This blog is dedicated to Irene Waters, a writer, memoirist and sister blogger.
People fascinate me. I love reading the story of their lives. I even like reading books about how to write memoirs. But the closest I ever will get to writing about my life are the snippets you’ll see here in this blog. Why? My life is interesting. I’m had incredible experiences that most people haven’t had. I think it could make an interesting read. I love to write. I just don’t want to go slogging about in my own past, but I sure enjoy taking the trip through the life of someone else.
Autobiographies. Biographies. Memoirs. Diaries. Journals. I can get lost in all of them, in my invisible time machine, jumping from place to place, lifetime to lifetime. The people I like the best seem to be those I had not met until I discovered them in the pages of a good book. Here are some of my favorites:
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot
Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells—taken without her knowledge—became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first “immortal” human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. Yet Henrietta Lacks remains virtually unknown, buried in an unmarked grave. The story of the Lacks family—past and present—is inextricably connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we are made of.
if you are a fan of “The Little House on the Prairie” television series, you will know the name Nellie Oleson, the most hated child character ever written. Alison Arngrim tells what effect Nellie has left on her life, and does it with great humor. You’ll enjoy her behind-the-scenes look at an iconic American television show.
On Writing by Stephen King
I’m not a fan of the horror genre, so you will never see any Stephen King books on my bookshelf… except this one. King takes you inside his writing life, and it is a fascinating view of the craft of writing. “On Writing” is part memoir and part textbook. A must read if you are interested in the process of successful fiction writing, or in the man himself.
Three great books, all by Michael J Fox:
Lucky Man: A Memoir
What can you say about Michael J Fox? Great actor. Funny, funny guy. Great humanitarian. And, in his words, a Lucky Man who is an Incurable Optimist. Read about his journey to stardom and continue on to his life with Parkinson’s Disease, all the while rolling on the floor laughing.
In the next blog…. some of my favorite blogs and books on writing memoirs.