Books

3 memoirs to read during what’s left of summer

You have a few weeks left of summer. What to do? Here are three memoirs to dive into, just out in paperback:

▪ “My Life on the Road” by Gloria Steinem (Random House, $18). In this vibrant narrative, Steinem tells the story of her worldwide wanderings – her far-flung assignments as a journalist, her years as a footloose political activist and her encounters with just plain folks. It’s also an affectionate remembrance of her father, a loving but restless dad who couldn’t stay put, any more than his famous daughter.

▪ “M Train” by Patti Smith (Vintage, $16). Another memoir by a brilliant musician who has spent large chunks of her life traveling. “Though the book has been described as a travel memoir, that is a conceit, a frame on which to hang a multilayered meditation on loss, making art, mortality and the sacred, said the Seattle Times’ Paul de Barros.

▪ “Heart Earth” by Ivan Doig (Scribner, $20) Just reissued by Scribner, this book is a companion volume to Seattle author Doig’s prizewinning memoir “This House of Sky.”

Doig, who died last year, was raised in Montana by his father and maternal grandmother – his mother died on his sixth birthday. But once he discovered a cache of letters from his mother to her brother during WWII, he was able to fill in a portrait of a vibrant, can-do woman who left a huge hole in the hearts of her family. Kirkus Reviews called “Heart Earth” “a profoundly original and lustrous re-creation.”

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