A popular publishing trend these days is the memoir — a book that gives us a peek into someone’s life. While a biography generally covers the entire span of its subject’s life, a memoir covers a “slice of life” and is written by the person who experienced it. It’s often an intense period in their life — early motherhood, illness, the death of a loved one. There’s been some criticism that too many undeserving memoirs are being published, but for those of us who like to read them we now have plenty to choose from! Here are a few to try:
The Long Walk: A Story of War and the Life That Follows by Brian Castner tells of his three tours of duty in Iraq as a bomb disposal expert. When he returned home to his wife and family, he began a struggle with a no less insidious foe, an unshakable feeling of fear and confusion and survivor’s guilt that he terms “The Crazy.” His thrilling, heartbreaking, stunningly honest book will hook you from the first chapter.
Magical Journey: An Apprenticeship in Contentment by Katrina Kenison offers observations on life, making changes, and embarking on spiritual journeys as she experiences and accepts a new reality of living alone after her children have grown and moved out.
The Great Northern Express: A Writer’s Journey Home by Howard Frank Mosher documents the author’s road trip across twenty-first-century America, where he shared personal encounters with homeless people, country performers, and readers and writers from all walks of life.
The Still Point of the Turning World by Emily Rapp is a wrenching account about her son Ronan, who was diagnosed at nine months old with Tay-Sachs disease, a rare and always-fatal degenerative disorder. Ronan was not expected to live beyond the age of three. He would be permanently stalled at a developmental level of six months. Rapp and her husband were forced to re-evaluate everything they thought they knew about parenting.