Memoir

Good for Book Clubs

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

Giveaways Good for Book Clubs

You Could Win a Frances Mayes Library!

Read It Forward is celebrating the paperback release of Frances Mayes’ lyrical and evocative memoir Under Magnolia by giving away a Frances Mayes Library!

We’re sharing nine of Frances Mayes’ books – count ‘em, nine: four books about life in Tuscany, including her beloved memoirs Under the Tuscan Sun and Every Day in Tuscany; two stunning travel books; a cookbook packed with delicious recipes; a gorgeous interior design book; and her novel, Swan.

It’s a sumptuous collection! Perfect for fans of Under the Tuscan Sun (the book or the movie), armchair travel, and Italian cooking and design. Also perfect for book clubs who want to create an extra special meeting complete with delicious food and insights from the author.

Author Essays Good for Book Clubs

A Real-Life Doctor on Watching Hospital Dramas on TV

“It turns out Grey’s Anatomy got hospital life mostly right. (The call rooms are actually for naps, not necking). But the viewing experience in no way prepared me for the lysergic roller coaster of practicing actual medicine. “

“I was crazy about Grey’s” admits Matt McCarthy, doctor and author of The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly, “and all medical shows, really—because I was dying to know what being a doctor was really like.

Was it that intense? Did physicians ever screw up? Or yell at each other? And did they really hook up in those cramped on-call rooms? I desperately wanted to know . . . . For the first few months, I felt like I was on a tv show, playing the part of a real doctor—one who was well-intentioned but ultimately overwhelmed—and occasionally flattened by the daily tragedy of watching people die.”

Giveaways Good for Book Clubs

Hilarious Memoir of a Year in the Life of an Almost-Doctor

The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly offers a window on to hospital life that dispenses with sanctimony and self-seriousness while emphasizing the black-comic paradox of becoming a doctor: How do you learn to save lives in a job where there is no practice?

In medical school, Matt McCarthy dreamed of being a different kind of doctor—the sort of mythical, unflappable physician who could reach unreachable patients. But when a new admission to the critical care unit almost died his first night on call, he found himself scrambling.

This funny, candid memoir of McCarthy’s intern year at a New York hospital provides a scorchingly frank look at how doctors are made, taking readers into patients’ rooms and doctors’ conferences to witness a physician’s journey from ineptitude to competence.

Your Reading Life Good for Book Clubs

Fantastic Reviews for Girl in the Dark

We did a double-take when we read the description of Girl in the Dark by Anna Lyndsey. A woman who’s forced to live in complete darkness? It didn’t seem possible.

Well, it is possible, and it is Anna Lyndsey’s life. What a beautiful writer she is! She explores so much through her very unique experience, and she manages to draw us in and make us think about our own lives, too.

Other writers we admire have been singing Lyndsey’s praises, and with good reason. We can’t wait to hear what you think of the read!

Giveaways Good for Book Clubs

The Memoir of a Woman Forced to Live in Darkness

A gorgeous memoir of an unthinkable life: a young woman writes of the sensitivity to light that has forced her to live in darkness, and of the love that has saved her.

“Something is afoot within me that I do not understand, the breaking of a contract that I thought could not be broken, a slow perverting of my substance.”

Anna was living a normal life. She was ambitious and worked hard; she had just bought an apartment; she was falling in love. But then she started to develop worrying symptoms: her face felt like it was burning whenever she was in front of the computer. Soon this progressed to an intolerance of fluorescent light, then of sunlight itself. The reaction soon spread to her entire body..

Giveaways Good for Book Clubs

Enter for Your Chance to Win The Porcelain Thief

A journalist travels throughout mainland China and Taiwan in search of his family’s hidden treasure and comes to understand his ancestry as he never has before.

“Huan Hsu’s return to his ancestral Chinese village in search of buried treasure keeps readers turning the pages, eager to see what he finds. The dig turns up more than ancient family valuables, as Hsu meets distant relatives and learns of the turmoil that they endured and that he, as an American-born Chinese, avoided. Part memoir, part journey, and part archaeological expedition, The Porcelain Thief is as suspenseful as any Indiana Jones adventure.” –Michael Meyer, author of The Last Days of Old Beijing and In Manchuria

Author Essays Good for Book Clubs

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 Good for Book Clubs

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. “