Top 10 Memoirs: If You Show Me Yours, I'll Show You Mine!

Let me begin with an apology for slacking off on blogging this past week. I probably will continue a low profile until June 30th, after an important board meeting, and after I have finished a book review to send to Christian Century.

But how lovely it would be if we together could make some progress toward the ultimate book list we want to construct here–a list that amounts to the top 100 memoirs in our collective opinions.

You could be enormously helpful by submitting names of memoirs you love and why you love them. They can be classic or contemporary. If you can come up with five or ten names, that would even be better. To get you started, here’s one list of 40 already published online.

But this short video and blog entry from CBC are even better. Watch/read it, and you will see both some great suggestions and outstanding memoir short reviews–and a methodology I would like to copy.  The CBC Top Ten List was created by readers and viewers, not by any one single “expert.”

What is your favorite memoir? Why? Do you have a top ten or top five list to share? While I write my review, you can be reviewing your own bookselves and memories.

Prize alert! I will give away another memoir from my shelf–this time I will  judge instead of asking for votes.  Criteria? The most complete and insightful list.


Advertisements

About Shirley Hershey Showalter

Author of memoir Blush: A Mennonite Girl Meets a Glittering World. Blogging about Magical Memoir Moments and Jubilación -- vocation in the second half of life.
This entry was posted in Lists, Personal Reflections and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Top 10 Memoirs: If You Show Me Yours, I'll Show You Mine!

  1. Mary Terzian says:

    In reply to Shirley Hershey Showalter, I can recommend two memoirs to you:Just published – “Resurrection with Cane and Shoe” by Harut Barsamian, the story of a handicapped child who repatriates with his family to Soviet Armenia, bears the brunt of the Soviet Regime, immigrates to the USA in 1966, practically penniless, reaches the heights of Corporate America in record time, wins numerous honors including a Life Fellow of IEEE. He is now a Professor at University of Irvine, California. “The Immigrants’ Daughter,” is(Mary Terzian) my story, growing up in Egypt, during World War II, in a community of Armenian immigrants traumatized by genocide. Attendance at an English high school inspires me enough to stand up to old-fashioned oppressive parents, to leave home (unheard of in the Middle East), work with the United Nations in different countries and settle in the United States. The book won Best Books 2006 Award and placed finalist in Indie Excellence 2007 Book Awards. It is sold on Amazon.com and can be obtained through any bookstore.Both names can be googled for more information.

  2. Mary Terzian says:

    In reply to Shirley Hershey Showalter, I can recommend two memoirs to you:Just published – “Resurrection with Cane and Shoe” by Harut Barsamian, the story of a handicapped child who repatriates with his family to Soviet Armenia, bears the brunt of the Soviet Regime, immigrates to the USA in 1966, practically penniless, reaches the heights of Corporate America in record time, wins numerous honors including a Life Fellow of IEEE. He is now a Professor at University of Irvine, California. “The Immigrants’ Daughter,” is(Mary Terzian) my story, growing up in Egypt, during World War II, in a community of Armenian immigrants traumatized by genocide. Attendance at an English high school inspires me enough to stand up to old-fashioned oppressive parents, to leave home (unheard of in the Middle East), work with the United Nations in different countries and settle in the United States. The book won Best Books 2006 Award and placed finalist in Indie Excellence 2007 Book Awards. It is sold on Amazon.com and can be obtained through any bookstore.Both names can be googled for more information.

  3. shirleyhs says:

    Mary, welcome to this site and thanks for letting us know about your book. I love when authors visit this site. Congratulations on publishing your memoir and on the awards it has won. I hope you will find new readers through this blog.

  4. shirleyhs says:

    Mary, welcome to this site and thanks for letting us know about your book. I love when authors visit this site. Congratulations on publishing your memoir and on the awards it has won. I hope you will find new readers through this blog.

