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Help me find more books I would like!
May 1, 2014 1:30 PM   Subscribe

I realized I've just read and enjoyed several books built around the same theme/structure, and would like to find more. They generally involve a girl/young woman growing up sometime in the 20th century, usually in America, often told from the perspective of the character as a grown-up looking back and reflecting. Examples inside.

Books I've read recently and (mostly) enjoyed:
"We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves" - Karen Joy Fowler
"Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls" - Anton DiSclafani
"Last Summer of the Camperdowns" - Elizabeth Kelly
"Silver Star" and "The Glass Castle" - Jeanette Walls
"Among Others" - Jo Walton

If I liked these, what else should I read? Also open to similar stories about boys/young men, autobiographies, books not set in America. Thanks!
posted by skycrashesdown to Media & Arts (19 answers total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
 
True Grit is an excellent example, and it's brilliant and hilarious.
posted by 4th number at 1:38 PM on May 1 [2 favorites]


I haven't read the ones on your list, so I'm not sure my suggestion will be in line, but Susan Isaacs sort of does this in several of her novels. My favorites are Lily White and Almost Paradise.
posted by Kriesa at 1:42 PM on May 1


These are all memoirs:
Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal -- Jeanette Winterson (set in England)
The Liar's Club -- Mary Karr
A Girl Named Zippy -- Haven Kimmel
posted by amarynth at 1:43 PM on May 1 [2 favorites]


Ooh, I also like these kinds of books, and have read many on your list.

"Orphan Train" is similar.

For more autobiographical, you might like "Having Our Say" or "Growing Up."
posted by umwhat at 1:50 PM on May 1


I read Prep after enjoying Yonahlossee Riding Camp so much and really liked it.
posted by shornco at 2:19 PM on May 1 [3 favorites]


Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt.
posted by ActionPopulated at 2:28 PM on May 1


Many of 2013 Nobel winner Alice Munro's short stories have the perspective of an adult looking back upon her earlier life. (She's Canadian.)
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 2:29 PM on May 1


The Cure for Death by Lightning by Gail Anderson Dargatz is awesome, and occasionally spooky.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 2:42 PM on May 1


A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith is exactly what you want.
posted by Rash at 3:06 PM on May 1 [7 favorites]


Stone Arabia and Eat the Document by Dana Spiotta.
posted by mykescipark at 3:28 PM on May 1


Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 3:32 PM on May 1 [4 favorites]


Jessica Anderson's Tirra Lirra by the River follows this format but it is an Australian woman, not American (with party of her life spent in London).
posted by Trivia Newton John at 5:15 PM on May 1


A Grown up Kind of Pretty by Joshilyn Jackson

Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler

Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
posted by okieangel at 5:22 PM on May 1


Seconding A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I bet you would also like Willa Cather's My √Āntonia, which is written from the perspective of a grown man looking back on his female childhood friend. One of my favorite books of all time.
posted by whitewall at 6:32 PM on May 1 [1 favorite]


Behold: Tastekid! It's the best. Also, Anne Of Green Gables is terrific. I always assumed it was going to be lowbrow, overly-sentimental, i.e., disposable. But it's not! I have been reading it to one of my incapacitated residents at an assisted living facility, and it's just a terrific experience.
posted by jwhite1979 at 10:11 PM on May 1


I think you'd like Miriam Toews' A Complicated Kindness--it's very well written. The main character is a young woman growing up in a repressive Mennonite prairie town.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:26 PM on May 1


Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man by Fannie Flagg
posted by Ministry of Truth at 1:41 AM on May 2


Maybe "Special Topics in Calamity Physics" by Marisha Pessl.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 12:32 PM on May 2


You might like Dear Diary by Lesley Arfin.
posted by SisterHavana at 12:40 AM on May 4


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