6 of the Best Memoirs About Family Life
The dynamics of families in the 21st century are changing rapidly, which means the stories we read about family life and the advice we take needs to change as well. Thankfully, there are a few really great memoirs that speak to the modern family experience. American actor, comedian, singer-songwriter, and record producer Jamie Foxx has a brand new memoir coming out in October of this year that explores what it’s like being a father raising girls in the modern world. And in honor of Jamie Foxx’s new memoir, we’re rounding up even more insightful, inspiring, and often hilarious memoirs about fatherhood, family life, and parenting.
Let's start with the book that inspired this list! Act Like You Got Some Sense is Jamie Foxx's heartfelt memoir. Foxx is a multi-talented entertainer, but the accomplishment he's most proud of is raising his two daughters, Corinne and Annalise. And he had a wonderful example to follow when it came to being a parent: Jamie Foxx was raised by his no-nonsense grandmother Estelle Marie Talley. According to Foxx, Estelle is “Madea before Tyler Perry put on the pumps and the gray wig," and he learned everything about showing up for his kids from her. In fact, the title of this book is inspired by Estelle.
In the same vein as Jamie Foxx's Act Like You Got Some Sense, The New One by Mike Birbiglia is another fantastic memoir about fatherhood and being a celebrity father. Here, Birbiglia reflects on his decision to become a dad, his fears and his feelings surrounding being a father, and how he and his wife navigated the treacherous and always uncharted waters of new parenthood. This memoir also includes poems from Birbiglia's wife, poet Jennifer Hope Stein.
Jordan Shapiro's Father Figure isn't just a parenting how-to book. And it isn't just a memoir. It's both, and a whole lot more. Drawing on sociology, economics, philosophy, gender studies, and his own experiences, Shapiro—father of two children and stepfather of two more—looks at what it means to be a feminist father in a time when gender norms are changing and family dynamics are undergoing a major transformation.
In Stark Raving Dad, Emmy-award winning writer Sanderson Dean offers up his own experiences and reflections on parenthood—in poetry! But before you get scared by the word "poetry," know that Dean's poems are accessible, fun, relatable, and hilarious. And as a bonus, each poem is accompanied by a "talented" work of art from the author's own kids.
Think dads can't be cool? Well, think again. In Rocking Fatherhood, music journalist Chris Kornelis shares his experiences with becoming a new dad—and staying awesome at the same time. When Kornelis found out his wife was pregnant, he had no idea how to be a father, and he soon discovered that the conventional advice for fatherhood didn't really cut it. So in this book, Kornelis offers up a down-to-earth week-by-week guide to pregnancy, encouraging new dads to take a twenty-first century approach to fatherhood. This book compiles knowledge Kornelis gained from his personal experiences, from his extensive reporting, and from advice received from other twenty-first century dads, such as: James Dyson (the vacuum guy), Julian Casablancas (The Strokes), and Aaron Franklin (the BBQ king).
Mike Adamick is a popular feminist dad blogger, and in his book Raising Empowered Daughters, the author has created a witty and wise handbook for all the other feminists dads out there. If you're a father who is determined to raise a daughter who is strong and self-possessed, pick up a copy of this book. Full of anecdotes and relatable humor, Raising Empowered Daughters will help parents raise a confident daughter.