Top Books of 2020: Memoirs

This is the first of many ‘Best of’ posts to expect over the next few weeks, moving into the new year. I’m hoping I’ll squeeze in a few more 2020 movies before the end of the year because my ‘Top Movies’ list this year is severely lacking.

But first! Let’s talk about some memoirs!

I thought I would kick off with one of my ‘Top Books’ list this week as the end of the year is looming. Since I know I won’t be reading any more memoirs for the rest of the year, I thought this would be a lovely place to start. I love listening to memoirs audiobooks because more often than not, they are read by the author.

I’m the worst and can’t choose a favorite so these will be in no particular order.

Notes on a Silencing by Lacy Crawford:

This book is important and timely and should be widely read. What the author went through during her time at boarding school was unconscionable and I can’t imagine the internal struggles she went through. When making this this book must have been such a therapeutic experience for her.

Being Lolita by Alisson Wood

In the same vein as Notes on a Silencing, Wood’s loneliness is taken advantage of when she becomes close with her English teacher. So much of their relationship is centered on the romanticization of Nabokov’s and it completely skewers Wood’s view on love and relationships, something she doesn’t realize until she reflects back later in life. Absolutely breathtaking. Such a hard, but incredible read. Similar to the fictional debut from this year My Dark Vanessa, but I think it’s far superior.

A Very Punchable Face by Colin Jost

I’m not the biggest fan of Colin Jost on Weekend Update, probably because Seth Meyers is the greatest. However, this book changed my mind. I audibly laughed a lot during this book and really loved reading about his life and family on Staten Island. My favorite part was when he rattled off all the SNL sketches he helped write. The list was filled with so many old favorites.

All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson

This was just as beautiful as the cover—plain and simple. Through essays, this young adult memoir follows Johnson through his childhood and adolescence as he discovers who he is as a queer black man. I loved reading about his big family especially his fondness for his grandmother. Such an important read for not only LGBTQ+ people of color, but also allies who want, and need, to learn more. And I mean, look at that cover!

Honorable Mentions: Non-2020 Releases

Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah

Only Trevor Noah can take a terrifying experiences like being shoved out of a car by his mother to save his life, and make it hilarious.

Where Am I Now? by Mara Wilson

Like many millennials, I grew up with Mara Wilson. Her stories of growing up as a reluctant child star, the death of her mother at such a young age, and her time out of the spotlight were really inspiring. Highly recommend.

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