Book Recommendations: Memoir

If you enjoy reading true stories of other people’s fascinating life experiences, here are a bunch of solid memoirs I’ve read recently.

Whiskey Tango FoxtrotWhiskey Tango Foxtrot: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan
by Kim Barker

A great movie. An even better book. As a foreign correspondent in post-9/11 Afghanistan and Pakistan, Kim’s insider account of the “forgotten war” is light and dark, funny and sad, personal and political.



Not My Father's SonNot My Father’s Son: A Memoir by Alan Cumming

An emotional story about a complicated father / son relationship that spans decades. Beginning with Alan’s childhood years in Scotland, his father’s demons and family secretes continue to plague Alan during his adult successes as a British star of stage, television, and film. His story made me laugh and cry at the same time.



The Color of WaterThe Colour of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother by James McBride

One of twelve black children to a black father and a white mother who would not admit she was white, James explores his mother’s past and reflects on his poor upbringing as a mixed-race child in the all-black projects of Brooklyn. After his mother’s Jewish family fled wartime Poland and emigrated to America, his mother later fled her cruel father, abandoning her family in small-town, anti-Semitic Virginia. Adversity and racism followed her, yet she taught her children that morals eclipse race, that “God is the colour of water”.


These Things Happen

These Things Happen by Greg Fleet

One of Australia’s well-known comedians, for years Greg delighted audiences with his comedy while hiding the tragedy of his drug habit. Subsequently, his memoir jumps back and forth from the dark depths of drug addiction to the entertaining heights of quick wit and self-deprecating humour.

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