A memoir is almost always an easy read. I’m typically engrossed from the first word. Here’s my top 5 list. What are your top 5?
- Cash by Johnny Cash
- Night by Elie Weisel
- Hannah’s Child by Stanley Hauerwas
- Telling Secrets by Frederick Buechner
- Confessions by St. Augustine
Honorable mention would be Travelling Mercies by Anne Lamott and the book of Nehemiah. Best fictional memoir is Wendell Berry’s Jayber Crow – hands down. The next two memoirs on my list will most likely be Brennan Manning’s All is Grace, and Eugene Peterson’s The Pastor.
Why do we love memoir so much?
I think that we love memoir because we are all trying to make sense of our own story, and hearing someone else’s story helps. I think that we are all intuitively aware of whether or not we are living in the midst of a good and hopeful story, or a sad, lonely, or cynical story. The pain of living a bad story can be unbearable. Even those of us who feel as though we are living a good story have seasons where the story takes a turn for the worse. In those times we will often turn to other people, to hear their stories, and to find in them some sort of motivation or hope to carry on.
Here’s a recent sermon I gave talking about memoir.
What’s your top 5 list of best memoirs?