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Staff Reviews: Memoir

Check out these reviews written by the staff of the Marathon County Public Library! (For reviews in all genres, visit our main Staff Reviews webpage.) Staff book reviews are also published at Goodreads.com; follow us for the latest updates.


Cover: 'Hillbilly Elegy'

"Hillbilly Elegy" by J.D. Vance

★★★ Author J.D. Vance grew up among what he refers to as “hillbillys” – white, working class (and mostly poor) folks in Appalachia. Vance spent his adolescence split between extended family in Jackson, Kentucky and in Middleton, Ohio, a town in a state of decline after its main source of local jobs closes, leaving thousands without a job. In this memoir,...

Audience: Adults | Genre: Nonfiction, Memoir

Cover: 'Love Warrior'

"Love Warrior" by Glennon Doyle Melton

★★★ Since she was 10 years old, Glennon Doyle Melton didn’t feel at home in her body. Due to the pressures of society, she never felt she could be thin enough, pretty enough, accepted enough, or loved enough. So, she turned to bulimia, binge drinking and casual sex to mask her fears and insecurities. In her twenties, Glennon finds herself pregnant and at a...

Audience: Adults | Genre: Nonfiction, Memoir

Cover: 'One Day We'll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter: Essays'

"One Day We'll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter: Essays" by Scaachi Koul

★★★★★ Scaachi Koul is the daughter of Indian immigrants. She was born and raised in Canada surrounded by western culture. She is also thoughtful and hilarious. All this comes together in “One Day We’ll All Be Dead And None Of This Will Matter,” a delightful collection of essays. Many of Koul’s stories clue us in on what it is like to bear the scrutiny of being a...

Audience: Adults | Genre: Nonfiction, Memoir, Essays, Humor

Cover: 'The Last Black Unicorn'

"The Last Black Unicorn" by Tiffany Haddish

★★★★★ Stand-up comedian and actress Tiffany Haddish makes a living out of entertaining others and making people laugh. That might not seem like anything extraordinary, until you learn about all of the strife and setbacks Haddish faced in her life, especially before reaching adulthood. While growing up, Haddish had an absentee father, a mother who verbally and...

Audience: Adults | Genre: Nonfiction, Memoir, Celebrities, Humor

Cover: 'The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl'

"The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl" by Issa Rae

★★★ Issa Rae is the creator, head writer and star of Insecure, a dramedy on HBO about the lives of a group of African American millennials. Watching that highly-entertaining series is what me aware of this book and Rae’s semi-autobiographical web series Awkward Black Girl (on which Insecure is based). This book, chapter by chapter, outlines the various ways...

Audience: Adults | Genre: Nonfiction, Memoir, Humor

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: '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