Share 8 Favorite Memoirs from Instagram’s @BooksandPolkaDots’s Bookshelf

8 Favorite Memoirs from Instagram’s @BooksandPolkaDots’s Bookshelf

Megan Gardner is the girl behind @BooksandPolkaDots, a lifelong reader, and a collector of all things literary. World War II historical fiction has a special place in her heart and was the driving force behind her vivacious reading as a child. She now gravitates toward all types of historical fiction, literary fiction, memoirs, historical nonfiction, and thrillers—but will pick up just about any genre. When she isn’t reading, she is trying to find the perfect light for an Instagram picture or drinking tea out of fancy teacups. You can follow her on Instagram @BooksandPolkaDots or Twitter @BooksPolkaDots!

Editor’s Note: Megan Gardner—the “bookstagrammer” behind @BooksandPolkaDots—loves to read, recommend, and repeat just as much as we do. That’s why we’re delighted that Megan shared some of her favorite memoirs with us. 

 

Telling our own stories gives life momentum and allows us to reflect on both the incredible and the awful moments we experience. What makes memoirs so crucial is their ability to help us understand the world and the people around us. While these 8 memoirs range from heartbreaking to hilarious, they all share in the idea that we can learn from each other’s mistakes, traumas, and fortunes—and that there is incredible power in perseverance and redemption.


Smashed
by Koren Zailckas
In this memoir, Koren Zailckas shares her decade-long alcohol binge. While she did not consider herself an alcoholic, she relied heavily on drinking during her formative years to get by. Her story is a look back at her destructive behavior and what she learned.
Smashed
Koren Zailckas

Eye-opening and utterly gripping, Koren Zailckas’s story is that of thousands of girls like her who are not alcoholics—yet—but who routinely use booze as a shortcut to courage and a stand-in for good judgment. Following her from her first sip of alcohol at fourteen to her decision to stop drinking in her early twenties, SMASHED is an astonishing literary debut.

MENTIONED IN:

8 Favorite Memoirs from Instagram’s @BooksandPolkaDots’s Bookshelf

By Megan Gardner | January 6, 2017

11 Powerful Stories of Addiction and What Comes After

By Hilary Krutt | May 10, 2016

Close

Waiting to Be Heard
by Amanda Knox

Amanda Knox was arrested for murder in 2007 when her roommate in Italy was found dead in their apartment. Her memoir, WAITING TO BE HEARD, recounts her innocence, the anguish she was put through during 4 years of prison, her struggle to follow the continuous changes in court rulings, and the incredibly divisive media coverage throughout it all.

Waiting to Be Heard
Amanda Knox

Amanda Knox was arrested for murder in 2007 when her roommate in Italy was found dead in their apartment. Her memoir, WAITING TO BE HEARD, recounts her innocence, the anguish she was put through during 4 years of prison, her struggle to follow the continuous changes in court rulings, and the incredibly divisive media coverage throughout it all.

MENTIONED IN:

8 Favorite Memoirs from Instagram’s @BooksandPolkaDots’s Bookshelf

By Megan Gardner | January 6, 2017

Close

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?
by Mindy Kaling

This humorous memoir is a look at moments throughout Mindy Kaling’s life—from her career as an actress to her interesting dating life to having immigrant parents, she tells stories that many can relate to. She’s hilarious and this book reads like a page out of your friend’s diary.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?
Mindy Kaling

This humorous memoir is a look at moments throughout Mindy Kaling’s life—from her career as an actress to her interesting dating life to having immigrant parents, she tells stories that many can relate to. She’s hilarious and this book reads like a page out of your friend’s diary.

MENTIONED IN:

8 Favorite Memoirs from Instagram’s @BooksandPolkaDots’s Bookshelf

By Megan Gardner | January 6, 2017

Reading Nora: 12 Essential Books for Every Nora Ephron Fan

By Julianna Haubner | July 5, 2016

13 Hilarious Memoirs From Our Favorite Comedians

By Leora Bernstein | March 1, 2016

7 Books for Fans of Broad City

By Meg Miller | March 19, 2015

The Funniest Books By Women In Comedy

By Off the Shelf Staff | May 29, 2014

Hannah Horvath is My Best Friend: Books to Read When Not Watching HBO’s GIRLS

By Off the Shelf Staff | February 26, 2014

Close

Brain on Fire
by Susannah Cahalan

Susannah Cahalan awakes in a hospital room, strapped to the bed. Crazy? Psychotic? Mental breakdown? BRAIN ON FIRE is her story of a devastating autoimmune disease misdiagnosed over and over—all while it appears she is losing her mind.

Brain on Fire
Susannah Cahalan

Susannah Cahalan awakes in a hospital room, strapped to the bed. Crazy? Psychotic? Mental breakdown? BRAIN ON FIRE is her story of a devastating autoimmune disease misdiagnosed over and over—all while it appears she is losing her mind.

MENTIONED IN:

11 Books That Remind Us There’s No Place Like Home

By Off the Shelf Staff | March 3, 2017

8 Favorite Memoirs from Instagram’s @BooksandPolkaDots’s Bookshelf

By Megan Gardner | January 6, 2017

10 Books Coming to a Movie Theater Near You

By Erin Flaaen | February 25, 2016

Celebrate Summer With Off the Shelf!

