Memoir Must-Reads to Pick Up Before Summer Ends
You won't want to put these down!
Do you need to change up your TBR? Or do you simply just want to find some great inspirational stories? Look no further - we’ve listed our top eight memoirs and non-fiction reads from this summer that you will want to be sure to read before the season ends!
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1. Shooting Out the Lights by Kim Fairley
When Kim Fairley was twenty-four, she fell in love with Vern, a fifty-six-year-old man who drew her in immediately with his smile and humor. Their love eventually grew, they got married, and she soon finds out that she is pregnant. As Kim prepares to settle into their married life and prepare for her child, their marriage starts to be tested when Vern agrees to let his friend’s son stay with them for a while. The couple is forced to face their pasts and see if their marriage will last with these new circumstances.
2. You Got Anything Stronger?: Stories by Gabrielle Union
Actress and activist Gabrielle Union continues where she left off in her 2017 memoir, recounting her life as a mother of two daughters, her husband retiring, and her continued fight to lift other peoples’ voices so that they can be heard. From her surrogacy journey to calling out for racial equality and accountability, Gabrielle gives readers a chance to look deep into her life and her thoughts. Gabrielle writes a personal story that calls out to fellow women, black women, mothers, and humans in this ever-changing world and uses her personal experience to further showcase this change.
3. Fly Safe by Vicki Cody
During the chain reaction of events in 1990 that led to the Gulf War, Apache battalion commander Dick Cody is deployed to Saudi Arabia. Over the next nine months, he and his wife Vicki must communicate through written letters during a time where most people didn’t have personal computers and there was no internet. Vicki recounts these nine months and gives readers a look into the loneliness, stress, and resilience that families must face while a family member is deployed. Through Dick’s letters, readers will see the unfolding of history, a father’s devotion, a man’s love for his country, and the adrenaline rush of being in combat.
4. Stolen by Elizabeth Gilpin
When Elizabeth Gilpin was fifteen, her parents took an educational consultant’s advice to enroll her in a behavioral modification program that would help her combat depression. As a result, she was abducted from her bed in the middle of the night, taken into the Appalachia woods, her name was changed to a number, and her physical survival was tested. Three months later, she was transferred to a boarding school in Virginia, where she and other students were psychologically abused until they were deemed rehabilitated. Elizabeth recounts these horrors, the friends she lost, and how she found herself again in this memoir.
5. The Sensitive One by Susan Frances Morris
After being diagnosed with breast cancer at age fifty, Susan Morris looks back into her own past when she learns that long-time exposure to childhood stress and trauma can increase the risk of breast cancer. This memoir alternates between her childhood of caring for her younger siblings while her alcoholic father tore apart their home life, to her present day of living a trauma-free life as a nurse with a caring husband. Susan’s story is one of redemption and shows the difficulties of overcoming childhood trauma.
6. Yearbook by Seth Rogen
In Seth Rogen’s collection of personal essays, he shares stories about his early life of starting stand-up comedy as a teenager, his memories with his grandparents, experiences with drugs, and his life as a Jewish teenager. He also brings readers along on his journey as an actor and comedian in Los Angeles, as well as his experiences with other famous celebrities. Seth is sure to make readers laugh at all of his memories, rants, and jokes throughout this book.
7. Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner
Japanese Breakfast lead singer, Michelle Zauner, tells the story of her being the only Asian American child at her school and her relationship with her high-expecting mother, who she shared a bond over food with. When she moved to the East Coast as she got older, she started to lose her “Koreanness” as she followed her dreams, started a band, and found her future husband. But when her mother’s terminal illness calls her to her side, Michelle attempts to catch up on the time they lost and to reclaim her identity.
8. Swan Dive: The Making of a Rogue Ballerina by Georgina Pazcoguin
New York City Ballet’s first Asian American soloist, Georgina Pazcoguin gives readers a look into the beautiful, yet cutthroat and stressful, elite ballet world. In her memoir, Georgina stresses the beauty of ballet while also bringing to light the physically and mentally abusive environment that comes with being a ballerina. She tells the story of her leaving her small-town home to train as a ballerina in New York City before finishing high school, how the #MeToo movement rocked the NYCB traditionalist culture, her experiences of sexual abuse, racism, and mental abuse, fights backstage, and much more that you don’t see on the stage.
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