Memoir Reviews

Memoirs with Melissa, my new Substack publication, shares bimonthly memoir reviews intended to expose readers to diverse authors and life experiences. To see more of what I’m reading, browse my reading activity on The Story Graph.

Recent Reviews

Praying with Jane Eyre, by Vanessa Zoltan: On treating books as holy texts

2023 Reviews

The Part That Burns, by Jeannine Ouellette: Truth and beauty in narrative structure

An Unruled Body, by Ani Gjika: Plus visit me and other FL authors at JaxbyJax Dec 1-3

The Book of (More) Delights, by Ross Gay: Plus two more memoirs on mother and human nature

Addressing Our Deepest, Darkest Truths: These scary good memoirs are a treat

The Loneliness Files, by Athena Dixon: On hyper-connection and the scourge of loneliness

Inverse Cowgirl, by Alicia Roth Weigel: “The coolest shit in life exists on the border…”

Heavy: An American Memoir, by Kiese Laymon: Who are we writing to and for?

Easy Beauty, by Chloé Cooper Jones: Plus a year of reading 70+ memoirs and finding connection outside social media

The Handmaid’s Tale as Fictional Memoir: A master class on how real stories get gaslit and buried

5 Memoirs I’m Reading this Summer: Listen to strangers, question everything, choose family, and carry the light

The Crane Wife, by CJ Hauser: Deconstructing the love stories we’ve been sold

Hijab Butch Blues, by Lamya H: In lieu of Father’s Day, THIS.

Lost & Found, by Kathryn Schulz: Can we mainstream LGBTQIA+ memoirs, please?

Soil: The Story of a Black Mother’s Garden, by Camille Dungy (+5 more unconventional narratives of mothering and being mothered)

Biting the Hand, by Julia Lee: A reminder that categories are slippery

You Could Make This Place Beautiful, by Maggie Smith: Finding the narrative arc of a life actually lived

Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kimmerer: Remembering things you didn’t know you’d forgotten

My What If Year, by Alisha Fernandez Miranda: Embodying the intern spirit at 40 and beyond

Happening, by Annie Ernaux: A true account of illegal abortion through the pen of a Nobel laureate

Solito, by Javier Zamora: Transcending the politics of migration

Memorial Drive, by Natasha Trethewey (+4 more memoirs I’m reading by Black authors)

The Secrets that Change Who We Are to Each Other: A conversation with Jessi Hempel, author of The Family Outing

Quit Like a Woman: The Radical Choice to Not Drink in a Culture Obsessed with Alcohol, by Holly Whitaker

2022 Reviews

How Far the Light Reaches: A Life in Ten Sea Creatures, by Sabrina Imbler

Uncultured, by Daniella Mestyanek Young (+ Bonus Author Interview!)

See No Stranger, by Valarie Kaur

Fairest, by Meredith Talusan

Cost of Living, by Emily Maloney

Burning Butch, by R/B Mertz (+ Bonus Author Interview!)

Unbound: My Story of Liberation and the Birth of the Me Too Movement, by Tarana Burke

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, by Haruki Murakami

In the Dream House, by Carmen Maria Machado