True Story

Memoir Friday!

Let’s talk about people’s LIVES. If you’re observing social distancing, you are likely not seeing other people very often, at least not beyond a computer or phone screen. So let’s look reeeeeal close at some humans through their recounting of their own lives!

Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward. Have you read this book? No, but like, have you read this book? Ward, winner of two National Book Awards for Fiction, is a capital W Writer and this extremely moving and poignant and sad and evocative memoir of her life in rural Mississippi and the loss of four young men in her life is so, so good. If you can handle some heavy stuff now (and no worries if you cannot, my friend), this is highly recommended.


My Life in Middlemarch by Rebecca Mead. Have you noticed everyone talking about Middlemarch lately? Or is that just low-key happening all the time? Anyway, here’s something cozy! It’s about books, it’s about her life, if you like Victorian lit, then pick this up. Mead goes nerd-deep into why she loves Middlemarch and some background on author George Eliot, as well as talking about how it’s applied to her life throughout the years, which is charming.


H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald. I’ve heard from a number of friends who haven’t liked this! But I love it. Macdonald deals with grieving her father by getting very very into hawks, more particularly, the goshawk. I read it while I was also dealing with the death of a parent, and I found it both relatable and helpful. If you’re on the fence (much like the noble hawk!), check out a preview and see if you like her writing style. I’m genuinely perplexed by my friends, but I feel like I need to throw that suggestion out there now.

brown girl dreaming coverBrown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson. It’s so good! And it won the National Book Award! And it’s all in verse! Ok, so Woodson herself says: “I share what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and my growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. It also reflects the joy of finding my voice through writing stories, despite the fact that I struggled with reading as a child.” It’s so good!

Have an excellent weekend, nonfictionites. As always, you can find me on social media @itsalicetime and co-hosting the For Real podcast with Kim here at Book Riot. Until next time, enjoy those facts, fellow nerds.