• Where I Was From

    Joan Didion

    Maybe I’m just a hater this week but I couldn’t find much to latch onto in Didion’s exploration of her history with California, including her pioneering ancestors’ treks to get there. Though it’s kind of a personal history placed within a larger context, even the parts about her family read strangely impersonal. It...more

  • What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

    Haruki Murakami

    I really loved this memoir, though I have to say that the translation probably isn’t the best. It’s hard for me to be entirely certain since I can’t read the original in Japanese, but I’m guessing it’s no coincidence that Philip Gabriel has translated two of my less favorite Murakami novels (...more

  • Drops of this Story

    Suheir Hammad

    While I really like the concept of each piece of this book as drops that collectively represent all the challenges of her life as a Palestinian American, it felt like Hammad spent a little too much time talking about writing her story through all the different references to wetness and where it found her compared to actually threading the...more

  • Slouching Towards Bethlehem

    Joan Didion

    Sometime in the spring, I was looking for used copies of Didion’s books and instead impulsively bought the Everyman’s Library volume of her collected nonfiction, We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live. It’s taken only brief journeys o...more

  • My Life in France

    Julia Child

    I mentioned when I read Julie and Julia that I felt this book might be more up my alley. Indeed, I sped through this in a matter of days. While the book is focused on Julia and Paul’s time in Paris and France and later time spent in Provence, it oversees the entirety of their life together,...more

  • The Year of Magical Thinking

    Joan Didion

    Not having it in front of me now, I can’t skim through and remember the precise points that caught me when I was reading this. I can recall that I appreciated the elements that returned throughout the book, waves washing back over, appropriate for a memoir of grief. I poke through a few reviews to jog the memories, noticing that a few...more

  • Julie and Julia

    Julie Powell

    I was fairly excited about this book when I first heard about it. I never read the blog that started it all, but I went through a month or two of entries on a slow day at work. It seemed pretty entertaining. I have a certain affinity for ...more

  • Another Bullshit Night in Suck City

    Nick Flynn

    A bristling memoir about Flynn growing up in Scituate, MA, his mother struggling to keep it all together and his father acting as a heavy, yet absent, presence. Like both his parents, Flynn learns to cope with substances and he stays in Boston, where he knows his father is or tends to return, even though he desires no...more

  • Everyday Matters

    Danny Gregory

    Having fell into the habit of stopping by Danny Gregory’s site over the past year after first hearing about this book, it seemed time to check out the book. Part sketchbook and part memoir, the book explores the aftermath of his wife’s subway accident that left her paralyzed...more

  • In the Shadow of No Towers

    Art Spiegelman

    I love Spiegelman’s Maus books, so I was interested in his response to 9/11. The book is very tall and printed on board. The pages were originally published as installments in several periodicals, but it was pretty...more