I am really into reading memoirs these days, and I picked up four at B&N last week. I gave up on reading Jenna Jameson’s book because it was depressing me. Reading about how much someone loves and trusts their spouse, when you know they are now divorced and acrimonious is sad. Also, what a horrible life that woman had! So, I started reading I’m Down, by Mishna Wolff.

On the back of the book, Jennifer Beals says that she was laughing from page one and throughout. Funny memoir, I thought. Excellent!

Bloody hell! Jennifer Beals either didn’t read the same book I did, or she has a really sick sense of humor. I could hardly read the last four chapters because the water in my eyes was blurring up the pages too badly. Not. Funny. At. All. Sad. Sad, sad, sad.

Sad, but extremely well written. If I may, Wolff has a voice like a Judy Blume character. Had Margaret Simon grown up in the ghetto, she could have written this book. So, it felt very comfortable and natural to read. Still, I have a headache from the sad now.

Why read memoirs? I like learning about other people. I find people endlessly fascinating. And I like knowing more about the human experience from the perspective of other humans living it–not just an anthropological or historical viewpoint. And, because I find that the experiences of others frequently informs me making better changes in my own life. Feeling sorry for myself because of X? Well thank god I didn’t have to live through Y! Wondering how to get from point A to point B? Maybe I can try how he went from point C to point D. It works for me.

Soon, I will start reading Love in a Headscarf and Mennonite in a Little Black Dress. I hope those are humorous. I would much rather laugh than cry.