Time for the next category in the  RWC 2017 Reading Challenge.

Category #17: A memoir or biography

September 22 is “Dear Diary Day” according to random internet sources. The “holiday” encourages journaling as a way to decrease stress and increase creativity.

To honor those who faithfully keep track of their lives and turn them into books, we’re reading memoirs or biographies. I remember first discovering biographies in elementary school and checking them out of the library one after another until I exhausted their supply. Though I read them less frequently now, I’m always reminded how interesting it is to sneak a view into someone else’s life.

Here are some I’ve read (and a few I have planned):

The Night of the Gun (David Carr)

I first “met” David Carr in a documentary, “Page One: Inside The New York Times.” Carr was an amazing and respected journalist there, but he had many bumps over the years. To track down details of his past as a crack-addict, he approached his life like a story he was researching for work. Legal and medical records, video interviews, and several years went into piecing together his journey through addiction, cancer, and life as a single parent.

Carr passed away in 2015 but his gripping bio is a testament to both his life and his work.

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir (Jenny Lawson)

If you like your memoirs a little less heavy than David Carr’s, check out this book (or Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things) by Jenny Lawson. She’s well-known for wackiness on her blog, The Bloggess, and much of her book material is similarly hilarious. She shares about her off-kilter family as well as depression, anxiety, and some of her other medical struggles.

Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened (Allie Brosh)

Allie has a knack for both words and (primitive) graphics. Her stories about childhood, life, and both anxiety and depression will leave you nodding in agreement, rolling with laughter, and crying tears of sadness.


I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up For Education and Was Shot by the Taliban (Malala Yousafzai)

We’ve all heard about Malala, whether it was when she originally made the news at 15 for standing up to the Taliban on her way home from school or when she won the Nobel Peace Prize. I’ve ordered this book to learn more about her story, her life, and how to change the world.

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl (Anne Frank)

I read this book many years ago in school (or at least parts of it) but I recently picked up a copy while visiting her family’s home in the attic in Amsterdam. After seeing the actual space where she lived, reading her diary now will feel more real. I’ll be able to picture the window she peeked through and imagine the scene as the family was raided by the Gestapo.

What will you read to complete this category? Leave a comment below with your thoughts about these or any I may have missed.

If you have suggestions for books that fit in future categories, let me know. I’ll include your name (and a link, if you like) when I share those suggestions.