New Memoirs You Don’t Want To Miss

When I started thinking about my very favorite books, most of what I came up with were memoirs. I love reading about people’s life experiences and I so admire those who can put their past into words and inspire others.

Heartland by Sarah Smarsh is a memoir centering around the authors upbringing in Kansas during the 80’s and 90’s. Growing up poor in the heartland of America, Sarah shares her experiences living on a farm and all that it encompasses. I can’t wait to finish reading this book, its so interesting. Here’s the official synopsis:

During Sarah Smarsh’s turbulent childhood in Kansas in the 1980s and 1990s, the forces of cyclical poverty and the country’s changing economic policies solidified her family’s place among the working poor. By telling the story of her life and the lives of the people she loves, Smarsh challenges us to look more closely at the class divide in our country and examine the myths about people thought to be less because they earn less. Her personal history affirms the corrosive impact intergenerational poverty can have on individuals, families, and communities, and she explores this idea as lived experience, metaphor, and level of consciousness.

Smarsh was born a fifth generation Kansas wheat farmer on her paternal side and the product of generations of teen mothers on her maternal side. Through her experiences growing up as the daughter of a dissatisfied young mother and raised predominantly by her grandmother on a farm thirty miles west of Wichita, we are given a unique and essential look into the lives of poor and working-class Americans living in the heartland. Combining memoir with powerful analysis and cultural commentary, Heartland is an uncompromising look at class, identity, and the particular perils of having less in a country known for its excess.

Do you enjoy reading memoirs? Do you have any favorites?

 

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Another memoir to add to your To-Read list is To The Moon and Back, A Childhood Under the Influence by Lisa Kohn.  Like I mentioned, I LOVE memoirs.  And this one promises to be equally as gripping as Heartland yet completely different. It’s really something how we all have childhoods and they can be vastly different.

Lisa’s life didn’t take place on a farm in Kansas, her experiences were within the cult known as the “moonies.”

 

The best seats Lisa Kohn ever had at Madison Square Garden were at her mother’s wedding, and the best cocaine she ever had was from her father’s friend, the judge.

Lisa was raised as a “Moonie”—a member of the Unification Church, founded by self-appointed Messiah, Reverend Sun Myung Moon. As a child, she knew the ecstatic comfort of inclusion in a cult and as a teenager the torment of rebelling against it. As an adult, Lisa struggled to break free from the hold of abuse—battling her own addictions and inner-demons and searching her soul for a sense of self-worth. Told with spirited candor, TO THE MOON AND BACK reveals how one can leave behind such absurdity and horror and create a life of intention and joy. This is the fascinating tale of a story rarely told in its full complexity.

 

This book comes out in September and I know that those who enjoy memoirs will devour this one.

 

A few more of my favorite memoirs include:

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover

Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt

Chanel Bonfire by Wendy Lawless

Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton

North of Normal by Cea Sunrise Person

This is Not My Beautiful Life by Victoria Fedden

No Way Home by Tyler Wetherall

 

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