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Staff Reviews: Adult memoir

Check out these reviews written by the staff of the Marathon County Public Library, featuring books DVDs for adults! (For reviews of books for all ages, visit our main Staff Reviews webpage.) Staff book reviews are also published at Goodreads.com; follow us for the latest updates. The book reviews on this website represent the personal opinions of the individuals who created them and do not represent any official views of the Marathon County Public Library.


Cover: 'You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost)'

"You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost)" by Felicia Day

★★★★ For those of you out there who are wondering who Felicia Day is, once you see her picture you will wonder where you know her from. Many are familiar with her online presence from various geek-doms and others will know her from television and commercials. She reveals a lot about why she became a gamer and how she grew to love that culture. Let's get real...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, memoir

Cover: 'Under the Same Sky'

"Under the Same Sky" by Joseph Kim, Stephan Talty

★★★ In this book Joseph tells us the story of his life in communist-ruled North Korea. In North Korea he starved for 10 years due to inflated prices of food and his country's inability to grow their own food. He tempts fate when he crosses the Tumen River during the day and is "free" in China. Once in China, where he could be exported at any time, he finds life...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, memoir

Cover: 'My Organic Life'

"My Organic Life" by Nora Pouillon

★★★★ It's easy to find organic produce and hormone-free meat now, but 50 years ago, that was not the case. Nora Pouillon is a Vienna-born chef and founder of Restaurant Nora, the first certified organic restaurant in the United States. When Nora came to Washington D.C. in the 1960s, she was horrified at the lack of seasonal produce and meat filled with hormones...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, memoir, food

Cover: 'Hope and Other Luxuries'

"Hope and Other Luxuries" by Clare B. Dunkle

★★★★ This memoir is haunting, beautiful, and hard to forget. From the outside, Clare's life seems perfect. She has a great job as children's book author and is raising her two smart and talented daughters in Germany with her loving husband. Clare's story shows us that even when you think everything is perfect, something can happen that can turn your whole world...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, memoir, mental health

Cover: 'Life from Scratch'

"Life from Scratch" by Sasha Martin

★★★★★ Blogger Sasha Martin may be best known for Global Table Adventure, the blog where she chronicled her culinary journeys cooking recipes from every country. Her memoir does discuss the blog, as well as her picky husband's foray into exotic foods, but the majority of the memoir focuses on the tragedies Martin experienced as a child, and how it affected her...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, memoir, food

Cover: 'When Fraser Met Billy'

"When Fraser Met Billy" by Louise Booth

★★★★ This is a true story about a struggling family, their autistic son, Fraser and a special gray shelter cat named Billy who brought them love, happiness and hope. With Billy in his life, gradually Fraser had less tantrums, was less anxious about changes, and less moody. Also diagnosed with hypotonia, a muscle condition, Billy also helped him learn to climb...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, memoir, differing abilities, animals

Cover: 'H is for Hawk'

"H is for Hawk" by Helen Macdonald

★★★ Part memoir, part nature essay, and part biography of eccentric author T.H. White, this book is difficult to categorize. Helen Macdonald decides to train a goshawk after her father's unexpected death, and the experience allows her to deal with her loss. Macdonald also writes about the parallels between her goshawk training experience and the English author...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, biography, memoir

Cover: 'So anyway...'

"So anyway..." by John Cleese

★★★★★ Whether you know him as a Python or as The Pink Panther's Charles Dreyfus, chances are that at some point in your life, John Cleese has made you laugh. Easily one of my favorite comedic actors, John Cleese's memoir is a book that was worth the wait. From his quiet beginnings as the only child of older parents in a sleepy English town, to his adventures in...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, memoir, celebrities, humor

Cover: 'Yes Please'

"Yes Please" by Amy Poehler

★★★★★ Are you ready to laugh, learn, and cry? Amy delivers all of this and more in her debut book. Anyone who is a fan of Amy from her television work and comedy will definitely appreciate her humor and stories about trying to make it in the business. She covers her childhood through her time on "Parks and Recreation." What I found to be the best part of this...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, biography, memoir, humor, celebrities, television

Cover: 'There Was a Little Girl'

"There Was a Little Girl" by Brooke Shields

★★★ Brooke Shields opens up about her sometimes tumultuous relationship with her mother and manager, Teri Shields. She reveals heartbreaking details about her mother's life-long struggle with alcoholism, and how her relationship with her mother affected her life. A constant theme throughout the book is Brooke defending her mother to critics, despite the pain...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, memoir, celebrities

Cover: 'Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow: My Life'

"Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow: My Life" by Sophia Loren

★★★★ Sophia Loren's memoir details her incredible life; full of beauty, love, success, but also tragedy and pain. The daughter of a single mother, Loren grew up in poverty during World War II in Italy and never had much contact with her father. She received her start in beauty pageants, and soon transitioned to film after she was noticed by her future husband,...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, celebrities, memoir

