Memoirs Written By Women (Book Recommendations)

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A short discussion of memoirs written by women, and enough book recommendations to keep you reading for a very long time.

Recommended Books
Dust Tracks on a Road By Zora Neale Hurston
The Liars’ Club by Mary Karr
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel

More Memoirs Written By Women
Cherry by Mary Karr
Lit by Mary Karr
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel
Just Kids by Pati Smith
M Train by Pati Smith
Bone Black by bell hooks
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
An Unquiet Mind by Kay Redfield Jamison
Wasted by Marya Hornbacher
An American Childhood by Annie Dillard
Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward
Willow Weep For Me by Meri Nana-Ama Danquah
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
Blue Nights by Joan Didion
Where I Was From by Joan Didion
Redefining Realness by Janet Mock

Reading Memoir:
Mental Health Memoirs:

Winning The Women’s Memoir Game:

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About #ClimbTheStacks
Climb The Stacks is a video series and blog dedicated to literature, featuring reviews and analysis of literary fiction, classic literature, and memoir.


Michele Lee Nieves Coaching says:

It's rare to get a memoir of a guy that exposes his vulnerability and crazy life- but I found that in Faring Harley Quinn- I truly couldn't put it down. Are there really women like that? Are there men that go through that amount of psychological torture??
The memoir Dating Harley Quinn Femal Histrionic Narcissist is currently on sale for the unbelievable price of $1.99!!! No one, and I mean NO ONE understands the turmoil, the damage, the prison, the nightmare…. the HELL that a person undergoes while in a relationship with a narcissist -unless they have been there themselves. This TRUE story is so insane that it’s difficult to believe that it’s a non fiction book!! But it is… it is 100% true!

She tried to kill me twice, I tried to kill myself once, an employee of mine tried to kill me and in the end – I tried to kill HER!!! I went from $2 Million dollars a year to homeless; in the span of 3 years I sank enough Meth to keep a herd of elephants awake indefinitely and yet as hard as I hit rock bottom, I didn't stay down and from the bottom of my heart I hope that inspires YOU.

The beginning of the relationship was surreal – if ever I had fantasized about what the perfect girl would be – it paled in comparison to what Angel was truly like and how she enhanced my life. If I were to compare her to anyone I had ever dated – it would not be fair; it would be like comparing a painting done with finger paints hanging on a refrigerator door, held up with a magnet, to Michelangelo's art scenes from Genesis painted on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome.

I quite literally could not imagen a girl more totally perfect, my imagination was stretched just to take in the reality of her. She brought me to the edge of the stratosphere where the air is so thin you have to wear a space suit – but the view – the view is all humanity stretched out before you and you can see the curvature of the earth.

Beyond this point there is no measurement of height, from here on it becomes – distance. As you glide in perfect tranquility at the edge of space, the sun so bright your visor is almost black, gasping at the beauty of life that you never thought possible.

And then …… she dropped me.

What looked,smelled, tasted and felt so enticing in the beginning, quickly turned into a covert poison that cost me my million dollar business, my health, provoked a suicide attempt and left me homeless and suffering brain damage.

Why? Because Angel is a Histrionic Narcissist -they are bad people, it’s what they d

Hit that buy now button -the down below -and you will have immediate access to Dating Harley Quinn, I promise you – once you start reading it, you won’t be able to put it down until it’s finished!!

Leopard-King says:

I have made remarks on two of your videos without properly introducing myself. Behind the leopard icon is the greatest mind and personality inside the common era. You will do no better than me. Grappling hooks might as well be bokays of flowers atop the summit of the mountain.

I wish to advance a perplexing idea that few take seriously. This is mainly because I have not fleshed it out properly. It is the notion of antagonism removed from contempt. This is a relatively new idea I am working over in my mind. I am not a chauvinist, at least not gender wise. Religiously my pants are down concerning this change. However I esteem the intellectual works of women. I do not think less of their inner life, nor do I feel more valuable. And yet the dueling natures of men and woman does and should cause us to carp at each other. We bare an internal suspicion regarding the intention of the other. We attribute ulterior motives over pronouncements of genuine ideas and plans of the opposite sex.

