My favorite book of 2023.
What initially feels familiar in tone and topic gives way to a complex, unique healing journey unlike anything I've ever read.
Carriere's voice is commanding and lays bare the knotty nature of trauma with striking lucidity.
In a departure from the traditions of memoir, Lin seamlessly blends personal essay with folk and fairytale in the form of a yōkai bestiary to achieve a more meaningful, emotional truth about the monsters within. The book touches on painful subjects of cancer, loss, and mental health with rewarding vulnerability. Great for fans of In the Dream House or The Collected Schizophrenias, but it’s a one-of-a-kind read!
This beautiful collection of essays reads like a series of childhood memories languidly leading towards adulthood and a more complete realization of self. Landing somewhere between essays, memoir and poetry, this book transports you to the 100-year-old house of Cox's childhood where her imagination ran free, she communed with stray cats and she wrote her first stories. The author herself best describes how I felt at the end:"It's too soon when we are pulled back to reality to discuss it. I don't know how to articulate the rainbow neon swirl of feeling happening inside of me, and so I sit, reeling in the best way."
A most comprehensive and truly sweet memoir, manifesto, and ode to a movement, a genre, the Cure's origins, and Goth music and culture as a whole. Goth is and always has been more than cobwebs and heavy synths and black eyeliner and screamo and religious motifs and ethereal motions, and is a recognition and admiration of a darkness that's always there. It's a wondrous attempt to find, create, and give meaning to pre-established invitations of anti-authority, etc. from punk, etc. Get in the car kids—we're blasting 'Bela Lugosi Is Dead' and getting ice cream on the way to the cemetery.
"I owe the boldness that I tapped to the poor women in my blood." pg. 59
My grandma, Brenda Joyce, was a big fan of dancing barefoot in the kitchen--especially when Dolly came on. This book felt like talking with her.
Pairs well with too-sweet tea and the song Here You Come Again.
Are you scared of what lies below the surface? Don't be! Or do. I don't know your life. But Imbler is able to make the creatures that live there so reachable (you'll learn something!) while not reaching too far to liken them to their own life (you'll feel something) on their mission toward identity, love, beauty, community, survival. We're more alike than we seem.
This is like the nonfiction equivalent to Our Wives Under the Sea.
Personal essays meets learning new things meets fruit recipes
Even though these fruits may be difficult, they are worth it. Spokane author, Kate Lebo, will make you want to get your hands on all of the pomegranate to make a molasses or a face mask (or, of course, eat as is).
This memoir is definitely chock full of funny animal tales, but it did so much more than make me laugh. The story of Laurie and her mother restored my faith in human kindness--especially in dark times-- and I'm sure it will reignite even the most miniscule passion for animal welfare. A must read across nonfiction genres!
In her journal turned memoir, Ernaux reminds us of the love that lingers and the bittersweetness of being lost and continuously coming into oneself. In classic Annie fashion, Getting Lost is unflinchingly vulnerable and if you're anything like me, you'll devour it in less than 24 hours because you simply know from the first page that she'll punch you in the gut with the last page, and she sure did, so thank you, Annie. She's a goddamned writer, she's a lover, she's a mess like all of us — she's Annie!!!
If you liked Crying in H-Mart, give this one a try. It also deals with food and the expression of love through food, and reads like a love letter to the author's mother. But each author has a different story to tell, and each does it magnificently in their own way. Wong is a true poet - in the words of her own brother, "she says things differently." This book stretches the possibilities of storytelling, touching all the pressure points of fear, grief, rage, etc, while showing how all of these become smaller or more manageable when you have community and multiple forms of love around you. Read also if you are a fan of bell hooks - Wong expands hooks' idea of platonic love as the best model of all other kinds. This is just a beautiful, tender, and shining memoir, one of a kind.