Magical Memoir Moments

Little Heathens–Perfect Memoir for a New Depression?

“Ralph Waldo Emerson could have learned a thing or two about self reliance from my great-great-grandparents,” asserts Mildred Armstrong Kalish near the beginning of her book Little Heathens:  Hard Times and High Spirits on an Iowa Farm in the Great Depression. I knew I would love this book when I read those lines, and I…

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The Spiral Staircase: Spiritual Memoir the Second and Third Time Around

Karen Armstrong’s life story illustrates the hero’s journey described in my previous post.  Her memoir’s title follows the traditional pattern of separation and hints at the initiation and return that happens within the pages of the book: The Spiral Staircase: My Climb Out of Darkness. Armstong builds her book on the scaffolding provided by T….

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Burn After Reading: Memoirs in the Movies

My husband Stuart and I went to our local theater Friday night and saw the Coen brothers’ latest film, Burn After Reading.    One reviewer called it a smart movie about stupid people.  I would call it not-quite-smart movie but definitely agree about the stupid people part. Only a viewer obsessed with memoir would have thought…

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Left To Tell: Spiritual Memoir

Next Wednesday night the neighborhood book club (described in a previous post) will be discussing Left To Tell:  Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust, a dramatic tale of courage, deliverance, and forgiveness from the killing fields of Rwanda in 1994. This book was “written with” Steve Erwin.  By now you know that I am not…

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Definitions: Memoir, Memoirs, Autobiography,and More!

Patti Miller’s The Memoir Book is an excellent guide to the genre under discussion in this blog and is also the image I chose to illustrate the 100 Memoir Challenge over at www.Shelfari.com. Using more than 20 years of experience working as a teacher and coach, Patti Miller gives us a condensed version of her…

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Book Club Night: 90 Minutes in Heaven

I live in a new neighborhood carved out of the Michigan woods. My husband and I fell in love with the winding road that led through pines into hardwoods, a road that now connects about twenty new houses to the highway. As the first residents of this new community, we had the opportunity to reach…

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Dreams from My Father

Today Barack Obama will announce his choice of a running mate for the race to the White House. I did not sign up for his text message. Instead, I am reading one of his memoirs, Dreams from My Father. I can already tell you that the book is beautifully structured and written. Unlike John McCain,…

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Discovering Shelfari

My son Anthony keeps showing me wonderful places to go online, especially places that help me learn more about social media and might brighten the face of this blog.  The latest is Shelfari, a place to rate books, talk about books, and meet new book lovers.  I have started a group there called–you guessed it–100…

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Scott Russell Sanders and Spiritual Memoir

The September issue of The Writer’s Chronicle carries an interview with Scott Russell Sanders by Tom Montgomery Fate which excited me because it asks one of my own questions: is it possible to tell an artful story out of an ordinary life? Scott Russell Sanders is one of the few who do this difficult task…

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