Memoir Monday
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MEMOIR MONDAY: 2020 FAVORITES curated by leslie lindsay

By Leslie Lindsay

Great list of memoirs that really hit home, in this year-end round-up as curated by your host, Leslie Lindsay. 

minimal concept of calligraphy writing of letter

Photo by Tatiana Syrikova on



Memoir is one of my very favorite genres. I think it’s because I love inhabiting someone else’s world, even if just briefly. I learn a lot about myself, and the world around me. Plus, there’s always resilience and strength and a new lens in which one gazes from the world. I am often moved to write when I read a memoir–but not always. There’s something about digesting someone else’s words and stories to help the reader excavate her own. Also, there’s learning, at least for me, that goes on ‘behind-the-scenes’ when I read a memoir. I look at pacing, structure, and character. I notice things like imagery and word use. 

It takes an incredible amount of guts write a memoir.

It’s cathartic, sure. I think therapy is a lot cheaper and faster than say, the years and blood, tears, and sweat  from revisiting (often) traumatic experiences. A person can stop going to therapy. A writer can stop writing. But if you’re holding a memoir in your hand, rest-assured that author has some perseverance. That said, I reviewed lots of memoirs during 2020. I feel terrible not mentioning every one. It’s all a bit subjective. An author has poured her heart and brain out; to say it didn’t work for me, well, it seems a bit mean-spirited, right? 

Top 2020 memoir pick for me: 

  • Couldn’t put it down.
  • Wanted to talk with someone about it–immediately!
  • Loved the language.
  • Related in some visceral way.
  • Made me want to write.

[In alphabetical by title]

GHOSTBREAD By Sonja Livingston 

“When you eat soup every night, thoughts of bread get you through.”


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See my review here| Read my Q&A with Sonja | Order Links

HOUSE LESSONS: Renovating a Life by Erica Bauermeister

“I think anyone who saves an old house has to be a caretaker at heart, a believer in underdogs, someone whose imagination is inspired by limitations, not endless options.”


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See my review| Read my Q&A with Erica | Order Links

INFERNO: A Memoir of Motherhood & Madness by Catherine Cho

“It’s difficult to know where the story of psychosis begins[…]”

postpartum psychosis~motherhood~Korean culture~childhood~legacy


See my review|Read my Q&A with Catherine| Order Link

WHAT WE CARRY: A Memoir by Maya Shanbhag Lang 

How much can you judge another woman’s choices? What if that woman is your mother?

~mothers~psychiatry~aging parents~memory~Easteran Indian Culture~daughters


See my review|Read my Q&A with Maya|Order link

WIVING: A Memoir of Loving Then Leaving the Patriarchy by Caitlin Myer 

“I’ve been fighting for years to break free of the story but the whole world lives inside the story; the only way out is to change the story itself.” 



See my Review|Read my Q&A with Caitlin| Order Link

1B6B942E-E2D9-4517-9773-73A6A5162188ABOUT YOUR HOST: 

Leslie Lindsay is the award-winning author of SPEAKING OF APRAXIA (Woodbine House, 2012) and former Mayo Clinic child/adolescent psychiatric R.N. She is at work on a memoir. Her writing has been published in Pithead ChapelCommon Ground ReviewCleaver Magazine (craft and CNF), The Awakenings Review, The Nervous Breakdown, Ruminate’s The WakingBrave Voices Literary MagazineManifest-Station, and forthcoming in The Family Narrative Project (FNP) and Semicolon. Her photography was featured on the cover of Up the Staircase Quarterly in May 2020, other photography in Another Chicago Magazine (ACM) and Brushfire Literature & Arts Journal; poetry in the Coffin Bell Journal. The 2nd edition of SPEAKING OF APRAXIA will be available this fall. Leslie has been awarded one of the top 1% reviewers on GoodReads and recognized by Jane Friedman as one of the most influential book reviewers. Since 2013, Leslie has interviewed over 700 bestselling and debut authors on her author interview series. Follow her bookstagram posts @leslielindsay1.


represented by Catalyst Literary Management: MODEL HOME: Motherhood, Madness & Memory


#alwayswithabook #memoir #motherhood #madness #trauma #mentalillness #2020roundup #bookrecommendations #authorinterviews

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[Artistic images of book covers designed and photographed by me, Leslie Lindsay. Follow on Instagram @leslielindsay1 for more like this #alwayswithabook #bookstagrammer]

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