Memoirs as a genre have been around for a long time. Memoirs are works of nonfiction that share pieces of someone’s life. They serve as a great introduction to history, another culture or a different perspective.
Some memoirs have gained great acclaim for their emotional or powerful impact:
The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe is the story of the author’s reading of books with his dying mother. The experience brought them closer as her life came to a close.
Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi chronicals the sharing of forbidden western books with female students in Iran.
Other memoirs focus more on the light-hearted aspects of life:
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling is a humorous look at romance and friendship in Hollywood.
It Looked Different on the Model by Laurie Notaro is the authors self-deprecating and open sharing of her attempts to fit in – whether it be the cute clothes or just her neighborhood.
Of course you could wrap both the serious and humorous all up and tie it off with a neat little bow by trying out Holy Ghost Girl by Donna M. Johnson. She digs up her stranger-than-fiction memories as a young girl in the caravan of a southern tent revivalist.
So you might be wondering what is the difference between a memoir and an autobiography… that line isn’t exactly clear-cut. As a general rule, an autobiography is focused on events and memoirs are more how the person feels about or perceives these life events. Memoirs are fantastic choices for when you are looking to learn something new all while crying, or laughing, or sometimes both.