Sunday, November 30, 2008

Bookworms Carnival: MEMOIRS

Welcome to the 18th edition of the Bookworms Carnival which features many different types of memoirs. Thanks so much to all of you who sent in submissions. I really enjoyed reading through all of the interesting opinions and reviews about memoirs and I’ve got quite a few additions to my reading wish list!


*edit: I would like to dedicate this edition of the Booksworms Carnival to the memory of the founder and organizer of the Bookworms Carnival, Dewey of The Hidden Side of the Leaf, who passed away last week. Dewey was an incredibly active and dedicated member of the blogging community and her presence will surely be missed by all. My condolences go out to her family - they are in my thoughts and prayers.


To start us off, Ali has written a general post about memoirs that discusses the increasing popularity of the memoir and what makes a memoir successful

Nigel also has a general post about memoirs, which contemplates the controversies over Memoir Hoaxes caused by Publishers Favouring ‘Fact’ over Fiction


Sarah reviews The Sky Isn't Visible From Here by Felicia Sullivan, which tells the story of a hard upbringing with a mother who was an unstable and selfish drug-addict, alternating between the author’s childhood and adult years

Carrie reviews The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, the heartbreaking story of how the author grew up in a dysfunctional family and poverty and yet never resented them for any of her hardships and was determined to make something of herself

Adventures in Reading reviews The Sum of Our Days by Isabel Allende, is uniquely written as if it were a letter to her dead daughter Paula and centers on the theme of family with hints of her political and metaphysical beliefs

Dawn reviews Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction by David Sheff, an account of the other’s response to his son’s addiction to methamphetamines and the challenges and hopes that accompany the loved one of a drug addict

Ana reviews Elegy for Iris by John Bayley, a story of the author’s experience with his wife’s battle with Alzheimer’s as well as their lifetimes together

Kathy reviews The Longest Trip Home by John Grogan, in which the author discusses his upbringing in a wonderful family and his coming of age stories

Within this topic there are the popular memoirs (two reviews for the price of one ; )

Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs - The story follows the childhood of Augusten Burroughs, whose mother gives him away to be raised by her psychiatrist and his crazy dysfunctional family

Lightheaded’s review of Running with Scissors
Michele’s review of Running with Scissors

An Exact Replica of A Figment of My Imagination by Elizabeth McCracken - Elizabeth McCracken’s memoir talks of the loss of her child in her ninth month of pregnancy and how she dealt with her grief

Wendy’s review of An Exact Replica of A Figment of My Imagination
Shana’s review of An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination

Hurry Down Sunshine by Michael Greenberg - Michael Greenberg shares the events of his teenage daughter’s psychotic breakdown due to bipolar disorder, which typically only arises in early adulthood

Nicole’s review of Hurry Down Sunshine
Dawn’s review of Hurry Down Sunshine


Lightheaded reviews
A Hundred and One Days: A Baghdad Journal by Asne Seierstad, in which the author, a journalist, tells the story of her stay in Iraq before the war as well as the heartfelt stories of the Iraqi people

Lightheaded also has a review of
Dispatches from the Edge by Anderson Cooper, which centers around the author’s pain of losing his father at a young age combined with his personal and professional experiences of war and natural disasters that he has encountered

Another review by Lightheaded, Hello to All That: A Memoir of War, Zoloft and Peace by John Falk, about the war in Bosnia but also about the author’s personal war against himself and his depression

Shana reviews
Monique and the Mango Rains by Kris Holloway, about the years the author stayed in Mali, West Africa volunteering for the Peace Corps and the people and country that has a profound effect upon her

Shana also has a review of
In the Land of Invisible Women by Qanta A. Ahmed, MD, who spent two years working as an ICU doctor in Saudi Arabia and offers an insider’s account of the restrictive society and the challenges faced

Wendy reviews
Laughing Without An Accent by Firoozeh Dumas, which is a funny and insightful memoir about an Iranian being raised in America

Ali reviews
My Father's Paradise by Ariel Sabar, a story chronicling a father’s journey traveled from Zakho to Jerusalem and the related history behind it

Gautami reviews
The Dark Child by Camara Laye, a memoir that reads like a novel and focuses on the author’s life in French Guinea, with its rituals and traditions, while being faced with the dilemma of wanting to achieve academic success far away from home


