What You Can Learn From Reading Memoirs

August 31st is We Love Memoirs Day (WLM Day)—a day to celebrate all of the resilient authors who preserved their life experiences by writing them down. WLM Day started with a Facebook group established by two memoir authors, Alan Parks and Victoria Twead, who wished to bring together memoir authors and readers alike. The memoir genre has been increasing in popularity over the last decade and we invite you to celebrate WLM Day by selecting a memoir as your next read.  

What is a memoir?

A memoir is a work of non-fiction written from the perspective of the author and is an account of their life experiences based on their own memories. Unlike autobiographies, which usually come from celebrities or politicians and attempt to provide chronological facts about a person’s life, memoirs can be written by anyone with a story to tell. Memoirs are retellings of the author’s memories and they highlight accounts from people whose voices might have otherwise been unheard.

What are the benefits of reading memoirs?

Memoirs have endless educational value. Here are just a few to consider:

  • Memoirs allow us to see perspective outside of our own and teach us empathy and compassion. This helps to broaden our general knowledge of the world, different cultures and human experiences.
  • Memoirs are inspiring and empowering. They show us that despite all odds human beings are resilient and have the ability to persevere.
  • Memoirs can help you grow as a person. While reading memoirs, we often come across experiences that parallel with our own and draw resemblance from the author’s story. Therefore, the author’s ability to overcome life’s challenges and grow stronger can instruct us to do the same. Maybe after reading a powerful memoir, you will be inspired to write your own. 
  • Memoirs have historical value. They provide insight into world events from an individual perspective and allow us to understand what a person felt in a given time period.

When you are looking for your next read, why not select a memoir? After all, you can’t truly understand someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes. Here are some suggestions to get your started: 

We Love Memoirs

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Memoirs for Children

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Comment your favourite memoirs below.