Ten Reasons Why I Read Memoirs

I should open this post with TEN NEW BOOKs I just picked up! I swear I need help, and not help as helping me clear my full plate.

I picked up these ten books crossing everything on me; heart, eyes, fingers, legs... everything on me is crossed hoping I will fall for each... and for one more reason too. Now, I may have covered this before, about why I read and really love memoirs, but I bet I never put it like this.

The NUMBER 1 reason I read (and love) Memoirs is because they are different.

Now, isn't this amazing? When we hear so much talk about "why the same story over and over and over and yada, yada, yada," and here we have this nice effulgent elegant memoir shelf which promises to give readers something different each time they open a book. How can this shelf be passed over?

Well, I can't. I cling to memoirs as if my soul to breathe depended on it. I know when I go for a memoir, despite the subject being one of a timorous same... working in the entertainment business, taking care of a loved one, a rise to power, whatever the subject... the STORY will be different because not one of us experiences the same experience the same.

Another reason I enjoy memoirs is because I enjoy personal truths; people who examine themselves as they navigate this thing called life. Everyone handles this animal differently, with unique twists of perceptions that time after time reveals what I'll call a natural picture, whether it was the author's intention that this happen or not. I mean... Oh. My. Goodness. To see this picture emerge is like experiencing an artifact unreal.

7… in case no one is counting, I enjoy meeting new people under this guise. I happen to enjoy people who will and can talk about themselves, albeit in a purposeful way such moving a story in one direction. And true, some authors are all over the place with a story, but try putting an agglomeration of words about a portion of your life in one book, sit back, read, and get a look at that picture. You just might be amazed too. I often muse about how many almost authors put aside his or her memoirs for this reason. Self-discovery is a most humbling experience.

And okay, so I like getting inside scoops too. So flog me, but at least I don't rely on third and fourth parties to get my scoops.

Which is another thing... You know how I always talk about a rock solid premise? Well nothing can be more rock hard solid than a memoir's premise. How I Became King of My Castle; When I Decided to Stop Lying, Why I Left My Job At Noon; Who I Know; Where I Hid My Baby Shoes... you get the point.

A Memoirist Writer can't flub up a synopsis too much either. My goodness, this has to be what makes it so utterly difficult to find novels to sink into. Many of them (the synopsis I'm talking about here) are worded exactly alike. Almost boilerplate alike. Everybody's getting over something, teaching someone else a lesson, hoping others don't repeat their mistakes, and yet, and I'll be doggonit, here comes another boilerplate.

3... Memoirs record history. I still remember a story I read about a migration a small town of people had taken across the country, where according to the sole legend who lived to tell the story, he talked about what happened. But he could only recount what happened up to the point where the caravan split up, the point where all hell broke loose. Others external to the turn of events had to piece together the story based on other external witnesses, which got me to thinking in split views. One; had the subjects lived to tell the story, I imagined how different the versions would be. And two; I thought about how frequently others tell our stories unlike the way we experienced the event.

2... Memoirs are the truest examples of storytelling.

And finally... un-dis-closing the real disclosure behind me and reading all these memoirs... Well, I live vicariously through them... since I would love to write one of my own. It's been a wish of mines seemingly like forever; my lifelong dream except... well except now I must live vicariously through reading them.    


  1. i think you writing a memoir is a grand thing - get started right away. i read very few memoirs, i have no idea whay. perhaps if should give that section a browse.
    i'm reading "red earth and pouring rain" by virram chndra.it is quite lovely.

  2. reading memoirs, i've since learned, isn't for everyone... and that's fine. it's what makes our world nice and round. and I have to pass on the mem. no amount of $$ or convincing will sway me. i'm going with the non-mem readers. sometimes fiction is better than fact;-)

  3. I agree with you... I love memoirs! One of the best things about them to me is, you know how when you read a really great novel and you just love the character, you sort of wish they were real? When you read a great memoir and feel like that, the "character" IS real, and you can usually even email them or stalk them on Facebook! I am working on my own memoir now, and hoping people will enjoy it as much as I enjoy reading others.

    1. Hi Nicki,

      Now this is a unique perspective, and funny too. I never thought of this... at least not in that way of the character being real on that personable level. I realize the story is real; a big plus to why I enjoy mems as much, but rarely make that transition to wanting to know more about the writer. You'll have to let me know when your's is out... and available in paper.

      Thanks for stopping by and dropping a line.


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