When you’re getting ready to write your own LifeStories, we’ve found that for building momentum there is almost nothing as downright effective as spending some time wandering through memoirs of others. And, though most of us can’t claim to be a Hemingway (his “A Movable Feast” is rightfully included in the Amazon editors’s top 100 Life Stories of all times list), we can pick up hints on the best way to include details about our lives (which you will soon discover is among the most important keys to memoir writing).
Of course, here at LifeJourneys Media, we do have our favorites, all of which express well the joys and sorrows of a life well lived:
Our Top Five include:
• “The Story of My Life” by Helen Keller
• “Night” by Elie Wiesel
• “A Movable Feast” by Ernest Hemingway
• “The Diary of a Young Girl” by Anne Frank… and
• “Angela’s Ashes” by Frank McCourt
We can’t resist adding another personal favorite: “The Autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt,” which with great candor reflects the core values of the beloved first lady and humanitarian. Note: Her childhood experience of her father’s death is unforgettably poignant.
By the way, if you are wondering what the difference is, though commonly used interchangeably, a memoir typically focuses on part of a life, say Frank McCourt’s compelling childhood as told in “Angela’s Ashes,” whereas an autobiography embraces the entire life. One fine example: Katherine Graham’s “Personal History,” which takes the reader from the famous publisher’s earliest memories all the way to retirement.
What is your favorite memoir or autobiography? Tell us in the comments