Monday, July 9, 2018

Monday Mini-Reviews: Memoirs Past, Present and Future

I love a good memoir and these three are some of the best I've read this year.

A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg is a great foodie memoir - but it's more than that as well. Wizenberg writes of her father, who has passed away and their relationship.  Food played an important role in their lives and throughout the memories Wizenberg shares we get to know these two as well as some great recipes that accompany each chapter.  I have several tagged for future cooking projects.  Wizenberg's writing is not new to me. Delancey, which was published a few years ago, was another great foodie memoir she penned about opening a restaurant with her husband.  A Homemade Life provides the backstory to Wizenberg's life- her childhood up until she marries.  

Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover is likened to The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls.  The similarity, in my opinion, is that both families were dysfunctional.  However, their childhoods were vastly different.  Westover's parents (especially her father) adhered to strict rules they believed were dictated in the Bible. She doesn't attend school until she enters college, did not have a birth certificate or Social Security number, and spent her childhood helping her father in his junkyard, along with all of her siblings.  This work was dangerous and she recounts many near death experiences for many of them.  The stories she shares are absorbing and incredible - and her ability to leave her family despite their harsh judgement of her is also amazing.  

Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, And a Mother's Will to Survive by Stephanie Land- this is a little bit of an updated version of Nickel and Dimed: On Not Getting By In America by Barbara Ehrenreich.  Land shares her experiences of finding herself a single mother, leaving an abusive relationship, without a family to support her, trying to make her way in life.  Some may argue that poor decision making led her to this point, but it is impossible not to see how hard she works and how precarious her hold is on the life she's created for herself and her young daughter.  This book is definitely one worth reading and will give people something to think about as they contemplate how Stephanie Land is no different from any one of us.

I'm anxious to see what other new memoirs are out there that I fall in love with this year.  Any recommendations you can give me?

1 comment:

bermudaonion said...

I love memoirs too and am anxious to get to Maid but I want to wait until closer to publication date. Have you read Open by Andre Agassi or A Paris Year by Janice MacLeod? I loved both of them.