11 New Memoirs To Enjoy On Your Final Beach Days Before Summer Officially Ends
Summer is flying by, and before you know it, fall will be here and the days of beach reading will be long gone. Soak up the sun and the books while you can by adding the must-read memoirs of the summer to your end-of-season reading list. From trailblazing feminists to celebrated journalists, these are the true stories from incredible lives you'll have to read to believe.
Nothing is better in the summer than cracking open a new book and being immediately sucked in. Whether it's a thrilling mystery you just can't wait to solve, a titillating family drama that draws you in piece by piece, or an exciting heart-pounding adventure that grabs hold of you and doesn't let up until the end, those unputdownable reads are what we in the industry like to call juicy.
So what exactly makes a memoir a must-read? Sure, something penned by a celebrity and filled with Hollywood drama, high profile scandal, and star-crossed lovers certainly fits the bill. But from inspiring, everyday mothers to famous, scandalous authors, there are so many compelling true stories out there just waiting to be discovered.
Ready to get sucked into an unbelievable read? Then take a bite out of one of the 13 best memoirs of the summer.
'The Rules Don't Apply' by Ariel Levy
In one of the most remarkable honest and candid memoirs of the year, Ariel Levy takes readers inside her unconventional life, from the brightest moments of happiness to the darkest moments of fear and doubt. In The Rules Do Not Apply, Levy expands on her award-winning essay, "Thanksgiving in Mongolia," in which she chronicles the breakdown of her marriage and the loss of her child. Profoundly moving and deeply emotional, this touching memoir explores love, loss, grief, moving on, and terrifying wonder of starting over again.
'How to Murder Your Life' by Cat Marnell
Explore the dark and glamorous world of New York's uptown fashion magazines and downtown nightclubs along side Cat Marnell, former journalist and self-proclaimed Condé Nast drop-out. In How to Murder Your Life, Marnell candidly and humorously dissects her prescription drug addiction and that time she basically blew up her life. A self-deprecating story that uses humor to cushion the blows of honest confession, this novel shows how dangerous of a combination addiction and ambition can make in a young woman's life.
'Apprenticed to Venus: My Secret Life with Anaïs Nin' by Tristine Rainer
Get to know one of literature's most fascinating figures from someone who knew them best in Tristine Rainer's memoir about her complicated mentorship with Anaïs Nin. An intimate portrayal of a the literary scene in the 1960s and 1970s, Apprenticed to Venus traces the course of Rainer and Nin's remarkable relationship, including the secrets and seductions, lust and love, friendship and betrayals. A riveting read filled with sumptuous details that will change the way you read Nin, this memoir is one you won't want to put down.
'My Soul Looks Back: A Memoir' by Jessica B. Harris
Travel back in time with award-winning writer Jessica B. Harris as she recounts what it was like to come up in New York in the 1970s. In My Soul Looks Back, Harris does just that: reflects on her youth spent reading, writing, and discussing art and culture with some of the most celebrated members of the Black intelligentsia. Featuring intimate portraits of Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, and Toni Morrison, this remarkable memoir of friendship and love entertains, informs, and inspires.
'The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir' by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich
A fascinating true crime story in the form of a memoir, The Fact of a Body is an addicting read that will leave you hungry for more. When she begins her job at a law firm in Louisiana, Alexandria is pretty clear how she feels about the death penalty: it's unjust. That is, until she stumbles upon a case that hits close to home and leaves Alexandria with an overwhelming feeling of discomfort, unease, and a desire to see a man put to death for the first time in her life. Rife with family secrets, mysterious murders, and complicated moral quandaries, this emotional memoir and true-crime hybrid is a haunting story that will stay with you long after you've closed the book.
'My Life with Bob: Flawed Heroine Keeps Book of Books, Plot Ensues' by Pamela Paul
Journey through The New York Times Book Review editor Pamela Paul's Book of Books in My Life with Bob, an exploration of the ultimate book-lover's record of every book she has ever read. More than a reading list, My Life with Bob explores the incredible relationship between books and the people who read them, the kind of powerful relationship that breeds empathy and inspiration, knowledge and empowerment, love and self-awareness. A fascinating read perfect for bibliophiles everywhere, My Life with Bob will transform the way you read and think about books.
