Cheryl Strayed’s searing memoir, Wild is #1 on The NY Times Nonfiction Bestseller List. Oprah created her online book club (2.0) just for this book. Amazon calls it “A powerful, blazingly honest memoir: the story of an eleven-hundred-mile solo hike that broke down a young woman reeling from catastrophe—and built her back up again.” If that’s not literary street cred, I don’t know what is! Twenty-two years young and grieving the loss of her mom, Cheryl Strayed’s marriage falls apart and she finds herself alone. Without any support from friends or family, she decides to hike the Pacific Coast Trail. 1,100 miles through the Mojave Desert, California and Oregon lands her in Washington with an amazing memoir. Inexperienced Strayed faced snakes, bears and the struggle of doing it all on her own. She also heals her broken spirit in the process.
If you enjoyed Wild, check out these awesome indie memoirs…
AWOL On the Appalachian Trail by David Miller chronicles a 2,172 mile journey from Georgia to Maine. Miller, a software engineer, leaves his job, family and friends to fulfill his lifelong dream of hiking the Appalachian Trail in 2003. This book is the story of his journey. Chock full of beautiful descriptions of the mountainous landscapes he sees, along with his thoughts of reflection, Miller shares how it feels to be pressing boldly on–alone. In addition, Miller details the proper equipment for a safe journey, and shares the inspiration he finds while satisfying his dream.
Mirror Talk by Barbara Alfaro won the 2012 IndieReader Discovery Award for Memoir. From Alfaro’s childhood, spent fishing on Rockaway Beach, to her Catholic school education by nuns who shape her in various ways, we travel with Alfaro through a lively journey. It’s a joy de vivre to experience Alfaro’s hilarious and often hair-raising days as a playwright and director. Readers will both laugh and cry at the cast of characters who enter and exit her life at a rather rapid pace. Alfaro’s career paths, along with her emotionally distant family, and a brush with serious illness all create the need to delve into life’s never ending mysteries. Mirror Talk does so in an eloquent and heartwarming manner.
In the Mirror: A Memoir of Shattered Secrets by Ann Carbine Best is a journey of the emotional kind. Thinking she has an ideal marriage to Larry Best, Ann is shocked to discover just how wrong she is. After eleven years, it is revealed that Larry has been having affairs with men. AIDS is wreaking havoc on the gay community as Ann must now handle four grieving children; none of whom want to abandon their father. Moving to a peaceful part of Virginia, Ann searches for solace and finally finds it. Award-winning author and poet, Ann Carbine Best’s In the Mirror has been an Amazon Bestseller since its 2011 debut.
Sailing Down the Moonbeam by Mary Gottschalk is a five star Amazon selection and a true journey of self-discovery. Sailing with her husband Tom for several years, Mary desires to see the world. Leaving work and family behind, the couple discovers that life is actually not within their control. Voyaging through island communities that are off the beaten path (and maps) allows Mary to explore who she really is and what life means to her. One never knows what to expect when setting out to see the world, but what one finds within can be a real treasure.
Each of these fabulous memoirs is a journey into both the world and the self. Check out one or check out all of them—you won’t be let down! If you liked Wild, there is something waiting here for you.