By Off the Shelf Staff | June 25, 2015

The Incredible Human Body List

By Allison Tyler | May 13, 2014

What You Don’t Know Can Kill You

By Allison Tyler | May 12, 2014

Close

You Deserve a Drink
by Mamrie Hart

YouTube sensation Mamrie Hart’s memoir is told through a series of drinking stories—and reads like you are reminiscing while out on a night of fun with your best friend. It is a hilarious look at the good and the bad—and even has some cocktail recipes to go alongside her retellings!

You Deserve a Drink
Mamrie Hart

YouTube sensation Mamrie Hart’s memoir is told through a series of drinking stories—and reads like you are reminiscing while out on a night of fun with your best friend. It is a hilarious look at the good and the bad—and even has some cocktail recipes to go alongside her retellings!

MENTIONED IN:

8 Favorite Memoirs from Instagram’s @BooksandPolkaDots’s Bookshelf

By Megan Gardner | January 6, 2017

Close

My Story
by Elizabeth Smart

In 2002, 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart was abducted from her home in Salt Lake City and subjected to 9 months of rape, torture, and absolute fear. In this memoir, Elizabeth explains how she was able to persevere during this time and move on after her safe return home.

My Story
Elizabeth Smart

In 2002, 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart was abducted from her home in Salt Lake City and subjected to 9 months of rape, torture, and absolute fear. In this memoir, Elizabeth explains how she was able to persevere during this time and move on after her safe return home.

MENTIONED IN:

8 Favorite Memoirs from Instagram’s @BooksandPolkaDots’s Bookshelf

By Megan Gardner | January 6, 2017

Close

Finding Me
by Michelle Knight

After being abducted by a friend’s father, Michelle Knight spent more than a decade locked inside a Cleveland house being raped and tormented daily. Most assumed she ran away, which resulted in little effort to find her, but she never gave up hope that she would one day escape.

Finding Me
Michelle Knight

After being abducted by a friend’s father, Michelle Knight spent more than a decade locked inside a Cleveland house being raped and tormented daily. Most assumed she ran away, which resulted in little effort to find her, but she never gave up hope that she would one day escape.

MENTIONED IN:

8 Favorite Memoirs from Instagram’s @BooksandPolkaDots’s Bookshelf

By Megan Gardner | January 6, 2017

Close

A Long Way Gone
by Ishmael Beah

What is war like through the eyes of a child soldier? How does one become a killer? How does one stop? Never before has there been a first-person account from someone who went through this hell and survived. In A LONG WAY GONE, Ishmael Beah recounts his story with heartbreaking honesty: how at the age of 12, he fled attacking rebels and wandered a land rendered unrecognizable by violence. By 13, he’d been picked up by the government army and found that he was capable of truly terrible acts. This is a rare and mesmerizing account, told with urgent importance and literary force.

A Long Way Gone
Ishmael Beah

What is war like through the eyes of a child soldier? How does one become a killer? How does one stop? Never before has there been a first-person account from someone who went through this hell and survived. In A LONG WAY GONE, Ishmael Beah recounts his story with heartbreaking honesty: how at the age of 12, he fled attacking rebels and wandered a land rendered unrecognizable by violence. By 13, he’d been picked up by the government army and found that he was capable of truly terrible acts. This is a rare and mesmerizing account, told with urgent importance and literary force.

MENTIONED IN:

8 Favorite Memoirs from Instagram’s @BooksandPolkaDots’s Bookshelf

By Megan Gardner | January 6, 2017

Nine Books Mark Zuckerberg Should Choose for His Book Club

By Off the Shelf Staff | February 3, 2015

Close

Thank you for joining our email list!

If you create and Off the Shelf account, you'll be able to save books to your personal bookshelf, and be eligible for free books and other good stuff.

Click here to create your free account.

Debugging information below
(This will not show up in Production)

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 18480
    [post_author] => 94737
    [post_date] => 2017-01-06 12:09:25
    [post_date_gmt] => 2017-01-06 17:09:25
    [post_content] => Editor's Note: Megan Gardner—the "bookstagrammer" behind @BooksandPolkaDots—loves to read, recommend, and repeat just as much as we do. That's why we're delighted that Megan shared some of her favorite memoirs with us. 

 

Telling our own stories gives life momentum and allows us to reflect on both the incredible and the awful moments we experience. What makes memoirs so crucial is their ability to help us understand the world and the people around us. While these 8 memoirs range from heartbreaking to hilarious, they all share in the idea that we can learn from each other’s mistakes, traumas, and fortunes—and that there is incredible power in perseverance and redemption.
    [post_title] => 8 Favorite Memoirs from Instagram’s @BooksandPolkaDots’s Bookshelf
    [post_excerpt] => Telling our own stories gives life momentum and allows us to reflect on both the incredible and the awful moments we experience. What makes memoirs so crucial is their ability to help us understand the world and the people around us. While these 8 memoirs range from heartbreaking to hilarious, they all share in the idea that we can learn from each other’s mistakes, traumas, and fortunes—and that there is incredible power in perseverance and redemption.  
    [post_status] => publish
    [comment_status] => open
    [ping_status] => open
    [post_password] => 
    [post_name] => 8-favorite-memoirs-from-instagrams-booksandpolkadotss-bookshelf
    [to_ping] => 
    [pinged] => 
    [post_modified] => 2017-04-24 15:35:44
    [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-04-24 19:35:44
    [post_content_filtered] => 
    [post_parent] => 0
    [guid] => http://offtheshelf.com/?p=18480
    [menu_order] => 0
    [post_type] => post
    [post_mime_type] => 
    [comment_count] => 0
    [filter] => raw
)