updated 03/27/2013 AT 3:00 PM ET
•originally published 03/28/2013 AT 6:30 PM ET
A great memoir grips you from the start – and never lets go.
This week our staffers share the true-to-life life tales they’re loving right now, from a writer’s brave solo sojourn up the Pacific Crest Trail to a young woman’s strange, terrifying descent into madness due to a rare autoimmune disease. Check ‘em out – and then let us know what you’re reading!
Her pick: Wild by Cheryl Strayed
I’m a big believer in impulsive decisions; I think they can shape a life. Strayed’s account of tackling 1,110 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail alone after a string of personal tragedies is breathtaking. I got so into it, when I was in San Diego on assignment I attempted to hike a portion of the trail myself!
Howard Breuer, Staff Writer
His pick: Brain On Fire by Susannah Cahalan
For a month in 2009, Cahalan, then a promising young reporter at the New York Post, developed a rare autoimmune condition that stumped doctors and literally drove her crazy. The story of how she unraveled the mystery of her illness is fascinating. It’s like a real-life episode of House!
Jill Smolowe, Senior Writer
Her pick: Magical Journey by Katrina Kenison
Facing an empty nest, a friend’s death, and changes at work, Kenison resists her usual antidote to unwanted change: keeping busy. Instead, she stops and takes stock of her life. It was so beautifully written, I wore out a yellow marker highlighting my favorite lines.