I've decided to do the A to Z Blogger Challenge this year and I'm recommending five books all from the same alphabetical genre each day. Except X-ray isn't a genre. So I'm going to cheat and start today's genre with an E, and then I'm going to cheat some more and rename one of the genre's that I somehow missed earlier this month. Memoir starts with an M, but I had M stand for Middle Grade. So today X is for Expository, and we are just going to pretend that Memoirs are all expository writing. So here are five of my favorite memoirs.
Look Me in the Eye by John Elder Robinson - John Elder Robinson is a very interesting guy. Back in the 70s he got super obsessed with both music and electronics and managed to combine those passions by making super powered amps that drove the current sound ordinances and pimping out fire throwing guitars for rock legends like Kiss. John Elder Robinson is also autistic and his memoir talks a lot about his experiences growing up different from most of the normal people around him. He may not have ever fit in, but he did make flame throwing guitars for Kiss, so you can't really call his life a failure.
Bossypants by Tina Fey - I expected this book to be funny, because hello, it was written by Tina Fey. I was pleasantly surprised to find that is was also pinioned. Tina talks a lot about being a woman in a male dominated world and how gender effects the way we view comedy, intelligence, and even politics. This book is funny, but just like Weekend Update on Saturday Night Live often tells more than just jokes, this book is deeper than a blond joke and besides Tina Fey is a brunet.
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini - This book is seriously depressing, especially because it is true. It's about a man who returns to Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban and attempts to reestablish a relationship with his family. The horrors that his family endured during the reign of the Taliban are difficult to read. Still I'm glad Khaled Hosseini shared this story with the world.
Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynmen! by Richard P. Feynman - Richard Feynman was a nobel prize winning physicist, apparently, he was also a really entertaining guy. I first read this book in high school at the same time as I took my first physics class. I've read it again in adulthood, and find Feynman's antics equally entertaining. Feynman was one of those guys that was WAY to smart for his own good, so he did a lot of crazy things to entertain himself. During WW2, when he was working with Einstein and many of the other leading physicist of the day on the manhattan project, he found great entertainment out of outsmarting and harassing the department of justice. He would do things like break into top secret safes and leave little notes to the generals saying things like "Feynman was here". I'm never going to win a nobel prize in physics, but I still appreciate a story about a world class nerd creating world class nerd level mischief.
The Year of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs - Religion is a complicated subject. Many people strive to follow the Bible literally and to live their lives by God's commandments. But nobody follows every rule. Even the most devout pick and chose what commandments they follow as they struggle to turn a 3000 year old text into a guild for modern moral living. A.J. Jacobs decided to take things one step farther, and spend a year following every law in the bible to the letter. The result involved many humorous events, like punishing his toddler son via a swat from a foam fun-noodle in an attempt to spare the rod and spoil the child.
What about you? What's your favorite memoir, or expository tale?