I love a memoir that lets you experience a life completely different from your own. Whether it’s starring in a hit movie or television show, traveling around the world with a backpack or living in Zimbabwe, these four books do just that.
As You Wish by Cary Elwes and Joe Layden
For every person who loves bloopers and behind-the-scenes, it doesn’t get better than this book. If you grew up watching The Princess Bride, this will make you love this cult classic even more. Written by Cary Elwes (who played Wesley), this is packed full of fun anecdotes (like how in the scene where Miracle Max is trying to bring him back from being mostly-dead, they had to replace Wesley with a rubber doll lookalike because Cary couldn’t stop laughing at Billy Crystal’s ad-libbing) and made me love the movie even more. He also brought in tons of his cast mates to share their memories for this book and they all read their parts in the audiobook, so if you can get your hands on an audio version, you definitely should.
At Home in the World: Reflections on Belonging While Wandering the Globe by Tsh Oxenreider
If your summer consists mostly of staying at home this year or possibly a trip to Grandma’s house, this book will help satisfy your wanderlust from your couch (or make you even more anxious to book a plane ticket and see the world – I make no guarantees). In this beautifully written book about balancing the need for roots and the desire to explore, Tsh and her family of five spend nearly a year traveling around the globe. I’m not usually a travel memoir lover, but I gobbled this one up.
I Will Always Write Back: How One Letter Changed Two Lives by Martin Ganda and Caitlin Alifirenka
This true story follows two teenagers. Caitlin is 12 and lives in Pennsylvania with her middle-class family, while 14-year-old Martin lives in the Zimbabwe slums. When they are assigned as pen-pals for a school project, they couldn’t have guessed that they’d exchange hundreds of letters over six years and that eventually their very different lives on either side of the globe will drastically impact the other’s life forever. This was so interesting and fascinating, and I blew through it in a couple of days.
Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls, and Everything in Between by Lauren Graham
Celebrity memoirs aren’t really my thing, but this one? This one was SO MUCH FUN. Lauren is a great writer, plus funny and real. I highly recommend the audio version of this one since she reads it herself and it’s basically like getting a couple of extra hours of Lorelai. My summer reading list might actually be finally watching Parenthood.