  5. shirleyhs says:

    Sally Rogers, winner of the beautiful sentences contest, sent in the first top ten list on email. I am choosing to place it here so others can see it.Hello Shirley, Here's my list (attached and cut/pasted). I'll write more descriptive material if you want/wish/need? Thanks for the inspiration your projects bring to my life . . .and many others, I'm sure! Sally Memoirs: CS Lewis Surprised by Joy Luci Shaw Friends for the Journey & Madeliene L’Engle Friends for the Journey PD James Time To Be In Earnest Annie Dillard An American Childhood Frank McCourt Angela’s Ashes Malcolm Muggeridge Chronicles of Wasted Time Some years ago (late 1970s, I think it was) a friend of our visited and interviewed Malcolm Muggeridge and his wife in their home in England. In recent years I transcribed the tape of that visit! CK Chesterton Autobiography Phyllis Tickle The Shaping of a Life Frances Anne Kemble Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation I have an 1863 first edition of this book. It's stunning. Vaughn Williams – Sea Symphony A musical work which provides a plan and inspiration for writing my own memoir someday. See the text for the last movement, which I can provide.

  6. shirleyhs says:

    Sally Rogers, winner of the beautiful sentences contest, sent in the first top ten list on email. I am choosing to place it here so others can see it.Hello Shirley, Here's my list (attached and cut/pasted). I'll write more descriptive material if you want/wish/need? Thanks for the inspiration your projects bring to my life . . .and many others, I'm sure! Sally Memoirs: CS Lewis Surprised by Joy Luci Shaw Friends for the Journey & Madeliene L’Engle Friends for the Journey PD James Time To Be In Earnest Annie Dillard An American Childhood Frank McCourt Angela’s Ashes Malcolm Muggeridge Chronicles of Wasted Time Some years ago (late 1970s, I think it was) a friend of our visited and interviewed Malcolm Muggeridge and his wife in their home in England. In recent years I transcribed the tape of that visit! CK Chesterton Autobiography Phyllis Tickle The Shaping of a Life Frances Anne Kemble Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation I have an 1863 first edition of this book. It's stunning. Vaughn Williams – Sea Symphony A musical work which provides a plan and inspiration for writing my own memoir someday. See the text for the last movement, which I can provide.

  7. Chin Oh says:

    Shirley, I am new to memoirs but have 2 to contribute:1. “The Last Lecture” by late Dr. Randy Pausch. This one touched me to the core about the shortness of the life we live in. It's a memoir about a brilliant computer science prof for his your children about his life, fulfilling his childhood dreams, his love for his family, and his journey fighting for more pancreatic cancer research.2. “Always Looking Up – The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist” by Michael J. Fox. I'm still reading it. The first chapter caught my attention as Michael explains (in detail) what a Parkinson's patient go through each day. I love how simply this memoir was written yet powerful in its delivery from the author.Thanks for posting the other lists and creating this contest. I have a great variety to fill my summer reading. :-)Chin..

  8. Chin Oh says:

    Shirley, I am new to memoirs but have 2 to contribute:1. “The Last Lecture” by late Dr. Randy Pausch. This one touched me to the core about the shortness of the life we live in. It's a memoir about a brilliant computer science prof for his your children about his life, fulfilling his childhood dreams, his love for his family, and his journey fighting for more pancreatic cancer research.2. “Always Looking Up – The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist” by Michael J. Fox. I'm still reading it. The first chapter caught my attention as Michael explains (in detail) what a Parkinson's patient go through each day. I love how simply this memoir was written yet powerful in its delivery from the author.Thanks for posting the other lists and creating this contest. I have a great variety to fill my summer reading. :-)Chin..

  9. Chin Oh says:

    Shirley, I am new to memoirs but have 2 to contribute:1. “The Last Lecture” by late Dr. Randy Pausch. This one touched me to the core about the shortness of the life we live in. It's a memoir about a brilliant computer science prof for his your children about his life, fulfilling his childhood dreams, his love for his family, and his journey fighting for more pancreatic cancer research.2. “Always Looking Up – The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist” by Michael J. Fox. I'm still reading it. The first chapter caught my attention as Michael explains (in detail) what a Parkinson's patient go through each day. I love how simply this memoir was written yet powerful in its delivery from the author.Thanks for posting the other lists and creating this contest. I have a great variety to fill my summer reading. :-)Chin..

  10. shirleyhs says:

    For those of you who find this post through a search engine, I want you to have a more recent post also–Mary Karr's Top 10 List:http://www.100memoirs.com/2010/01/top-ten-memoir-list-from-mary-karr/

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s