Memoir | Read It Forward

Memoir

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

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.”

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.”

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.”

“Extremely touching . . . a book about growth and hope.” —The New York Times

Soon the guests will join the rangers on the deck. This takes some time, as each guest must be escorted from their room by an armed guard, lest they bump into a lion or leopard strolling down the path. It’s quite common for animals to come right into the confines of the camp. We once found a muddy set of leopard tracks on the bar counter. The guests will arrive on the deck dressed like they’re ready for an alpine experience and be stripping down within an hour, as the sun rises. That’s August in the bush for you.

“When I first got Glee,” says Lea Michele, “I bought myself a Balenciaga bag. It was the first big purchase I’d ever made.”

The star of the hit show Glee shares her experiences and insider tips on beauty, fashion, inner strength, and more in an illustrated book that’s part memoir, part how-to, and part style guide. Lea Michele knows better than anyone that it is difficult to be your best self and keep things in perspective when your to-do list is overflowing and you are faced with challenges.

In the morning … you get a cool, peaceful moment in the shadowy office to take stock. This moment is a rare encounter with tranquillity that must be relished.

You chomp on a hunk of the morning’s freshly baked bread and click through your email. You fire up a few eggs over medium, trade morning text messages with your girlfriend. You duck out and smoke some cigarettes on the loading dock, step over to the corner store for a seltzer and a paper.

You do as little as possible for as long as you can. For now, for just this very moment, the kitchen is yours.