Too Much Memoir

April 23, 2010

A strange thing happened to me this week.

On Wednesday, after a surprise boat ride in Central Park and a homemade dinner for my 21st birthday, my boyfriend took me to Strand to pick out any book I wanted, his treat. As soon as we walked in I went to the back corner of the store and started flipping through the Ks until I found Karr.

The store had Mary Karr’s second and third memoirs, but they were out of her first: “The Liar’s Club.” I made my way back to the front of the store to see what new memoirs they had. I started to pick up a few, quickly reading the back covers, when a weird feeling came over me.

I’m not exactly sure how to describe it, but I could not even think of reading a memoir at that moment. Maybe it’s because I tend to gravitate towards misery memoirs, but the thought of reading about one more person’s hardships and struggles completely overwhelmed me.

When I read memoir, I become emotionally involved in the author’s story. I try to place myself in her shoes and feel what she is feeling. This is the reason I love memoir: it allows me to view another person’s life from the inside, to understand someone completely different from myself or to relate to someone remarkably similar. But it is also why reading memoir can be emotionally draining. Lately, I’ve been on a memoir kick; however, I think I reached my limit Wednesday.

So what book did I end up picking? Well, books, actually…

Yes, I know what you’re thinking, but I don’t care. Between intense memoirs and studying for my law final, I needed some fun and light reading material. Plus, for a total of $1.92, I didn’t feel guilty at all having my boyfriend buy them for me. Four new (used) books–happy birthday, to me!

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3 Responses to “Too Much Memoir”

  1. Lisa Says:

    I really enjoyed Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood when I read it a few years ago. Some parts are hilarious though some are very upsetting.

    I can’t read one genre of book over and over without having a break. Like I’ll read a suspense novel, then something short like a graphic novel or a children’s book, then off to non-fiction and classics.

  2. Lisa Says:

    I’m reading “The Killing Hands” by P.D. Martin. It’s interesting, but kinda run-of-the-mill-trying-to-be-Patricia-Cornwell sort of forensics mystery.


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