Memoir Selection and Future Information

Hi, readers!


I really need to create better titles for these blog posts, but considering the files in my documents folder named “untitled”, “untitled2”, and “new untitled thing”, it’s just not going to happen.


Anyway, thank you to those who attended our last meeting. The thriller genre is one with which I am very familiar, and I enjoyed exploring it with you. We were originally planned to read a second thriller since the first was so short, but a couple of you expressed an interest in a lighter read.


We have our next meeting on January 30, and, unless anyone is opposed to it, I think we can read one of our selections fully by then.


While our genre is memoir/biography, I received two types of submissions: lighthearted, short ones and heavier, longer ones. I decided that we can do one of the former now and revisit one of the latter afterword, because both types are absolutely worth reading.


Thank you to those who submitted books; it’s incredibly helpful to have input from you!


Some Important Notes


  • The book submissions form now has a place to say whether you think a book can be read in 2 or 4 weeks. I will put the information with the summary so that everyone can vote accordingly. This does mean that I may need to do some future planning and have books prepared for the next session’s poll, so I encourage you to submit books you’d like to read no matter what genre they are.
  • There is no longer a book submissions Discord channel. Please put all submissions in the Google form! It is much easier for me to keep track this way.
  • Over the next few days, please think about the club and what you would like to see happen its future. I am going to create a survey to get your thoughts and opinions, so this is your chance to tell me what you love and hate.
  • One of our members, Nick, is starting a writing club! You can find the Discord server here.
  • I originally was going to include Hyperbole and a Half in our poll, but it’s extremely short so replaced it with another book. I did accidentally read about half of it, and I highly recommend it. It’s hilarious and relatable.


Book Summaries


A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway


(71,000 words)


Hemingway’s memories of his life as an unknown writer living in Paris in the twenties are deeply personal, warmly affectionate, and full of wit. Looking back not only at his own much younger self, but also at the other writers who shared Paris with him – James Joyce, Wyndham Lewis, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald – he recalls the time when, poor, happy, and writing in cafes, he discovered his vocation. Written during the last years of Hemingway’s life, his memoir is a lively and powerful reflection of his genius that scintillates with the romance of the city.


Yes Please by Amy Poehler


(76,000 words)


In Amy Poehler’s highly anticipated first book, Yes Please, she offers up a big juicy stew of personal stories, funny bits on sex and love and friendship and parenthood and real life advice (some useful, some not so much), like when to be funny and when to be serious. Powered by Amy’s charming and hilarious, biting yet wise voice, Yes Please is a book full of words to live by.


Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson


(88,000 words)


In Furiously Happy, a humor memoir tinged with just enough tragedy and pathos to make it worthwhile, Jenny Lawson examines her own experience with severe depression and a host of other conditions, and explains how it has led her to live life to the fullest:


“I’ve often thought that people with severe depression have developed such a well for experiencing extreme emotion that they might be able to experience extreme joy in a way that ‘normal people’ also might never understand. And that’s what Furiously Happy is all about.”


Jenny’s readings are standing room only, with fans lining up to have Jenny sign their bottles of Xanax or Prozac as often as they are to have her sign their books. Furiously Happy appeals to Jenny’s core fan base but also transcends it. There are so many people out there struggling with depression and mental illness, either themselves or someone in their family—and in Furiously Happy they will find a member of their tribe offering up an uplifting message (via a taxidermied roadkill raccoon). Let’s Pretend This Never Happened ostensibly was about embracing your own weirdness, but deep down it was about family. Furiously Happy is about depression and mental illness, but deep down it’s about joy—and who doesn’t want a bit more of that?


The Answer Is…: Reflections on My Life by Alex Trebek


(51,000 words)


Longtime Jeopardy! host and television icon Alex Trebek reflects on his life and career.


Since debuting as the host of Jeopardy! in 1984, Alex Trebek has been something like a family member to millions of television viewers, bringing entertainment and education into their homes five nights a week. Last year, he made the stunning announcement that he had been diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer. What followed was an incredible outpouring of love and kindness. Social media was flooded with messages of support, and the Jeopardy! studio received boxes of cards and letters offering guidance, encouragement, and prayers.


For over three decades, Trebek had resisted countless appeals to write a book about his life. Yet he was moved so much by all the goodwill, he felt compelled to finally share his story. “I want people to know a little more about the person they have been cheering on for the past year,” he writes in The Answer Is…: Reflections on My Life.


The book combines illuminating personal anecdotes with Trebek’s thoughts on a range of topics, including marriage, parenthood, education, success, spirituality, and philanthropy. Trebek also addresses the questions he gets asked most often by Jeopardy! fans, such as what prompted him to shave his signature mustache, his insights on legendary players like Ken Jennings and James Holzhauer, and his opinion of Will Ferrell’s Saturday Night Live impersonation. The book uses a novel structure inspired by Jeopardy!, with each chapter title in the form of a question, and features dozens of never-before-seen photos that candidly capture Trebek over the years.


Book Poll


What shall we read next?

  • Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson (45%, 5 Votes)
  • Yes Please by Amy Poehler (36%, 4 Votes)
  • The Answer Is... by Alex Trebek (18%, 2 Votes)
  • A Movable Feast by Earnest Hemmingway (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 11

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