I’m not sure what my problem was, but between the months of January and June I only read one book. ONE BOOK. This is a problem, people. I have always considered myself to be a master of flying through books and I may have even unneccessarily bragged about it a time or two (yeah, I’m that cool).
So, here we are in July and I have gotten back on the proverbial horse. Much to my amazement, I read three memoirs in two weeks. The last book in this list? I READ THE ENTIRE THING LAST NIGHT. It’s true what they say: stay off of Facebook for 5 minutes and wonderful things will happen! If you’re looking for a couple of quick and entertaining reads, these definitely have my stamp of approval.
We’ll Be the Last Ones to Let You Down: Memoir of a Gravedigger’s Daughter by Rachael Hanel
I have passed by this book several times, but I finally decided to give it a go because, well, graveyards. The author grew up in a small town 75 miles from Minneapolis, MN and her father was the town’s gravedigger. It’s a story about people faced with sorrow, but they plod on with stoic faces. It’s about having an awareness of time passing, but not being able to grasp the finality of death. I related to the author as she described walking through the cemetery, calculating dates and creating stories of the people buried there. After her father dies (not a spoiler, don’t worry), she finally understands the fractures that often occur when a beloved family member dies, which was very different than what she expected.
Fiction Ruined My Family by Jeanne Darst
I randomly came across this book in a thrift store and I said, “A book about ruined families? I’m in!” I’m not kidding when I say that that was probably the first thought in my head. I love these kinds of books as they remind me that most everyone has craziness in their family and that, maybe, mine is NOT the craziest after all. Basically, it is the story of Jeanne, her siblings, her I’m-a-writer-but-I-don’t-write-anything dad and her alcoholic, weepy mother. Soon enough, Jeanne is attempting to be a writer and dips a little too deep into the drank. There was a lot of humor (see: infestation of crabs cured by wearing a garbage bag diaper) and many flawed characters with stories that hit close to home.
Unabrow by Una Lamarche
This was the book that I read in ONE night. It was a cute little collection of essays that was easy to fly through and had me laughing out loud more than once. As you probably guessed by the cover, it’s the author’s story of growing up with a giant caterpillar on her face (no one offered to pluck that shit?). The little girl with the unibrow becomes a young woman that feels uncomfortable in her own body and, like me, had a penchent for wearing men’s XL t-shirts to try and hide her awkwardness. I could relate to her love of making Christmas lists and all of the lying she did in order to make herself sound cool (just like the time I lied and said, “That isn’t MY Mariah Carey tape, pfshhhh.”). It was definitely not a life changing tome, but it was a sweet reminder that I wasn’t the only late bloomer at the party.