Genre: Memoir
Book Review

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, HER Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed by Lori Gottlieb

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone

TW/CW: In this book there are discussions about and accounts of depression, anxiety, obsessive behavior, suicidal ideation, child death, and mental illness. I heard about this book on the Friendshipping podcast, and since I had the “Oops, Too Many Credits” problem at Audible, I bought the audiobook. Regarding the audio version, I have only a few comments. The narrator, Brittany Pressley, is solid, and because this is first person narrative memoir, the number of “character” voices … Continue reading Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, HER Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed by Lori Gottlieb

Book Review

Thick: And Other Essays by Tressie McMillan Cottom

Thick: And Other Essays

This is the type of writing that gives me what I think of as “complete cellular-level stillness.” You know that feeling when you’re listening to, reading, or watching something completely extraordinary, and your entire body goes still? Maybe you have scalp tingles or you’re covered in goosebumps, but you are entirely focused on not missing a thing because it’s freaking incredible? That’s my experience with this book of essays. I’ve interviewed Dr. Cottom (Podcast Episode … Continue reading Thick: And Other Essays by Tressie McMillan Cottom

Lightning Review

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark

I’m a true crime fan, so I was eagerly awaiting Michelle McNamara’s book about the man who terrorized California in the 70’s and 80’s, who she dubbed the Golden State Killer. It didn’t disappoint. I listened to this book on audio during long drives for work, and it sucked me in, so much so that I would sit in my parking lot to keep listening. This is a true story of a serial rapist and … Continue reading I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara

Lightning Review

Happier At Home: Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon Self-Control, and My Other Experiments in Everyday Life

Happier at Home

As much as I enjoyed Better than Before and The Four Tendencies, I found reading Happier At Home to be a frustrating slog through minimal bits of usable advice and a lot of detailed personal journalling that I didn’t expect or enjoy. This line from the cover copy best describes this book: “starting in September (the new January), Rubin dedicated a school year—September through May—to making her home a place of greater simplicity, comfort, and love.” I live … Continue reading Happier At Home: Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon Self-Control, and My Other Experiments in Everyday Life

Book Review

We’re Going to Need More Wine: Stories That Are Funny, Complicated, and True by Gabrielle Union

We’re Going to Need More Wine

I have a list of memoirs I want to read, and when this book became available, I dropped everything to read it. I’m so glad I did. I couldn’t put it down, even when it was way past my bedtime, even when the end of a chapter provided a good stopping point. I couldn’t stop making a list of people to recommend it to. I highlighted at least four lines per chapter, and I’m still … Continue reading We’re Going to Need More Wine: Stories That Are Funny, Complicated, and True by Gabrielle Union

Book Review

The Cooking Gene by Michael W. Twitty

The Cooking Gene

I want to sit down with Michael W. Twitty and talk food with him for about a million hours. Twitty is a food historian who specializes in American antebellum slave cookery – what slaves were cooking and eating during the period of American Slavery from 1619 to 1865. He is especially interested in the evolution of slave cookery to “Southern Cooking” and how the introduction of food and techniques from Africa through the forced migration … Continue reading The Cooking Gene by Michael W. Twitty

Book Review

This Is Just My Face: Try Not To Stare by Gabourey Sidibe

This Is Just My Face

Sometimes you get a celebrity memoir that you can tell is ghostwritten and focus-grouped to death, and it’s as boring as shit. This is not that. Gabourey Sidibe is an American actress, whose first acting role in Precious in 2009 catapulted her into the public eye. She’s a Black woman who is fat, with an African name, and she’s in a business where all of those things work against her. She’s got the personality and the … Continue reading This Is Just My Face: Try Not To Stare by Gabourey Sidibe

Lightning Review

Home Sweet Anywhere: How We Sold Our House, Created a New Life, and Saw the World by Lynne Martin

Home Sweet Anywhere

As I’ve mentioned I have a decided weakness for travel writing, and books wherein the characters travel. This nonfiction memoir follows Lynne and Tim as they reconnect late in life, marry, and find themselves approaching 70. They decide that they want to live in various places around the world instead of just traveling to and from a list of spots on individual vacations. So they sell their house and set off to be what they term “Home … Continue reading Home Sweet Anywhere: How We Sold Our House, Created a New Life, and Saw the World by Lynne Martin

Book Review

March by John Lewis

March: Book One

Over the weekend I binge-read March, the graphic novel (in three volumes) by Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell. My advice is that you should absolutely read March but pace yourself. TW for racism and violence. March describes Representative Lewis’s years with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). It’s told as a series of flashbacks remembered on the day of Barack Obama’s inauguration and bookended by memories of Bloody Sunday — the day … Continue reading March by John Lewis

Lightning Review

You Gotta Get Bigger Dreams by Alan Cumming

You Gotta Get Bigger Dreams

This is a memoir by actor, singer, dancer, all around awesome hedonist Alan Cumming (I fell for him in SpyKids, though you may remember him from Broadway’s Cabaret, or The Good Wife, or “This is Masterpiece Mystery”). It is mostly just vignettes of his life, from a cross-country trip with his dog to how he entertained Elizabeth Taylor at Carrie Fisher’s birthday party, augmented with pictures he’s taken. He’s led an interesting life, working on many … Continue reading You Gotta Get Bigger Dreams by Alan Cumming

Book Review

You’ll Grow Out of It by Jessi Klein

You’ll Grow Out of It

You’ll Grow Out of It is a series of autobiographical essays by professional funny person Jessi Klein. I picked it up on pub day entirely because of things I’d been hearing about it, celebrities I love talking about it on Twitter, and several great reviews from sources I trust (i.e. the A.V. Club and Sloane Crosley at the New York Times). For a time, Klein was a writer on Saturday Night Live and she’s now a … Continue reading You’ll Grow Out of It by Jessi Klein

Book Review

Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh

Hyperbole and a Half

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and I’m certainly no stranger to the trials and tribulations of keeping up with one’s own mental health, not to mention the mental health of my mother. (It’s exhausting sometimes, isn’t it?) So this May, I wanted to read something that I could identify with and that would allow me to further spotlight the importance of mental health discussions. I’ve been a longtime fan of Hyperbole and a Half … Continue reading Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh

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