Saturday, April 16, 2016
This week it’s been beautiful in Seattle, with sunny skies, blooming bulbs, and warm temperatures. The weather points me to summer and my favorite things about summer: riding my trike to the Redhook Brewery, eating on the deck (before the bees come), visiting a NC beach with my family, and summer reading.
If you’re looking for good summer books, here are some of my favorite memoirs:
Cheryl Strayed's Wild: How I Was Lost and Found on the Pacific Crest Trail (2012). Maybe you saw the movie. It’s not nearly as good as the book, which is fabulous.
Piper Kerman's Orange is the New Black: My Time in a Women's Prison (2010). I haven’t seen the t.v. show, but I hear it’s a lot different than the book was. The book was great.
Nicole Hardy's Confessions of a Latter Day Virgin (2013). If you haven’t heard of this book, it’s because the publisher was sold just as the book was coming out. It’s quite good.
David Sedaris's Me Talk Pretty One Day (2000). You’ll find this book in the Humor section of your bookstore, not in the memoir section, but his essays are really personal essays that are very funny and often profound. I’m not biased just because he and I attended first grade together at E.C. Brooks.
Anne Lamott's Traveling Mercies (1999). A beautiful set of essays by the Christian with dreadlocks.
Annie Dillard's An American Childhood (1987). Her chapter called “The Present” is one of my favorite pieces ever.
I’ve been reading memoir all year and look forward to getting to my roots in fiction and poetry. First on my list are Sue Monk Kidd's historical fiction The Invention of Wings and poet Mary Oliver's newest book, Felicity (2015). I'll also read Theo Nestor's How to Sleep Alone in a King-sized Bed. (Theo has been my writing teacher this year. She's a great teacher and knows memoir well, so I'm guessing her memoir will be good, too.) I may read—and study—Cheryl Strayed’s Wild for the fourth time.
Other than doing my practicum with elders, I won’t be taking any classes this summer, so I can return to writing my blog weekly. And I’ll continue working on my first memoir, hoping to finish it before my life finishes me.
Pray tell (as my Grandmother Edwards would say), what books do you recommend?