4 Memoirs The We Recommend: Fall 2020 Edition


Immersing myself in a good book is one of the ways I enjoy spending my downtime. Sometimes, diving into a good book is a strategy I use in taking a break from social media, the news, and reality TV. Over the past two months, I’ve been myself immersing in biographies and memoirs as I love to learn about other people’s lives. Learning different stories and journeys can be inspiring and increase empathy for someone’s experience. This article highlights four memoirs that I recommend.

Dive into these biographies and memoirs:

We Have Always Been Here: A Queer Muslim Memoir by Samra Habib

In one of the Canada Reads selections for 2020, Habib openly shares her story of growing up in Pakistan and eventually coming to Canada as a refugee. Finding herself among experiencing bullying, racism, and an arranged marriage, Habib shares her journey into finding herself and becoming open about her identity. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, this book is a must-read.

A Very Punchable Face by Colin Jost

I’m a big fan of Saturday Night Live, so when my most recent Audible credit became available, I was drawn to Jost’s memoir. This is a humorous and easy read/listen where he shares his experiences from working as a writer on SNL, hosting the Emmy Awards, and finding love with Scarlett Johanssen. These days, it’s nice to have humour in my ears.

In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom by Yeonmi Park

Park escaped North Korea about 10 years ago. Her journey growing up in North Korea is documented, along with her escape, and the difficulty she faced once leaving North Korea. Park documents her experience being trafficked in China, crossing the border to Mongolia, eventually making her way to South Korea. This is an intense and informative read.

Dead Mom Walking: A Memoir of Miracle Cures and Other Disasters by Rachel Matlow

I read this memoir due to a recommendation, and I’m glad I did. Described as a “traumedy” Matlow’s memoir is about her life at CBC and her family. Centred around her mom’s cancer diagnosis, Matlow goes into detail of supporting her mother and her new diagnosis, while her mother doesn’t believe or trust western medicine, dating back to a forced nose job as a teen.

As I write this, I am listening to a library loan of “The Answer is…” by Alex Trebek. As you can see, I will always choose a memoir or non-fiction over a novel. Do you have any memoirs or biographies that I should read? Comment below and let me know.

Written by Alana Kaplan, Project Manager for the I Am Resilient Project.

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