Ditch the fiction and give these real-life memoirs a try
A Stolen Life: A Memoir Jaycee Dugard When 11-year-old Californian schoolgirl Jaycee Dugard disappeared from a bus stop near her home in 1991, her family feared the worst; despite extensive police searches, they’d mostly given up hope of ever finding her alive. Miraculously, in August 2009, the story had a somewhat happy ending, as Jaycee was found at the age of 29, after being held captive for 18 years by sinister couple Phillip and Nancy Garrido. Three years on, she is starting to come to terms with her ordeal and has written this touching memoir. The details of her capture are overwhelming at times and you feel her pain as she relives her tragic memories. It’s candidly written and quite the tearjerker: a definite must-read.
Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl Sandra Beasley For Sandra Beasley, cupcakes are deadly and peanut butter sandwiches mean a trip to ER. The author grew up in fear of things that most children crave, suffering from more than 20 different allergies. This witty, anecdotal memoir gives readers a fascinating insight into the world of food intolerances, with stories of Beasley’s own life combined with medical facts about the 12 million people living with allergies today.
I’m Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59 Douglas Edwards Ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes at the world’s biggest search engine? I’m Feeling Lucky offers a revealing peek into the corporate world of Google, as author Douglas Edwards, the organisation’s first director of marketing, lifts the curtain behind the colourful logo. He takes readers on a journey from the early days, when Google was just a dream, to the company that is now dictionary-definable. If you liked The Social Network, you’ll love this.
Dying To Do Letterman Steve Mazan You may want to grab some tissues for this one. This touching but funny memoir is written by stand-up comic Mazan, who has been diagnosed with an incurable form of liver cancer. Until now, his mantra had been ‘some day’, but what if that never comes? He decides to try to fulfil his childhood dream of performing on hit US talk show The Late Show with David Letterman, even if it kills him. It’s an inspiring read and will make you think twice about putting your dreams on hold.
The Happiness Project Gretchen Rubin Ramadan should be a time of self-reflection, and what better way to spend it than be reading The Happiness Project? Author Gretchen Rubin has it all – a perfect husband, two great kids and a fantastic career – but feels she could be happier. The book documents a year in her life as she attempts to test ancient philosophy, scientific studies and popular culture to increase her happiness. This infectious read is bound to make you feel her joy – the perfect way to spend the summer.