Tag: memoirs

5 Memoirs That Will Change Your Life

Books have a way of shifting, molding, and changing the way in which we see the world. No genre does this quite as well as memoirs. There’s just something about reading the real-life experiences of another that not only elicits empathy and understanding, but also allows you to experience the world through the eyes of someone with whom you may have nothing in common.

Some of the best memoirs detail harrowing struggles in moving, viscerally honest prose. Others cover the author’s unique and interesting life experiences while offering the reader an intimate look into characteristics of different walks of life. All have the power to completely transform the way in which readers view the world. Without further ado, here are five memoirs which will rock your world.

 

 

1.) Lit by Mary Karr

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Every sentence in this book is like a slap in the face. Karr writes with masterful, excruciating honesty about her lifelong struggle with addiction and the strain it puts on each relationship in her life. Her voice is compelling and strong – the voice of someone who goes through something agonizing and comes out alive on the other side. Her memoir will challenge and change the way you think about addiction, love, relationships, and religion. Lit is the kind of book that leaves you both satiated and starving for more.

 

2.) Boy Erased by Garrard Conley

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Garrard Conley details his struggle with his sexuality and faith after being outed while in college to religious parents in Boy Erased. He attends a 12-step conversion therapy program with the initial goal of changing his sexuality and strengthening his faith. Through his journey, Conley closely examines the intricate ties between family, faith and forgiveness in this powerful memoir.

 

 

3.) Negroland by Margo Jefferson

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Margo Jefferson’s memoir Negroland explores the tensions of growing up in an upper-middle class black household in Chicago. Jefferson boldly studies the crosses of race, wealth and class as she experiences them throughout her childhood, adolescence and adulthood. Negroland is written with sharp introspection and compelling prose, tackling huge issues with brilliance and bravery.

 

4.) Educated by Tara Westover

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In this #1 New York Times Bestseller, Tara Westover tells the story of her pursuit of an education after growing up the child of dedicated survivalists in the Idaho mountains. Westover’s first experience in a classroom comes when she is 17 years old, and in Educated she frames how her own drive for knowledge presents struggles and triumphs as well as connection and isolation as she forges further away from home. Educated is a story of coming-of-age and identity detailing Westover’s navigation between family allegiance and individual passion and drive.

 

 

5.) Abandon Me by Melissa Febos

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Abandon Me closely examines love, intimacy, and relationships with invigorating honesty and vulnerability. Melissa Febos weaves the story of the bonds which mark her life: the tumultuous relationship with the sea captain stepfather who raised her, the passionate and intense affair she has with a woman, and the mystery of her reconnection with her birth father. Febos writes with stunning honesty, crafting a memoir packed full with universal truths sure to strike a chord with any reader.

 

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The Best Celebrity Books of 2019!

What’s better than a regular memoir, you ask? A celebrity memoir, that’s what! With the year winding down and the holidays right around the corner, now is the perfect time to snuggle up with a book that motivates you and pumps you up for the brand new year.

Here are some of our favorite Celebrity Memoirs to get you all excited; be it as a travel companion, or to keep you up on your couch as you take a break from the Christmas movie binge, they’re all here for you!

 

Me by Elton John

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Elton John’s first ever official autobiography, Me, has won the hearts of millions of fans. The memoir explores fragments of his extraordinary life from when the legendary superstar was a shy, young boy named Reginald Dwight, growing up in the suburbs of London. In Me, Elton also talks about his drama filled life revolving around music, his drug addiction, finding love and becoming a father. This is a great read for anyone who’s a fan of the singer, or just wants to know how one man transformed his life and became the icon that he is now.

 

Inside out by Demi moore

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Demi Moore’s long awaited memoir, coined as raw and emotionally charged, has garnered a lot of responses from both fans, and others. In her story, she speaks out about growing up and trying to maintain sanity in the constant scrutiny of the press and public, battling addiction and body image issues, as well as touching on her prolific movie roles and her long string of high profile relationships. In Inside Out, Demi exhibits constant resilience and tremendous strength, which has made her the strong woman she is today. Anyone reading it, can hope to get a dose of inspiration from the outstanding life of a woman who started off as just ordinary.

Home work by julie andrews

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As her previous memoir, Home, did exceptionally well, Home Work is Julie Andrews’ follow-up memoir, which she released alongside the help of her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton. In this memoir, Andrews focuses on her life in Hollywood, and paints vivid images in the minds of readers as she describes her earliest hit movies like, The Sound of Music and Mary Poppins. Alongside Hollywood, Andrews also discusses her long journey tackling such a tremendously different and extraordinary life, embracing motherhood, step-motherhood, the start and end of marriages, all while discovering who she is and can be.

Queer eye: Love yourself. love your life.

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Who better than the fantastic men of Queer Eye to help guide us on the spectacular journey of self love and acceptance for the upcoming year?