What does it mean for one thing complement another? It is more than two things that match. How do they match, and how do they go together? A neat fit is not the same as saying peace. A careless late riser is complemented by a noisy rooster. This does not exclude acrimony. It is just to say that one is of specified benefit to the other. I am starting to think is wrong for us to "cure" the sexual tension of men and women. By this I speak of masculinity and femininity, not sexual arousal.

I do see the foolishness of branding a memoir as self-absorbed. How could it be other? That is like lambasting an autobiography for being too egocentric. How can you want the world through the authors eyes, then bemoan the over involvement of the author? That type of criticism is an obvious miss. TOO OBVIOUS! So obvious in fact that they don't want you to miss it. It is a not so cryptic grinding of teeth. I think male critics want you to pick up what you did without them having to say it plainly.

In summation I believe that male carping of women keeps them from falling of the ledge of femininity just as female carping of men keep us from falling of the ledge of masculinity. This is not something to be mended. It is to be understood and allowed. Keep in mind I am not speaking of policy or fair play in arenas of career and political freedom. I am talking more about cultural place keeping. We are the shepherd dogs of one another, circling and nipping to maintain a cohesive unit.

Garden Scriptorium says:

Great video! I have a friend—one of the least offensive white males I've ever known in my 50m years—who recently made some really gendered, critical comments about Cheryl Strayed's Wild. Your intro is spot on!

farhampton says:

hi! you should definitely read family sayings by natalia ginzburg. it's incredible!

James says:

Thank you! Great recommendations! I've been reading quite a lot of recent ones that I enjoy including Just Kids of course, and Girl In a Band by Kim Gordon, Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein, The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer, and So Sad Today by Melissa Broder. A lot of good choices!

Patrice Jones says:

After listening to an NPR interview of Mary Karr, I bought her book The Art of Memoir. I loved it. And, I have never read any of her other books. I will most definitely give your memoir list a try. Thanks.

21stefari says:

I'm currently reading Redefining Realness based on your recommendation and I'm absolutely enthralled so far. Thanks!

diozlives !!! says:

I seriously love your videos! Thank you!

MinxyM76 says:

May I also recommend 'Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?' by Jeanette Winterson. Great read.

Zombie Eats Books says:

I have The Liar's Club on my shelf based on one of your earlier videos. I'm so excited to read it!

Rachel Turtlebaum says:

My college is amazing where we have room in our budget to include 3 visiting writers a semester and this past semester included a female memoirist. I purchased her most recent memoir entitled "Safekeeping" and her name is Abigail Thomas. I've been getting more into reading memoirs and I will check out your other recs!

Rasha Fadl says:

I devoured I know Why the Caged Bird Sings. What struck me the most is how she wrote in an almost matter of fact way about horrifying memories. Like you said, it had everything . I couldn't put it down. Now I'm reading Just Kids, another beautifully written memoir.

Arizona Jen says:

Fantastic video! The contradiction in how memoir is viewed based on gender is frustrating and doesn't often appear in the larger conversation. Thanks for addressing this topic, again, and great recommendations.

Too Fond of Books says:

Excellent video! I agree with everything you said in the video. I enjoy reading memoirs, so I'll be adding books from your list to my TBR.

Julian Wyllie says:

This is cool. Besides Angelou I'm not familiar with any of these women. I'll go with Joan Didion and try her work first. Thanks!

Also, you're right about the issues with gender roles and memoir. I personally didn't like A Movable Feast for the reasons you enjoyed it haha! I thought to myself, "If this wasn't Hemingway, would as many people like it?" In my opinion no. Either way, you raise a great point. Why is it oversharing or gossipy for women, but fascinating or extraordinary for men? Hm.

Nimrah Fatima Ahmed says:

You should read Carla Powers' memoir 'If Oceans Were Ink'. It was also National Book Award Finalist this year. 😊

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