Are you longing to write a memoir but unsure how to start? Undertaking this technically challenging genre can feel like a daunting task; as it is as much about storytelling as it is about relaying the facts.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the memoir writing process, there is one practice that can help you flex those memoir muscles: reading someone else’s well-written memoir. After all, great readers make great writers! We asked our friends in the Communicator Academy Facebook Group to share their favorite memoirs with us, and they did not disappoint. Below is a list of recommended memoirs, with links to their Amazon pages.
Educated by Tara Westover
Where the Wind Leads by Vinh Chung
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
The Sun Still Shines by Jodi Orgill Brown
The Artist’s Daughter by Alexandra Kuykendall
Waiting for Snow in Havana by Carlos Eire
Surprised by Oxford by Carolyn Weber
A Girl Named Zippy by Haven Kimmel
White Road by Olga Ilyin
Victim of Grace by Robin Jones Gunn
Same Kind of Different as Me by Lynn Vincent
In Love and War by James and Sybil Stockdale
Crosswicks Journals Madeleine L’engle
Born a Crime (audiobook) by Trevor Noah
Soul Survivor by Philip Yancey
Esther the Wonder Pig by Steve Jenkins and Derek Walter
Fashion Climbing by Bill Cunningham
The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom
The Year of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs
While you are sure to enjoy these memoirs, don’t forget to read them critically. Did the author make you laugh? Did you tear up? Go back through those passages and ask yourself what they did technically to evoke something within you emotionally. Did you resonate with a particular scene? Consider how the author made it come to life for you. Reading others’ work critically will unlock the door to writing your own memoir well.
Is there another book you would add to our list of memoirs? Share the title below!