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If smart, funny, poignant and engaging writing is your thing then here are six memoirs you will love. What they all have in common are women who aren’t afraid to be themselves, even if they haven’t always known exactly who that is.
Ctrl Alt Delete: How I Grew Up OnLine by Emma Gannon
I don’t remember exactly when I first came across Emma Gannon’s blog, Girl Lost In The City but I know I spent ages reading back through every post.
When she announced she was writing a book about her experience of growing up online I pre-ordered it as soon I could.
I read it in one sitting. From discovering chat rooms in her early teens, to thoughts on internet porn, being a social media addict and the role the internet plays in her working life Ctrl Alt Delete is smart, funny and accessible. A must read for social media lovers!
Girl on the Net: How A Bad Girl Fell In Love by Girl on the Net
When you think of Girl on the Net you think of NSFW often kinky sex stories with a side of feminism, right? These all feature in How a bad girl fell in love, but the book is also about being in a relationship and figuring out how to make your sexual desires work with each other.
What I wasn’t expecting, but will be eternally grateful for, is how “Sarah” opens up about the all encompassing ways anxiety affects her life.
Fat Chance: My Life In Ups, Downs And Crisp Sandwiches by Louise McSharry
I read Fat Chance in one sitting and haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since.
Covering everything from growing up with a mother who was an alcoholic to not being the “cool” one at school to figuring out what she wanted to do career wise to being diagnosed with and treated for cancer to getting married and body positivity; Fat Chance by Louise McSharry is an emotional read. I laughed, I cringed and I cried. All in the best possible way!
Sex Object by Jessica Valenti
Co-founder and former Executive Director of Feministing, Jessica Valenti is currently a columnist for the Guardian US where she also hosts a podcast called What Would a Feminist Do? I’m a fan of Valenti’s work, but knew very little about her personal life so I went into Sex Object unsure what to expect.
What I got was a frank and oftentimes funny memoir about street harassment by men simply for being a woman (something that starts when Valenti, like most, is still a girl), abortion, addiction, anxiety, motherhood, online harassment, and imposter syndrome.
Sex Object left me angry at the fact that we, as women, are still objectified as we go about our daily lives. But it also left me hopeful about the future of the feminist movement as we work to end rape culture. And that’s the biggest compliment I can give it.
Shrill: Notes From A Loud Woman by Lindy West
Dealing with rape jokes and rape culture, abortion, online harassment and meeting the troll who set up a Twitter account using her dead father’s name, finding her voice and learning to appreciate her body the way it is Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman by Lindy West is a smart, funny and frank memoir about what it’s like to be an outspoken fat woman in a world that, so often, tells women to sit down and shut up.
Becoming: Sex, Second Chances & Figuring Out Who The Hell I Am by Laura Jane Williams
After being dumped by her childhood sweetheart, the man she thought she was going to marry, Laura Jane Williams turns to excess in order to deal with heartache. Drink? Check. One night stands? Check. Having a good time is nothing to be ashamed of. But what happens when you are no longer having a good time? What happens when you realise that you haven’t really dealt with the fact your ex-boyfriend is marrying your friend? What happens when you realise that you don’t really like who you’ve become?
These questions are at the heart of Becoming: Sex, Second Chances and Figuring Out Who The Hell I Am. Laura decides to take a vow of celibacy, one year without sex or dating. A year where she can focus on processing the emotions she’d previously been fighting against, however messy those emotions may become.
Laura’s writing is raw, honest and often times heartbreaking. Her ebook The Book of Brave had a profound effect on me, so I was looking forward to reading Becoming. I wasn’t disappointed. Becoming is poignant, thought-provoking, funny, heartbreaking and above all an exploration of the work that’s sometimes involved in truly liking yourself.