Friday, March 21, 2014

Five Books Worth Reading: Memoirs

Sometimes, it is hard to pick out what you are going to read, so we will help you. Looking for a memoir? Here are five you should read!

Jesus Land by Julia Scheeres
In the 1980s, Julia Scheeres grew up in a strict Midwestern fundamentalist home with her adopted black brother David. Jesus Land is her account of her struggle to grow up in the shadow of her deeply bigoted and abusive family. As a teen, both her and her brother are packed up and sent to Escuela Caribe, a Christian reform school located in the Dominican Republic. There, they are subjected to a never ending list of rules, severe punishments, and no way out.

Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan
Susannah Cahalan’s memoir, Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness reveals just how much science still doesn’t know about the human brain. In just a month, Cahalan went from a promising reporter for the New York Post to barely functioning and confined to a hospital bed suffering from seizures, paranoia, and psychosis. She uses the book as an attempt to piece together her missing time, of which she has only few memories.

Life Among the Savages by Shirley Jackson
Shirley Jackson is most well known for her sparse horror tale, The Haunting of Hill House and chilling short story, “The Lottery,” but she shows a different side with her memoir, Life Among the Savages. It’s a humorous account of her noisy, chaotic household. "Our house," writes Jackson, "is old, noisy, and full. When we moved into it we had two children and about five thousand books; I expect that when we finally overflow and move out again we will have perhaps twenty children and easily half a million books."

Cash by Johnny Cash
Johnny Cash is an undisputed country music legend. In Cash he gets the chance to tell his own story in his own words. From his childhood in Arkansas to touring with Elvis in Tennessee, Cash shares it all with signature sparse style.

Rapture Practice by Aaron Hartzler
The newest title on this list is Aaron Hartzler’s Rapture Practice. Hartzler grew up in an ultra-conservative home with parents who, among other things, believed in the rapture. This memoir follows Hartzler as he attempts to be the good son his parents want while also navigating his conflicted feelings about religion.

Did we miss one? What do you think should be on this list?

~Meredith T.

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