8 Favorite Memoirs from Instagram’s @BooksandPolkaDots’s Bookshelf
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.
2Waiting to Be Heard
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.
3Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?
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.
5You Deserve a Drink
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!
8A Long Way Gone
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.