Favorite CNF

Memoirs & works of creative & narrative nonfiction.

An incredibly silver BMW in the Frankfurt, Germany, airport. Copyright Richard Gilbert.

Among too many good books to list, these thrilled me to my toes:

Beard, Jo AnnThe Boys of My Youth

Bechdel, Alison. Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic

Bradbury, Ray. Zen in the Art of Writing (Inspiring essays on craft.)

Caldwell, GailLet’s Take the Long Way Home (Noted & Noted & Noted.)

Crews, HarryChildhood: The Biography of a Place (Reviewed.)

Dillard, AnnieAn American Childhood (Reviewed.)

——. For the Time Being ( Reviewed.)

——. The Writing Life ( Reviewed.)

Dubus, Andre IIITownie (A gripping masterpiece.)

Dyer, GeoffOut of Sheer Rage: Wrestling with D. H. Lawrence (Absurd, brilliant, hilarious.)

Franzen, JonathanThe Discomfort Zone: A Personal History

Grealy, LucyThe Autobiography of a Face (Noted.)

Griffith, DavidA Good War is Hard to Find: The Art of Violence in America (Reviewed.)

Grimes, Tom. Mentor (Q&A)

Jung, Carl. Memories, Dreams, Reflections

Karr, Mary. Lit (Reviewed.)

Kimball, KristenThe Dirty Life: A Memoir of Farming, Food, and Love (Compelling story; beautifully written.)

King, Stephen. On Writing (Compulsively readable memoir which kind of becomes and is disguised as a how-to book for aspiring writers.)

Klinkenborg, Verlyn. The Rural Life (Reviewed.)

Lethem, JonathanThe Disappointment Artist (“The Beards” is perfect.)

Martin, LeeFrom Our House

——. Such a Life (Memoir essays. Review, Interview.)

Moore, Dinty WBetween Panic and Desire (A postmodern peach.)

Nabokov, Vladimir. Speak, Memory (I love to hate this classic. Reviewed 1 & Reviewed 2.)

Orr, GregoryThe Blessing (Reviewed.)

Patchett, AnnTruth and Beauty

Rapp, EmilyPoster Child (A physical disability but an inner transformation. Reviewed.)

Ray, JanisseEcology of a Cracker Childhood

——.Wild Card Quilt: Taking a Chance on Home

Rilke, Rainer Maria. Letters to a Young Poet (Discussed.)

Roorbach, BillTemple Stream: A Rural Odyssey (Reviewed.)

Roth, PhilipPatrimony

Smith, AlisonName All the Animals (Simply perfect. Reviewed.)

Stephens, Liz. The Days are Gods (Reviewed.)

Strauss, DarinHalf a Life (Truly a great book. Reviewed.)

Strayed, CherylWild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail (NotedAnalysis.)

Updike, JohnSelf-Consciousness (Better than Nabokov’s. Reviewed.)

Urrea, Luis Alberto. The Devil’s Highway: A True Story (Reviewed.)

Welty, EudoraOne Writer’s Beginnings (Discussed.)

Winterson, JeanetteWhy Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? (Reflective, expository; distilled rigor; still-raw pain. Reviewed.)

Woolf, VirginiaA Room of One’s Own (Reviewed.)

——. Moments of Being (Noted & Noted.)

Wolff, TobiasIn Pharaoh’s Army

——. This Boy’s Life

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