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!
Confessions of a Prairie Bitch by Alison Arngrim
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!
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
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.