She's got a mouth on her!
In honor of Women’s history month, here is a list of great memoirs by women. Everyone has a story, and reading the memoirs of remarkable, interesting women is a great way to get inspired this March. Here are a few great choices to get you started, from comedic essays to financial memoir.
Bad with Money, by Gaby Dunn
Bad with Money: The Imperfect Art of Getting Your Financial Sh*t Together is the full title of Gaby Dunn’s financial memoir, a rumination on our financial system and her past failures within it. Dunn is a comedic writer and internet personality, and financial stability has been a stranger to her until pretty recently. As her career took off, she started a podcast on which this book is based, which explored money and how it shapes our lives. Dunn comes from a dubious financial background, and she writes candidly about her parents’ poor choices and the consequences of their actions for her and her siblings. She also owns up to the monetary decisions she made when she was a young adult, which led to considerable debt and financial strain in her late twenties. Dunn talks about how she has tried to dig herself out of the hole created by her ignorance and carelessness, while trying to learn to be smarter about money. This book is fun for all readers, no matter how you are with money.
Why Not Me? By Mindy Kaling
In her second book, Mindy Kaling displays the same wit and snark as in her debut, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? And Other Concerns. Kaling talks about Hollywood beauty standards, female friendships and her relationship with her ex-boyfriend-slash-best friend, writer and comedian B.J. Novak. This memoir is just as funny as the first, and while not a true sequel, it plays off a lot of Kaling’s previous writing. Mindy writes about the struggles of being a brown woman on TV, and being conscious of her size in a business that equates being thin to being beautiful. Why Not Me? is relatable to anyone who has ever been passed over for something they wanted, and wondered why. Not only can you check out a copy, but this book is available as an audiobook read by the author.
We are never meeting in real life, by Samantha Irby
Samantha Irby is a suburban Michigan dweller, writer and proprietor of the popular blog “Bitches Gotta Eat.” Her book of essays, a follow-up to her debut Meaty is a tour of her life’s many tragedies with an unflinching gaze -- from her transient and abusive childhood to an adulthood riddled with more health concerns than the average septuagenarian. While Irby’s life is full of circumstances that would normally bring one to tears, she writes so matter-of-factly that it’s impossible to pity her. Irby’s writing isn’t to engender pity, but it does tickle the part of your brain that feels awe. Irby doesn’t paint herself as a saint, either. She writes about herself, her parents, and previous lovers with the same honesty and assured tone, and it rings true. Even if you can’t identify with Irby, her writing feels familiar, like reading letters from a close friend. It’s well worth picking up.
Yes, Please, by Amy Poehler
Wildly popular when it came out a few years ago, this memoir by actress and comedian Amy Poehler is always worth checking out again, especially if you have not heard the audiobook, which is read by Poehler and a few special guests. Poehler writes with vulnerability and grace about personal topics -- her young adulthood, career, children and divorce. She also talks about being funny, her relationship with fellow writer and sometime-co-star Tina Fey and her early years in comedy. Be advised that this book does contain frank language and is probably not for younger readers.
Hyerbole and a Half, by Allie Brosh
Hyperbole and a half: unfortunate situations, flawed coping mechanisms, mayhem, and other things that happened is a book by internet darling Allie Brosh, known primarily for her blog of the same name. Brosh is known for her hilarious comic strips about her dogs, anxiety and childhood antics. In her book, she covers a lot of ground (seriously, it’s long) from her personal identity to the ways fear and shame have motivated her. Brosh writes frankly while injecting humor into even the darkest of anecdotes, and manages to make herself both relatable and aspirational, a difficult feat. You won’t get through this one without a laugh, guaranteed.