December is long. All those open houses, all those family dinners, all that shopping and buyer’s remorse and returning. All those cocktails. All that love and drama. All the twinkling lights and last-minute dashes to Walgreens because you forgot to get the stuff for the stockings. All those holiday cards featuring families clad in white holding hands on beaches, gazing blissfully at the camera.
If it all feels daunting because a)you are an introvert or b)you would kind of rather be working, here are four memoirs to get you through the holidays. Whether you’re looking for a great book to pair with a cocktail, a minimalist manifesto to help you curb your spending, or a tale of familial love and heartbreak paired with a side of American history, you’ll find a true, somewhat funny, occasionally inspiring story get you through the long, lovely, dark and boozy nights of December.
(best book for midnight catharsis)
A funny, irreverent, and often poignant examination of motherhood, friendship, the grief of losing a parent, and the shock of crashing head first into the body’s frailty. Highly recommended for fans of Anne Lamott.
(Best book to make you appreciate your complicated family)
You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me, by Sherman Alexie Fans of Sherman Alexie’s short stories (The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven) and his novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian will gravitate to his new memoir, You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me, an intimate and often painful glimpse at the relationship between the author and his mother when he was a child growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Like so much of his work, You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me is a hybrid creation, including poetry alongside prose; the humor for which Alexie is known gets to the heart of the pain and grief experienced by the author and those he loves.
(Best Audible Listen to pair with a cocktail)
Carrie Fisher’s voice is precious, smart, startling, and irreverent. The Princess Diarist is the perfect companion to Fisher’s masterfully funny, wry, and surprising memoir, Wishful Drinking.
(best book to keep you from overspending during Christmas)
How tied are you to your things? How much time do you lose shopping? How many times a day do you click an email leading you to an online sale? In addition to being financially harmful, our culture of endless shopping is a colossal waste of time–time we could be spending with our families or achieving our goals. The Year Without a Purchase serves as a reminder that we already have most of what we need. Of course, the paradox of the book is that you have to buy it to read it, which goes specifically against the tenets of the book.
Thanks to NetGalley for providing review copies of these titles in exchange for an honest review.
Image courtesy of Clem Onojeghuo via unsplash
Michelle Richmond is the New York Times bestselling author of The Marriage Pact, The Year of Fog, and five other novels and story collections.
Also published on Medium.