Memoir: Why We Read about Other Lives

There’s a new post on Daughter on Duty.

“Each memoir contains gems of “Oh! That’s me!” recognition. I learn new ways to handle a situation, those that generally drive me to drink and hair tearing, when I see it through someone else’s eyes. I feel less alone when I when I realize mine is not the only crazy-making mother and I am not the only earth scum daughter.”

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My Own Goodreads


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I’ve read some great memoirs about relationships with elderly parents lately, and a helpful book about writing memoir. If you are a reader of memoir, here are some titles.

Why We Write About Ourselves: Twenty Memoirists on Why They Expose Themselves (and Others) in the Name of Literature,” edited by Meredith Maran.

I just finished “Unearthed,” by Alexandra Risen: Restoring a garden and coping with an aging mother and the uneasy history of their relationship.

I’m currently reading “They Left Us Everything,” by Plum Johnson: The cleaning out of the author’s childhood home after her parents die. Is that a plum title or what?

I’m listening to “The Mistress’s Daughter,” by A.M. Homes: An adopted daughter meets her birth parents and they don’t match up to her childhood fantasy.

And then there’s the irrepressible Anne Lamott. I just finished listening to “Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace” and I’m waiting for “Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy,” which is on order at the bibliotheque.

I have five more memoirs on other topics on suspended hold at the biblio too.

I’m eagerly awaiting my friend’s (Dianne Kozdrey Bunnell) sequel to her first fictional memoir (“The Protest”), “From Ice and Snow.” The story is a fictionalized account of the real life religious hijacking of her daughters by their father, and their subsequent loss to her through their teen years.

That’s what I’m reading, while working in the garden, doing home and grounds maintenance, family caregiving for the very old and the very young, writing, and standing at the brink of opening part of my home as an Airbnb! I’m thankful for recorded books and five hours of driving every week!

Rising to My Greatest Self

There’s a new post on Daughter on Duty.

As I’ve mentioned it’s been raining for weeks. I’ve been taking my Vitamin D—which my doctor said everyone who lives here should take. I don’t get seriously depressed by the lack of the natural source. I’ve only recently begun to grumble just a little, because it is spring and I’m ready for some progress toward a change of season. I’m ready to be outside. Then in crept yesterday.

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