Five memoirs I read last year, that changed my outlook on many things!

I just up-ed my reading game in 2019, many folds! I read various genres & authors, books of various lengths and authors of various nationalities.

It was a splendidly well-read year with close to 30 books under my belt. You might say that is not a big deal. But, try doing it with an infant, and you might feel as ecstatic as I do right now.

” In case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you.”

– Mortimer J. Adler

Here, is the list of some memoirs that gave me better perspective in history, in relationships, in life & even in death!

1.Remnants of a Separation: A History of the Partition through Material Memory
By Aanchal Malhotra

For someone residing in India, I had quite a limited knowledge of the India-Pakistan Partition and whatever I had was ashamedly meagre. I knew the textbook history but I was so unaware of the feelings of people and the distress of separation from your birth land.

I am so glad I picked it and read these partition stories from each family affected.

2. Becoming
By Michelle Obama

A memoir of this first lady of United States, is no ordinary story. These humble beginnings, struggle for recognition, struggle for a balanced relationship, & then the struggle to do good, in a world full of vices.

This book won several awards and was loved by a vast number of people across the globe.

3. Educated
By Tara Westover

‘Its strange how you give the people you love, so much power over you’

‘My life was narrated by others. Their voices were forceful, empathetic, absolute. It never occurred to me that my voice can be as strong.’

‘We are all more complicated than the roles we are assigned in the stories other people tell.’

These quotes describe this memoir so aptly. Reading this book made me realise the struggles that people go through can sound so unreal at times. This is a memoir of a girl who was born in a family of survivalists (seemed so strange to me) and fought abuse, realised she could acheive greater things than she was made to believe that she could.

4. Born a Crime
By Trevor Noah

What a light read, but what heavy subjects! The title itself says a lot about the dark topics of the book, primary being Apartheid. Trevor Noah, now a popular comedian in the U.S, was born to an African mother and a Swiss mother, making him categorised as ‘coloured’ during the Apartheid.

His mother’s struggles during that time, along with his, and some mention of domestic violence, make it a very important read.

5. When Breath Becomes Air
By Paul Kalanithi

This book, published posthumously, is a very short read, telling you the thought process of a person awaiting his last breath. It is even more intriguing as the author himself, being a neurosurgeon, diagnosed with an advanced stage lung cancer, battles between hopefulness and surrender to fate. This book can have a very deep impact on you, and how you look at life.

I am looking forward to reading more such books in the year 2020, but these five, will always remain special.

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