Fashion Magazine

Memoirs I Read This Year

By Tanvi Rastogi @tanviidotcom
What I Read Memoirs
Over the years I have come to really love a good memoir. Memoir is the gritty stuff, the little shards that may not fit together perfectly because life doesn’t, either. Memoir is, in my experience, the best way to immerse yourself in a new perspective that really existed, or exists, in the same world we all inhabit. I try and mix up my fiction and non-fiction as much as possible, depending on what is available at my local library. Below are the memoirs I have enjoyed reading this year so far: 

Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood

by Trevor Noah ‘We tell people to follow their dreams, but you can only dream of what you can imagine, and, depending on where you come from, your imagination can be quite limited.’
This is one of the most touching love letters to a mother I have ever read. Although this is presented as a collection of coming-of-age stories in a time where his existence was literally a crime, Trevor's words radiate pure and unconditional love for his mother.
Noah has written a profound account about his humble beginnings, the pervasive presence of violence in his home and his country at large, and his own racial identity crisis, the result of having been born in a place where the frequent reaction to a person of mixed race was astonishment, contempt or both.
The fact that Noah was able to overcome such a difficult upbringing it almost miraculous and reason enough to read his story. But I think his views on poverty, racism, domestic violence are also worth listening to, mainly because he has the emotional scars to prove his credentials as a reliable witness.
This is a very moving memoir that will make you laugh and cry, but I trust that it will also leave you with a good dose of optimism.

Open Book

by Jessica Simpson I was so pleasantly surprised by Open Book! I picked this up on a whim after hearing good things, and I’m so glad I did!
I’m surprised to say this is truly one of the best celebrity memoirs I’ve ever read. Jessica has been journaling since she was 15 years old and gives very depth details about her life. She spares nothing- we follow along as she goes from choir singer to failed 'mouseketeer' to owner of a billion dollar clothing-line and wife and mother. She really doesn’t hold anything back, but it wasn’t salacious and she didn’t try and make herself out to be perfect. She opens up about her body image issues, relationships, problems with her family, and drinking issues. All I can say is that's an apt title for her memoir. Highly recommend.

Love, Loss, and What We Ate: A Memoir

by Padma Lakshmi For someone who always seemed to convey a serene and low-key spirit—at least while on TV—Padma has certainly led a life of high drama. From her struggle to fit in and assimilate as a young immigrant from India to her tumultuous relationship and marriage with Salman Rushdie, and everything that happened afterwards, her life has definitely been a roller coaster ride.
But I also have to add that I’ve read many celebrity memoirs and it never fails to surprise me how fast they lose touch with reality and forget what it's like to be a person in the real workaday world. For example, as she is contemplating a divorce from Salman Rushdie she says, “It was to confront the possibility that when we parted ways, I might disappear back into the relative obscurity from which I came.” To further illustrate my point, as she struggles with her after-baby weight, she writes, “Wondering what would happen to my career if I couldn’t lose the baby weight made me force myself to accept a reality I had not often considered. My looks were an asset I had consciously or unconsciously benefited from all my life.” Really? How could you not always know that?
Nonetheless, despite a wee bit of over overwriting and meandering prose, this was a fairly well done and intimate memoir of Padma. I enjoyed the reference to food sprinkled throughout the book. Overall, an easy read, with some yummy recipes thrown in, and a lot of nostalgic memories of people and places. Have you read these? Would you like to recommend me any that you have enjoyed? 
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