I jump around between genres, both in what I read and in my writing styles, depending on my mood. I’ve been in a memoir-reading kind of mood lately. Perhaps this is because I’m in a “who am I really” kind of state in my life. At some point, I’d love to try my hand at writing a memoir. But what constitutes a life interesting enough to be worthy of people wanting to read about it? Don’t get me wrong, I love my life–although there are some days that are a challenge–but it all seems so “normal”, even boring sometimes, that I wonder what would make people want to read about it.
We want to read stories about a woman whose husband leaves her (Happens Every Day by Isabel Gillies). Or another who ate a lot of spaghetti and found deep spiritualness (Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert). Or the hilarious story of cooking dangerously (Julie and Julia by Julie Powell. While these true life story lines don’t necessarily seem like anything extraordinary, two of them have already been made into movies.
I can think of several more movies off the top of my head that have been taken from memoirs. I just can’t picture my life as that intriguing. (Although I’d like to think Jennifer Aniston would make a great me.)
So, what makes a good memoir? Is there a life lesson to be learned? Is it that we can all relate to something going on in the author’s life? Is it the “normalness” that makes it appealing? Do we just like having a glimpse into someone else’s life that we might not ordinarily have? Or is it something else?
What about you? Do you enjoy reading memoirs? Why?