Category Archives: Memoir

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

Acedia and Me

Acedia (more often spelled accidie) is a spiritual state that’s a bit difficult to define. It shares some topography with depression and despair, but it can’t be cured with medication. It has been conflated with the sin of sloth, but … Continue reading

Posted in Memoir, Nonfiction, Religion | 8 Comments

Waiting for My Cats to Die

At age 42, Stacy Horn had a mid-life crisis. Single but feeling ready to settle down, she remained “as far from marriage or anything like it as I was at sixteen.” She lived alone with two cats, both of whom … Continue reading

Posted in Memoir, Nonfiction | 18 Comments

A Time to Keep Silence

Last year, one of the best books I read was Patrick Leigh Fermor’s A Time of Gifts: his account of his 1933 journey, on foot, at the age of 19, from Rotterdam to Hungary. Fermor’s humor, his humility, his lively … Continue reading

Posted in Memoir, Nonfiction, Religion, Travel/ Exploration | 13 Comments