Cover: 'Growing Up Duggar'

"Growing Up Duggar" by Jana Duggar

★★★ While readers may not want to take romantic advice from girls who have never been in a romantic relationship, this book provides some insights into the lives of the notorious Duggar clan, famous for their large family of 19 children. Each chapter is divided into various relationships, such as relationships with parents, siblings, guys, culture, and of...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, memoir

Cover: 'Bossypants'

"Bossypants" by Tina Fey

★★★ Are you a fan of "Saturday Night Live" or "30 Rock"? Then this is the book for you. Learn about the life of Tina Fey, SNL writer and star. She documents her life from geeky child who attends a summer theater program to successful star, writer, and actress. This book is not only funny but is also surprisingly insightful on what it means to be a successful...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, memoir, humor

Cover: 'I am Malala'

"I am Malala" by Malala Yousafzai

★★★★★ This fascinating and thought provoking memoir takes us into the world of schoolchildren in the Swat Valley of Pakistan; a world not often experienced by outsiders since the takeover of the Taliban. Malala faces adversity, including the brutal attack in which she was shot in the face by the Taliban, with the courage that comes from being passionate about...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, memoir

Cover: 'My Accidental Jihad'

"My Accidental Jihad" by Krista Bremer

★★★★★ A captivating and moving memoir about a women's journey through love, interethnic marriage, parenthood, and life. This memoir follows Krista from her surfing days to a journalism career to a chance encounter with a runner that eventually leads to a discovered pregnancy, and soon a cross-cultural marriage. The author shows us her experiences being married to...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, memoir

Cover: 'I Don't Know What You Know Me From'

"I Don't Know What You Know Me From" by Judy Greer

★★★ You may know Judy Greer from her numerous roles as a co-star in movies such as 13 Going on 30 and The Wedding Planner, and her collection of essays is perfect for readers looking for a light read this summer. Greer has a tendency to ramble as she recounts her life and her career as an actress. Sometimes she is quite funny, especially the essay describing a...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, memoir

Cover: 'Life's That Way'

"Life's That Way" by Jim Beaver

★★★★★ Life's That Way is a beautiful and moving memoir by Jim Beaver, the talented actor who I came to know from the TV series Supernatural. His memoir is a heartbreaking, touching, but also uplifting recounting of his wife's battle with cancer and daughter's battle with autism. Told through the heart-wrenching emails Jim Beaver sent to their family and friends,...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, memoir, celebrities, television

Cover: 'Lunch In Paris'

"Lunch In Paris" by Elizabeth Bard

★★★★ If you are a travel and food enthusiast, then this is a great book for you! Lunch In Paris is a memoir telling the story of how the author, Elizabeth, met her Parisian husband and ended up living in Paris. Not only does Elizabeth give up a life in the United States for love but she needs to learn a new way of life while discovering a new direction for her...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, memoir, cookbook

Cover: 'Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend'

"Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend" by Matthew Dicks

★★★★ Did you have an imaginary friend when you were young? Well, probably not like Budo. In this quirky short fiction by author Matthew Dicks, we meet Budo, the imaginary friend of Max, an eight year old boy “on the spectrum” as Budo hears from the adults around them. Budo is unique in that he is almost 5 years old, is self aware, and understands the fact that...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, memoir

Cover: 'Dad Is Fat'

"Dad Is Fat" by Jim Gaffigan

★★★★ Looking for a very funny and entertaining read by a stand up comedian?  Then this is the book for you!  Part comedy, part memoir, Gaffigan chronicles his life as a husband and father of five children living in a two bedroom apartment in New York City.  This unique situation lends to some very funny parenting anecdotes and observations in a...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, humor, memoir

Cover: 'My Story'

"My Story" by Elizabeth Smart, Chris Stewart

★★★★ More than ten years after her abduction from her Salt Lake City home, Elizabeth Smart, now 26, tells the story of what she encountered during the horrific months she spent in captivity and how she survived.  Elizabeth's memoir does not dwell on the darkness she encountered, but rather focuses on how her faith and love for her family helped her survive...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, memoir

Cover: 'As I Knew Him'

"As I Knew Him" by Anne Serling

★★★★★ In the 1950s, 60s and 70s, Rod Serling penned various movie and television scripts that demonstrated the power and majesty of the English language. Though termed "television's angry young man," his scripts consistently displayed a sensitivity, gentleness and perceptive understanding of the human condition. This tender and intimate biography, penned by his...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, biography, memoir, television, celebrities

Cover: 'A Street Cat Named Bob'

"A Street Cat Named Bob" by James Bowen

★★★★★ Wounded, hungry and full of fleas, a stray ginger-colored tom cat catches the eye of James Bowen, a street musician struggling to free his life from drug addiction. The two lost souls instantly form a bond. Even though James can barely get by himself on the money he earns performing on the streets of London, he knows that he has to take care of this cat....

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, animals, memoir

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