Recommended Reading – Memoirs, Part 2

Adding to my previous list of recommended memoirs, here are some more that you may find interesting.

First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers by Loung Ung

When the Khmer Rouge stormed Phnom Penh in 1975 Loung’s family was forced to flee. She ends up as a child soldier surviving the horrors of the Pol Pot regime.


When Broken Glass Floats: Growing Up Under the Khmer Rouge by Chanrithy Him

Set during the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia, the author recounts her family’s trek through the “killing fields” and her new life in America after being sponsored by an uncle.


The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls

Jeanette’s parents lived like nomads, travelling with their four children through Southwest desert towns of the U.S. until they settled in a dismal mining town. The author recounts her life in a dysfunctional family where the children are left to fend for themselves.


The Liar’s Club: A Memoir by Mary Karr

Mary weathers her childhood in an east Texas oil town with an alcoholic father and an oft-married mother. She paints a funny picture of an otherwise disturbing scene.



This Boy’s Life: A Memoir by Tobias Wolff

Toby’s adolescence is marred with divorce. Separated from his father and brother, Toby and his mother try to make a life for themselves. But it’s not easy with his mother’s nomadic ways. Then Toby comes up against a hostile stepfather.


Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali  

Born in Somalia and raised as a Muslim, Ayaan lived in Africa and Saudi Arabia before going to the Netherlands as a refugee. From a life of civil war, beatings, and female circumcision, Ayaan educated herself and became a Dutch parliamentarian who fights for women’s rights and against the injustices done in the name of Islam.


If I Should Die Before I Wake by Eileen Munro

As a teenager in Scotland, Eileen finds herself pregnant. Her adoptive mother is dead and her father is an alcoholic. She spends a life in and out of depressing children’s homes. She suffers abuse, homelessness, and health problems. When she discovers her son is deaf she begins a quest to discover her genes in a search for her birth mother.

Do you have any of your own memoir recommendations you’d be happy to share?