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Best Book Ever

Dec 5, 2022

Episode 126 Memoir-Palooza with Denise Massar



Today, I’m so happy to welcome back the very first guest of the show, an amazing writer and reader, and, not to brag, but my best friend and soul sister, Denise Massar. Denise is a memoir junkie, and it occurred to me that mid-December is a perfect time to host a Memoir-Palooza, since so many of us like to give them as gifts over the holiday season, and I thought it would be interesting to hear which ones she liked best over the last year. A lot of the ones we talk about today deal with grief and loss, which also makes a lot of sense to address right now, as the holidays can be rough for a lot of people. Denise is my all-time most trusted memoir resource, and I know you’re going to love hearing her tell me why she thinks Memoirs are the Best Books Ever.


Denise Massar is an author, a mom via birth and adoption, and an adoptee. She writes about parenting, caregiving, racism, and anything else she can’t stop thinking about. As a reader, she’s most interested in stories about women’s day-to-day lives—in the 80s when grade-school classmates were reading Judy Blume, Denise was into Erma Bombeck.

Her essays have been published in RAISE MagazineTODAY Parenting, An Injustice!, MUTHA Magazine, and Jane Friedman’s blog.

Denise’s memoir, SEARCH HISTORY: A Memoir of Loss, Obsession, and Meeting My Mom at 40, is currently on submission. She is represented by Jacquie Flynn at Joelle Delbourgo Associates.



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Host: Julie Strauss



Denise Massar





Discussed in this episode:


Denise Massar on Best Book Ever Episode 002

Mothers of Sparta by Dawn Davies

I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jeanette McCurdy

A Three Dog Life by Abigail Thomas

What Comes Next and How to Like it by Abigail Thomas

Episode 097 – Lizbeth Meredith on “What Comes Next and How to Like It” by Abigail Thomas

In Love: A Memoir of Love and Loss by Amy Bloom

How We Fight For Our Lives: A Memoir by Saeed Jones

Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon

The Liar’s Club by Mary Karr

The Salt Path by Raynor Winn

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

A Heart That Works by Rob Delaney


Open: An Autobiography by Andre Agassi

Spare by Prince Harry

J.R. Moehringer



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