Soon the weather will turn cold, and we can all finally justify staying inside and reading mounds of books. Here’s a mound to get you started: the most gripping, funniest and best memoirs of 2019 so far—and some essays, too.
The Unwinding of the Miracle by Julie Yip-Williams
After a Stage IV cancer diagnosis, Yip-Williams plans her death carefully,with love, humor, insight and wisdom.
Black Is the Body by Emily Bernard
These 12 personal essays on blackness are brimming with hope and fury, joy and pain.
The Collected Schizophrenias by Esmé Weijun Wang
Wang delivers stunning insights into the challenges of living with schizoaffective disorder.
Sounds Like Titanic by Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman
Hindman spent nearly four years performing as a violinist across America, without ever making a sound.
Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb
What happens when a psychotherapist’s life falls apart? She finds her own therapist.
The Light Years by Chris Rush
Rush’s detailed account of his turbulent, drug-addled adolescence may cause some flashbacks.
Women’s Work by Megan K. Stack
As a war correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, Stack was unprepared to trade in that work for the work of motherhood.
Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender Story by Jacob Tobia
In their fabulous, fierce voice, Tobia tells their story of coming out as genderqueer.
The Valedictorian of Being Dead by Heather B. Armstrong
Looking for relief from severe depression, Armstrong took part in an experimental medical treatment in which doctors put her in a coma 10 times.
Late Migrations by Margaret Renkl
These essays create a narrative that depicts not only the migrations of winged creatures but also the lives of Renkl’s family.
Haben: The Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law by Haben Girma
Girma was born deafblind in California, to refugee parents forced to flee war-torn Eritrea.
The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom
Broom revisits the world of her childhood, decimated by Katrina, as she searches for the meaning of home and family.
Into the Planet by Jill Heinerth
Heinerth’s memoir is a thoughtfully structured and adrenaline-filled account of her life as a cave diver.