While they have a book they released together, four of the Fab Five members have now launched their own, and we couldn’t be more hyped! Karamo Brown’s book, Karamo: My Story of Embracing, Purpose, Healing, and Hope, explores his life through the lens of culture, love and acceptance, while sweet Antoni Porowski’s awesome cookbook, Antoni in the Kitchen, offers us delicious yet easy recipes to keep us full for the upcoming year!

JVN never disappoints in the show, and neither does his fabulous, heart wrenching memoir, Over the Top: A Raw Journey to Self-Love, which is a real tear-jerker, but equally heart-warming and powerful and a definite must read. But the gorgeous Tan France’s Naturally Tan has to be my personal favorite, as he breaks boundaries by discussing what it was like to come out as gay in a traditional Muslim household, and in the end, marrying a Mormon cowboy from Salt Lake City. Now we just need the flawless Bobby Berk to gear up and launch his own book ASAP, so we can finally complete our collection!

The beautiful ones by Prince

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The last mention in our list is the story of a star who may no longer be with us today, but has left a legacy that will never diminish. In this posthumous memoir, megastar Prince Rogers Nelson, tells us the story of how Prince became Prince. And about his relentless effort to self-create and how to master artistry. How his passing left this world with his timeless music. This book, with the work of his editor Dan Piepenbring, manages to capture all hearts.

So, there you have it. This master-list of highly influential and inspiring individuals, who took charge of their lives and became such powerful figures and should put you in the perfect mindset to conquer 2020!

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Check Out These Awesome Nonfiction Books Just Waiting to Be Read!

Each week, Bookstr scans bestseller lists across the Internet to learn what people are reading, buying, gifting, and talking about most — just so we can ensure consistent, high quality recommendations. This week’s nonfiction picks are bestsellers, and showcase what’s resonating with audiences right now! Pick these up to see what everyone is talking about!

 

5. The Unwinding of the miracle by Julie Yip-Williams

 

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The Unwinding of the Miracle by Julie Yip-Williams tells of  her rocky beginnings to finding her path in life against all expectations. Born blind in Vietnam, she narrowly escaped death at the hands of her own grandmother before fleeing the political upheaval in her country in the 1970s. She eventually made it to the USA and started a family, but then, tragedy struck. She was diagnosed with terminal colon cancer and a difficult journey began. She sought guidance and finding none, began to write for herself, channeling her emotions into her work. Telling her story in a sprawling narrative, Julie offers guidance, joy, and channels her rage into cleansing, passionate anger. As inspiring as it is tear-jerking, this is a must-read.

 

4. Unicorn by Amrou Al-Kadhi

 

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Unicorn by Amrou Al-Kadhi is a heart-wrenching and hilarious memoir about a young Muslim boy’s journey to becoming a proud, fearless drag queen. As a young boy, Amrou realized he was different when he found himself attracted to other boys, something his parents did not take kindly too and took strict measures to control him. But Amrou didn’t abandon his identity and through understanding marine biology, he accepted his own non-binary gender identity. Covering the relationship between Amrou, the world around him, and his own mother, this is a deeply enriching exploration of sexual identity that is an astounding read.

 

3. The Heat of the moment by Sabrina Cohen-Hatton

 

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The Heart of the Moment by Sabrina Cohen-Hatton is a look into the life of a firefighter through the lens of a rare female firefighter.Dr Sabrina Cohen-Hatton has been a firefighter for eighteen years. She decides which of her colleagues rush into a burning building and how they confront the blaze. She makes the call to evacuate if she believes the options have been exhausted or that the situation has escalated beyond hope. This is her astonishing account of a profession defined by the most difficult decisions imaginable.Sabrina uses her award-winning research to reveal the skills that are essential to surviving – and even thriving – in such a fast-paced and emotionally-charged environment.

 

2. Underland by Robert Macfarlane 

 

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Underland by Robert Macfarlane has been called the author’s masterpiece and it’s not hard to see why. A celebrated author of nonfiction books exploring the intersection between human nature and the natural world, with his new book Macfarlane delivers a downright epic exploration of Earth’s underworlds as they exist myth, literature, and nature itself. Exploring the sea caves of Greenland to the catacombs of Paris and underground fungal networks that run beneath the planet. Woven into these travels are stories about man’s relationship to the underground world, from cave paintings to divers to cave explorers and so much more. This is a fascinating, breathtaking novel you owe it to yourself to check out.

 

1. Love thy Neighbor by Ayaz Virji

 

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Love Thy Neighbor by Ayaz Virji is a timely book in today’s racially charged American climate. The author was living a comfortable life at an East Coast hospital in a big city but was forced to move to a small town in Minnesota to address the shortage of doctors in rural America. In 2016, this decision was tested when Donald Trump campaigned and the town swung in his favor. Some of the author’s most loyal patients began turning against him, questioning whether he belonged among them. Virji wanted out. But in 2017, just as he was lining up a job in Dubai, a local pastor invited him to speak at her church and address misconceptions about what Muslims practice and believe. That invitation has grown into a well-attended lecture series that has changed hearts and minds across the state, while giving Virji a new vocation that he never would have expected. This is a powerful novel about the consequences of toxic politics and the racism inherent across America, while pushing for a path to acceptance.

