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Lately I have been on a memoir kick. Maybe the pandemic made me realize how scary the real world can be, and real stories written by real women helped to ground me. I’ve also taken a liking to audiobooks since returning to the “new normal” of commuting and traveling within our daily lives. There’s something about hearing a woman’s story right from her mouth that makes it hit so much deeper than just reading words on a page. The stories come alive. If you are looking for some memoirs to read this fall, read on to discover my most beloved memoirs and a couple at the top of my TBR list, too! 

If you love food and travel, you will be delighted by Tembi Locke’s memoir From Scratch. She writes about food and love as if they’re inseparable. When you read this story, you’re taken on a journey through Italy and America, tasting and crying, grief and joy blending together so seamlessly that you come to accept them both as one messy, jumbled entity: life. There is also a Netflix series based on this book that is due to be released on October 21 (read the book first though!!). Content warnings for topics of death, grief, cancer, infertility, and adoption that are veined throughout the book. 

Last year I read a memoir written by Lauren Martin, the creator of @words_of_women, an online community that celebrates inspiring words by all women. Her memoir Book of Moods covers a series of topics that all women can relate to: beauty standards, relationships, work, and what to do when sh*t hits the fan. She tells these small anecdotes with a refreshing sense of humor and a healthy dose of honesty. Pick up this book for an educational, validating, and instructional guide on how to be your best self.  

The most recent audiobook I listened to that left a lasting impression on me was recommended to me by my best friend. It’s called Between Two Kingdoms by Suleika Jaouad. For me this story was a window into a world I knew existed but was too afraid to delve into or try to understand: a world with cancer patients. Cancer is an illness laced with grief and uncertainty, which is why Suleika’s raw and honest retelling of her journey from diagnosis to remission is so important. She could have let the weight of it consume her, but instead she decided to share it with the world, as an act of letting go. I recommend you listen to the audiobook, as it is read by the author, and her husky voice tells her own story so beautifully that I would follow her anywhere. Content warnings for topics of death, grief, and cancer.

There is one memoir that has been absolutely ALL over my social media feeds lately. If you’re an avid reader I’m almost positive you’ve seen the cover on some post or another. Jennette McCurdy’s bold debut I’m Glad My Mom Died is most certainly not subtle. I mean, the cover is a Pepto-Bismol pink photo of her posing cheekily with an urn containing what is presumably her mother’s ashes. Jennette McCurdy is one of those Nickelodeon stars that I grew up watching but kind of forgot about as I got older. Well, she’s come back strong with this book. Her memoir details her struggles with addiction, eating disorders and an abusive relationship with her mother, all slathered with a thick layer of dark humour to boot. I currently have this audiobook on hold at the library and anticipate it to live up to the hype. 

These are only a few of my favourite memoirs written by cool women, so check out this quite extensive Goodreads list of books for much, much more! Happy reading!!!  

Julianna Marr

McMaster '24

Julianna is a 5th year Mechanical Engineering Student at McMaster. She is a struggling student by day and a singer/poet/foodie by night. If she had it her way she would be laying on a beach on Lake Huron, soaking up some rays and reading a good book. You may find her daydreaming about bread, obsessing over her housemate's Breville toaster oven, or listening to Lizzo in her spare time.
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