A wonderful surprise

I got a huge and wonderful surprise yesterday from my author and poet friend Jessica Bell, of Vine Leaves Press. She tagged me in a Facebook post to tell me that my memoir Leaving the Hall Light On was on a list compiled by Erin Burba of BookRiot of the 100 Must-Read Biographies and Memoirs of Remarkable Women. As I looked at the list I couldn’t believe my memoir was among those written by the likes of Mary Karr, Joan Didion, Cheryl Strayed, Sonia Sotomayor, Madeleine Albright, Maya Angelou, Anais Nin, Malala Yousafzai, Patti Smith, Katharine Graham, and Nora Ephron, memoirists and authors I’ve admired for almost forever.

But it is indeed true. Leaving the Hall Light On is number 80 on the list. Here are the first twenty and the last twenty of the books listed. Please click on the BookRiot link to see the rest and to read the description of each book.

The first twenty:

Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More by Janet Mock.

The Liars’ Club by Mary Karr.

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion.

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai.

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed.

Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi.

Dust Tracks on a Road by Zora Neale Hurston.

The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Sartrapi.

My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor.

Fun Home by Alison Bechdel.

Negroland by Margo Jefferson.

Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman by Lindy West.

Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay.

Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala.

Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened by Allie Brosh.

The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae.

The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher.

Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein.

My Life, My Love, My Legacy by Coretta Scott King and Rev. Dr. Barbara Reynolds.

The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls.

The last twenty:

Leaving the Hall Light On: A Mother’s Memoir of Living with Her Son’s Bipolar Disorder and Surviving His Suicide by Madeline Sharples. =

Love Warrior: A Memoir by Glennon Doyle Melton.

Straight Walk: A Supermodel’s Journey to Finding Her Truth by Patricia Velasquez.

Bound Feet and Western Dress by Pang-Mei Chang.

Personal History by Katharine Graham.

A Girl Named Zippy: Growing Up Small in Mooreland Indiana by Haven Kimmel.

Irena’s Children: The Extraordinary Story of the Woman Who Saved 2,500 Children from the Warsaw Ghetto by Tilar J. Mazzeo.

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory by Caitlin Doughty.

Five Men Who Broke My Heart by Susan Shapiro.

Falling Leaves: The Memoir of an Unwanted Chinese Daughter by Adeline Yen Mah.

 Madam Secretary: A Memoir by Madeline K. Albright.

Florynce “Flo” Kennedy: The Life of a Black Feminist Radical  by Sherie M. Randolph.

Marie Curie: A Life by Susan Quinn.

Eleanor and Hick: The Love Affair that Shaped a First Lady by Susan Quinn.

Warrior Poet: A Biography of Audre Lorde by Alexis De Veaux.

 Call the Midwife: A True Story of the East End in the 1950’s by Jennifer Worth.

Behind Every Great Man: The Forgotten Women Behind the World’s Most Famous & Infamous Men by Marlene Wagman-Geller.

Elizabeth’s Women: Friends, Rivals and Foes Who Shaped the Virgin Queen by Tracy Borman.

Bobbed Hair & Bathtub GinWriters Running Wild in Their Twenties by Marion Meade.

Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shatterly.

Soldier Girls: The Battles of Three Women at Home and At War by Helen Thorpe.

Our son Paul who died in 1999

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