A recent reading discovery for me has been that I adore reading memoirs. I find it fascinating to delve into other people’s lives and, if they’re writing a memoir, these people have usually had rather interesting things happen to them. Obviously, I seek out the memoirs of people I’m interested in, but sometimes memoirs of people you don’t know much about are more interesting. Last year I read Patti Smith’s memoir, Just Kids, and it was one of the most enjoyable reading experiences I’ve ever had. All I knew about Patti Smith was that she had been involved in the music scene in the 1970s and that she had dated Robert Mapplethorpe, the artist. Her story was a rich tapestry that I read so quickly and just adored.
The fall can be a great time to read memoirs. The weather is getting cooler and you might not want to venture outside as often. So it can be fun to snuggle up indoors as the leaves fall, and just read about the amazing adventures of other folks. A recent post on the Biographile website has chronicled several memoirs coming out this month.
One great title on this list is Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin by Jill Lepore. I read an article by Jill Lepore about the research that she did into the life of Jane Franklin — the sister of Ben Franklin — and it sounded fascinating. Jane Franklin was a mother of twelve (that’s right, twelve) and she had a rather famous brother. This meant that she wasn’t recognized much during her lifetime. But she actually had a lot to say and said most of it in letters to her brother, Ben. I’d be interested in reading this title!
Are there any books on this list that you would be interested in reading? What are some memoirs that you’ve read and really enjoyed? How do you feel about memoirs in general? Share your thoughts in the comments!
— Jet Fuel Blog Editor, Mary Egan