5 Memoirs Worth Reading


A good memoir can brighten my day. I always find reading about other peoples life journeys to be incredibly motivating and I always include at least one in my TBR pile every month. 

Here are 5 memoirs I've recently read and loved.

Black Widow: A Sad-Funny Journey Through Grief for People Who Normally Avoid Books with Words Like "Journey" in the Title
by Leslie Gray Streeter
My Rating: ★★★★☆
In her late thirties, Palm Beach Post columnist Leslie Gray Streeter had finally found her perfect match: Scott. He was Jewish and white; she was Christian and black, but that didn't give them a moment's hesitation. They moved in together, got married, and started the long process of adopting their son, Brooks Robinson Streeter Zervitz, named for Scott's favorite baseball player. Then, out of nowhere, the unthinkable happened. While the couple was sharing a late-night kiss, Scott had a fatal heart attack at the age of 44.

Black Widow is a story about coping with the kind of loss that blindsides you, the kind that can leave you with mascara streaked down your face, barefoot and slugging a bottle of gas station saké in front of a bunch of mourners (yep, Streeter has been there). But it's also a celebration -- of faith, love, and the people who show up when we need them most, who pry the saké away from us and who help us laugh and cry our way through this crazy roller-coaster ride called life.

I loved this read. Streeter deals with grief in her own way, showing how strong she is as a woman and taking everyday in stride. 

An inspiring, hilarious memoir about learning to resist the pressures of conformity, love yourself for who you are, embrace your flaws, and unlock your true potential.
Now cohost of Fox's The Real and SiriusXM's Café Mocha, Loni Love hasn't taken the typical path to becoming America's favorite straight-talking girlfriend and comedian. She was not the child of Hollywood legends and she never wore a size 00. Rather, she grew up in housing projects in Detroit, more worried about affording her next meal than going on a diet. When she moved to Hollywood after graduating college with an engineering degree, seeking to break out in the entertainment world, there was nothing that would convince her to eat the kale salads and quinoa bowls that her colleagues introduced her to, which looked to Love like "weeds my grandma used to pay me a dollar to pull from her yard."
Still, despite the differences that set her apart in the status-driven world of entertainment where being thin, young, blond, and bubbly is sometimes considered a talent, Love spent years trying to fit in -- trying to style her hair just so, dieting, dating the men she thought she was supposed to be with. In this book, she tells the uproariously funny story of how she overcame the trap of self-improvement and instead learned to embrace who she was. As Love writes, "There's a saying a lot of people live by: 'Fake it till you make it.' For me, it's always been 'fake it, and then have the whole thing blow up in your face.'" I Tried to Change So You Don't Have To explores all of the embarrassing mistakes, terrifying challenges, and unexpected breakthroughs that taught her how, by committing ourselves to our own path, we can take control of our destiny.

Loni Love is an incredible woman. Intuitive, funny and strong, but she's come through a lot to get to where she is today. I really enjoyed reading about her struggles and how she overcame them. 

Over It: How to Face Life’s Hurdles with Grit, Hustle, and Grace
by Lolo Jones
Lolo is perhaps better known today not for all the races she’s won but for the millisecond mistake that cost her an Olympic gold medal over a decade ago. With stunning authenticity about her own struggles, longings, and losses, she shows us how to face our challenges head-on and keep working to overcome them.
Taking Flight: From War Orphan to Star Ballerina
by Michaela DePrinceElaine DePrince
Michaela DePrince was known as girl Number 27 at the orphanage, where she was abandoned at a young age and tormented as a “devil child” for a skin condition that makes her skin appear spotted. But it was at the orphanage that Michaela would find a picture of a beautiful ballerina en pointe that would help change the course of her life.
Trejo: My Life of Crime, Redemption, and Hollywood
by Danny TrejoDonal Logue
On screen, Danny Trejo the actor is a baddie who has been killed at least a hundred times. He’s been shot, stabbed, hanged, chopped up, squished by an elevator, and once, was even melted into a bloody goo. Off screen, he’s a hero beloved by recovery communities and obsessed fans alike. But the real Danny Trejo is much more complicated than the legend.

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