Misty, Watercolor Memoirs

Posted: October 3, 2007 in Uncategorized

Reading has been pretty fragmented lately, what with school intruding into my free time and all. The problem is, the review books still keep flooding in. I need to find some really creative places to stash them while I’m working away on other things. Any suggestions appreciated.

In what precious little free time I do have, I’ve been ILLing memoirs like mad. I think I mentioned I’m taking a non-credit memoir course through UIC right now, and that’s really sparked my interest in things memoirish.

Here are three lovelies I have on my desk right now:

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Jesus Land: a Memoir by Julia Scheeres

The title of this one caught me as soon as I saw it, but I held out a while before eventually succumbing. Well, succumbing to putting it on my desk, with a pile of about 40 other books. I haven’t had a chance to read the thing yet, but the reviews of it have been great. So, I assure you I’m suffering because I haven’t had time to read it yet.

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Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

The cool thing about this book is it’s written by someone without a wildly dysfunctional story to tell. People like that mystify me. It’s part envy, part if you weren’t suffering what are you doing getting PUBLISHED. I like the encyclopedia format, too. I think it would be a lot of fun to attempt something like this. In fact, it might be a good precursor to a complete memoir, something to add to as the decades (hopefully) go on.

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The Last Gift of Time by Carolyn Heilbrun

What’s singular about this book is the backstory. Heilbrun intended to commit suicide at 60, but put it off ’til 70, partly so she could write this book. Then, when she turned 70, she ended it all. As her son put it, her work was done. That’s sobering, but I can respect that.

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You Can Write a Memoir by Susan Carol Hauser

And this one? It’s one of the dozen or so “how to” books I’ve either ILLed or bought in the past few weeks. It has some good practical info on writing memoir, unlike some of the more new age-y “writing to free your inner child” kinds of things. Not that there’s anything wrong with those, but a good practical book is necessary, too.

I’m reading other things, too. This is just a small fraction of the books I keep accidentally knocking off my desk while I’m trying to get work done.

One very small fraction.

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