 

 

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Gloria Vanderbilt, Author and Fashion Icon, Passes Away at 95

An icon has passed away. Gloria Vanderbilt, according to CNNhas died at the age of ninety-five after a long battle with stomach cancer. The news was reported by her son, famous anchorman Anderson Cooper. Vanderbilt died at home, surrounded by friends and family. She had been in slowly declining health for the past few months. She was a famous socialite, fashion designer, and author, producing numerous well-known and celebrated fashion magazines. She licensed her name for numerous brands, including those that made scarves and designer jeans. Her lines were hugely successful, garnering her international fame, which was difficult for Vanderbilt due to her shyness in public. Later in her career, she branched out into art exhibitions, which included Dream Boxes and and thirty-five paintings at the Arts Center in Manchester.

 

Gloria Vanderbilt holds a cigarette in a black and white photo

Image Via Wikipedia

 

Throughout her life, Gloria Vanderbilt was also a successful novelist. During her lifetime, she wrote two books on art, four memoirs, and three novels. She was also a regular contributor to The New York Times, Vanity Fair, and Elle. Her novels include Obsession: An Erotic Tale, Never Say Goodbyeand The Memory of Starr Faithful. 

She also wrote the memoir The Rainbow Comes and Goes with her son, Anderson Cooper. The novel told about their relationship, offering an intimate glimpse into their lives, careers, and Cooper’s coming-of-age under his mother’s unconventional house rules. This book offers a portrait of two great people who dearly loved each other, making it all the more heart-wrenching to see Cooper announce his mother’s death: the memoir showcases just how strong their bond truly was behind closed doors.

 

Image via NBC

 

Gloria Vanderbilt remains an icon of design, fashion, and authorship. She will be remembered both for her forceful personality and her loving relationship with her son. It’s safe to say she made a huge mark on the world and will be remembered forever as a genuine icon!

 

 

Featured Image Via CNN. 

Abolition

Five Books to Celebrate and Remember the Abolition

Everything has history, but sometimes, history is more deeply rooted than we can imagine. Today marks the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition and we can’t help but remember all the powerful authors that brought slavery into the light for us to truly see.

 

So many legendary authors have created works that stood the tests of time. They gave us literature and the truth all in one. Here are four works to honor this day and every day of freedom:

 

1.Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Ann Jacobs
 
Books

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One of the first of the slave narratives, Jacobs’s work was a passionate appeal to white women living in the Northern United States to enlighten themselves as to the evils of slavery. Jacobs describes her life from a young age living as a slave in North Carolina. Her formative years are relatively idyllic and it is not until her mother dies and her mistress bequeaths her to a relative that she begins to discover the true horror of her position. What follows is a harrowing narrative of sexual abuse and fight for survival. While the work was almost immediately overshadowed by the start of the American Civil War it has since found its place as one of the most important of all the slave narratives distinguishing itself as one of the first from the female perspective.

 

 
 
 

 

Books

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Considered as one of the most famous of all the slave narratives ever written, the story recounts Douglass’s life from early childhood growing up in Maryland as a slave to his eventual escape to the North. Douglass tells of his life with various owners depicting the cruelty that he himself endured and was witness to. Douglass begins to learn to read and write when his master’s wife, Mrs. Sophia Auld, begins teaching him the alphabet and some small words. His instruction quickly comes to an end though when Mr. Auld disapproves. Douglass, however, realizing the importance of literacy, takes it upon himself to learn to read and write. This decision would serve him well as he would eventually use it to document the civil injustices of slavery in 19th century America and to craft his impassioned oratories against it.
 
 
 
 

 

Books

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Northup, who was a free African American living in Saratoga, New York, had no idea what was in store for him when he was approached by two circus promoters with an offer of a brief high paying job as a musician with their traveling circus. A skilled violinist, Solomon gladly accepted the offer and traveled with the two men to Washington, D.C. When he awoke one morning drugged and bound in a cell for slaves he discovered the men’s true intentions of selling him into slavery. What followed was twelve years of bondage during which Northup experienced the gamut of both kindness and cruelty afforded to slaves in the Southern United States just prior to the American Civil War.

 

 
4. The Underground Railroad: A Novel by Colson Whitehead

 

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Cora is a young slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. An outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is on the cusp of womanhood—where greater pain awaits. And so when Caesar, a slave who has recently arrived from Virginia, urges her to join him on the Underground Railroad, she seizes the opportunity and escapes with him. In Colson Whitehead’s ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor: engineers and conductors operate a secret network of actual tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora embarks on a harrowing flight from one state to the next, encountering, like Gulliver, strange yet familiar iterations of her own world at each stop.
 
 
 
 
5. Beloved by Toni Morrison

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Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby. Sethe, its protagonist, was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. And Sethe’s new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved. Filled with bitter poetry and suspense as taut as a rope, Beloved is a towering achievement.

 

 

 

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