1. Behind Closed Doors on Long Island | Memoir

    Dylan told us all that “everything is gonna be diff’rent when I paint my masterpiece.” The belief that things could be different, even if they weren’t going to be perfect, carried many of this month’s memoirists through very trying times. Masterpieces are not always on canvas: here we glimpse families, houses, and careers that are themselves real works of art.

    Coincidentally, half of this month’s memoirs deal with growing up on Long Island. The circumstances described range from apparently idyllic to squalor—you just never know what’s going on in the house next door, do you?

    LJ memoir columnist (and Long Island resident) Therese Nielsen tackles memoirs about what goes on behind closed doors.

  2. Schaap, Rosie. Drinking With Men: A Memoir. Riverhead: Penguin Group (USA). 2013. 288p. ISBN 9781594487118. $26.95.

Schaap measures out her life in beer and shot glasses in this beautifully composed look at a woman’s coming to age in a setting more often reserved for men: bars. Each chapter details the allures of one of Schaap’s favorite watering holes and its role in her growth as a person, writer, teacher, minister, and counselor. There is no veneer of vanity in Schaap’s tour of the taverns of her life, which results in a portrait that is detailed and genuine. VERDICT Several chapters in Schaap’s account could stand alone as short stories: readers first meet her as a fortune-telling hippie chick teenager cadging drinks on the Metro North. This book grabbed me, and I think it will grab you.

Memoir Short Takes: Food, Drink, and DNA
LJ memoir columnist Therese Nielsen gave Rosie Schaap’s new memoir a starred review!

    OrangeReviewStar Memoir Short Takes: Food, Drink, and DNASchaap, Rosie. Drinking With Men: A Memoir. Riverhead: Penguin Group (USA). 2013. 288p. ISBN 9781594487118. $26.95.

    Schaap measures out her life in beer and shot glasses in this beautifully composed look at a woman’s coming to age in a setting more often reserved for men: bars. Each chapter details the allures of one of Schaap’s favorite watering holes and its role in her growth as a person, writer, teacher, minister, and counselor. There is no veneer of vanity in Schaap’s tour of the taverns of her life, which results in a portrait that is detailed and genuine. VERDICT Several chapters in Schaap’s account could stand alone as short stories: readers first meet her as a fortune-telling hippie chick teenager cadging drinks on the Metro North. This book grabbed me, and I think it will grab you.

    Memoir Short Takes: Food, Drink, and DNA

    LJ memoir columnist Therese Nielsen gave Rosie Schaap’s new memoir a starred review!