Best Memoirs of 2012

Over the past year I have read lots of really great memoirs. However, being the voracious reader that I am, I don’t always have time to write about what I read. The following is a list of the Best Memoir of 2012. A few of them I didn’t have time to review on The Well-Read Wife but take my word for it: These books are wonderful. Some will make you laugh. Others will make you cry. A couple of really special ones will have you laughing through tears. 

The following books are in no particular order. Click on the title to see my review if applicable.

1. Agorafabulous! Dispatches From My Bedroom by Sara Benincasa, 272 pages, Published by William Morrow

From My Review: “Humorous memoir is my favorite genre (any book with hot and/or sad/ sparkly vampires being a distant second), and I read pretty much every humorous memoir written by a woman that comes out. However, I don’t write about all of them. I only write about the ones that I really enjoy. The ones that make me laugh out loud, cringe, and cry at all the right moments. Agorafabulous by Sara Benincasa is one of those books. Pitch perfect and wickedly funny, Sara had me laughing along with her story of her troubled early years.”

2. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson, 336 pages, Published by Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam

From My Review: “To say I loved Jenny’s Lawson’s new memoir Let’s Pretend This Never Happened is an understatement. If I were the type of book blog that had a ratings system, I would give her ten million gold stars and one humanely deceased, taxidermied unicorn head mounted on a purple plaque. That’s how much I loved this memoir.”

3. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling, 240 pages, Published by Three Rivers Press

Why this is a must read: Mindy’s awkward junior high/high school years had me laughing to myself. I also loved hearing about her pre-Office days in NYC working at a staffer on a show with a popular TV psychic and what eventually prompted her and her roommate to come up with the idea for the play Matt and Ben.

4. I Never Promised You A Goodie Bag: A Memoir of a Life Through Events–the Ones You Plan and the Ones You Don’t by Jennifer Gilbert, 224 pages, Published by Harper

Why this is a must read: Jennifer Gilbert is many things: Extremely Successful. Beautiful. Smart. Above all of those things she is a survivor. Jennifer survived a brutal attack at age twenty-two. Her story of how she fought to not let this tragic event define her life is an inspiring read that had me rooting for Jennifer at every turn. I read it when I was going through a really hard time with my own diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (aka PTSD). Jennifer talks a bit about her own struggle with PTSD in her book, and it gave me hope during a really dark time in my life. Thank you Jennifer for providing a light at the end of the tunnel. 🙂

5. Girl Walks Into A Bar…Comedy Calamities, Dating Disasters, and a Midlife Miracle by Rachel Dratch, 272 pages, Published by Gotham Books

Why this is a must read: I expected many things from Rachel Dratch’s memoir. First and foremost I expected to laugh. Rachel Dratch is one of my favorite former SNL cast members, and she did not disappoint in the laughs department. However, I did not expect this book to make me cry. And oh my goodness, I cried buckets during the last few chapters. Rachel’s story of having a surprise baby late in life is inspirational and deeply heartfelt. I hope Rachel writes another memoir. Her memoir was one of the highlights of my year in books.


For more best of 2012 book lists stop by Largehearted Boy.


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  1. says

    You have excellent taste in memoirs. I loved Mindy, Rachel, and Jenny’s stories SO MUCH. I want to have them all over for the world’s most awesome slumber party. Ethically taxidermied unicorn heads optional.

  2. Taylor at Freebooksy says

    I LOVED Mindy Kaling’s memoir. I snagged a copy of Jenny Lawson’s book at BEA, too, but haven’t read it yet. I’ve only heard great things!

    One of my favorites that I read in 2012 was KVETCH by Greta Beigel. I love reading stories from people that have lived completely different lives than I have, and KVETCH is definitely that. Here’s a link to it:

  3. says

    Mindy Kaling’s book was AWESOME! I loved it. I can’t seem to get into her new show, though, which both surprises and infuriates me at the same time.

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