Memoir

Extra Libris

Read It Forward features celebrity biographies and fascinating memoirs. For readers who enjoy reading real-life stories that amaze and inspire.

Author Essays Extra Libris

How to Write Memoir If You Have a Rotten Memory

When I decided I wanted to write about the weeks following my husband Rick’s death, I decided to develop my own memory jogging techniques. It was a slow process, but the kids and I created this book together, one memory at a time.

“I am not a doctor or a psychologist,” says author Joanne Huist Smith. “I have never studied the brain. I don’t even know how memory works and likely wouldn’t remember for long if I learned. But these are some of the tools I used to help me prepare.

Tip #5: Four memories are better than one. Once I felt I had taken a scene as far as I could alone, I interviewed others who were present at the time. The 13th Gift really is a combination of the collective memories of all my family members.”

Giveaways Extra Libris

Start Reading It Was Me All Along

I can remember carving the first slice, taking the first forkful. What I cannot remember, however, is the exact moment I made the decision to eat the whole thing.

“If you were not able to attend my twentieth birthday party, you missed a fabulous cake,” writes Andie Mitchell, “And if, by chance, you were able to attend my twentieth birth­day party, you, too, missed a fabulous cake. In fact, everyone did, save for me.

The rush of whipped sugar speeding through my bloodstream. It felt like teetering on the ledge on the roof of a skyscraper, exhilarat­ing and terrifying. The split-second decision between balance and oblivion. “

Giveaways Extra Libris

The Author of A Fifty-Year Silence on Silence and Secrets

Is suffering secret? Should it be?

“In my part of France, we have a saying, ‘a secret is something you tell one person at a time,’” says Miranda Richmond Mouillot, author of A Fifty-Year Silence.

“It’s meant to be funny, but I think it’s also very deep: some of the stories we tell are only meant to be shared with the person to whom we’re speaking directly, who we’ve chosen, who’ll stick around for further explanations, who can compare it to the other things we’ve said over the years.”

Author Essays Extra Libris

Exclusive Interview with Suki Kim, Author of Without You, There Is No Us

Suki Kim talks about her haunting memoir of teaching English to the sons of North Korea’s ruling class during the last six months of Kim Jong-il’s reign.

“Our rooms and offices were bugged,” Kim reveals. “Each building on campus was connected by an enclosed walkway with windows on either side, so everything everywhere was visible. We had to get permission for everything as though we were children. Thinking was dangerous, but there was also no time for thinking. It sometimes felt as though ‘I’ did not exist. This was a very foreign feeling—deeply claustrophobic and sometimes almost unbearable.”

Bonus Book Content Extra Libris

Book Club in a Box: Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking

Here’s everything you need to create an extraordinary book group meeting: a great memoir, delicious recipes, and a reader’s guide to get the discussion going.

Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking is a sweeping memoir of the Soviet Union, spanning a century of war and famine, food and family. In prose both sardonic and tender, author Anya von Bremzen tells the story of three generations of her Soviet family through the meals that sustained them.

With our Book Club in a Box, you’ll lead your discussion with panache, and your book group will rave about your Russian zakuski (literally “little bites”) – with Lemon Vodka cocktails, Deviled Eggs with Salmon Caviar Jewels, and Guest-at-the-Doorstep Apple and Berry Charlotte.

Bonus Book Content Extra Libris

The Underground Girls of Kabul
Is Perfect for Your Book Group

You know those books that keep your book group talking and talking – long after the wine and cheese are gone? The Underground Girls of Kabul is that kind of book. It’s our #1 pick to celebrate National Reading Group Month.

“Five years of intensive reporting have yielded this gritty, poignant, and provocative collage of intimate portraits,” says the reviewer in Elle.

“Nordberg conveys captivating nuance and complexity; just when you feel some kind of judgment or conclusive opinion is within reach, she deftly turns the tables, leaving us to reexamine our own prejudices and societal norms as we struggle with questions that are perhaps unanswerable.”

Giveaways Extra Libris

Start Reading the Sublime, Poetic Widow Basquiat

The beautifully written, deeply affecting story of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s partner, her past, and their life together.

“Sublime, poetic . . . [Clement] chronicles her close friend Suzanne Mallouk’s love affair with Basquiat in elegant, spare, riveting prose,” says Rebecca Walker for NPR.

“A powerful female coming of age story . . . A harrowing, beautifully told love story about two seekers colliding in a pivotal moment in history, and setting everything, including themselves, on fire.”

Giveaways Extra Libris

Are You Ready to Rock? Jessica Dorfman Jones Gets Her Groove On

By the time I was on the doorstep of thirty, I was in a job I’d grown to hate and had been married for four steady, if plodding, years to my college boyfriend Andrew.

“Sweet, predictable Andrew. While he had once been a wildly hilarious partier up for any crazy scheme at a moment’s notice,” writes Jessica Dorfman Jones, “now he loved nothing more than a night spent at home reading quietly and turning in early.

I tried my best to be equally content with his vision of a cozy and homely pas de deux, but inevitably, at least once a year, I would wind up running into the night to kick up my heels.”