Ever since I was a kid, I’ve had my nose in a book. I remember the summer I turned nine my school had a summer reading challenge and the goal was to read 10 books. I read 78. (Neeeerd.)
And while I read lots of genres, nothing enthralls me like a good memoir.
Summer is coming, the season of languid poolside reading sessions, so I wanted to provide some reading material for my fellow bookworms. More specifically, I wanted to share my favorite memoirs, most of which are either food or travel memoirs. Go figure.
Shark’s Fin and Sichuan Pepper: A Sweet-Sour Memoir of Eating in China
Late Dinner: Discovering the Food of Spain
Mastering the Art of French Eating
Animal Vegetable Miracle
The Sweet Life in Paris
Stir: My Broken Brain and the Meals That Brought Me Home
The Apprentice: My Life in the Kichen (Jacques Pépin’s memoir!)
The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the World of Chinese Food
Tender at the Bone: Growing up at the Table (Ruth Reichl’s memoir!)
It Was Me All Along
Blood Bones and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef
Pretty Good Number One: An American Family Eats Tokyo
Mother Tongue: My Family’s Globe-Trotting Quest to Dream in Mandarin, Laugh in Arabic, and Sing in Spanish
Into Thin Air: My Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster
What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding (sooo funny!)
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
A House in the Sky
A Year in Provence
Notes from a Small Island
In a Sunburned Country
Neither Here Nor There: Travels in Europe
Other Incredible Memoirs:
Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness
Call the Midwife (a three-part series and also a fantastic BBC show available on Netflix!)
The Year of Magical Thinking
Also I recommend almost anything by Bill Bryson, Joan Didion, David Sedaris, or Cheryl Strayed – they’re all incredible memoirists.
On My List!
Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls
At the Crossroads of Should and Must
Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City one Step at a Time
An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace
Braving It: A Father, a Daughter, and an Unforgettable Journey Into the Alaskan Wild
What’s on your summer reading list? Are you a memoir fan or more of a fiction reader?
Fellow bookworms/francophiles – check out this post, too! The 10 Best Books to Read Before Visiting Paris
Ashley is an American travel blogger and freelance writer who moved to Paris at 21, traveled the world for a year and now lives in Denver. She's usually in pursuit of skiing, languages and perfectly ripe cheese. Her writing has been featured in National Geographic, Viator and Jetstar Australia.
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