Monday, March 18, 2019

Memoirs that Changed My Life & Made Me Braver

With a lifetime of book-loving under my belt, I feel very qualified to share the memoirs that have changed my life. Memoirs have always drawn me in. There is something about hearing the stories of other people that plants hope in my life. That's why I think it's so important for us to share our stories, especially those about motherhood.

All of these have improved my life in some obvious way. Some of them I read years ago while others I just discovered. If you haven't read them, I hope they spark your interest.

The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom- I accidentally read this about 10 years ago. A junior higher I was tutoring was assigned it for summer reading and from the moment I picked it up, I couldn't put it down. I was reading it at stop lights, which I do not recommend. Definitely unsafe! It is a riveting memoir about a Christian hero who helped hide Jews during WWII. I will never forget Ten Boom telling her sister to not focus on the bed bugs present on their "beds" in the Nazi concentration camp but to remember that Christ suffered and is our source (very much my own paraphrase). This scene pops into my mind multiple times a month and reminds me that Christ gives us the strength to endure if we lean on Him. 

Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist- I actually didn't read this, I listened to it on Audible, which has been perfect for this time in my life. I've loved it so much that I'm currently on my third listen. Niequist challenges some societal norms about hustling and always trying to reach for perfection. This book is a big part of why our daughter didn't have a Pinterest worthy 3rd birthday party and you know what? It was the best birthday party we've thrown. My perspective on life has transitioned from what more can I do? to where does God want me right now? Reading her words is like sipping on a cup of chamomile tea and taking a nap in the middle of the day. 

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls- This woman puts her story on paper with so much honesty that I can hardly stand it. It's tough to not be moved by her story of growing up in a very unconventional and unstable family. The memoir takes us through her process of being ashamed of her childhood and homeless parents to recording her childhood truthfully with the world without a thought about how people would judge her adult self. She artfully writes about her parents' flaws with respect and love. I've also read this twice and I'm unsure of how she accomplished this. I'm in awe. If you have a childhood to work through, read this!

Do you have experience with any of these? What memoirs have impacted your life? I'm in the market for a new one. What should I pick up next?

Happy reading!


  1. I Am Malala is a very powerful one. I also really enjoyed Life is Like a Musical, by Tim Federle. And I'm in the middle of Michelle Obama's Becoming right now.

  2. I LOVE memoirs! They always stick with me a lot longer than fiction books. I read a lot of memoirs from people with rough childhoods as it makes me feel better to know that there is ALWAYS time to turn your life around and "be" something. I definitely need to look out for The Glass Castle!

  3. I haven't heard of any of these! I definitely need to add them to my list!

  4. I'm so shocked I've actually never heard of any of these! Definitely adding to my already long TBR list! Thanks for sharing :)