IN THIS POST: Memoirs abound on bookshelves and writing a list of only five favorites seems daunting. Nevertheless, I persist. Here are my five favorite memoirs for the Five Favorite Book Series.
This year has provoked a bit of reflection on the subject of memoirs. It wasn’t planned, but I’m not disappointed. I started the year reading two memoirs concurrently and with very different reactions. So I considered: what makes a memoir good.
The natural next step is to think about the books from my own reading that would make it onto a personal favorite memoir list. Et voilá, here we are!
Five Favorite Series Overview
But first! For those who missed it, I’ve started a series of posts that narrow down my favorite books in various categories and genres. It’s partially for fun and partially to make a manageable set of recommendations for interested readers.
After you read my list of favorite memoirs, check out these other favorite five lists: Contemporary Fiction and Non-Fiction About Amazing Women.
As usual, I’ve linked the titles to BetterWorldBooks if you’re interested in purchasing one. (But definitely check your local library first!)
My Top Five Favorite Memoirs
Let Justice Roll Down by John M. Perkins
Let Justice Roll Down is a challenging read for Christ-followers and anyone in the social justice movement. Perkins left Mississippi for California after watching a town marshal murder his older brother. Perkins returned to confront the racism and injustice with forgiveness and humility.
Threading my Prayer Rug by Sabeeha Rehman
Rehman recounts her journey as a Muslim from Pakistan moving to and living in America. Her writing is thoughtful and inviting. Threading my Prayer Rug is an intimate glimpse at what Islam looks like in a typical American family.
Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
With his characteristic humor and keen observations, Noah shares his personal story of growing up in South Africa in Born a Crime. His story is compelling and intersects themes pertinent to both South Africa and the U.S. such as poverty and racism.
All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot
I was shocked by how much I enjoyed the gentle storytelling of this country vet’s first year in the remote Yorkshire Dales. Full of stories far from my usual interests (hello digestive problems of cows) told with humility and humor. Each chapter is an unexpected turn of events and readers quickly find themselves cheering for the bumbling rookie vet.
Educated by Tara Westover
Curiously compelling. Tara’s story of pursuing education is heart-breaking and inspiring. Hers is a gritty story. At one point I told my husband, “I didn’t know there were so many ways to almost die!” But what stands out the most is her gracious tone throughout her writing. A powerful read about the human spirit. Trigger warning for domestic violence.
Your turn! What memoirs would you recommend to someone?
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