Category Archives: Memoir

Home Cooking (and a little brief introspection)

Shelf Love has been around since 2008, and until this year it was never difficult for me to post whatever I wanted to about what I was reading. Teresa and I have both always taken the view that we do … Continue reading

Posted in Food, Memoir, Nonfiction, Short Stories/Essays | 30 Comments

God’s Hotel: A Doctor, a Hospital, and a Pilgrimage to the Heart of Medicine

For the last couple of years, I’ve been dealing with a handful of minor but annoying health issues—the kinds of things that I can live with as they are now but want to deal with so they don’t get worse. … Continue reading

Posted in Memoir, Nonfiction | 4 Comments

Under My Skin

It took me a few weeks to get through this book, the first volume of Doris Lessing’s autobiography, published in 1994. This wasn’t because the book is particularly long or difficult, nor is it because I didn’t like reading it. … Continue reading

Posted in Memoir, Nonfiction | 14 Comments

Life at Grasmere and Reading Other People’s Diaries

Several years ago, I subscribed to RSS feeds for the diaries of Samuel Pepys and George Orwell. At the time, it seemed like a brilliant idea. The feeds updated on dates recorded in their diaries with the entry for that … Continue reading

Posted in Memoir, Nonfiction, Poetry | 27 Comments

Retreat Reading

I just returned from a weekend on retreat at the monastery of the Society of Saint John the Evangelist in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was a remarkable weekend, filled with time for prayer and reflection—and all the quiet I could want. … Continue reading

Posted in Memoir, Nonfiction, Poetry, Religion | 4 Comments

A Time of Gifts

As a young man, Patrick Leigh Fermor couldn’t quite decide what he wanted to do with his life. He’d left school, peace-time soldiering had proven unsuitable, and his attempt to take lodgings and become a writer was more difficult than … Continue reading

Posted in Memoir, Nonfiction, Travel/ Exploration | 14 Comments

My Place

Sally Morgan begins her autobiography with a memory of visiting her father in the hospital when she was five years old. Post-traumatic stress from his wartime service sent her father to the hospital a lot, and when he was home, … Continue reading

Posted in Memoir, Nonfiction | 4 Comments

Getting My Mojo Back: Re-Reads

The most wonderful thing about having a co-bloggeuse is that I get to keep in touch with Teresa and we can share our thoughts and opinions about books, as we’ve done our entire friendship. The second best thing is that … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction, Memoir, Nonfiction | 19 Comments

Fun Home and Are You My Mother?

In these two graphic memoirs, Alison Bechdel chronicles her ambivalent love for each of her parents. The first, Fun Home, deals with her father, who died, possibly by suicide, when Bechdel was in college, not long after she came out … Continue reading

Posted in Graphic Novels / Comics, Memoir, Nonfiction | 11 Comments

The Guynd: A Scottish Journal

Belinda Rathbone first met John in 1954, when she was too young and he was too old for them to take an interest in each other. But in 1990, she was 39, and he was 54, and they were the … Continue reading

Posted in Memoir, Nonfiction | 6 Comments