One of my favorite hobbies is to listen to books. Gone are the days that I can sit and read an actual book. I think I developed adult onset ADHD when I became a parent. The idea of sitting and just reading feels soooo unproductive. But I love to read, so I found a work around – the audiobook.
One of my favorite true crime podcasts, Crime Writers On, had a debate about whether or not you should listen to audiobooks with just one ear bud or two. I chimed in instantly…yes to one ear bud during school carpool. You need that left ear to listen for traffic, but that right ear does not have to listen to Travis Scott during school carpool. Just saying.
I love all fiction and non-fiction, but I gravitate towards memoirs.
And I tend to gravitate towards dark memoirs. I like to think of it like this – if this person overcame their crappy life events, then come on Kristan, you can too. I guess it is similar to the reason I watched Super Nanny after my kids went to bed when they were toddlers. The husband would ask why I would want to watch a show about screaming kids after ours were in bed. My response: it makes me feel like an awesome mom because mine aren’t that bad.
I am also currently working on my own memoir about my life with our dog Smooch who died unexpectedly while we were on spring break. The working title is Smooch – It was her world. We just lived in it. Writing has been so helpful in the healing process, as I am sure writing these memoirs were for these incredible women.
So here are my top 10 memoirs for women. Please check them out. I promise they will not disappoint.
Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by, Jenny Lawson. I found The Bloggess (AKA Jenny Lawson) the summer after my mom died. The Bloggess writes about how she deals with her depression and anxiety, and it is hilarious. She shows that while some of our brains are not wired correctly, we can still fight to be furiously happy.
Educated: A Memoir by, Tara Westover. Good lord this girl had a really crappy life. She grew up in a survivalist family in Idaho, and despite never going to school, she gets into college pretty much out of pure determination.
The Glass Castle by, Jeannette Walls. What I love about this memoir about a dysfunction family is the fact that Jeannette was still able to love her parents despite all the terrible things they did. That takes a special person.
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by, Cheryl Strayed. Cheryl decides to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State alone with no experience. A true story of grit and determination.
Yes, Please by, Amy Poehler. I will admit, I was not a big fan of Amy Poehler before reading this memoir. But it was hilariously honest about a hard working female comedian. Go girl power!
Her: A Memoir by, Christina Parravani. This book is about twin sisters raised by a single mother. When one twin dies in early adulthood, the other must figure out how to have her own identity.
Girl Interrupted by, Susanna Kaysen. A teen girl is committed to a psychiatric hospital for two years. The question for readers to ponder? Was she sane? Her story and those of other patients is often hard, but important, to read.
The Liars Club by, Mary Karr. A Texas dysfunctional family is the focus of this book. My favorite review of this book?
Enjoy “The Liar’s Club” like wine: Some of it is unsavory. Some of it is exquisite. All of it will alter your outlook.
My Dead Parents: A Memoir by, Anya Yurchshyn. In this memoir, the author learns a lot about her parents after their death. It is also a difficult example of a misunderstood child with ADHD.
I’m Just Happy to be Here: A Memoir of Renegade Mothering by, Janelle Hanchett. This was my most recent memoir read. Janelle is also one of my new favorite bloggers at Renegade Mothering. Janelle is not only a great writer, but also more honest than any other mother I have ever known. She is real in a world that only wants us to portray our best selves.
What are your favorite memoirs… or just books? I am always looking for recommendations.