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8 Candid Memoirs To Add To Your Reading List This May

If you’re still riding the spring renewal high, feel free to take a gander at these wonderfully candid memoirs. They’re guaranteed to make you laugh, cry, sigh, contemplate, and ultimately inspire you to renew yourself and live your most authentic life.

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1. Double Cup Love: On the Trail of Family, Food, and Broken Hearts in China by Eddie Huang

Eddie Huang’s life was as perfect as he could have ever imagined. He had written a bestselling book , was the star of a TV show that took him all over the world, and business in his NYC restaurant was booming. He seemed to have it all figured out, until he fell in love. After that, Eddie entered into a bit of an existential crisis, which led him jetting off to China with his two brothers in order to reconnect with his roots and reevaluate his life. But, as Huang proves with heartfelt humor and brutal honesty, nothing like that ever goes according to plan.

2. Bare Bones: I’m Not Lonely if You’re Reading This Book by Bobby Bones

Bobby Estell, also known as Bobby Bones, is one of the biggest names in country radio, but it hasn’t always been this way. With dry wit and an unabashed look at his troubled childhood, career path, OCD, and beyond, Bobby gives us a glimpse into his world, and shows us what’s beyond that charming radio persona.

3. The Shelf Life of Ashes by Hollis Giammatteo

Hollis Giammatteo seeks a job working with the elderly in order to find models of healthy aging, but encounters the exact opposite. This memoir is an honest look at Giammatteo’s experiences with her ward as well as her elderly mother and asks the simple (yet also not-so-simple) question: is it possible to actually “age” well?

4. It’s Okay to Laugh: (Crying is Cool Too) by Nora McInery Purmort

Nora met Aaron, the love of her life, in her twenties and just knew that they were meant to be together, even after he was diagnosed with a rare brain cancer. They married and had a child in the midst of operations and chemo, and then one day Aaron was gone. It’s Okay to Laugh share’s Nora’s refreshingly frank insight on her journey with Aaron and her life after his departure, and what it’s like dealing with the death of a loved one.

5. I Do It with the Lights On: And 10 More Discoveries on the Road to a Blissfully Shame-Free Life by Whitney Way Thore

Whitney Way Thore is five-foot-two and weighs over three hundred pounds. She’s also the star of TLC’s My Big Fat Fabulous Life and the mastermind behind the No Body Shame campaign. But Whitney wasn’t always this fat, fabulous, and confident. With her new memoir, Thore sheds light on her troubled past and journey to self-acceptance and body peace, inviting others to do the same.

6. White Sands: Experiences from the Outside World by Geoff Dyer

Geoff Dyer spent many years of his life on a quest—for what, he isn’t entirely sure—and has plenty of crazy stories to show it! From a tour with a sketchy guide in the Forbidden City in Beijing to hanging out with a photo of Don Cherry in Los Angeles, Dyer gives a low-down on all of the crazy things that can happen when you fulfill your wanderlust.

7. Rittenhouse Writers: Reflections on a Fiction Workshop by James Rahn

James Rahn founded the Rittenhouse Writer’s Group in 1988, and has since led countless fiction workshops. After over thirty years of witnessing just about everything imaginable, Rahn is ready to dish about it all: awkward flirtations, suicide scares, near fistfights, and actual potential in his writing students. It’s a must-read for any aspiring author who is no stranger to the workshop experience.

8. It’s Not Okay: Turning Heartbreak into Happily Ever After by Andi Dorfman

All reality-tv junkies know Andi from season eighteen of The Bachelor, where she rejected Juan Pablo and called him out on his bad behavior. What followed was a stint on season ten of The Bachelorette, where she tried another shot at love on national TV. In her new memoir, Andi dishes about what it’s really like living out a fairy tale (and watching it fall apart) in front of the cameras, and what these experiences taught her about life, love, and recovering from heartbreak.

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