Category: Reviews

An archive of our reviews of memoirs, essay collections, and other works of creative nonfiction.

Review: Damn the Rejections, Full Speed Ahead: The Bumpy Road to Getting Published by Maralys Wills

Damn-the-rejections-cover trash can with wadded up papers inside

Yes, it’s a how-to book all right, but not just about dealing with the rejection of a manuscript. The goal of this book appears to be preemptive, an instruction manual on how to write so as to minimize the chance of rejection. That’s right: yet another tome on technique, writing dramatic scenes, developing characters, how and when to research, the do’s-and-don’ts of collaboration, writing query letters, preparing proposals, and, last but not least, marketing in all its facets, peddling to agents, publishers, self-publishing on the internet. But this one is different.

Review: The Home for the Friendless, Betty Auchard

I initially judged The Home for the Friendless by its cover and expected a story like that of Annie. I pictured the Home for the Friendless as an orphanage, and I thought I would be reading about all of the children living there. However, I soon discovered that the facility was merely a temporary home for author Betty Auchard and her two younger siblings and was written about as a small memory intertwined into hundreds of memories. I never expected to learn so much about a poor girl’s faith in her family as well as rich historical details about the war and the Great Depression.

Memoir Review: Bobblehead Dad

I was nervous when I first picked up Bobblehead Dad, Jim Higley’s new memoir about his battle with cancer. Ever since I became a mother, four years ago, my emotional quota has essentially been drained. Watching, hearing about, or reading anything where parents or children die or deal with death really bothers me. This rules out watching any Lifetime Movie. I was convinced that by the end of the book, I would be sobbing uncontrollably while hugging my daughters. So, just in case, I placed a box of tissues within arm’s reach.