Gautami reviews
Booth's Sister by Jane Singer, a book about Asia Booth Clark, the sister of Abraham Lincoln’s assassinator John Wilkes Booth, and the shameful legacy she was forced to carry with her

Gautami also reviews
Once Upon a Time When We Were Coloured
by Clifton L. Taulbert, about the author’s life in Mississippi, the community and family and the difficulty of segregation between Black and White people

Kathy reviews
See You in a Hundred Years: Four Seasons in Forgotten America by Logan Ward, the story of Logan and Heather Ward who felt like they didn’t have time for anything anymore and consequently decided on a year-long experiment where they would live like Americans did in the year 1900, without electricity, cars, or any other modern conveniences

Rebecca reviews
Why Women Should Rule the World by Dee Dee Myers, which is more than a memoir because it is also the examination of the state of women in general and in positions of leadership worldwide


Dawn reviews
Admit One: A Journey Into Film by Emmett James, which tells the story of the events in the author’s life with a specific film as a metaphor in each chapters, such as Star Wars, The Wizard of Oz and E.T.

Bluzica features an interest excerpt from
My Autobiography by Charlie Chaplin


Jennifer reviews
Same Kind of Different As Me by Ron Hall, Denver Moore and Lynn Vincent, an unusual autobiography of the lives of a wealthy art dealer and an angry homeless man and the unlikely woman whose love of God brought them together


Teddy reviews Tabasco the Saucy Raccoon by Lyn Hancock, an adorable story of a raccoon raised by the author nearly 30 years ago, intended for ages 9-12, but suitable for anyone young at heart


Alyce reviews
Persepolis 2 by Marjane Satrapi, a sequel about main character, Marjane’s escape to Vienna from the war in Iraq and the consequences of her eventual return to her homeland

Dewey talks about Maus and Maus II by Art Spiegelman, in which the author interviews his father about his experiences during the Holocaust

Dawn reviews
When Wanderers Cease to Roam by Vivian Swift, a beautifully written and illustrated book following the author’s travels around the world and then her appreciation for her home and staying in one place

Well that concludes this edition of the Bookworms Carnival. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about all these interesting and different personal stories!!

The next Bookworms Carnival editions:

Edition 19 hosted by:
Jackie at Literary Escapism
Deadline for submission: December 12, 2008
Theme: historical fiction
To submit a post, email: myjaxon at gmail dot com

Edition 20 hosted by:
Deadline for submission: December 26, 2008
Theme: Guilty Pleasures
To submit a post, email: woodbear97 at yahoo dot com


Anonymous said...

I'm glad you had such a good response. I can't wait to read through all of the reviews.

Anonymous said...

What a great collection of memoirs. I'm going to set aside some time tomorrow to read thru all the posts (and to add to my wish list, no doubt!).

Thanks for organizing this, Sheri.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Great carnival! Thanks for including me :). You're in Canada? I see you post reviews on and Chapters :) - I'm in Canada too! Nice to 'meet' another Canadian book blogger.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for hosting!

Lightheaded said...

Such a lovely list of memoirs here, some I don't even know about! Then again I only pick up memoirs on a whim. For sure I'd be reading more and more of this genre.

Thank you very much for linking my submissions. Will be posting about the carnival in a bit.

Anonymous said...

Great post! I am going to check all...


Ali said...

Thanks for hosting this carnival--there are sure a lot of interesting books included here!

Ana S. said...

Thank you for hosting, Sheri! I look forward to reading all the reviews.

Shana said...

Sheri, you have done an absolutely wonderful job with this carnival!

Thanks for all of your hard work - it really shows through in the excellence of this post!!!


Ros Morris said...

Hi there,

How interesting your site is! I don't know whether you have been contacted by my publishers, but wondered whether you would be interested in my book 'DON'T WAIT FOR ME'. It's the biography of my son who is Bipolar and how it's been for the family to have to deal with this - as well as music, repatriation and murder! You can check it out on Amazon, etc. Also see my blog at

All the best,
Ros Morris

Marina said...

I need to get on the ball with these carnivals... was so sad to read that Dewey has passed. I hope someone will be able to take up the coordination flag!

So many of these look great, I'll be mining this list for my next Friday Finds post (y'all make it so easy)

Teddy Rose said...

You've done a wonderful job. I'm sure that Dewey would be proud!

Kathleen said...

Great carnival. I love memoirs and added to my TBR list (not that it isn't long enough of course) The Memoir edition being in memory of Dewey couldn't be more fitting.