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What is it about a memoir that is so appealing?

Created: 03/23/15

Replies: 12

Posted Mar. 23, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1318

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What is it about a memoir that is so appealing?

Do you read a lot of memoirs? What is it about a memoir that is so appealing? What is it about this memoir that appealed to you?


Posted Apr. 27, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
laurap

Join Date: 06/19/12

Posts: 163

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RE: What is it about a memoir that is so appealing?

Memoir is by its nature more personal than either biography or autobiography, in that is focuses more on the inner workings of the storyteller. It's interesting both intellectually and emotionally. to get inside someone else's head and/or heart.


Posted Apr. 27, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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kellilee

Join Date: 11/18/14

Posts: 48

RE: What is it about a memoir that is so appealing?

I tend to read a lot of memoirs because I believe strongly in the power of empathy. I learn so much about human nature and other cultures and different time periods by walking a mile in the shoes of another through memoir. As can be expected, though, not all memoirs are created equal. Some are much more powerful than others.


Posted Apr. 27, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
suzanner

Join Date: 04/26/15

Posts: 27

RE: What is it about a memoir that is so appealing?

The appeal in a memoir comes from important examples in another person's life that can inform or influence your own ideas for living. Each person carries a lesson for us all. We just need to be smart enough and quiet enough to listen to it.


Posted Apr. 27, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joyces

Join Date: 06/16/11

Posts: 392

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RE: What is it about a memoir that is so appealing?

Though it is not my favorite genre I do read many memoirs and I think that is because they are about real people expressing real feelings about events and it is easy to picture yourself in their shoes. It is also a way to learn ways to cope with the myriad, but common to all, things that happen in life. By the end of this book I felt I would really have liked to know this women who inspired and loved so many people.


Posted Apr. 30, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
michelen

Join Date: 08/13/13

Posts: 4

RE: What is it about a memoir that is so appealing?

I don't read many memoirs but this appealed to me because of the mother-son relationship.


Posted May. 02, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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donnac

Join Date: 03/26/14

Posts: 120

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RE: What is it about a memoir that is so appealing?

There are memoirs and there are memoirs. Some are nothing but exercises in navel-gazing that quickly become boring, the literary equivalent of "selfies." Others focus on what the author learned from their experiences, how life has enriched their perspective. Still others offer a glimpse into what makes the author tick, so to speak. I really enjoy reading the latter two types. Simon exposed so much of what shaped him into the man he has become. But this is a fascinating homage to a woman I would have liked to know, a mother he is rightfully proud to say was a fine example of what motherhood should be.


Posted May. 02, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1318

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RE: What is it about a memoir that is so appealing?

DonnaC - I love your description of some memoirs as the literary equivalent of "selfies." :)


Posted May. 03, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
N*Starr

Join Date: 03/13/14

Posts: 35

RE: What is it about a memoir that is so appealing?

I join in the camp that does not favor memoirs. There is something about ones own ability to figure out and reflect upon ones own experiences that can grate on a reader. I have high expectations that life events can be dissected, reflected upon and some universal nugget of wisdom can be shared. Since the author put their narrative into the public sphere they open themselves up to high critique- though I will be the first to admit that perhaps the level of scrutiny is not fair.

Wasn't there once a strong push from publishers for memoirs? Isn't that how we ended up with the Oprah/A Million Little Pieces debacle?


Posted May. 06, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
LeahLovesBooks

Join Date: 04/08/14

Posts: 47

RE: What is it about a memoir that is so appealing?

Memoirs allow a lot of license in terms of playing with facts -- or what are the facts? Scott is gifted with gab combined with a colorful mother with emotions flying.


Posted May. 06, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
heatherf

Join Date: 11/13/14

Posts: 17

RE: What is it about a memoir that is so appealing?

I think Scott Simon has a conversational and compelling written narrative voice that matches his persona on NOT. This would make him appealing to the reader who usually doesn't read memoirs as mentioned in other comments. That and being familiar with him outside of this book as such an interesting person. That said, I like memoirs and this is a good one. Immediately draws you in with almost a conversational tone and keeps the story going.


Posted May. 08, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
marganna

Join Date: 10/14/11

Posts: 90

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RE: What is it about a memoir that is so appealing?

Memoirs are NOT my favorite genre - many have been proven to be untrue - I almost did not request this book because it was a Memoir. However, I love Scott Simon & I trusted him to be a "story teller extraordinaire". It was a good call: he wrote such a tender, heartfelt, concise story of a very short slice of time with his mother in her final moments of life; yet he had moments of the harsh truths about doctors, hospitals, dying. And his use of Social Media to help him through this time of grief & reflection put a special poignant aspect to the writing.


Posted May. 12, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
marymargaretf

Join Date: 09/05/11

Posts: 33

RE: What is it about a memoir that is so appealing?

I, too, do not tend to choose a memoir, but the draw for me was Scott Simon. I wanted him to be as nice as he always projected himself to me and I was not disappointed.
I think that this memoir was appealing because it was written with a style that flowed using musical references, various people from their personal history as well as the city they loved to tell their story.


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