My opinion of memoirs explained

Yesterday in my post about reading snobs, I said that I didn’t like memoirs. I don’t know what I was thinking when I wrote that. In fact, Lab Girl is one of my top all-time favorite books! Look at all these memoirs that I’ve enjoyed! What I really meant was that I didn’t like celebrity memoirs. (I’ve since added “celebrity” to the comment.) That’s what I get for not thinking things through and writing a quick post! Today I’m sharing some of the excellent memoirs that I’ve read.

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin – a remarkable and amusing record of Franklin’s life in America during the mid- to late 1700s.

Educated – A Memoir by Tara Westover – Westover’s account of breaking out of an isolated and abusive childhood, with a violent sibling, a controlling and paranoid father and a mother who deferred to her husband.

Helen Keller – The Story of My Life – the story of an American girl from Alabama who lost her sight and hearing as a baby and determinedly overcame these obstacles to become a writer, a social activist and an advocate for the blind and deaf.

Honor Girl – A Graphic Memoir by Maggie Thrash – a graphic memoir about the author’s coming-out experience at a summer camp in the mountains of Kentucky.

How to Be a Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals by Sy Montgomery – the more Sy Montgomery studies animals and nature, the more she knows that humans have a lot to learn about the creatures that share our world. In this book, she describes her unique relationships with 13 animals and what they have taught her.

Lab Girl by Hope Jahren – I avoided Lab Girl at first because I am not a science person. But this memoir is for all readers. Jahren writes beautifully about her lonely childhood in Minnesota, college life and early years trying to make it as a scientist.

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson – a great story about being different and making it anyway. In some ways, it is a classic success story about perseverance, but mostly, it’s a shout-out to anyone who’s not mainstream.

A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway – Using notes stored away for nearly thirty years, Hemingway began working on a memoir of his days in Paris, where he was part of the expatriate community of writers, artists and creative minds, known now as the “Lost Generation.” He died leaving the book unfinished, but his fourth wife, Mary Welsh, edited the manuscript and the first edition was published in 1964.

Night by Elie Wiesel – Elie Wiesel’s memoir about being sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland during World War II. The New York Times calls it “a slim volume of terrifying power” and I couldn’t agree more.

The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore – an in-depth look at the lives of two young men with the same name, who grew up on the same streets in Baltimore, Maryland and took two divergent paths.

Sounds Like Titanic by Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman – a young woman from West Virginia dreams of becoming a concert violinist and gets a job playing in a prestigious touring orchestra, only to discover that the microphones are turned off. Listeners instead hear music that sounds suspiciously like the score of the popular 1997 film, Titanic.

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi – a young doctor at the crest of a brilliant career as a neurosurgeon and scientist, Kalanithi was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer. During the short time he had left, he was determined to live a life with personal meaning, so he continued working, fathered a baby girl and wrote this book.

Yes Please by Amy Poehler – Poehler is down-to-earth and it was fun to relive some SNL moments. Of course Poehler is a celebrity but I thought she was genuine in this book. I’m pretty hypocritical here aren’t I?

Here are some excellent memoirs I’ve read by haven’t reviewed:

Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt
Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

What memoirs do you recommend? Leave a comment!

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Who’s That Indie Author? Gerhard Maroscher

Who's That Indie Author pic


Author name:  Gerhard Maroscher

Genre:  Memoir

BookWhy Can’t Somebody Just Die Around Here?


Bio: Gerhard was born in Transylvania (part of Romania) during WWII. He and his family miraculously survived the war and the deprivation thereafter. After the war they fled communist countries, eventually immigrating to the USA. Gerhard worked as an engineer for 34 years after serving in Vietnam. Following his retirement he began a second career as a high school German teacher. While immersed in teaching, he wrote and published German short stories for learners of German. After his second retirement he wrote his memoir.          

Favorite thing about being a writer: Giving author talks where I get to tell my story, feedback from readers, and meeting interesting people

Biggest challenge as an indie author: Using technology and social media to market my books effectively

Favorite book: Ken Follett Century Trilogy.

Contact Information: website:  The Maroscher Story, Short Fiction website:  German Readers, Twitter:  @gmaroscher1, Facebook:  Why Can’t Somebody Just Die Around Here?

Awards and recognition: Why Can’t Somebody Just Die Around Here? received the 2016 IAN Outstanding Non-Fiction Book of the Year Award for history. The book also received a positive review from Kirkus.

Are you an indie author?  Do you want to build your indie author network? Why not get your name out on Who’s That Indie Author?

Email for a bio template and other details, and follow along on Book Club Mom to join the indie author community!

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Who’s That Indie Author? B. Lynn Goodwin

Who's That Indie Author pic

B. L. Goodwin
Author name
:  B. Lynn Goodwin

Genres:  Fiction, Self-Help, Memoir

BooksTalent ; You Want Me to Do WHAT? Journaling for Caregivers ; Her memoir, a work-in-progress, has a working title: Never Too Late.

Talent     You Want Me To Do What

Bio:  B. Lynn Goodwin is the owner of Writer Advice, a comprehensive resource for writers.  Goodwin shares information about books, editing and coaching, as well as interviews and other twists and turns on her blog, B. Lynn Goodwin. Her stories and articles have been published in Voices of Caregivers; Hip Mama; Small Press Review; Dramatics Magazine; The Sun; Good and many other venues. She is currently working on a memoir about getting married for the first time at age 62.

Favorite thing about being a writer: Sometimes I think it is being able to coach other authors. Other times I know it’s the experience of having people read and respond to my work. Sometimes I’m sure it’s bringing characters into the world and breathing life into them. Sometimes it’s seeing how they cope with the obstacles I drop in front of them. Sometimes it’s the joy of knowing that my words work.

Biggest challenge as an indie author: Getting the word out about my latest book, blog, or venture.

Favorite book: Usually the one I’m reading. As long as I care about the characters or am learning from the content I usually have a favorite book du jour.

Contact Information:  Website:; Blog:  B. Lynn Goodwin; Facebook:  B. L. Goodwin; Twitter: @Lgood67334; Email:


  • Honorable Mention—Writing It Real
  • Judge–Pleasanton Poetry Festival, Tiny Lights, Redwood Writers, Writer Advice, the Other Side of Creativity’s “Warm Fuzzy Contest”
  • Distinguished Service Award – California Writers Club
  • Honorable Mention in the WELL’s Online Writing Contest
  • Honorable Mention in the Inscriptions Book Review Award
  • Service Award — Weekly Writer

Are you an indie author?  Do you want to build your indie author network? Why not get your name out on Who’s That Indie Author?

Email for a bio template and other details, and follow along on Book Club Mom to join the indie author community!

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