Memoirs as a birthday present
July 7, 2005 8:58 AM   Subscribe

Memoirs for my wife. Her birthday is approaching. She's a fan of memoirs (but not biographies) and loves food, travel and writing on other cultures. I've posted this question before, so titles published this year are preferred. Thanks.
posted by mojohand to Media & Arts (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Food, travel, and other cultures not so much, but I really enjoyed Another Bullshit Night in Suck City.
posted by lalalana at 10:00 AM on July 7, 2005

A Cook's Tour : Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines by Anthony Bourdain. The book is much better than the television show, although both are great.
posted by mrbill at 10:31 AM on July 7, 2005

i really enjoyed reading jacques pepin's The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen. He's led an incredibly interesting life and I found his memoir warm and insightful.
posted by elsar at 10:48 AM on July 7, 2005

i second ruth reichl's book. i can't believe i didn't think of it also. very much in line with her first two volumes, which are also recommended if she hasn't read them.
posted by elsar at 1:18 PM on July 7, 2005

Although it's not new, the best memoir I've read is Robert Graves Goodbye to All That, about his experiences in WWI. It's beautiful.
posted by Gucky at 1:27 PM on July 7, 2005

Afschineh Latifi's memoir about growing up in Iran (her father was executed when she was 10) and then being sent to Austria and then America really touched me, especially the strength of her mother. It's new, out in March, I review it on this page. It's called "Even After All This Time."
posted by GaelFC at 1:53 PM on July 7, 2005

Two memoirs I have really enjoyed (but unfortunately have nothing to do with travel or food): Personal History by Katharine Graham (publisher of the Washington Post before during and after Watergate) and A Third Face by Samuel Fuller (crusty bastard of a filmmaker, damned fine storyteller). I am presently reading Reading Lolita in Tehran bu Azar Nafisi and it is pretty good too.
posted by macadamiaranch at 2:45 PM on July 7, 2005

I've mentioned the first title elsewhere before, but what the hell, you've asked the question before.

Puckler's progress: The adventures of Prince PĆ¼ckler-Muskau in England, Wales, and Ireland as told in letters to his former wife, 1826-9 The author divorced his beloved wife and travelled in search of a rich substitute to bail out the family finances. He failed, returned home after three years, published the letters, (an English admirer translated another lucrative version, which makes a good story in its own right), he became a sensation, resettled with his wife and they lived happily ever after.

Previously unsung-

Sun in the Morning: My Early Years in India and England. By M.M. Kaye. She wrote The Far Pavilions. Whatever you think of that, think better of this. The stories of her father alone are worth the price.

Also of India, but earlier, before the Raj became the Raj- Memoirs of William Hickey - regency rake and Old India Hand. Very funny stuff, and shows a remarkable sympathy to the locals where you might least expect it.

Of recent vintage, and why this didn't do better at the box office I have no idea- Frost on My Mustache: The Arctic Exploits of a Lord and a Loafer . THe author has done other titles as well

Oh, and Edward Lear, he of the limericks, did a whole mess of travelling in his time. You can look into various editions of his various journals, frequently illustrated
posted by IndigoJones at 3:04 PM on July 7, 2005

I just remembered another that I read fairly recently and enjoyed immensely. It's (sort of) about travel and other cultures (in a way): Naked In Baghdad by Anne Garrels (NPR correspondent; one of only 16 reporters that stayed during the fall of Baghdad and the only woman.)
posted by macadamiaranch at 6:25 PM on July 18, 2005

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