Monday, March 3, 2014

Women and their books (or how one day I'll write my own)

I just started and finished reading the Bloggess' biography "Let's pretend this never happened (A mostly true memoir)", as as per usual (when I read an entertaining biography) I say to myself I wish I could write a memoir!

Although likely it would be pretty mediocre...tho hopefully not the kind of mediocre that caused me to put down The Happiness Project after only a chapter or two. (Is it just me, or does noone want to read about revamping your perfectly awesome sounding life by cleaning out your closet? .....OK it might be just me, maybe I'll try it again...or clean out my own closet or something)

And every time I start thinking about how increadible it would be to write my own story for the world to behold (and subsequently google articles on memoir writing) I think long and hard on the following things:

  1. As I have never been a child star, battled unimaginably tough circumstances or spent some portion of my life abroad, I'm pretty sure writing a memoir before 30 would be mostly a bad call.
  2. I still have a huge portion of my life ahead of me, just dripping with the possibilities of great stories to be told.
  3. I should start writing some of the stories that have already know just in case something epic does pan out and the publishing companies come a knocking.

Ok so maybe not the most deep thoughts, but I can't be the only one vain enough to wish someone would one day want to read about my life. I mean I may not have grown up with raccoons wearing jammy's (True story, Jenny's book even has pictures) and I haven't gone off to Indonesia on a yoga retreat only to find myself drinking my own urine (like Suzanne Morrison).

But I did have a childhood pet bunny, who we loved enough to heal it's broken leg with a duct tape brace, and years later eat it for dinner. I did move into residence in first year of University with so much stuff packed that all year people came by my room for OTCs like it was a pharmacy. And I may still one day go do a yoga retreat, backpack the Pacific Crest Trail or spend a year on a Happiness Project!

In the mean time, here are some of my favorite memoirs written by amazing women! (oh and make sure you read these like you're announcing oscar nominees...cause that's totally how the voice in my head is dictating them to my typing fingers...pause for applause after each).

Let's Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir); Jenny Lawson
Wild, from lost to found on the Pacific Crest Trail; Cheryl Strayed
The Glass Castle, a memoir; Jeannette Walls
Yoga Bitch: one woman's quest to conquer skepticism, cynicism and cigarettes on the path to enlightenment; Suzanne Morrison
Bossypants; Tina Fey
Orange is the New Black: My year in woman's prison; Piper Kerman
 Eat. Pray, Love: One woman's search for everything across Italy, India and Indonesia; Elizabeth Gilbert

While looking over my bookshelves for these titles, I came across a second set of women's memoirs which are perhaps a little less cheery, but certainly just (if not more powerful). And the nominees for darker/twistier memoirs by a female author go to:

Autobiography of a Face; Lucy Grealy
Prisoner of Tehran: a Memoir; Marina Nemat
Brain on Fire: My month of madness; Susannah Calahan
A Stolen Life: a memoir; Jaycee Dugard
Go Ask Alice; Anonymous
and the semi autobiographical The Bell Jar; Sylvia Plath

What all these amazing books have in common is courageous women, who are bold enough not only to live (and in some cases survive) their incredible lives, but also to share their stories as well. Needless to say, my hypothetical future daughter will be reading through this book list one day.

What other books am I missing from this list, avid reader like myself I'm always looking for the next good book! Leave me a comment or tweet (@Turner_SR) to let me know.


What's that?! an all text post! I must really be in an inspired to write mood! Jenny Lawson that's all you're doing!


  1. First of all, I saw that you commented on my blog and decided to check yours out. I gave this post a read and was nodding along with your Memoir suggestions. Bossypants, Let's Pretend this Never Happen, and The Glass Castle are all awesome. I'm actually still reading Let's Pretend this Never Happened, but so far it is hilarious. Have you read the Hyperbole and a Half book yet? I consider that one a memoir too, but with pictures. It is hilarious.

    Are we only talking about female writers, because I have a little list of memoirs that were written by men but are absolutely wonderful/hilarious. Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan cracks me up. Also, anything by David Sedaris, especially Naked or The Santaland Diaries.

    I could probably keep going on and on. I love memoirs. They're my favorite. I, too, would like to write one someday. It also makes me feel really narcissistic. Honestly, I would just write about the embarrassing and ridiculous parts...there are a lot.

    1. I haven't read hyperbole and a half only because I'm pretty sure I've read every single comic on the website, but will have to consider the book for sure. I'll have to pin your suggestions to my books board, because clearly I am always down for a good book! Thanks for stopping by to comment back!

    2. You totally should get the book! She has even more stories in the book that aren't in her blog!

  2. I really loved Let's Pretend This Never Happened, although I'm not a regular reader of The Bloggess' blog. You know how people ugly cry? I think I ugly laughed over that one. What does ugly laugh mean? I'm pretty sure there was snorting involved. And YESYESYESYES to Bossypants! My only wish is that I bought a hard copy instead of downloading it on my iPad. I want to flip through it and see it on my bookshelf with the rest of my literary loves.

    1. Me too, on the hard copy part. I would much rather have a hard copy of any book than to have it on my kindle. It's just so convenient and CHEAP to download books. I've started buying more hard copies recently because my bookshelf was starting to look like it was frowning at me.

  3. Jenny is pretty funny. I like her conversational bits on her blog.
    So here's a memoir writing project for you to tackle for next Novemembers NaNoWriMo. Write your memoir, from the point of view of the old woman you will be many decades from now.