Tag Archives: memoir

Unforgettable

unforgettable

Unforgettable: A Son, a Mother, and the Lessons of a Lifetime
By Scott Simon

Genre: Memoir
Rating: * * * * (4 of 5)
Copyright 3/31/2015 by Flatiron Books

This book sounds in print just the way Scott Simon sounds on air.

Simon projects a thoughtfulness and poignancy on air which comes through exactly the same way in this memoir and tribute to his mother, her life, and the incredible bond they shared.

It is little wonder that Simon’s reporting balances facts with whimsy and humor, given the example his mother set for him:
“Write thank-you notes. Tip well. Sing. Drink responsibly. Remember that good manners cost nothing, and open doors. Reach out to someone who is lonely. Make them laugh. Help people smile.”

P.S. What a terrific photo on the cover of the book!

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Going Commando

Going Commando by Mark Time

Going Commando

Going Commando

February 2014, Troubador Publishing

Rating: * * * *

Hilarious, absurd, and impossible to put down!

Thank you, author Mark Time, for recommending this selection.

Death on the Barrens

Barrens

Death on the Barrens:  A True Story of Courage and Tragedy in the Canadian Arctic

by George James Grinnell

First published January 1, 2009 by North Atlantic Books

Rating:  * * *

The author, one of six young men on an ill-advised, poorly planned Arctic trip in the 1950s resulting in the death of the trip leader, recounts the experience from the distance of 50 years.

This is a memoir, not an autobiography.  Rather than focusing on the events of the trip, the book is about the participants:  their hubris, expectations, hopes, fears, anxieties, and reactions to the changing conditions throughout the journey.  As should be expected, the author’s experience is front and center, with descriptions of the other participants adding context.  Grinnell strays into rants from time to time, but since the chapters are all quite short it’s easy to move on.

This is a quick read that will leave you shaking your head.  I recommend reading it.

If you like this book, you may also like Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer.

What I Would Do If I Weren’t So Afraid

I bought the book List Your Self:  Listmaking as the Way to Self-Discovery by Ilene Segalove and Paul Bob Velick as a means to gather some tidbits for a memoir.  I got through no more than two lists (including the title of this blog post) before I started writing fictional short stories based on the lists.  A very useful book!

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