I realise that most memoirs have been doctored to facilitate smoother reading, so I read these much in the spirit as I do fiction, though I take delight in knowing that (almost) all of it actually happened.
This is the story of a five-year sojourn that I and my family made on the Greek island of Corfu.
Sedaris is possibly my favourite writer and certainly my favourite essayist. There’s a growing series, but this, along with Me Talk Pretty One Day and Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, are gems. I love his acerbic wit and pithy take on his life and family. Sedaris gives thoughtful interviews too, which you can find by searching iTunes podcasts.
I’m not otherwise a huge fan of audio books but I love his audio book versions as well. A frequent contributor to the New Yorker, Sedaris has also written my favourite essay on relationships, Old Faithful.
I read this when I was going through my divorce and it resonated deeply, even if I didn’t take myself off to Italy, India and Indonesia for a year to regroup. The Italy part is my favourite section.
When you’re travelling in India—especially through holy sites and Ashrams—you see a lot of people wearing beads around their necks.
I am oddly fascinated by all things Agatha and have read all her books, including her doorstopper of an autobiography. This short book is a charming memoir of her travels from the 1930s to the Middle East, with her young archaeologist husband, Max Mallowan.
In a few weeks’ time we are starting for Syria!
This shares the wonderful 20-year correspondence between the American author Hanff and Frank Doel who was working at an English antiquarian booksellers. What wit, what charm! A total delight.
Gentlemen: Your ad in the Saturday Review of Literature says that you specialize in out-of-print books.
Then there was the bad weather.
There are several published collections of Ephron’s essays, all of which display her sparkling wit and astute insights. This one is a personal favourite.
I have been forgetting things for years—at least since I was in my thirties.
Child’s joie de vivre and her commitment to all she loved come across in every line. It’s wonderfully heartfelt.
This is a book about some of the things I have loved most in life: my husband, Paul Child; la belle France; and the many pleasures of cooking and eating.
- How To Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran (no book cover could be added, sadly, but this belongs with the rest of the list above). A powerhouse read by an excellent writer who gives brilliant insight into what feminism has come to be these days, and what to do about it. Not to be missed.
- I rarely read ‘celebrity memoirs’, but with my favourite comedians, how could I not? Bossypants by Tina Fey did not disappoint. Neither did Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling.