Top Memoirs Written by Women

Memoirs give readers an insight to the writer’s life that usually remains hidden or told amongst the writer’s close friends and family. The following are the best memoirs written by women in recent years.

  1. Hunger by Roxanne Gay- This book will be difficult to read at times with her very honest and brutal stories about being overweight in America where it’s acceptable to treat people badly because of what they weight. She makes readers realize that someone’s weight problems more often than not reflect a life that has had struggle and food may be the only coping tool they have. This is an excellent book about the struggles of weight problems people will have and how society treats people especially black women for having a less than perfect body.

  2. Bossy Pants by Tina Fey Tina Fey is well known from her work at Saturday Night live and 30 Rock and most recently being a co-creator/writer of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Her book delves into her life before she was famous and how she followed her dreams to stardom to her struggles with being a mother. She gives a behind the scenes look at what her life was like at each stage of her moving up the fame ladder giving a real impression that she’s truly put in the effort to get where she is today. Her book is a fast read and is highly entertaining. Perfect for reading on the beach or when you want something to cheer you up on a bad day.

  3. Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget by Sarah HepolaSarah Hepola struggled with her drinking to the point that she would drink so much she would blackout on a regular basis and would wakeup from these episodes in fear of what she had done the night before. She discusses what drove her to drink so much and what finally made her want to stop. This was an interesting take on having a drinking problem since it came from a woman’s voice versus the typical male version and it felt like this could easily happen to anyone.

  4. Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling- She’s best known as her character on the Office or for her own show that she created and starred in but Mindy Kaling is also an excellent author. This book deals with her struggles to make it in Hollywood and gives insight into her life making her more relatable as a person. This is a good book if you want to read about the less than glamourous side of Hollywood from someone who doesn’t fit the traditional Hollywood star image.

  5. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail by Cheryl StrayedThis book has gone on to become a movie starring Reese Witherspoon that garnered her an Oscar nomination, Wild deals with Cheryl Strayed’s journey of dealing with her mother’s death, her own divorce, and a drug problem by deciding to go on an over thousand mile hike through the Pacific Coast Trail by herself without having an previous hiking experience.  This book will give you hope that no matter how bad your life may feel, you can literally and metaphorically hike your way to a better situation.

  6. Yes, Please by Amy PoehlerAmy’s memoir was kind of  surprise to me in how crass her writing can get. I’m not complaining and it’s not overly shocking but I wasn’t expecting her to be so R rated when most of the characters she plays are G rated. She also gives a great behind the scenes look at her life trying to break into comedy and her life post fame but in a way that was both parallel to Tiny Fey’s but also completely different. This was a very funny book and completely changed my image of Amy in the best way possible.

  7. Buy Yourself the F*cking Lilies by Tara Schuster- For those who felt like or actually had absent parents either emotionally or literally, this book deals with how to basically parent yourself to be a better person. She doesn’t give cliche advice on how to fix things that are wrong with your life- she gives easy and realistic advice on how to overcome a difficult childhood and how to move forward from a painful past by focusing on taking care of yourself. This is a nice kick in the pants for when you’re feeling unmotivated or in a rut.

  8. I Feel Bad About My Neck and Other Thoughts on Being a Woman by Nora EphronThis book gives such a funny and real take on aging that most women have felt but would never dare say out loud. She discusses things that go with aging like menopause and empty nests and how your body changes in ways you’d never expect in a manner that makes aging seem less scary and just something you need to accept since it beats the alternative. I only wish she had written more books before she passed away in 2012.

  9. Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia by Marya HornbacherThis is probably the most heart wrenching book you’ll read about struggling with anorexia and bulimia. Marya Hornbacher writes about her struggle with her weight through college and how she reached her all time low of weighing just 52 pounds. She shows her struggle with control over her body and her life throughout the book which many people can relate to even if they never develop an eating disorder.

  10. How to be a Woman by Caitlin MoranCaitlin Moran is more famous in the UK but her memoir rivals Tiny Fey in seeing the humor in being an awkward child and all of the perils that go with growing up. This is a fresh take on feminism that some points you may not agree with but should be glad someone is at least bringing the issues up. She discusses topics like abortion, being a parent, breasts, and periods. This book makes being a feminist not something to avoid calling yourself but something you should be proud to be known as.

For some coffee to go with your book choice, click here for the best coffee places in Des Moines.

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