To Memoir or Not to Memoir

author writing memoir hand-325321_640Authors write memoirs for a variety of reasons. The question is – does the motivation really matter? Is it just enough to share your story, or does it have to have some kind of reasoning behind it?

One popular and, I think, good reason is to share anecdotes that are funny – to make readers smile or laugh. I have read and enjoyed a few of those. The issue with humour is it can be very difficult to write well. Someone can lead a life filled with amusing incidents but unless they are written with a good comic flare they will fall flat. I’m afraid mine would never fall into that category. My attempts at humour usually result in, “Er – what?” Continue reading “To Memoir or Not to Memoir”

Featured Book: She’s Not Herself

She's Not Herself by Linda Appleman ShapiroShe’s Not Herself
by Linda Appleman Shapiro
Genres: memoir
Available at Amazon.com and Amazon UK.

Young Linda grew up with a mother who was “not herself.” Years later, as a psychotherapist, Linda Shapiro looks back on her childhood in an effort to understand her mother’s mental illness and make sense of the effects of multi-generational traumas. The result is a memoir of love, loss, loyalty, and healing.

Book Excerpt:

As a twelve-year-old, I understood little about Mother’s illness and didn’t have words to describe her state of mind or condition. All I knew was that I had no control over it and no choice—I had to deal with it. The weight of its burden was heavier than ever.

I was also at war with myself. The part that loved my mother was in conflict with the part that was repulsed by her inability to defend herself from her demons. I looked in the mirror and told the person I saw there that whatever happened in life, I would never lose my self-control. I would never surrender and become a victim.

From that time on, I trusted in my intellect. I refused to acknowledge sadness, anxiety, or loneliness, and never spoke about anything personal. I walked with my head high and was determined never to appear vulnerable.

What others are saying:

She’s Not Herself is a beautiful coming-of-age story that has the immediacy of a child’s perspective and the wisdom of an adult’s.” – Amy Merrick, Amazon Reader Review

Featured Book: Any Road Will Take You There

Any Road Will Take You ThereAny Road Will Take You There
by David W. Berner
Genres: travelogue, memoir
Available from Amazon.com and Amazon UK

Recently divorced and uncertain of the future, a middle-age father takes his teenage sons and best friend on a 5000-mile road trip to rekindle his spirit. But a family secret turns the journey into an examination of fatherhood, revealing the struggles and triumphs of being a dad, and the imperfect ties that connect us all.

 Book Excerpt:

Denver was in front of us now. Graham watched a movie on the computer. Casey aimed his video camera at the road sign marking the mileage to Denver. Soon we would meet my friend Brad and then settle in for three full days in the city that was the nucleus of Kerouac’s On the Road. We were following the rough plan of a road map, but somewhere in a dusty corner of Colorado, it became clear how irrelevant any map really was. A couple of years before he died, George Harrison sang a song in a surprise performance on VH1. The lyrics to “Any Road” emerged from my memory as if illuminating the pavement in front of me, words about taking a road, any road, to find out where you’re headed. Yes, I wanted to stay true to Kerouac’s travels, but it really didn’t matter. Any road would take us where we were going.

What others are saying:

“The impact this book has on the reader is a compelling realization that each of us – fathers, sons, grandfathers – faces the same questions of the matrix of the bond that somehow is never broken, no matter how the polar ends are strained. Highly recommended.” – Grady Harp, Amazon Hall of Fame, Top 100, Vine Voice Reviewer 

Book Brief: On the Right Side

On the Right SideOn The Right Side: My Story of Survival and Success
by Karen Magill
Genre: Memoir
Word count: 43,000

What if you woke one day to find yourself paralysed on one side of your body?

That’s what happened to Karen Magill on June 5, 2000. Nine days later she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and just over three months after that, she had to leave the best job she had ever had. Ms. Magill started on a frightening, confusing journey.

Then something interesting happened. Once Karen began adjusting to her new circumstances, coming to terms with the fact that her former life had vanished, she realized that the MS was a gift. Her eyes opened to the possibilities around her.

On The Right Side, My Story of Survival and Success looks at Ms. Magill’s life with MS and the factors in life which influence her. This isn’t a how-to book on living well with chronic illness, but rather a touching, opinionated, sometimes humorous story on how one person has gone from partial paralysis to jumping to touch low hanging tree leaves.

Continue reading “Book Brief: On the Right Side”