This idea is aimed at helping self-improving and newbie memoir writers and memoir readers find new memoirs they really want to read.
I am a memoir writer with nothing yet published except what’s on this blog. (Although after 2.5 years I have about 80,000 words captured and am getting to feel beyond the ‘beginner’ stage.)
I read and have read memoirs for 2 main reasons
- I read a wide variety of memoir and books about memoir to refine my own book style.
- Cancer survivors’ memoirs were great inspiration in the dark days when I was defiantly facing a terminal prognosis.
But not all reading adds value to the time invested. I want to cut to those that inform what I’m after.
There are also some terrible books on How to Write Memoir out there with GREAT reviews that must be faked, bought or served some terrible obligation, so I want to cut to real people giving real and honest reviews.
Preferably quite short ones too.
They do not need to be literary masterpieces – and I would like to read how a book affected you. For example, I think it’s helpful if I review cancer memoirs from my perspective as someone who faced a terminal diagnosis. If you are in a similar situation I think you’d want to know whether its a good idea to read a certain book and not just all the la-de-dah about its structure, use of vocabulary blah blah blah or regurgitation of any hyperbole on Amazon or GoodReads.
You want to know – will this book help me feel better / with ideas / get perspective / give me hope?
Finally NO self-promo please. This won’t work if it gets spammed like that.
There are obviously some great reviews on sites like GoodReader and Amazon but I see those only when I’ve already found a book. I’m hoping to find some further gems the other way round – and I am sure I will not be alone. So I wonder if you bloggers who Twitter as well, could hash-tag memoir review posts so that readers and memoir writers alike can identify which to hone in on.
My Ideas Are
1. Always include the hashtag #MemoirReview
2. Add another to indicate the focus of the review i.e. Who benefits from reading the review
e.g. #Writers – to help memoir writers see this is one to learn from. (This is really helpful to the newbie memoirist.)
e.g. The probable readership #CancerFighter #Parents #Self-Improvers #Mindfulness etc
3. And/or another to help the reader see the themes e.g. #Abuse #Travel #Politics #WorkLifeBalance etc if the audience is potentially everyone.
4. And #HowTo if the book is about how to write memoir.
(I’ll be having a go soon with “When Breath Becomes Air” by Paul Kalanithi)
If you like this idea, please share it. And please please tell me what you think and add your ideas to make this work.