Saturday, August 30, 2014


Who knew? It was a surprise to learn that memoir writing classes are all the rage. The Monrovia Public Library not only has the how-to book Changing Memories into Memoirs by Fanny-Maude Evans to get you started, but also has some terrifically touching memoirs where women take their worst experiences and look at them in the most amusing ways.

Anyone who has been a caregiver to an older parent might think that a book about the subject should be avoided, but Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant will be the funniest book that you read this year. Between nodding in agreement, laughing aloud and being embarrassed that author Roz Chast, best known as a New Yorker cartoonist, has captured your secret feelings, you will simply love the graphic memoir that mixes hilarious drawings with astute and zany observations. 

Pasadena author Sandra Tsing Loh, who provides commentary on NPR, has written a memoir for the “sandwich generation.” In The Madwoman in the Volvo: My Year of Raging Hormones confronts it all: menopause, being a mother of teenage children, a marriage on the rocks and taking care of her 91-year-old father. Loh’s dark humor and honesty will light the way for other women in the midst of midlife crises. 

The talented and wealthy daughter of the famous Debbie Reynolds should have a pretty good life, but screenwriter, humorist and actress (Princess Leia in Star Wars) Carrie Fisher proves just the opposite in Wishful Drinking. Sharing her family tree (Carrie’s dad married Elizabeth Taylor and Carrie married Paul Simon) and her own history of mental illness and substance abuse, the author is a true wit whose anecdotes will keep you in stitches.

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