Saturday, August 8, 2009

Memoirs

I think I'm going to spotlight two really great memoirs I've read that I think everyone should read.

The first is Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth just lost the life she knew-her house, her husband. She decides to take a year a discover herself again going to Italy, India, and Indonesia.

This novel made me hungry. For gelato, for religion, and for love. I love traveling and hearing about all the different places she went to was like a journey for me, too. The religion sections of this novel weren't preachy-I felt enlightened to what other people believe. It was magical.

I think anyone who's interested in different cultures, food, and religion should pick this gem of a memoir up.


The second memoir I'm going to highlight is Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi.

Every Thursday morning for two years in the Islamic Republic of Iran, a bold and inspired teacher named Azar Nafisi secretly gathered seven of her most committed female students to read forbidden Western classics. As Islamic morality squads staged arbitrary raids in Tehran, fundamentalists seized hold of the universities, and a blind censor stifled artistic expression, the girls in Azar Nafisi’s living room risked removing their veils and immersed themselves in the worlds of Jane Austen, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Henry James, and Vladimir Nabokov. In this extraordinary memoir, their stories become intertwined with the ones they are reading. Reading Lolita in Tehran is a remarkable exploration of resilience in the face of tyranny and a celebration of the liberating power of literature.

I felt really connected to the people in the book club in this memoir. I loved the intricacies of their individual personalities. And I loved seeing them blossom as individuals. It was heart-breaking to read about the oppression they, especially, as women feel. I was truly touched by the freedom they found by reading.

This is a memoir nobody should miss. It's beautiful and heart-breaking and most of all eye-opening.

So those are my two suggestions for memoirs. I don't read a lot of them because I find that they hit a little too close to home sometimes. But I'm definitely open to suggestions.

What memoirs have you guys read and loved/would recommend?

Happy Reading!

5 comments:

MissAttitude said...

I would recommend Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson & Oliver relin. so inspiring!
Also, since I love politics I have to say Cooking With Grease by Donna Brazilie. It was funny, and inspirational.
Warriors Don't Cry by Melba Patillo-Beals and Freedom Writer's Diary were amazing as well. I read Freedom Writers after seeing the movie, and it was so touching!
Warrios Don't Cry shows the courage of the Little Rock Nine. so brave!

April said...

I really enjoyed Rocket Boys by Homer Hickam. It's very well-written, the story is intriuging. The film October Sky was based off of Rocket Boys. I also really enjoyed Teen Angst... Nahh by Ned Vizzini, it's more of a quasi-memoir, but it's fantastic, funny and riveting, and enjoyable to those who enjoy YA.


I did really enjoy Eat Pray Love when I read it, and I have Reading Lolita in Tehran sitting on my shelf to be read.

Color Online said...

Jess,

I'm impressed not only with your choices but posting so quickly.

Tehran has been on my tbr forever. Reading your review really motivates me to push it up on the pile.

Great post. Thanks.

Ali said...

Thanks for the nudge, Reading Lolita in Tehran is another one of those books in my mental list of books to read. Haven't gotten to it yet, but I will!

zettaelliott said...

I've heard a lot of buzz about both books, but have to say--I identify more with less privileged narrators...maybe Oprah overkill turned me off Eat, Pray, Love, but I remember thinking, "Gee, wouldn't it be nice to be able to AFFORD a year in Italy, India, and other such destinations." Not sure what it means that I'd rather read about people who are suffering...

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