Four favourite memoirs

one of my favourite types of non-fiction. these are not in any order, and are just a few among many memoirs that I've loved.
  1. As Always, Julia: The Letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto: Food, Friendship, and the Making of a Masterpiece ed. Joan Reardon
    I could write a whole other list of favorite books about Julia Child. She lived such a fascinating life. But I especially love this book for how personal it is (the format is so great, and will make you wish people still wrote letters) and how amidst the story of the early days of Julia's cookbook writing career, there are lots of aspects of life in the 1950s and the culture of that time.
  2. Beyond the Pale: Folklore, Family and the Mystery of Our Hidden Genes by Emily Urquhart
    In this recent book, Emily Urquhart tells the story of her young daughter's diagnosis of albinism and what meaning that condition has had in folklore and cultures around the world. She also examines her own family's past as she searches for a genetic explanation, and the whole story is written so beautifully. Would be great for fans of folklore, genetics, or genealogy, or people like me who just love a well-written, heartfelt family story.
  3. This is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett
    This was one of my staff picks when I worked at a bookstore a couple of years ago but people didn't seem to go for it, maybe because of the title. This is actually a collection of personal essays, only a few of which are about marriage. Very enjoyable and perfect for some vacation reading or just anytime when you want to reflect on things.
  4. Fire Shut Up in My Bones by Charles M. Blow
    Blow is incredibly talented at conveying the hardships of his childhood and adolescence growing up poor and Black in rural Louisiana, and of showing how childhood experiences contribute to the rest of our lives. I was so moved by this book and the honesty of its writing.