— Paper vitamins

These new-ish memoirs by women should be a reading requirement for everyone

I hate cold, nasty, icky winter just as much as anyone, but there is one big plus to the gross weather that plagues February through March: SO MUCH TIME TO READ. And in case you haven’t noticed, there are a lot of amazing books that came out in the past year. Even better, many of them are memoirs by incredible women who have equally incredible stories to share with the world. Everything from politics, to World War II, to training hawks, these women have some pretty tremendous experiences under their belt.

So, what could possibly be better than curling up and getting to know one (or ALL) of these ladies through their novels? Absolutely nothing. So go ahead and grab your mug of hot tea and your warm, fuzzy socks —you’ve got some crazy-good reading ahead of you.

The Lonely War  by Nazila Fathi

Nazila Fathi may not be a household name, but she definitely should be! Her debut book is a memoir packed with interesting insights and historical details, all bound up in an empowering story about a fascinating woman. Fathi was ten when the Islamic Revolution ended Iran’s monarchy and put in place today’s ruling theocracy. Fathi and her family stayed in Iran, and rode the waves of change that have rocked the country ever since. Now living in exile, Fathi was The New York Times‘ only correspondent in Iran, a position that made her vulnerable to government forces when protests broke out in 2009. The Lonely War weaves together the story of her journalism career and a post-revolution Iran to create a complete picture of upheaval, progress, and oppression through the eyes of a local.

A Fifty-Year Silence by Miranda Richmond Mouillot

Part memoir, part love story, part history book, Miranda Richmond Mouillot’s novel was decades and miles in the making. Jumping across country borders and decades, you can’t help but get lost in the story of Mouillot’s search to understand her grandparent’s volatile estrangement as she finds her own place in the place they once hoped to call home. Mouillot was a child when she learned that her grandparents, estranged since the 1940s, owned an abandoned house in the south of France. Over the course of multiple years, Mouillot put together the story of how her grandparents fell in love, survived the Holocaust, yet parted on such horrible terms that they could not be in the same room. Mouillot is movingly open about her relationship with her lively grandmother and distant grandfather, and the difficulty she had balancing her relationships with them and her desire to learn more about their lives. She also shows how sometimes we find exactly what we need, even if it wasn’t what we were looking for in the first place.

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