To celebrate We Heart Memoirs Day, I compiled a short list of recommendations that pack a punch in the department of sardonic humor. Though I’m always down for a more pensive, no-nonsense biography here and there, my preferred non-fiction niche is definitely memoirs that lean towards more blunt or witty self-reflection.
The good thing about these types of reads is that they’re usually pretty easy to spot. Why? Because they always sport an extra bold, eye-grabbing headliner to draw readers in. Looking to find a new personable memoir for your September TBR? Read on for six must-reads sure to hook your interest.
Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner
Starting off strong is Bookstagram favorite, Crying in H Mart, by Michelle Zauner. If you’re an indie music fan, you probably know the author by the name of her musical project: Japanese Breakfast. This evocative and honest memoir explores her upbringing as a Korean American and the loss of her mother as they pertain to her evolvement of identity. Since its release in 2021, this has been a deeply cherished and personable read for the masses, showing that Zauner’s prose is just as buzz-worthy as her music.
Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
This long-time bestseller brings you essay writing at its most wry and comedic. Split into various sections, these compiled reflections were inspired by the author’s move to Paris. The eye-catching title refers specifically to the hilarious tale of Sedaris’ trying to learn French from a very strict teacher. For a satisfying dose of odd and entertaining anecdotes, pick up this fragmented memoir that will keep you chuckling from page to page.
Little Failure by Gary Shteyngart
After three novels, writer Gary Shteyngart shifted gears in 2014, releasing this candid account of his life so far. Both emotionally moving and self-deprecating, this author’s recount of the immigrant experience and a childhood pulled in two tells a resonant story about family and belonging. Oh, and the inspiration behind the harsh title stems from a lesson in tough love. As a child, his intensely concerned mother fused English and Russian terms to create a nickname roughly translating to “little failure.” Ouch!
You’ll Grow Out of It by Jessi Klein
Following along with the coming-of-age theme, comedian Jessi Klein keeps it real with this raw and relatable release of memoir essays. Spanning various topics related to the chaotic journey to womanhood and beyond, this collection tackles many a 21st-century issue in a way that reads just serious enough. If you find yourself wanting more of Klein’s refreshingly candid social commentary, her second book release, I’ll Show Myself Out, debuted over the spring!
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir by Jenny Lawson
Prominent journalist and blogger Jenny Lawson knows full well that some of the most mortifying life moments are the very moments that shape us the most. Taking that notion in stride, Lawson’s 2012 literary debut leans into her truly strange and unconventional upbringing in rural Texas (involving her taxidermist father), the horror of teenagehood, and more. It’s gritty. It’s (believe it or not) real and, above all, endearingly human.
I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy
I certainly couldn’t end this list without including Jennette McCurdy’s brand-new trending release, I’m Glad My Mom Died. Sitting atop every bestseller list, McCurdy has genuinely captured the attention of the masses, and for a good reason! This honest exploration of Jennette’s life as a child actor under the wing of her abusive mother is absolutely gripping. An inspiring memoir about resilience and independence, written with plenty of dark humor and wit, this must-read truly has readers raving.
Looking for more must-reads? Check out our variety of book recommendations curated by the Bookstr team here.