Memoir Books

My Lobotomy

Rating:  My Lobotomy, by Howard Dully and Charles Fleming.  Three Rivers Press (2008), 284 pages It’s hard to beat a title like this! Happily, My Lobotomy does not disappoint. In 1960, at the age of twelve, the author was given a transorbital lobotomy,...

The Invisible Wall

Rating:  The Invisible Wall, by Harry Bernstein.  Ballantine Books (2007), 320 pages. Bernstein was 93 years old when he wrote this memoir (his first book) of his childhood in an English mill town. For those readers who require that their books be firmly...

Tales of Wonder

Rating:  Tales of Wonder, by Huston Smith.  HarperOne (2009), 209 pages. Huston Smith’s bestseller, The World’s Religions: Our Great Wisdom Traditions, was published in 1958 and remains (with over 2.5 million copies sold) one of the best-loved...

Cartwheels in a Sari

Rating:  Cartwheels in a Sari: A Memoir of Growing Up Cult, by Jayanti Tamm.  Harmony Books (2009), 288 pages. In the memoir category, stories of being brought up in a cult are hard to beat.  The craziness surpasses anything one would find in a really good,...

Losing Mum and Pup

Rating:  Losing Mum and Pup: A Memoir, by Christopher Buckley.  Twelve (2009), 251 pages. Buckley’s memoir about his famous father and socialite mother tends to engender either appreciation (for a witty, interesting story about losing one’s...

Twenty Chickens for a Saddle

Rating:  Twenty Chickens for a Saddle: The Story of an African Childhood, by Robyn Scott.  Penguin (2008), 452 pages I definitely recommend this book for anyone who is fond of memoirs about growing up in an exotic locale with an eccentric family. The author...

Finding Mañana

Rating:  Finding Mañana: A Memoir of a Cuban Exodus, by Mirta Ojito.  Penguin (2006), 302 pages. There was so, so much I didn’t know about Cuba. Considering that the country is only ninety miles away and intricately tied in many historically significant ways...

The Only Girl in the Car

Rating:  The Only Girl in the Car, by Kathy Dobie.  The Dial Press (2003), 240 pages. This book has much in common with the memoir Lucky. Both authors describe a rape in excruciating detail, while at the same time writing about their families and their years...

Wasted

Rating:  Wasted, by Marya Hornbacher.  Harper Perennial (1998), 320 pages. “It was that simple: One minute I was your average nine-year-old, shorts and a T-shirt and long brown braids, sitting in the yellow kitchen, watching Brady Bunch reruns, munching on a...