While You’re Waiting For… I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy

Child Actress Jennette McCurdy worked with Nickelodeon Studios for seven years before leaving acting and hiding from the public eye in 2014. This summer McCurdy broke her silence, releasing her controversially titled memoir, I’m Glad My Mom Died. This book leapt to the the top of the New York Times Bestseller list,  and is currently one of the top requested books from the Merrimack Valley Library Consortium.

Jennette McCurdy discusses her childhood in detail with stark honesty and dark humor in her memoir I’m Glad My Mom Died. She chronicles her life from first acting audition at age six to when her overbearing mother finally stopped bathing her in the shower at age sixteen. McCurdy tackles tough topics such as eating disorders, addiction, and the deep pressure placed on her by the entertainment industry and her own family. There are already almost 200 holds on this new title, but don’t worry! We have some other great titles that will dish out the family drama and hazards of child stardom while you wait.

Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner: This fellow hot title memoir by the lead singer of the band Japanese Breakfast tackles a complicated mother daughter relationship, and the grief process when Zauner’s mother tragically loses her battle with cancer. At 25, Zauner is a struggling musician, who craves distance from her hometown. However, after the passing of her mother, Zauner, who feels that she still hasn’t found herself yet, struggles to cling to her Korean heritage through traditional food.  I cried along with Zauner through this touching memoir, and her descriptions of the food she and her family share inspire me to pick up a Korean cookbook next time I’m at the library!

Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs: For a more fraught family relationship, loaded with dark humor and touching revelations on childhood, Burroughs has a series of memoirs, the most well known being Running with Scissors. Burroughs’ mother, who doesn’t see herself so much as a mother than as an aspiring artist, sends Augusten to live with her unorthodox psychiatrist in Northampton, MA. Borroughs grows up in a home with no rules, and just as little stability. This puts him time after time into hilarious, over-the-top shenanigans that will leave you scratching your head for this ordinary boy in extraordinary circumstances.

Wildflower by Drew Barrymore: If you’re looking for the wild, sometimes tragic ways that child stars navigate their careers, Barrymore’s recent memoir depicts the highs and lows she experienced after gaining emancipation from her parents at age 14. Barrymore was exposed to drugs and alcohol starting at age nine, three years after her first acting job. After getting help for her addictions at age 13, Barrymore has worked to create a happy, stable life for herself. She speaks to her wild past with humor and optimism, and writes with hope for the future for herself and the family she has built. Barrymore and McCurdy both write about the freedoms of escaping a toxic family with a wit and compassion that is both endearing and inspirational.