'How Dare the Sun Rise: Memoirs of a War Child' by Sandra Uwiringiyimana
In this remarkably inspiring tale, Sandra Uwiringiyimana shares her unbelievable story of survival in the face of the massacres in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Sandra was only ten when she witnessed her mother and sister murdered by rebels in their refugee camp. Remarkably, she escaped, and whats more, survived without a home or money until a United Nations program helped place her in America. In a new country, Sandra was faced with entirely different challenges that included finding her place, and finding her voice, so far away from home. A moving memoir of hope that speaks to the strength of the human spirit, How Dare the Sun Rise is a courageous tale you won't soon forget.
'Art Sex Music' by Cosey Fanni Tutti
As the title would imply, Cosey Fanni Tutti's memoir explores the intersection of art, sex, and music, and the influence these forces had over the groundbreaking artist's life. In this rock memoir, the founding member of Throbbing Gristle and the force behind Chris & Cosey takes you deep inside her remarkable life, from the creative inspirations that drove her to make music to the motivations behind some of her most controversial installations and exhibitions. Passionate and fearless, Art Sex Music is a fascinating read for fans of the artist and novices alike.
'Hourglass: Time, Memory, Marriage' by Dani Shapiro
Celebrated novelist and memoirist Dani Shapiro creates her most intimate work yet in Hourglass, an inquiry of marriage and the effects time and personal transformation have on one of our most important relationships. Drawing from her own personal experiences, examples in literature, philosophical thinking, poetry, and more, Shapiro probes some of the most fascinating corners of marriage, including how couples reconcile their desires with their realities, and how individuals balance commitment to themselves and commitment to their relationships. A remarkable read that will transform the way you think about marriage, time, and memory, Hourglass is filled with wisdom, empathy, and emotion readers won't be able to get enough of.
'I Was Told to Come Alone: My Journey Behind the Lines of Jihad' by Souad Mekhennet
Travel behind enemy lines with journalist Souad Mekhennet, a reporter for The Washington Post who has been covering jihad networks in the Middle East and North Africa for most of her career. Raised in Germany, Souad has always had to balance her two distinct cultures: the western one she was raised in, and the Muslim one she was born into. But this balancing act has always given her a unique perspective in her reporting, and access other journalists wouldn't have had. In I Was Told to Come Alone, Souad creates a thrilling narrative about the dangerous first-person interviews and front line reporting she was able to do, not leaving out any fascinating details. Exciting, enthralling, and sometimes shocking, this memoir will take your breath away.
'Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman's Awakening' by Manal al-Sharif
In her inspiring and intimate memoir, Manal al-Sharif takes readers inside the feminist movement she lead in Saudi Arabia to give women the right to drive. A modest woman from a devout family in Mecca, al-Sharif followed her religion and her government's rule to the letter - that is, until she earned an education and started working as a computer security engineer. Quickly, she began to question the contradictory rules women were expected to follow and soon found herself, rather expectantly, standing up to the oppressive patriarch that kept young girls like her down. A courageous tale about one woman's remarkable fight for equality, Daring to Drive is a truly moving read.
'The Bright Hour: A Memoir of Living and Dying' by Nina Riggs
In this beautiful and evocative memoir, Nina Riggs, a descendant of Ralph Waldo Emerson, shows readers how to live everyday in the face of death. Diagnosed with terminal cancer at the age of 37, Riggs had to come to terms with her diagnosis while learning how to navigate her new fate as a mother, a wife, a friend, and a woman on the verge of losing everything. A riveting book bursting with emotion and insight, The Bright Hour asks readers to evaluate what living meaningfully, purposefully, really means.
'Love and Trouble: A Midlife Reckoning' by Claire Dederer
In this sexy, laugh-out-loud memoir, Claire Dederer takes readers through the midlife crisis of her present and the wild teenage years of her past on a journey exploring womanhood. Love and Trouble chronicles Claire's transformation from a happily married mom of two to a sexually charged, restless woman in her midlife with an insatiable craving to touch and be touched. A beautiful exploration of love, sexuality, womanhood, and growing up, Love and Trouble is a unique memoir many women will see themselves in.