|Memoirs of the Last Ten Years of the Reign of George the Second (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Even though I have a blog devoted to memoir and much of my recent writing has been focused on my own life stories, I have not actually read too many memoirs in comparison to the works of fiction that I've read in my lifetime. Over the years I've read a number of biographies and autobiographies, but works considered strictly memoir have been comparatively fewer.
Most of the book length memoirs that I've read have been about show business personalities and artistic types such as writers, musicians, and composers. I've gravitated towards reading about people with whom I share similar interests or lifestyles. For the most part I've avoided memoirs of politicians, sports figures, or individuals who have dealt with personal struggles or tragedies.
If I were to say why I've read the memoirs that I have read it would mostly to be to compare my life to others or to read about those who have achieved dreams like I have but in a bigger way. In retrospect I don't recall most of the memoirs I've read which is par for the course for me. I don't remember too many of the books I read.
I'll be announcing my A to Z topic for this blog during the Theme Reveal on March 23rd (I'll actually be posting mine on Saturday March 21st in order to keep my regular posting schedule). Today to help me with my A to Z posts I'd like some of your thoughts about memoirs.
Which of the following do you look for in a memoir and do you have any examples of memoirs that you've read that fulfilled these for you:
- Contrast with your own life: The accomplishments of others whose lives are very different from your own, the experiences of people who have gone through things you know little about, or anything to which you might not easily relate.
- Comparison to your life: Live stories about struggles you know something about, places or people you have also known, or experiences you can readily understand because in one way or another you've been there too.
- Inspirational: Stories that lift you up, encourage you to face your own struggles, or learning about other lives that can instill positive and life-affirming feelings.
- Educational: Gaining further understanding and insight about life experiences of notable people which can enrich your own perception about the world and even your own life.
- Celebrities or Historically significant people: This can be someone who we typically follow, someone who intrigues us in a way that we want to know more about them, someone in the news, or any other person that we read about because they are famous.
- Entertaining: Fun, relaxing, or escapist memoir literature. This can cover any of the other categories in this list as we often read for the entertainment value, but also have other reasons for reading what we are reading.
There are undoubtedly other types of memoir that you might read or reasons that you read memoir. This genre is one that some read with a passion while others neglect reading for the most part. Non-fiction can be a highly rewarding category of literature that many readers think of as dry and no fun. This is certainly not the case. Truth is not only stranger than fiction, it's also far more fascinating because it's real.
Do you prefer reading non-fiction or fiction? Why do you prefer one over the other? What draws you most to a memoir?
I am experimenting with using a blog poll--