Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Wrapping Up Memoir Week

Whew! I did it! I'm pretty proud that I was able to post a review of a memoir every day last week. I don't think I'd ever posted so many days in a row before, and frankly I doubt I will again! Several reasons come to mind. First, I really enjoyed all the books I featured last week and I found it difficult coming up with unique adjectives to use for each one. In addition, some of the books had a similar tone or story. The thing I regret the most about last week, is that I don't think I was able to adequately express how very much I enjoyed Harry Bernstein's The Dream. I really just couldn't think of anything else to write at that point, and that is why I am a reader and not a writer.

I was curious to see what the reactions would be last week to the books I featured. I was not surprised that Can Any Mother Help Me? seemed to be the 'most popular' book, or at least the one that received the biggest response. The thing that made me wonder in the first place is that most of the books I featured were not happy books, instead most had some element of sadness or neglect. This is something that I think is common in memoirs. It just seems like most memoirs I read are, well, sad. When someone has a happy and healthy life, it doesn't seem as though they're necessarily driven to write about it. And frankly, it might not be that interesting to read, either.

I think in general as a reader, I tend to choose a greater percentage of books that aren't considered 'happy books'. I'm not sure why I feel compelled to read about negativity in the world, but I suppose I always have. I guess I could say that what I am reading about is life, and life doesn't always bring good things to people.

Thank you for supporting me during Memoir Week - it was fun! But now we will return to regularly scheduled programming.


So, somehow I have wound up with 21 ears of corn. Any suggestions on what I could do with it in the next couple of days? I really want to try not to waste it.


Ti said...

I've been a bit behind on all my blog reading but I was looking forward to all of these reviews so I plan to go back and take a look later this week. What a great idea but I realize an enormous amount of work went into them. Posting daily is tough!

Megan said...

I'm with you. I'm definitely not generally a reader of "happy" books. I need some strife and struggle and angst to really draw me in. Somehow "sad" books just seem to touch me deeper, and I like that in a book.

I'd be hard pressed to post every day of the week, even just silly little things let alone reviews. Congrats on pulling it off - I much enjoyed all the reviews and my wish list is definitely the longer for it! =)

bermudaonion said...

I love memoirs, even the negative ones. I think the negative ones make us feel better about our lives.

Staci said...

I really enjoy reading memoirs, even the sad ones because somewhere on their journey they've come through the bad and are able to experience a better life.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

Congrats...I go on streaks when I only want to read one type of book. I do enjoy memoirs and have a few lined up.

Bree said...

Continuation of previous comments - corn is truly the only veggie I like. 21 ears of corn - at my house, we'd have a Corn dinner. Meaning - once a summer we only cook corn on the cob for dinner and PIG out.

Congrats on the daily posting. That's a lot of hard work!

This Ro(a)mantic Life said...

Maybe we're drawn to books that aren't considered "happy" because the author survived whatever negative events inspired the memoir -- and the hope inherent to that experience means something to us?

Enjoying your blog -- props over at my place for you.

Unknown said...

I have been reading your blog for awhile (I love to cook and read as well so you combine two of my favorite things!). I really appreciated your reviewing of the memoirs (many blogs focus on fiction only). I usually read a nonfiction book and a fiction book at the same time and I especially love memoirs and well written biographys.
As for the corn-- as an Iowa farm girl you can always cut it off before or after boiling and freeze it. It is than available for a easy side dish or to add to soups or other dishes (corn chowder is great). It tastes much better than frozen corn you buy and is a great treat in the winter!

Tara said...

Ti, I'm really behind on reading, too! I thought it would be tough, but I didn't expect to be so 'burned out' by Friday.

Megan, that's it exactly, I want to be moved by what I read, and more emotional books tend to do that.

Bermudaonion, I think I'm just glad I didn't grow up around the turn of the century in the slums...there didn't seem to be much joy in some of those lives.

Staci, I agree!

Diane, thanks, I've definitely had a one-track-mind with my reading lately.

Bree, I'm a big fan of corn too! I don't think the 3 of use could handle 21 ears though...I like your idea though!

Contemporary Troubadour, that's a really good point. Thanks for stopping by!

Heidi, Hi! Thanks for saying hello! I also like to read a combo of fiction and nf at the same time. My husband is from Iowa! It sounds like the best thing to do is blanch the corn before freezing? I may be doing that Friday if I have any left, and I'm considering corn chowder as well.

Jenny said...

Corn pudding. Corn muffins. Spoon bread.

I've read several memoirs recently that were actually pretty cheerful. Hotel Bemelmans, about Ludwig Bemelmans's experiences working at the Ritz Carlton, is a good example. But I agree that memoirs often tend to be sad.

Iliana said...

I've gotten a bit behind on my blog reading too but I think I finally caught up on all the books you featured and you did great Tara!

I'm not a big fan of memoirs probably because it seems that so many of them are sad. It's not that I want everything to be rainbows & unicorns but it is hard for me to read about such emotional times when I know they are real. But you've definitely intrigued me with some of the books!

Tara said...

Jenny, Yum. Don't think I've ever had spoon bread! That does sound like a fun memoir. The ones that I can think of that are not sad seem to involve travel or food.

Iliana, thanks! I know what you mean. I'm trying to figure out why I like sad books so much. Maybe I am inspired by the spirit of the people, I'm not sure.