I am not shy about sharing on this blog that I want to write a memoir. I also want the motivation needed to sit down and write said memoir. If I didn’t write my novel when I was locked in a house during a pandemic with nothing to do, I’m not quite sure when I’m going to get around to doing it.
That being said, I am a pretty avid reader. And I’ve always heard that reading a lot helps you become a better writer. At least that’s the logic I’m applying to my eight year old, whose handwriting and spelling leaves much to be desired (can I vent for a hot second about how they don’t teach spelling anymore in school??? who needs to know how to spell, I guess?). And while my reading has slacked off a bit in the last few months because I can’t keep my eyes open for two seconds once I’m horizontal, I have read many, many books over the years. And in those books, were many, many memoirs.
Reading memoirs helped me to see the different ways people wrote about their lives. Some were funny, others were tragic, but they were all good. Some of the memoirs literally start at the beginning of the person’s life and move chronologically through milestones. Others jump around and are more like a collection of short essays. I think either works. Personally, I lean towards the memoirs that are like a bunch of mini stories.
When I write – and you read – my memoir, I hope you will laugh. Topics I will likely cover in my memoir include – but are not limited to:
- How horrible my memory is
- Stories from working at Disney World and living at the biggest party complex on the planet
- Life before kids
- Life after kids
- Life as an only child
- Waiting a week to get photos developed
- Why I hated camp
- Summers on the Jersey Shore (pre-GTL)
- Losing a pet
- Gaining a husband
- My early business venture when I was 8: collecting and recycling cans for a nickel
- My favorite recipes
- My plan to break into Ina’s barn
- And so much more
While I seems I should read a book about how to be disciplined enough to sit down and write a book, instead I read amazing memoirs to give me inspiration to share my own story.
Here are some of my favorite memoirs I’ve read:
Hooked by Sutton Foster
I was a Younger groupie, so reading this memoir was an easy choice. Is there anyone cuter than Sutton Foster?
Yes Please by Amy Poehler
One of the two funniest women there is. Parks and Recreation is pure genius.
Bossypants by Tina Fey
The second of two funniest women. Her book isn’t new, but worth a read or listen.
Becoming by Michelle Obama
I know she has a new book, but I haven’t read that one yet. Michelle is a class act all the way. And anyone who can roast the President (at the time) gets points in my book.
A Very Punchable Face by Colin Jost
I highly recommend listening to this book, read by the author. It’s like one long SNL update about his life.
Why Not Me? and Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling
These aren’t new, but they are hilarious. I’m so impressed with Mindy Kaling, and we are just about done binging The Mindy Project (her TV show) which was straight up LOL.
I Hate Everyone, Except You by Clinton Kelly
He had me at What Not To Wear, and I’ve loved him since. Now he cooks! He hosts! He drinks on Insta!
Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble by Dan Lyons
Having a background in advertising and marketing, this book hit home to me. If you think companies like, oh, let’s say Hubspot are filled with young whipper snappers and happy hours, then you would be correct. What could go wrong?
Unabrow: Misadventures of a Late Bloomer by Una LaMarche
Funny and cringey (which makes a great book!), you’ll feel better about your own awkward teen years.
Whiskey in a Teacup by Reese Witherspoon
I grew up watching Reese Witherspoon in movies, and I love me some Elle Woods. Her memoir – which I listened to since she narrated – was upbeat and sweet, just like she is. She’s a person you just want to hang out with.
If You Love Me: A Mother’s Journey Through Her Daughter’s Opioid Addiction by Maureen Cavanaugh
I listened to this on a drive to Boston and I wish I could have kept driving to Canada in order to keep listening. It is heart wrenching and chilling, and real and scary. You won’t be able to put it down.
What am I missing? What memoirs should I grab next? (Please don’t say “Educated”, I tried to read that book 3 times and could not get into it!)