I’ve been blogging about my life for almost five years and just the other day was attempting to articulate with my book launch team the special ‘space’ that blogging creates in the world — for my readers (hopefully) as well as for me.

I won’t lie, there’s a voice in my head tries to mess with me… I’m sharing too much. I’m not sharing enough. I’m damaged beyond belief. It wasn’t that bad. What am I even talking about? But I know from emails and conversations with all of you that by sharing my truth, just a little, I’m opening up the door for someone else to see themselves and in turn share their truth too.

It’s powerful stuff. So as long as I’m (mostly) not creating hurt for my husband and (always) not creating hurt for my kids, I’m going to share. I heard years ago, “we’re only as sick as our secrets,” and exposing my secrets has freed me and hopefully freed others as well.

Which is why it’s so exciting for me to work on the release of my memoir, To the Moon and Back: A childhood under the influence this fall. It’s probably not any surprise to you that my coffee table is buried under stacks of memoirs that I’ve read, loved, studied, and learned from while I worked on To the Moon and Back. I’ve been inspired to share my own truth just from reading the stories of others. And while my hope is to give back a bit with my book, I thought it would be fun to share a list of a few of my favorite memoir inspirations … and to literally give back. Be sure to read to the end, because I’ll be giving away the whole set to one of you!

PriestDaddy

If you know my story, you’re probably not surprised that I picked PriestDaddy for this list. Author Patricia Lockwood grew up in the shadow of the Catholic Church, one of the largest organized churches in history, with a father who was a married Catholic priest. Not quite normal. I grew up in the shadow of the Messiah, in one of the most infamous cults in history, with a father who was a swearing, pot-smoking, bartending hippie. Not quite normal either. Of course I love her book. It’s about family. It’s about faith and religion. And it’s about being real. It’s funny, painful, and raw. If you haven’t read it, you should.

Hallelujah Anyway

I’m not sure about you, but I think that there are two kinds of folks in the world. Those that get Anne Lamott, and those that don’t. Her writing is inspirational, warm, and (importantly) funny. With the volatile times we live in, it’s no wonder that she took on the concept of mercy in her last latest book. As I read Hallelujah Anyway, I felt my head nodding and heard myself thinking, “yes, yes, yes.” I simultaneously wanted to underline full paragraphs so that I could come back to them and remember to (as always) up my compassion and my self-compassion and be my best self. If you’re looking for a good chat with a girlfriend about how to navigate tough concepts like forgiveness and just being your best self, Hallelujah Anyway will show you the way.

Art of Memoir

Mary Karr has been writing memoirs and teaching the art of memoir for decades. and She is the author of the extremely popular memoirs, The Liars Club and Lit, two crazy poignant memoirs that urged me to write To the Moon and Back. I chose her how-to manual, Art of Memoir, for those of you who are thinking of exploring your story through memoir. It’s written, as everything Mary writes, beautifully and will inspire, educate, and entertain you. If you’re thinking of writing a memoir, this is the book for you.

So these are my top picks for memoir inspiration… and they could (literally) be yours! To kick off the launch of To the Moon and Back we’re celebrating with a giveaway. It’s very easy to enter, and I’m looking forward to the fun! We’re offering more than one way to enter — just click below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway