to read; Anne was a talented writer and who knows what she would have made of herself had she been allowed to grow up. OK, I'm sad again :-(

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